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US crude falls below $15 a barrel as virus throttles demand

US crude crashed to below $15 a barrel on Monday, its lowest level for over two decades, as concerns about a virus-triggered demand shock and lack of storage eclipsed an output cut deal.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the US benchmark, fell more than 19 percent to $14.73 a barrel in early Asian trade, before markets steadied and it clawed back some ground to $15.78 a barrel.

International benchmark Brent dropped 4.1 percent to $26.93 a barrel, before rising and stabilising at $28.11.

Oil markets have plunged in recent weeks as lockdowns and travel restrictions to fight the coronavirus around the world batter demand for the commodity.

The crisis was compounded after Saudi Arabia, kingpin of exporting group OPEC, launched a price war with non-OPEC member Russia.

Riyadh and Moscow drew a line under their dispute earlier this month when they and other countries agreed to cut output by almost 10 million barrels a day to boost virus-hit markets.

But prices have continued to fall heavily, with analysts saying the cuts will not be enough to make up for massive falls in demand caused by the pandemic.

WTI was hit particularly hard on Monday as analysts said there were concerns that its main storage facilities in the United States were filling up.

Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist with CMC Markets, said the plunge in WTI “reflects a glut” at the US facility in Cushing, Oklahoma.

The benchmark has now “decoupled” from Brent “with the spread between the two reaching a decade high”, he said in a note.

ANZ added in a note that “crude oil prices remained under pressure, as projections of weaker demand weigh on sentiment”.

“Despite the OPEC+ alliance agreeing to an unprecedented cut in output, the physical market is awash with oil,” it said, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC partners.

“Concern continues to mount that storage facilities in the US will run out of capacity.”

The US Energy Information Administration said crude inventories in the world’s biggest economy rose by 19.25 million barrels last week, adding to the woes of the oversupplied world market.

Nigeria in 1min: Economic, Business and Financial Headlines

Oil Price: A Dead Cat Bounce in the Making? – Amidst weakening global demand for crude and uncertainty over the commitment among OPEC+ producers to extend production cuts, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest forecast expects Brent oil price to average US$33 this year. Source CSL Research Read More 

Further Multi-Notch Sovereign Downgrades Are Probable in 2020 – The rapid deterioration in the global sovereign rating outlook due to the coronavirus outbreak and sharp fall in oil prices makes additional multi-notch downgrades likely over the rest of this year, Fitch Ratings says. Source Fitch Ratings Read More 

Fitch Ratings Cuts Oil Price Assumptions on Coronavirus Hit, Oversupply – Fitch Ratings has further reduced its oil price assumptions for 2020 and 2021 as the rapid spread of the coronavirus weakens the short-term global economic outlook and oil demand, resulting in very large oversupply. Source Fitch Ratings Read More 

Statement by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Nigeria – Nigeria’s economy is being threatened by the twin shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated sharp fall in international oil prices.  President Buhari’s administration is taking a number of measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and its impact, including by swiftly releasing contingency funds to Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control and working on an economic stimulus package that will help provide relief for households and businesses impacted by the downturn. Source IMF Read More 

Oando, Aiteo, Seplat and Others Collaborate To Fight COVID-19 – Amidst the massive challenge of reining in the health and economic consequences of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the struggle of global governments to raise resources to combat the problem, a growing number of private sector actors have decided to step into the fray by providing financial and material support to public sector efforts. Source Oando Read More

African Development Bank Group Unveils $10bn Response Facility to Curb COVID-19 – The African Development Bank Group on Wednesday announced the creation of the COVID-19 Response Facility to assist regional member countries in fighting the pandemic. The Facility is the latest measure taken by the Bank to respond to the pandemic and will be the institution’s primary channel for its efforts to address the crisis. It provides up to $10 billion to governments and the private sector. Source AfDB Read More 

COVID-19 in Nigeria: Economic Perspectives and Mitigating the Risks – Despite witnessing wars, natural disasters and the Great Recession, this generation is witnessing a unique global health pandemic that has challenged even the most pessimistic of doomsday naysayers. The apocalyptic scenes across the world of desolate streets due to lockdowns seem to evoke Hollywood movie scripts than a true-life scenario.  Source Agusto & Co Ltd Read More

FG Slashes Budget, Sends To National Assembly For Review – The Federal Government has revised downward the revenue projection for the 2020 budget by N3.3tn from the initial approved amount of N8.41tn to N5.08tn. The revised revenue projection is contained in a proposal sent to the National Assembly by the executive.



