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Calmer trade, vigilance remains - APAC brief 9 Jan

Calmer trade, vigilance remains: The sense of cautious optimism in markets remains. Extreme swings in sentiment have been absent. Calm prevails, albeit within a mindset of greater vigilance. There hasn’t been a face ripping rally, nor a vertigo inducing fall, in global equities this week. The trading activity does feel distinct from that which was experienced in December. Fear and subsequent volatility is unwinding. The VIX continues to edge lower, though at a slower pace now. Several of the panic-inducing issues that drove the bearish activity in markets in the last quarter of 2018 appear to be progressing positively. But it’s understood that in the case of almost all these matters, ranging from slowing global-growth, to the trade-war, to Brexit and to Fed policy, that there is much more to unfold. US stocks await their test: An inflection point will arrive where market participants will have to decide whether to push this rally in global equities from simple bounce to true recovery. The United States stock market sits at the epicentre of financial market volatility right now and judging by the price action on the S&P500, we may be inching towards that point. Putting aside the nuance of individual geographies, the S&P500 has set the tone for trade in the rest of the world’s markets. As it stands, the index has demonstrated an initial higher low, following its recent bottom at 2350. The Bull’s fight really begins now, as traders eye a cluster of resistance levels between 2580 and 2630, which will determine in a big way whether this rally has legs. The risks and opportunities for US bulls: The impetus to get US stocks through that cluster becomes the question. We’ve arrived at this juncture courtesy of confirmation of a still-strong US labour market and a dovish-Fed. That is: good data, and (relatively) easy monetary policy conditions going forward. From here, to sustain the market’s run, that’s what the bulls want to see. There are several opportunities coming up toward the back-end of the week to test these two parameters. FOMC Minutes get released tomorrow, Fed Chair Powell speaks on Friday, and US CPI data is released early Saturday morning (AEDT). Moderate inflation and a cool, supportive and deliberate Fed is what bulls are after. An overshoot of the former (which isn’t expected) and a more Hawkish tone from the latter could drag the rally-down. Geopolitics: trade-war and Brexit: There are a couple of other not-so-fundamental macro-events that may also dictate sentiment. The trade-war and the ongoing negotiations between the US-China in Beijing is one; the other – and this is very much secondary to the trade-war – is Brexit and the upcoming “meaningful vote” on a Brexit bill in the UK House of Commons. Trade war negotiations are progressing well, from what is being reported: talks have been extended another day, as China’s top economic policy maker, Liu He, joined the fray in the past 24 hours. Brexit is looking far less optimistic. In-fighting and chaos remain in UK Parliament and in the Tory party, in-particular. Article 50 looks as though it could be extended, however a no-deal Brexit still appears the likely outcome at this stage. Risk remains “on”: The confluence of stories has developed into a metanarrative that is supportive of risk-taking. It must be said that the fundamentals haven’t changed that much, however sentiment has shifted and markets are now playing follow the leader. The effect of this in the last 24-hours saw gains in global share-indices (with the notable exception of China), another leg lower in global bonds, a lift in commodity prices, a contraction in credit spreads, and a bid-higher of riskier growth-currencies. The US Dollar climbed slightly overnight, but that was mostly due to a weaker EUR and Pound following Brexit developments and very weak German Industrial Production data. Gold, the proxy for risk throughout the recent market volatility, continued its pullback courtesy of the stronger greenback and generally lower risk-aversion. The ASX200’s climb: SPI Futures are pointing to a lift for the ASX200 this morning, of about 19 points. The Australian share-market is demonstrating activity still below average, though well within the normal range for this time of year. Nevertheless, the bulls did well to maintain control of the market yesterday. Following a sputtering start that saw the ASX200 dip below its opening level, the buyers wrestled control of trade, and after several attempts, managed to push the index clear of resistance at 5700. Breadth was solid at a 70.5 per cent, and every sector finished in the green for the day’s trade. Promisingly too, two of the better performing sectors were health care stocks and information technology stocks, revealing an appetite for growth by investors. The Aussie market’s test: Like its US counterpart, the ASX200 confronts a handful of resistance levels that mark potential inflection points. The resolve of the bulls has proven ample this week in general: downward sloping trend-lines have been broken, and yesterday the index managed to close above its 50-day moving-average. Such with the S&P500, a higher-low has been established in the price, follow the recent bottom at 5410. The hurdles for the market in its bid to prove a recovery in the day ahead is twofold: major trendline resistance, traced back to the ASX200’s decade-long September high, exists at a scratch above 5670, before a play to 5780-5800 exposes itself. A break and hold above these levels will add credence to the notion a bottom has been formed in the market. Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia

