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Cedi recuperates against 3 benchmark currencies

By: Graphic Business
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The cedi recovered against the three major trading currencies after benefiting from the heavy sell-off which engulfed the global stock markets.

The local currency gained an average of 1.33 per cent cumulatively against the dollar, euro and British pound.

Against the dollar, the cedi, which gained support from upbeat economic data, staged a strong recovery against the greenback to appreciate by 0.11 per cent within the week under review.

The cedi thus ended the week’s trading at GH¢4.42 per dollar, bringing its year-to-date depreciation to 0.07 per cent.

The Euro was knocked down to its lowest since November 2016 on account of the massive sell-off of stocks on the European market and the dovish minutes of the recent monetary policy meeting of the

European Central Bank.
The cedi thus benefited from this outturn to appreciate by 1.49 per cent to trade at GH¢5.42 per euro. The year-to-date depreciation of the cedi thus lowered to 2.25 per cent.

The British pound closed lower this week despite supports from the Bank of England’s hawkish comments on interest rate for 2018.

The cedi thus appreciated by 2.39 per cent to trade at GH¢6.10 per pound, corresponding to a year-to-date depreciation of 2.29 per cent.

Govt raises GH¢1.99bn
On the treasury securities market, the government successfully auctioned a fresh five-year bond to resident and non-resident investors.

This forms part of its plans to raise GH¢11.13 billion in the first quarter to finance obligations and to refinance maturities.

At an initial pricing guidance of 15 per cent to 16.5 per cent a total of GH¢2.01 billion worth of bids were tendered of which the government accepted GH¢1.99 billion at a coupon rate of 16.5 per cent.

At close of the auction, the yield on the 91-Day T-Bill increased by five basis points to settle at 13.37 per cent. The rate of return on the 182-Day T-Bill also rose by two basis points to settle at 13.91 per cent. All treasury securities ,however, had their yields unchanged.

At the close of the week’s auction, the government accepted GH¢482.71 million worth of bids out of the GH¢483.21 bids tendered by investors. This was above the government’s target of GH¢408 million for the week. The 91-Day T-Bill dominated as it constituted 86.06 per cent of the total bids accepted.

At the next auction, the government anticipates to raise GH¢619 million from the sale of the 91-Day and 182-Day T-Bills and GH¢200 million of the 1-year note.

Stock market
Trading continued to be exciting on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), as investor sentiments about the capital market continue to improve.

With mounting demand for financial stocks, the GSE closed most trading sessions of the week in the gains.

The benchmark composite Index upturned by 3.22 per cent to settle at an index level of 3,248.57 points, representing a year-to-date return of 25.93 per cent.

The GSE Financial Stocks Index also upticked by 3.44 per cent to settle at3,046.9 points, representing a year-to-date return of 31.87 per cent. 

Trades were much encouraging than recorded in the previous trading week session.

At the closing bell, a total of 1.86 million volume of shares valued at GH¢6.25 million were recorded as compared to the 1.42 volume of shares valued at GH¢4.09 million witnessed in the previous week.

CAL Bank Ltd was the most actively traded stock; it accounted for 35.98 per cent of the total traded volume.

Market capitalisation also rose by 2.30 per cent to settle at GH¢64,617.77 million.

Price movement
A total of 17 equities saw price changes in the week under review. Standard Chartered Bank Ltd recorded the most gains with a price uplift of GH¢1.88 to close at GH¢33.50 per share.

Unilever Ghana Ltd keenly followed with GH¢1.67 gains to trade at GH¢16 per share.

Access Bank Ghana Plc and SIC Ltd added 35 pesewas and 17 pesewas to trade at GH¢3.85 and 40 pesewas per share respectively.

Ghana Oil Company Ltd and Ecobank Ghana Ltd upturned by 16 pesewas and 14 pesewas to trade at GH¢3.85 and GH¢11.90 per share respectively.

Other stocks on the advancers list were CAL Bank Ltd, Societe Generale Ghana Ltd, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Enterprise Group Ltd, Benso Oil Palm Plantation Ltd and Guinness Ghana Brewery Ltd.

GCB Bank Ltd once again appeared in the laggard’s list after it tumbled by 30 pesewas to settle at GH¢7.10 per share.

Total Petroleum Ltd shed five pesewas to close at GH¢5.09 per share. HFC Bank Ltd and Aluworks Ltd also went down by a pesewa each to trade at GH¢1.34 and 15 pesewas per share respectively.

Commodities
Crude oil recorded a massive decline and sunk to its lowest in 10 months as investors expressed concerns about the continued rise in output of the commodity in the US. It tumbled by US$5.50 to trade at US$63.08 per barrel.

Gold sold lower on February 9 compared to its previous week’s closing value of US$1,337.30 per ounce.

The yellow metal went down by US$1.30 to trade at US$1,319.00 per ounce.  

Cocoa was unable to record gains despite the stagnation in production in other cocoa-growing regions in the Americas and Southeast.

Price of the soft crop declined by US$19.50 to trade at US$2,031 per metric tonne.

Coffee managed to end the trading week with gains despite recording loss in the latter half of the trading week on account of weakness in the Brazilian real.

It added two cents to trade at US$1.23 per pound. –GB/IGS Financial Services Ltd.