Bump In Oil Price Ahead of OPEC Meeting Pushes Further Bullish Sentiments Across Markets

FGN Bonds

Yields continued to plummet in today’s session, with consistent demand seen from local investors across the bond curve. Demand was most skewed to the belly of the curve, with the 2027s maturity the most traded as demand swallowed the improved offers seen on that maturity. At the long-end of the curve, a dearth of supply saw bids dropped by c.21bps on the average at the segment alone. Consequently, yields compressed further by c.18bps on the average across the benchmark bond curve, meaning yields have tanked cumulatively by c.52bps this week alone.

We maintain our expectation for this locally-driven demand to persist in the near-term. In the wake of moves by the FG to cut its budgetary spending and increasing borrowing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect the DMO to revise its borrowing calendar for the quarter should the FG’s plans get the necessary approvals in place and thus adopt a more cautious approach mid-term.

Benchmark FGN Bonds
Description Bid (%) Offer (%) Day Change (%)  
14.50 15-Jul-21 6.07 5.55 0.04  
16.39 27-Jan-22 6.71 5.11 (0.61)  
12.75 27-Apr-23 10.01 8.91 (0.20)  
14.20 14-Mar-24 10.68 9.38 (0.01)  
13.53 23-Mar-25 12.15 10.61 0.13  
12.50 22-Jan-26 12.58 11.52 0.03  
16.29 17-Mar-27 12.34 11.95 (0.15)  
13.98 23-Feb-28 12.26 11.93 (0.19)  
14.55 26-Apr-29 12.31 12.00 (0.17)  
12.15 18-Jul-34 12.45 11.99 (0.15)  
12.40 18-Mar-36 12.54 11.89 (0.38)  
16.2499 18-Apr-37 12.64 12.23 (0.24)  
14.80 26-Apr-49 12.65 12.48 (0.06)  


Treasury Bills

It was another consecutive day of bullish trading of OMO bills today, as system liquidity remains buoyant. Rates dropped another c20bps across the benchmark OMO curve as banks remained heavy buyers for most offered maturities. At the long-end, rates continue to drop and face another resistance level as offers dropped as low as 11.00% in today’s session.

Bids also improved for NTBs today, especially for short-dated papers as demand from local retail clients continued to filter into the market. Consequently, rates dropped by c.5bps across the benchmark NTB curve.

With tomorrow’s session the last of the week ahead of a long holiday weekend, we maintain expectations sustained demand to close the week. There remains an outside chance of an OMO auction by the CBN to manage excess liquidity as well.

Benchmark OMO Bills
Description Bid (%) Offer (%) Day Change (%)
NGOM 5/14/2020 12.25 9.00 (0.25)
NGOM 6/4/2020 12.25 9.00 (0.25)
NGOM 7/2/2020 12.35 9.00 (0.15)
NGOM 8/13/2020 12.50 11.00 0.70
NGOM 9/3/2020 12.50 11.20 (0.50)
NGOM 10/1/2020 12.75 10.00 (0.25)
NGOM 11/03/2020 12.50 11.00 (0.50)
NGOM 12/01/2020 12.75 11.00 (0.25)
NGOM 01/05/2021 12.75 11.00 (0.25)
NGOM 02/02/2021 12.70 10.00 (0.30)
NGOM 03/02/21 12.75 10.00 (0.25)
Benchmark NTBills
Description Bid (%) Offer (%) Day Change (%)
NIGTB 2-Jul-20 2.15 1.00 (0.05)
NIGTB 1-Oct-20 3.20 1.00 0.00
NIGTB 12-Nov-20 3.80 1.00 (0.20)
NIGTB 14-Jan-21 4.00 2.00 0.00
NIGTB 11-Feb-21 4.00 1.50 0.00

Money Market

The Interbank market continued to be a takers delight, with rates remaining depressed, as system liquidity still opened buoyant (c.N460bn positive). OBB and OVN rates dipped by c.67bps to close at 2.83% and 3.17% respectively

With OMO maturities expected tomorrow, we expect the CBN to float an OMO auction to manage the high liquidity levels. Money market rates are expected to oscillate in tandem with liquidity levels in tomorrow’s session.