MaxIG

MaxIG

Is Gold heading down? - EMEA Brief 08 Jan

Trading in Asia was mixed as investors try to balance macro risks with optimism towards trade talks. The top performers were Japan’s Topix and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 both rose about 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3%. Gold prices edged lower as the greenback’s descendant spiral seem to have stopped and amidst the possibility of a pause in further rate hikes. The February contracts hit $1291.4 around 1:10am GMT before dropping consistently during the following hours, as can be seen on the IG Web Platform. Oil crude rose for the seventh consecutive trading day as markets participants weigh in OPEC production cuts vows with concerns on high crude inventories after a record crude oil production year for US. West Texas Intermediate rose 0.3% to $48.67 a barrel. The US dollar stabilized after five days of losses as the Trump administration deemed a trade deal with China “reasonable”.  Asian overnight: A largely bullish session overnight saw Chinese stock markets provide the only negative move amid gains across the indices in Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia. Trade talks between the US and China remain ongoing, with hopes of a breakthrough and fears of a breakdown ensuring that we see volatility and uncertainty dominate. With those talks playing out as the backdrop, today’s release of US trade data will be watched carefully to see how they are changing in response to Trump imposed tariffs. We have already seen the Australian trade data released overnight, with a fall in import growth (2% from 3%) leading to an improvement in the overall balance of trade. We are likely to see markets continue their focus on talks between the US and China, with any update overshadowing much of the economic calendar.  UK, US and Europe: Theresa May’s cabinet is due to meet today to discuss a plan drafted by pro-EU politicians that could reduce the risk of a no-deal Brexit. There’s speculation that the premier is thinking whether to accept changes in her budget legislation, which stresses how weak her position is on this final rally. Intra-day traders should focus on the cable this morning, as the markets keep pricing in aggravated political risk, and calling-off unnecessary short movements. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 10am – eurozone business confidence (December): expected to hold at 1.1. Market to watch: EUR crosses 1.30pm – US trade balance (November): deficit to fall to $54 billion from $55.5 billion. Market to watch: USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Morrisons said that sales rose 4% overall for the nine weeks to 1 January, while like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 3.6%. Expectations for the 2019 financial year are unchanged.  National Grid has reached a ‘satisfactory agreement’ with Massachusetts gas unions in contract negotiations over employment terms.   Greene King remains confident in its overall outlook, after like-for-like sales rose 3.2% for the 36 weeks to 6 January.  Bankia upgraded to hold at Jefferies
Outotec upgraded to buy at Goldman
Capital & Counties upgraded to add at Peel Hunt
Electrocomponents upgraded to buy at Jefferies Geberit downgraded to sell at Goldman
Mapfre downgraded to neutral at JPMorgan
Vodafone downgraded to underperform at RBC
Ryanair downgraded to sell at Berenber IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.  

IG-Andi

IG-Andi

Wall Street’s follow-through - APAC brief 8 Jan

Wall Street’s follow-through: Markets have basked in the afterglow of Wall Street's bull-friendly Friday session. They've gotten what they've been screaming for: some strong data and a more-dovish US Federal Reserve. For the first time in a month, perhaps more, trade has been characterised by a relative sense of calm. The VIX is drifting lower and toward the 20-mark. Stocks are up on Wall Street after a solid day in Asia, and global bonds are down. This could all change in an instant, that much is known. There are too many moving parts in this market to truly believe stability will be an ongoing theme. For now, a recess from the mad volatility that capped the end of 2018 is being welcomed by investors - and perhaps lamented by your risk-loving active-trader. Markets placated… for now: It's the behaviour one might consider akin to that of an obstinate child. Markets, particularly in the equities space, threw as many toys out of the pram as they could find in the past 3 months, in protest of the Fed's tough talk. US Fed Chair Jerome Powell's back down and soothing words finally placated markets, giving the financial equivalent of a candy-bar in exchange for markets' good behaviour. Last night, Fed Speaker Bostic backed his chief up and reaffirmed the dovish-tone: he sees little more than one hike this year, even amid a solid growth outlook. Taking aside whether it’s the right kind of positive reinforcement, the question becomes whether the underlying problem has been fixed or is just a distraction from the facts.  Improved sentiment: Perceptions relating to the growth outlook have changed again, and that much is a positive for the bulls. The general description regarding the data coming out of the US is that it's mixed, amid deteriorating activity in Asian and Europe. That in and of itself is justification for hope: there have been some economic low-lights lately, but they aren’t enough to establish a trend. It's a precarious balance and will likely result in further volatility down-the-line as traders become accustomed to a patchwork economy. A dynamic such as this might be palatable for the Bulls in the short-to-medium, on the proviso that the Fed is standing at the ready to jump in to save markets once true signs of economic stress manifest. However, orthodoxy suggests that, at some point, it must. The big contradiction: The everyday punter would be happy with this result. An absence of the daily doom and gloom about capital markets’ hardships would be good for economic sentiment. The central conceit remains that a harmony can exist between economic fundamentals and the monetary policy makers seeking to manage them. The primary contradiction confronting financial markets is this: growth needs to be strong so to ensure attractive returns, though not strong enough to inspire a hawkish Fed. Where the middle ground lies in this dynamic is nebulous and up for debate. 2019 could well prove the year that markets and policymakers strike a tacit accord to maintain this condition. It’s understand though that this as an assumption would that far too optimistic: the more likely outcome is confusion and uncertainty. An ongoing balancing act: Market participants are often on the look-out for that elusive "Goldilocks-zone" where markets operate calmly in the middle of its inherent extremes. Arguably, the global financial system as it operates now exists to fulfil that objective: to iron out the extremes of unbridled capitalism. And sometimes it succeeds, even if the successful policy amounts to simply kicking-the-can down the road. The challenge (and opportunity) facing markets now is that today's "Goldilocks-zone" is narrower than what it's been in the recent past. The parameters are obscure and moving, meaning achieving market stability takes on the qualities of walking a tight rope. A push from weak economic data will send markets off the rope one way; a push from higher US interest rates will send markets off the rope the other. “Risk-on”: Until the next market spill, risk will be “on”. The S&P500, with half an hour left in trade, is tracking roughly 0.9 per cent higher, on solid breadth of about 84 per cent. Indicative of higher risk appetite, consumer discretionary and IT stocks have led the charge. European stocks were lower for the day, as Brexit speculation returned to newswires. US Treasury yields are up very slightly across the curve, which has flattened its inversion somewhat. Credit spreads have narrowed, especially that of “junk bonds. Oil has climbed very slightly on positive-growth sentiment. The US Dollar is down with the JPY and gold is effectively flat, as currency markets take a punt on riskier currencies like our A-Dollar, which is trading around 0.7140. ASX200: SPI Futures are indicating a flat start for the ASX200 as it stands, following on from a respectable 1.14 per cent rally yesterday. Activity was still light in the Australian share market, and the psychological resistance level of 5700 was faded when it was reached. But overall, the market belonged from start to finish for the bulls. The materials sector reflected the easing concerns regarding global growth to add 22 points to the index; higher bond yields meant the financials sector was the second greatest contributor. The day ahead has Aussie Trade Balance figures on the calendar, which will inform local investors about whether the economy’s trade surplus held together to end 2018. Not much of a response to that data is expected, however. Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia

MaxIG

MaxIG

Could it be the end of the trade war?- EMEA Brief 07 Jan

US and China meeting in Beijing 7th - 8th Jan, to hold trade talks at vice ministerial level, looking to end the trade war as both economies are affected Theresa May warns the UK of an ‘uncharted territory’ if the Brexit deal is rejected by Parliament. May announces that she has agreed to some ‘changes’ whilst talking to European leaders including specific measures for Northern Ireland, a greater role for Parliament negotiations on the next stage of the future UK-EU relation and additional assurances over the Irish border backstop. MPs are expected to vote on the 14th or 15th January. Trump continues to demand $5.6billion funding in order to build the wall on the Mexican border, and threats to declare a national emergency. Trump announces the idea to build the wall out of steel instead of concrete, potentially hoping the Democrats could therefore claim it is not a wall Asia stocks trade higher Monday morning with the Nikkei 225 rising over 2.4%, Hang Seng Index by 0.66% and ASX 200 up 1.14% Huawei releases a new ‘next-generation’ chipset, despite facing political headwinds, in hope of ‘attracting customers by making good products’, according to its chief strategy marketing officer and director of the board   Apple create deal with its formal top rival Samsung, to which Samsung TVs will support Apple iTunes for movies and TV purchases and playback Tesla to hold its ground-breaking ceremony in Shanghai, its first non-US factory. It is predicted to start partial production in the second half of 2019 Asian overnight: Asian markets have carried on the bullish theme exhibited throughout Friday, with optimism surrounding the direction of trade talks coupled with relatively dovish comments from Fed chair Powell on Friday. With representatives from the US and China meeting for their first formal round of trade talks for months, we are seeing resurgent hopes of a potential breakthrough in relations. With the potential for a substantial risk-on shift, it comes as no surprise to see the safe haven Yen losing ground, helping boost Japanese stocks to over 2% up on the session. UK, US and Europe: Looking ahead, keep an eye out for German and eurozone retail sales figures, while the US session sees the Canadian Ivy PMI and US ISM non-manufacturing PMI reading dominate proceedings. Obviously with few major events of note, the ongoing wider themes will continue to play into the investor mindset. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 3pm – Canada Ivey PMI (December): expected to fall to 56.7 from 57.2. Market to watch: CAD crosses
3pm – US ISM non-mfg PMI (December): forecast to fall to 59.7 from 60.7. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses
Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Dunelm said that it sees profit for the first half ‘modestly’ ahead of forecasts, but  the full year outlook remains difficult due to high levels of uncertainty. Like-for-like sales were up 9% overall for the 13 weeks to 29 December. Staffline has won contracts worth £104.6 million from UK prison tenders.  Hays Upgraded to Buy at HSBC
Tullow Upgraded to Outperform at RBC
Lundin Petroleum Upgraded to Sector Perform at RBC
Magnit Upgraded to Neutral at JPMorgan AB InBev Downgraded to Neutral at Goldman
HSBC Downgraded to Sell at Citi
Centrica Downgraded to Hold at Jefferies
InterContinental Hotels Cut to Underweight at Morgan Stanley
  IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary. 

