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DPR suspends sale of fuel to marketers selling above N87

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has suspended direct sales of petroleum products to marketers selling above recommended ex-depot price of N77.66 and N34.51 for premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol and houseHold kerosene respectively.

The suspension was contained in a statement made available to NewsDay on Thursday in Lagos State.

“Resulting from a meeting held on Wednesday, 29th July, 2015 in Lagos between the Department of Petroleum Resources and all stakeholders in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry including PPMC, PPPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN and IPMAN which was summoned to convey government’s displeasure at the sale of petrol above the stipulated pump price and the ever lengthening of vehicular queues at the filling stations, the DPR hereby issues the following statement and directives;

“Pursuant to the Petroleum Control Act CAP. 351 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and the Petroleum Act 1969 (as amended), preliminary investigations revealed that the prevailing hike in retail prices of petrol and kerosene across the country is as a result of the unscrupulous activities of some depot owners and major marketers who are engaged in selling petrol and kerosene to various retailers at prices higher than the official ex-depot price of N77.66 and N34.51 respectively,” the statement read.

The regulatory agency said for it to check the activities of these depot owners and major marketers in this regard and to prevent the further imposition of hardship on the general public, “the DPR is resolved to take immediate steps to directly supervise the sale of petrol and kerosene from these affected depots in order to ensure that appropriate pricing is strictly adhered to.

“This process will involve immediate suspension of direct sales of petrol and kerosene from the affected depot owners and major marketers. Immediate setting up of a special DPR task force on supervision and monitoring of product sales from the affected depots with powers to undertake the sale of products from these depots and issue directives and guidelines to the general public on the procedure for the enforcement of the supervised sales throughout the period of this exercise until normalcy returns to the sector,” it said.

Efforts to get reactions from the Executive Secretaries of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) Mr. Femi Adewole and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Femi Olawore, proved abortive as calls to their lines were not answered.

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BUSINESS

European stocks set to climb as traders assess earnings, economic data

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European markets are set to advance cautiously on Monday as investors continue to monitor corporate earnings and key economic data points, assessing the risk of recession.

Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen around 19 points higher at 7,459, Germany’s DAX is expected to gain around 54 points to 13,628 and France’s CAC 40 is set to add around 21 points to 6,493.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed Friday’s session down around 0.8% after an unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs report lowered expectations for a recession, and in turn increased the likelihood of the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy more aggressively to bring down inflation.

Markets in Asia-Pacific were mixed overnight, with Hong Kong’s tech-heavy Hang Seng index weighing down the region.

U.S. stock futures were flat after the S&P 500 closed out a third straight positive week, with investors turning their attention to a key inflation report on Wednesday.

On the data front in Europe, August’s Sentix economic sentiment index for the euro zone is due Monday morning.

Corporate earnings continue to drive individual share price movement in Europe, with Siemens Energy, Porsche and BioNTech among the companies reporting before the bell on Monday.

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BUSINESS

Stocks fall after strong July jobs report points to more Fed action

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Stocks fell Friday in a volatile trading session after the July jobs report was much better than expected, as investors assessed what a strong labor market would mean for the Federal Reserve’s rate tightening campaign.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 96 points or 0.29%.The S&P 500 fell 0.67% and the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.01%. Losses were offset by bank stocks, which rose on hopes that interest rate hikes will continue at a solid clip. Energy stocks also gained, but technology companies slumped.

The labor market added 528,000 jobs in July, easily beating a Dow Jones estimate of a 258,000 increase. The unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5%, below the 3.6% estimate. Wage growth also rose more than estimated, up 0.5% for the month and 5.2% higher than a year ago, signaling that high inflation is likely still a problem.

Stocks opened lower following the report, even as it seemed to indicate the economy was not currently in a recession. Job growth was expected to slow as the Fed continues to hike interest rates to tame inflation, but this report shows a labor market still running hot. That means the central bank may act more aggressively at its next meeting.

“Anybody that jumped on the ‘Fed is going to pivot next year and start cutting rates’ is going to have to get off at the next station, because that’s not in the cards,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley Financial. “It is clearly a situation where the economy is not screeching or heading into a recession here and now.”

The report is a crucial one as it’s one of two the central bank will see before it decides how much to raise rates at its September meeting. The Fed will have another jobs report and two more consumer price index numbers to weigh before it makes its next rate decision.

Major averages posted their best month since 2020 in July on the hope the Fed would slow the pace of its hikes. The S&P 500 added 9.1% last month.

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Investors dump Chinese stocks, bonds amid global recession fears

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Foreign investors continued to cut holdings in Chinese bonds in July and dumped equities for the first time in four months, according to a report by the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

Emerging markets (EM) posted a fifth straight month of portfolio outflows, setting the longest such streak in records going back to 2005, as global recession risk, inflation and a strong dollar drew away cash, the report released on Wednesday showed.

Chinese debt witnessed outflows of about $3bn last month, while $6bn exited other EM, IIF estimated.

If confirmed by official data, it would be the sixth consecutive month of foreign outflows from China’s $20 trillion bond market.

During the same period, China’s stock market witnessed $3.5bn of foreign outflows, compared with marginal inflows of $2.5bn in other EM, the global financial services trade group added.

The benchmark CSI 300 Index dropped 7 percent, down every week in July, as domestic COVID-19 flare-ups, property woes and global recession risks weighed on the market.

“China’s A-shares saw a range-bound, generally weaker trend since July under both domestic and overseas influences,” China International Capital Corporation (CICC) said in a note.

Data showed the world’s second-largest economy slowed sharply in the second quarter, missing market expectations with only a 0.4 percent increase from a year earlier.

With the fallout of the Ukraine war continuing, Sino-US tensions over Taiwan mounted as US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.

“For the coming months, several factors will influence flows dynamics, among these the timing of inflation peaking and the outlook for the Chinese economy will be in focus,” IIF said.

Overseas investors have been reducing holdings of Chinese bonds since February, as diverging monetary policies kept Chinese yields pinned below their US counterparts.

The People’s Bank of China has been easing policy to aid a COVID-hit economy, while the US Federal Reserve has been hiking rates to fight soaring inflation

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