Money Market Rates
  Current (%) Previous (%)
Open Buy Back (OBB) 2.83 3.50
Overnight (O/N) 3.17 3.83


FX Market

Traded volumes at the I&E FX window picked up in today’s session, with the exchange hitting intraday highs of N401.45/$. Despite this, the I&E FX close, CBN Spot and SMIS rates all remained unchanged D/D.

The Naira ploughed back some gains at the parallel market, with both the cash and transfer rates strengthening by N1.00 and N3.00 to close at N415.00/$ and N430.00/$ respectively.

FX Market
Current (N/$) Previous ( N/$)
CBN Spot  361.00  361.00
CBN SMIS  380.69  358.51
I&E FX Window  384.83  383.00
Cash Market  415.00  416.00
Transfer Market  430.00  433.00


Global oil prices spiked today after OPEC’s President stated the expected OPEC+ cuts could reach up to 10 million barrels per day, which fueled another bullish rally for the NGERIA Sovereigns as well as other oil-related state papers. Yields dropped further by c.36bps on the average across the sovereign curve consolidating the previous day’s gains, ahead of the OPEC+ virtual meeting expected to hold tomorrow.

The NGERIA Corps tickers traded on a quieter note, as yields remained relatively unchanged D/D among most tracked papers, with only the UBANL 2022s having a significant move, weakening by c.4bps to close the day.



Nestle signs the European Plastics Pact, commit itself to using 100% recyclable packaging

Nestlé has announced the signing of the European Plastics Pact to help achieve its goals of ensuring packaging is 100% reusable or recyclable by 2025.

Earlier this year, Nestlé committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging

Nestlé UK and Ireland was a founding member of the world’s first plastic pact, launched in the UK by WRAP in 2018. The company has now committed to a European version of the pact, convened by France and the Netherlands, to promote the circular economy across its European markets.

The European Plastics Pact commits signatories to reducing virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20%, raising the collection and recycling capacity of plastics in Europe by at least 25% and boosting the use of recycled content in plastic packaging to an average of 30%.

Nestlé’s chief executive for  Europe, Middle East and North Africa Marco Settembri said that the company is pleased to sign the European Pact. He also said that one of their major objectives is to create a circular economy by improving collection, sorting and recycling schemes across Europe.



Six reasons why many businesses fail.

1.Limited knowledge about the business: 

Many don’t know enough in the business they are doing. You need to know the business you are doing well. That is

why companies send their staff on trainings. If you are a hair stylist for instance and you don’t do people’s hair well,

they will not come back.

2. It is not every need that you must meet:

You must not meet every need, otherwise it will kill your business. Some people just don’t want to work, they just

like to be a liability.

3. Living above your means:

Many live above their means. Live within your limits. Rent a house that is within your level. Wear clothes that is

within your limits. Focus on your needs and not your wants.

4. Avoid gambling:

This is one of the silent killers of business. It makes you believe that any money you put into it, you will make 10

times that amount when you win. Now one bad thing about gambling is that, when you loose, you console yourself

that next time you will win and recover all that you have lost. And then it goes on and on like that. And if luck is not

on your side, you may end up loosing your business capital.

5. Addiction to drugs:

If you want your business to grow, then you have to stay away from drugs, because drugs has a certain spirit that

goes  with it. Once you start, it’s difficult to stop and once you can’t stop, it becomes addiction. And once you are

addicted  to drugs, your business will definitely go down, because you will want to take it all the time, and it is not


6. Avoid womanising: Women are not cheap.

Womanising is also another business silent killer. So if you want your business to grow, you must stay away from



Unilever offers more choice and less plastic to their biggest refillery in Indonesia

Unilever says they are offering more choice and less plastic to their biggest refillery in Indonesia.