KatherineIG

KatherineIG

Shift in preception - APAC brief 7 Jan

A shift in perceptions: The fundamentals shifted on Friday. It wasn't a complete "180", but enough to change market sentiment in favour of the Bulls. The highly anticipated monthly Non-Farm Payrolls figure, along with US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's interview, delivered the goldilocks outcome market participants were craving. For those holding hope for financial markets and the global economy, the information gathered from each event soothed nerves that a major global economic slowdown is upon us. It's too early to make a solid call and form a trend from the circumstances, it must be noted – especially following the poor US ISM Manufacturing data and Apple's revenue downgrade. However, the news was enough to spark bullishness in traders, driving a rally into risk assets and out of safe havens to cap-off last week. US Non-Farm Payrolls: The US Non-Farm Payrolls print was blistering, arguably revealing the best set of jobs figures out of the US for 2018. The jobs-added number smashed forecasts, printing at 312k for the month of December, above economist estimates of 179k. Previous month's figures were also revised higher, for a net gain of 58,000 in October and November. The unemployment rate did tick higher to 3.9 per cent from 3.7 per cent, but only on-the-back-of a climb in the participation rate, suggesting spare capacity exists even still in the tight US labour market. And most crucially, wage growth numbers revealed a climb in workers’ pay to 3.2 per cent on an annualised basis -- the best rate of growth roughly since the GFC. A dovish Powell: The set of data could have been accused of being too hot, and a potential impetus for a hawkish Fed. The price action pointed to the contrary, perhaps courtesy of US Fed Chair Jerome Powell's interview on Friday night. Markets have been crying-out for attention from the Fed since October, around the time Chair Powell made his “a long way from neutral” comments. For those sympathetic to the view a central bank should be a back-stop for financial market volatility, Powell finally delivered the dovish stance markets had been calling-for. Perhaps taking a few pointers from his predecessors, and interlocutors for the night, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, Powell assured the Fed is “listening carefully” to markets’ concerns and is “prepared with flexible policy”. Risk-on: Markets had been pricing in a significant increase in the risk of recession last week, sending Wall Street shares tumbling, consequently. The solid US data and Chairperson Powell’s speech did something to settle these fears, albeit not entirely. In another day of above average activity, Wall Street rallied into the back end of the US session, adding around 3.43 per cent according to the S&P500. While still twisted in an ugly way, the US Treasury Curve flattened out somewhat, as the yield on US 10 Year Treasuries rallied 11 basis points, in response to interest rate markets unwinding bets of a Fed rate-cut in 2019. Gold and the Yen pulled back on diminished haven demand, while emerging markets currencies, and their key proxy the Australian Dollar, went on a tear. ASX: SPI Futures are indicating a very solid 69-point jump for the ASX200 this morning, according to that contract’s last traded price. Despite being wedged between the dual global concerns of slower global growth and tighter global financial conditions, the Australian share-market has shown resilience recently. Aside from a temporary tumble on thin liquidity prior to Christmas to new multi-year lows, the ASX200 has more-or-less traded range bound between 5500-5700 for the last month. Our share market hasn’t quite seen the high-octane activity lately that Wall Street has, with volumes below average and swings in price-action only really spurred by sentiment from US markets. There are general signs of consolidation occurring in the index, however a break in either direction, particularly upon the return of normal trading conditions, appears imminent. US-China trade talks: The fortunes of the ASX200 on a macro-scale will be dictated first by US markets, then by the outlook for China. The economic calendar presents as quite thin to begin the week, providing traders of riskier assets room to manoeuvre if the newswires remain clear of outside noise. The primary focus for now will be on the mid-level trade talks due to begin between the US and China today. Major breakthroughs are unlikely in the absence of each nation’s heavy hitter, but the communications coming out of this week’s talks will be crucial. Evidence is mounting that the trade-war is starting to bite, exacerbating existing economic challenges for both sides: market participants will be hungry for indications that an urgency amongst policymakers is building now to resolve it. The markets’ balancing act: Where markets head from here remains uncertain. Volatility will continue to show-up this week and throughout the rest of January. An easing of fears regarding the state of US economic growth is helpful, but it throws up the paradox: strong growth implies likely tighter monetary policy, which is bad for stocks and riskier assets; weak growth implies the possibility of a recession, which is bad for stocks and riskier assets. There is a middle way, as there often is, between both poles, within which the Fed must traverse. They may well do just that and keep this bull market afloat in doing so. There will be missteps along the way though, meaning (as has often been said) fear and subsequent volatility will spike as market conditions evolve.

MaxIG

MaxIG

A bear market; Fed rate cuts; flash crashes - DFX Key Themes

Happy New Year everyone! Coming to Terms with a Bear Market We have experienced a remarkable level of volatility recently, which is particularly incredible from the past few weeks considering markets were distorted by holiday trading conditions. When volatility meets thin liquidity, the results can prove explosive. That said, the intensifying fluctuation in the global financial system is not just a phenomenon that could be attributed to shallow markets as we have seen both the price-based results and the explicit sensitivity to fundamental triggers increase through the months preceding the official holiday season. Through the past three months, we have seen a number of specific instruments that have stood as baseline for general asset classes tip into official ‘bear market’ territory – which is defined by a 20 percent correction from a recent peak. Appreciation for the changing tide really didn’t start to peak the sense of panic however until equities started to hit the critical, technical milestones.  When key US indices started to trip 20 percent – first the Russell 2000 in mid-December and then the S&P 500 Christmas Eve – the few that may have been oblivious were put on alert and diehard bulls started to feel a true sense of dread creep up their spines. Sentiment has notably shifted from unshakable confidence that the markets will bottom and return to their decade-long bull trend to a sense of desperation that buoyancy will hold out long enough to erase some of the losses late-comers had incurred since October or keep the window open long enough to simply exit. The bounce this past week with the S&P 500 moving back above 2,520 does play to the sense of hope. It is possible that we have found a low for the time being having only just technically hit the bear market milestone for a single day, but that seems improbable. Even with the retreat in this market – not to mention the rest of the world’s speculatively-inflated assets – we are still far from previous cycle peaks. Prominent fundamental themes from slowing growth to failing monetary policy effectiveness to deteriorating international relationships are not going to simply reverse course anytime soon.  Further, rising volatility is looking more and more a permanent feature of our landscape. Market’s struggle to calmly inflate already-expensive assets amid tense periods of possible instability. It is possible that we have seen the low, but it would not be wise to assume that is the case. Instead, the better approach for market participants would be acclimatize to a world where we are in a bear market or on the cusp of one. Just as bull markets have periods of correction before they reassert themselves, the bear markets can have interludes of recovery. That does not mean we should commit to the about face just because it is desired. Though some people prefer longer duration, systemic positioning; I still favor taking trades with shorter duration and closer targets until it is clear that momentum has returned to the bears.  Fed Fund Futures are Now Pricing in Rate Cuts  Through 2018, the Fed’s steady tightening (also fairly described as normalization) efforts accelerated. The fact that the US central bank was tightening at a regular clip while the rest of the developed world’s policy authorities were still contemplating when to make their first move, or at best attempting to take bites when conditions were ideal, became almost mundane. If we were to evaluate the benefit to the Dollar from the contrast in the textbook fashion, we would assume that the Greenback should continue to climb against its major counterparts for as long as it enjoys a yield premium – especially as the spread continues to grow. Yet, we know in speculative markets that investors will move to price in the advantage as soon as it seems feasible – and they did. While they couldn’t full price in the benefit to the USD of a Fed hike regime against such a cold backdrop, it could price in a considerable advantage.  After that high water market was set, it would be increasingly difficult to confer greater benefit – perhaps if other central banks were forced to revert to ever more extreme easing techniques while the Fed kept course – but it would be far easier to disappoint. This is what is referred to more generally as discounting the outlook. It also goes a long way to explain 2017 where the Dollar dropped steadily versus the Euro despite the fact that the Fed hiked three times and the ECB had yet to nail down a time for its first move higher. Fast forward to today. We have seen markets slump and economic forecasts drop significantly. As would be expected, the forward guidance from the central bank has cooled materially. The shift is clearly apparent to the broader market as Fed Fund futures and overnight swaps have completely reversed course on the hawkish outlook for 2019 – that at one point was fueling debate on whether they would hike three or four times through the year – with no further tightening expected.  In fact, the next move priced into the markets is a cut with the greatest weight afforded to 2020, though 2019 was clearly being assessed as a possibility given contracts through December. NFPs and the rebound in US indices through this Friday have cooled the dovish build up, but the shift has been dramatic. It will be difficult to lift speculative enthusiasm so high again especially after key Fed officials have suggested the need for forward guidance has waned significantly.
 