Unilever who has joined forces with Indonesia’s Saruga packaging-free store in Bintaro to launch its biggest product refillery yet says that, from the middle of March, consumers will be able to shop for 11 of Unilever’s brands, buying as much or as little of the product as they want, using their own containers.

Below are the list of products on offer at the pilot refill station:

Home Care brands Rinso, Molto, Sunlight and Super Pell; Beauty & Personal Care brands Lifebuoy, Clear, Dove, Sunsilk,TRESemmé and Love Beauty and Planet; and Indonesia’s home-grown sweet soy sauce, Bango.


A note on coronavirus from burger kings to their loyal customers

Christopher Finazzo, President BK Americas has assured it’s loyal customers safety in respect to COVID-19.

He wrote;

As you can imagine, with the ever-growing concern for public health and the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have spent the last few weeks diligently learning about what we can do to keep all our guests safe when you come to our restaurants.

The Burger King® brand operates more than 7,000 restaurants in the United States, and another 12,000 restaurants in 109 countries around the world, and we are working on several things to ensure we are doing our best for you.

Safety: We are proud to say we have best-in-class cleaning procedures in place in our restaurants worldwide. We have handwashing, sanitization and cleaning rules that make sense. We wipe down pin-pads and door handles. We disinfect tables, chairs and all the surfaces in our restaurants.In light of COVID-19, we have increased the frequency of these cleanings, which now occur multiple times every hour at each of our restaurants.

Experts: We are connected with government experts. Whether it’s the CDC here in the United States or local government experts around the world. When the crisis started in China, we were among the first to do everything that these experts asked of us.

Teamwork: We are working hard with our amazing restaurant owners and their team members to always do the right thing for you, our guest. We will never cut corners. We have been America’s burger brand for over 50 years and it’s because you can trust that we strive to do the right thing.

Delivery: We have been meeting with the world’s biggest delivery partners to make sure they can handle increased demand for delivery. We offer BK Delivery on the BK Mobile App,, and with Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates. The BK Mobile App also offers simple ordering and pickup through the drive-thru or in-store, helping to provide a more touchless experience to keep you feeling as comfortable as possible.

Industry: We are talking to other restaurant chains around the world to understand what they are doing. We are the most competitive burger brand on the planet. But, there are times to turn down the grill and make sure as a restaurant industry that we are learning from each other. We are staying in touch with our competitors to make sure we’re all doing the right thing together in this situation so that you don’t have to worry about your health when you walk into any restaurant in the United States – whether ours or someone else’s.

We look forward to continuing to serve you at our restaurants, and to doing our part to keep you and our communities safe.

Thank you for your incredible loyalty and always know that we will do our best to do the right thing for all of our guests at BK restaurants worldwide.

With all my thanks,

Christopher Finazzo, President BK Americas

Nestle to launch plant-based milo in Australia

On the 10th of march 2020, Nestle took to their tweeter handle to say that they will be launching plant-based milo in Australia.

According to them, the new Milo replaces milk powder with soy and oats. The core ingredients are the same as the original Milo – malt, barley and cocoa. The Milo development team worked really hard to make sure it kept the same unmistakable choc-malt taste and iconic crunch that that Australians have grown up with.

The product is also lower in sugar compared to original Milo and has a combination of vitamins and minerals to support effective energy release. The new Milo gives people a plant-based option, alongside the original, reduced-sugar and extra protein versions.

According to Trevor Clayton, head of the Dairy business unit at Nestlé, “People are looking to vary their diets with more plant-based options, including to lower their environmental footprint and for health reasons. We already have some great plant-based products and are now adding one of our biggest global brands with Milo. We’re continuing to make good on our promise to offer consumers food that is right for them and right for the planet.”

The new Milo follows on from other recent launches of plant-based beverages. Nestlé in Brazil introduced oat- and pea-based Ninho Forti + on shelves from December 2019, in a ready-to-drink carton with a paper straw. The United States saw the launch of Nesquik GoodNes in January, based on oat and pea protein with the great chocolate milk flavor of Nesquik.

Nestlé is using all its expertise in plant-based protein as well as in dairy to make sure the new drinks are high in nutritional value and taste delicious. Globally, the company has around 300 R&D scientists, engineers and product developers located in eight R&D centers that are dedicated to the research and development of plant-based products. This includes its center in Konolfingen, Switzerland, that specializes in dairy.