What Flash Crashes Say About Market Conditions Rather than the Afflicted Asset  One of the more remarkable episodes from this past week’s extremely unorthodox opening play at a new trading year was the flash crash that struck certain currencies (and even a few capital assets). Much of the focus was on the Japanese Yen, but it was not the only currency to exhibit extreme price fluctuation. The Australian Dollar exhibited even more extreme fluctuation in historical and percentage terms (its intraday reversal was the largest I found on record) while the ripples readily expanded out to the British Pound which didn’t even seem to connect to the purported spark to the move.  Afterhours to Wednesday’s New York session saw headlines light up on news that Apple (one of the principal firms in equity investors’ portfolios) was lowering its revenue guidance owing to the US-China trade war. Paired with the downgrade in Chinese activity readings earlier in the day and the ongoing US government shutdown, and it was no surprise that fear would hit. With the Tokyo markets offline for a holiday, the thin-liquidity-high-volatility conditions were once again triggered with a subsequent tsunami. This time however, the market response would not play out over days and weeks with a pervasive trend but instead struck all at once with extreme intraday volatility. The catalyst did matter as any lit match would, connections to risk trends are important and certainly automated trading influences (stops, limits, algorithms) no doubt contributed. However, boiling what happened down to these elements is a misleading – but common – psychology effort to regain a sense of comfort.  If this unforeseen disaster can be attributed to these elements, then we can feel more comfortable that it is unlikely to happen again and we can keep an eye out for the same environmental triggers. This is not an unusual development in the global markets, even for the most liquid. The Japanese Yen  saw rapid rallies followed by abrupt reversals (Yen cross tumbles followed by rebound) multiple times between 2009 and 2011 brought on by risk aversion, then monetary policy distortion and the intervention efforts of authorities (BOJ and the Ministry of Finance). The point is that conditions facilitated multiple such ‘fat tail’ events through that period, and they could continue to do so for us moving forward. It is the confluence of deteriorating investor sentiment, recognition of excessive exposure, fear that authorities cannot fend off any future financial crises and the abundance of threats to the collective complacency that currently colors our markets. While we may not see another 3.5 percent-plus swing from the Yen specifically in the near future, expect to see more developments that were considered unthinkable over the past 10 years. 

JohnDFX

JohnDFX

Dividend Adjustments 07 Jan - 11 Jan

Expected index adjustments  Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 07 Jan 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video.  NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.   Special dividends this week Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount UKX BHP LN 10.01.19 Special Div 1.02 UKX IHG LN 14.01.19 Special Div 2.621 AS51 BHP AU 10.01.19 Special Div 145.7143 TOP40 BHP SJ 09.01.19 Special Div 102 RTY GBCI US 07.01.19 Special Div 30 RTY ETH US 09.01.19 Special Div 100 RTY BKE US 10.01.19 Special Div 100 RTY AJX US 14.01.19 Special Div 5 How do dividend adjustments work?  As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements. This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

JamesIG

JamesIG

House Democrats win votes to end partial government shutdown- EMEA Brief 04 Jan

House Democrats won votes to end the partial government shutdown, however, has not brought Congress any closer to resolve Trumps demand for $5billion for a wall.  Apple stocks fell on Thursday to $142.19, its lowest price level since July 2017. This pushed its market valuation behind the market cap of Alphabet, as it drops $450billion in market value China and US announced plans to hold trade talks on 7-8 Jan, at a Vice ministerial level in hopes of ending the trade war which has affected both economies and financial markets Asia markets trade at mixed levels; Nikkei 225 falling 2.68% in comparison to a rise of 1.3% for the Hang Seng index, 1.81% for the Shanghai Composite, 2.24% and 2.409% for Shenzhen Composite and Component, respectively US Stocks continued to fall on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining 660.02 points, or 2.8%, S&P 500 by 2.47% and the Nasdaq Composite decreasing by 3%, following on from Apples revenue warning, Apples worst session since 2013 Qualcomm posted 1.34billion Euros of security bonds to implement a court order in relation to banning sales of some Apple iPhones in Germany Global merger and acquisition deals fall to the lowest since 2010, including the Chinese purchase of US firms which declined by 94.6% to $3billion Brazil President broadcasts a plan to privatise 12 airports and 4 sea ports in order to raise initial investments of around $1.85billion   UK, US and Europe: One bill which passed by House Democrats will ‘fund eight closed US departments through 30th September and to reopen the Department of Homeland Security through the beginning of February, however, have still not come to a conclusion on Trumps demand for the wall. As the measures do not agree to his demand, Trump has refused to sign as they believe it is a waste of time; "The President cannot accept legislation that provides unnecessary funding for wasteful programs while ignoring the Nation’s border security needs,” the Trump administration responded.

Looking ahead, US non-farm payrolls is to be announced on Friday at 13:30 GMT, which expects the NFP to increase by 177,000 in December, in comparison to November’s 155,000, however, still under the six month average. Unemployment rate is predicted to be unchanged, and therefore remain at 3.7% Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Luckin to try and overtake Starbucks in China, to become the largest coffee chain by amount of global outlets, as they plan to open 2500 new stores this year Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to purchase Celgene at a value of $74billion IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary. 

KatherineIG

KatherineIG

A bearish day - APAC brief 4 Jan

A bearish day: It was a hectic day on the dealing floor, yesterday. Several surprises smacked markets during early Asian trade, and the subsequent 24-hours has since belonged to the bears. The “slower global growth” narrative is gaining momentum, driving traders from riskier assets into safe-havens, as fear snowballs. The VIX is well off its highs from last week, but it did lift overnight, nevertheless, with price action indicating the markets are bracing for further pain. Overall, it was mostly one-way traffic for equity markets – the exception being the ASX, which stands out amid the sea of red, for reasons soon to be discussed. However, yesterday’s rally will likely prove the exception to the rule, as SPI Futures prepare Australian investors for a 38-point fall for the ASX200 this morning. ASX bucks theme: Trade was thin in Australian markets during Thursday’s session, as can be expected this time of the year. Despite the doom and gloom stifling the rest of the financial world, the ASX200 performed quite well. The index closed 1.36 per cent higher for the day, closing above a cluster of resistance levels at 5633, on solid breadth of 79 per cent. There was a touch of debate as to how this could happen on a day of bad news, and where US Futures were getting pummelled. The best answer came from the Twittersphere: the tumble in the AUD combined with the big-fall in ACG bond yields increased the attractiveness of Australian stocks, as a lower currency and its effect on earnings, coupled with lower discount rates, improved the relative value of equities, translating into a general lift in the ASX200 index.   A flash-crash? Nerves were rattled early in the Asian session by what is being dubbed a “flash crash” in currency markets. It’s a very emotive phrase, “flash crash”, eliciting thoughts of the Swiss Franc’s collapse in January 2015. But it’s the one the financial press is running with, and it isn’t entirely inappropriate, though the scale of the issue was perhaps overstated. It was a rapid and unfortunate chain of events that precipitated the “crash” yesterday and unfolded quickly: roughly in the space of 10 minutes did the AUD/JPY plunge over 7 per cent – really, an almost absurd move in what is a relatively liquid currency pair. Similar moves were witnessed in the USD/JPY and emerging market currencies, causing chaos in currency markets temporarily. A chain of events: An explainer of the series events is warranted, with the caveat that the description is simply the markets best guess about what happened. Apple Inc.’s poor results and singling out of Chinese economic weakness as one cause inspired a sell-off in growth/risk currencies. The unwinding of the JPY carry-trade as traders sought safety bid-up the price of that currency from what were already extreme levels. Because of the time of the day and that Japan was on a bank holiday, liquidity was very thin, leading to some turbulent trade and a widening of spreads. It seems that a bundle of large “stops” were blown out at key support levels in the currency pairs impacted, causing a cascade effect. From here, it is being speculated that the algos took hold, following the momentum of the market and exaggerating the move. Apple Inc.: The 30 minutes of madness was unsettling and sapped sentiment, however despite presumably broad individual losses, it wasn’t indicative of anything sinister on a grander scale. Traders apparently were able to acknowledge this, and focused their attention picking apart the major-underlying story: Apple’s cut of its Q1 revenue guidance. In the details, the statement released by Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined several company specific problems that led to the revenue downgrade, ranging from a stronger USD, poor timing of product releases, and a reduction in sales due to supply constraints. The matter is nuanced, with many equity analysts breaking down the company’s micro issues. Traders though clung on to one detail in particular: the allusion to a weaker Chinese economy as a cause for the company’s woes. An economic slowdown: The news confirmed a strong bias held by market participants: that the global economy is slowing down at a rapid rate. In unfortunate circumstances, last night’s release of US ISM Manufacturing PMI – a powerful forward-looking indicator of economic activity – showed a remarkably weaker than expected print. It added fuel to the notion that a cyclical economic slowdown in both the US and China, exacerbated by those two countries’ trade-war, is upon us. The confluence of events has driven traders from equities into safe havens. Both European and US stocks were down, gold has burst higher to $US1293, the Yen has climbed across the board. Most significantly, US Treasuries have rallied, bending the yield curve into a very ugly shape, as traders price in the prospect of Fed rate cuts in 2019. Markets are fearful: This isn’t written flippantly: markets are demonstrating price activity that suggests traders are preparing for a US recession. Under what other circumstances would a 50 per cent chance of an interest rate cut in the next 12-months be priced into the market? Absolutely, markets could be entirely wrong – it’s a philosophical debate as to whether markets are a predictive measure for the economy, and whether they are capable of processing and reflecting the necessary information to signal things like recessions. Regardless, sometimes perception is reality, as the cliché goes, so whatever truth, the market believes a major economic slow-down is nearing. It makes tonight’s US Non-Farm Payrolls and US Fed Chairperson Jerome Powell’s speech even more interesting. Will further confirmation come that US and global growth is truly slowing?  