The need for plant-based dairy alternatives that taste great and offer strong nutritionals is rising, as more families are following a flexitarian diet that is lighter on meat and dairy products. Many consumers cite environmental reasons, as plant-based products are produced with lower emissions, land- and water usage.

Nestlé has stepped up its focus on providing more nutritious options for children, with Nestlé for Healthier Kids program. The two focus areas are accelerating the healthy transformation of Nestlé’s product portfolio in line with WHO recommendations, and inspiring healthier eating with supportive programs and services.

Coronavirus: Fear returns to stock markets

Global stock markets have fallen sharply as investors continue to worry about the broader economic effects of the coronavirus.

London’s FTSE 100 share index fell more than 3% and there were similar declines in other European markets.

Upbeat pay and unemployment data failed to buoy Wall Street when the market opened.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 2.7% lower, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 registering similar declines.

US employers added 273,000 jobs in February – significantly beating expectations – while the jobless rate fell back to near a 50-year low of 3.5%.

The Labor Department report also revised up estimates of job gains in January and December, finding 85,000 more than previously understood.

The surveys, however, reflect data collected before the outbreak intensified. In recent weeks, global travel has plunged, while work, school and shopping has been disrupted in many countries.

Despite the strong data, the markets were against focusing on the impact of the virus. “Today’s jobs report is old news,” said Sarah House, senior economist at Wells Fargo.

The economic strength signalled in the report is a “little like the saying, the car was in fine condition before being involved in a collision”, said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for

“The new reality, amid tremendous uncertainty, is the world has experienced a seismic shift,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, markets in Asia had seen big falls, with Japan’s Nikkei share index dropping by 2.7%.

The 3.75% drop in the FTSE 100 wipes out the gains seen earlier this week on the index.

Shares in travel companies saw some of the steepest falls once again. Cruise operator Carnival fell 4.9% to hit its lowest price since 2012.

Other big losers in the sector included EasyJet, Tui and British Airways owner IAG, which each fell more than 4%.

Elsewhere in Europe, shares in budget carrier Norwegian fell 26.2% and Air France KLM, which owns the French and Dutch flag carriers, fell 14.6%.

Banks were another group that took a hit, as investors anticipate that interest rates might be cut in order to make borrowing cheaper for companies and consumers to keep the economy buoyant.

“The markets didn’t even bother with the pretence of a calm start on Friday, bringing another rough week to a close,” said Connor Campbell, analyst at financial spread better Spreadex.

“The week’s various central bank rate cuts only served to reinforce the seriousness of the situation.”

Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve, the US’s central bank, cut its benchmark interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to a range of 1% to 1.25% in an attempt to ease investor concerns.

Many analysts predict it will cut rates again – perhaps as soon as its meeting this month.

Government bond prices are rising in the US and UK as traders seek safer assets.

The bond market – which is many times larger than the stock market – includes tradable loans to governments and businesses. Yields – how much investors will recoup in interest from the loans – drop as the price of the loan rises.

Benchmark 10-year UK government debt now only offers a 0.26% return – a record low. In the US, the yield on a 10-year Treasury also fell to a record low, at about 0.7%.

“With the 10-year Treasury yield slumping to a new record low and stock markets under pressure again today, it is questionable whether the Fed can wait until its scheduled meeting mid-month to deliver the next rate cut,” said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics.

What do I need to know about the coronavirus?

Oil prices also fell, declining 6% as investors worried that Russia may not agree to a cut in production that other members of the Opec oil producers’ cartel are keen to see.

The price of oil has fallen by about a quarter since the coronavirus began to spread internationally, with demand for fuel expected to decline.

Brent crude was down 6%, at about $47 per barrel on Friday, the first time since 2017 the commodity dropped below $50.

US West Texas Intermediate was also about 6% lower at about $43 per barrel.

There’s also been a sharp drop in share prices in Moscow. Its RTS index fell 5.25%, led by airline Aeroflot and its 6% fall. Energy giants Gazprom and Lukoil both fell more than 4%.