MaxIG

MaxIG

'Flash Crash' as Apple Releases Revenue Warning - EMEA Brief 03 Jan

US Index Futures fell and Asian shares toppled on Thursday after a revenue warning from Apple on its Q1 results adds to fears of slowing global growth. Dow futures point to a decline of over 400 points at the open.  The Dow is currently trading at 23015, the S&P at 2476 and the Nasdaq at 6211.  MSCI's Index of  Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan dropped 0.6%, whilst the Nikkei futures fell 2.2%.  The news from Apple sparked a 'flash crash' in the currency markets, sending the safer assets such as the Japanese Yen soaring against most other currencies, rising by as much as 3.7% to 104.87 against the USD. In contrast, the AUD toppled 3.5% to 0.6741 against the USD, its lowest level in a decade. US crude rose 2.5% to settle at $46.54 yesterday, on the back of a fall in Saudi oil exports.  Gold remains a safe haven for investors as it continues its rise amid a volatile global market, currently trading at $1290.01 an ounce.  UK, US and Europe: Apple has shocked investors with a rare revenue warning on its Q1 results, wiping 8 percent from its share price in after-market trading. The news has stoked investor fears over the outlook for the global economy as trade tensions and weak company earnings hit the equities market hard in the latter half of 2018. The warning sparked a flash sell-off among most major currencies such as the US and the Australian dollar, resulting in a rise in the Japanese Yen as the currency is seen as a safe haven in times of uncertainty. Apple attributes the warning to disappointing iPhone and Apple Watch sales in China, blaming trade tensions and the country's recent economic weakness for the declining demand. Looking ahead, we have the ADP Employment Change figure release at 1:15pm GMT and is expected to be a similar figure with last month, with the release of US Non-farm Payrolls tomorrow. The US manufacturing PMI is also set to come at 3pm GMT, forecast to be lower than the previous figure, indicating a possible industry contraction.  Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Tesla misses Wall Street estimates, delivering 90,700 vehicles in its fourth quarter last year. The car-maker is also cutting prices on all its models by $2000 to help offset a reduction in federal tax credits for electric car drivers.  Apple shares drop 8% after its warning on Q1 results as the sales for its flagship product, the iPhone, disappoint. Next's in-store sales fell 7% in its last quarter of 2018, however online sales were up by 14.9%. Blake Nordstrom, co-president of the American chain of luxury department stores, Nordstrom, has died at the age of 58 after battle with cancer. IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary. 

JoeIG

JoeIG

First trading day of the new year - APAC brief 3 Jan

Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia First trading day of the new year: Traders picked-up right where they left-off in the first trading day of 2019. Hardly a true microcosm by any means, but the last 24 hours could be considered an appropriate metaphor for how analysts expect markets to behave in the year ahead. Dire warnings out of Asia about global growth, backed-up by lukewarm activity in Europe, finished by a wildly fluctuating Wall Street. Trading conditions haven’t totally returned to normal; activity was very low globally, especially in Asia. However, it is lifting slightly when compared to last week, as traders drag their feet back to their desks for another year. Volatility is retracing, to the delight of investors and perhaps the chagrin of (bearish) traders. The fundamentals haven’t shifted even if sentiment has, so let’s keep ourselves strapped in. House prices falling: Taking in isolation what was hurled at Australian markets yesterday, and it was a bad day for the bulls. As alluded to, volume was light in Asia, and the ASX experienced volumes 45.85 per cent below the 30-day average. The financial press was handed two big headlines to run with that meant it was left-right-goodnight and straight to the canvas for the Aussie share markets on day-one of 2019. CoreLogic released its latest reading on the Australian residential property market, and for home owners it left much to be desired. The slow-down in the market continues for the major Sydney and Melbourne markets, each down now from their respective highs by 11.2 per cent and 7.2 per cent, according to yesterday’s reading. China slowing: The ASX200 didn’t move a terrible amount on that release, though it was a drag throughout the day. The real gut-check came upon the release of Caixin PMI data out of China, which confirmed that Chinese manufacturing has dived into contraction territory. It’s the latest evidence that, owing to standard cyclical factors and the stifling impact of the trade war, the Chinese economy is decelerating in a significant way. Of course, where goes China so goes Australia, more-or-less, and the prospect of an industrial slow-down in the Middle Kingdom, combined with sentiment-sapping consequences of a domestic property collapse, piqued fears our economy is headed for some turbulent times ahead. Naturally, the financials and materials sectors were the big laggards on the ASX200 consequently, with index plunging 1.57 per cent for the day. Mining and property: It’s a great summary of the Australian economy, this statement: the Australian economy is founded on digging-up stuff out of the ground, selling it overseas, then blowing the income on residential housing. A bit crude, probably unsympathetic too, but quite pithy and somewhat true. Given it’s the case, a set of circumstances whereby Australian property and mining is facing headwinds is no good for the economy and no good for the ASX. As often appointed-out, for index watchers, half the ASX200 is comprised of materials and financials stocks. Problems for Chinese growth is a challenge for the former, and problems in domestic property is a challenge for the latter. When both problems emerge simultaneously, it’s a big problem for the economy and the share market. RBA and the Australian Dollar: The most noteworthy result of yesterday’s difficult circumstances is that traders are pricing in cuts from the RBA this year in a bigger way. A survey of economists built the early consensus that Australian interest rates won’t be hiked until 2020. Traders, often far less forgiving, have in the space of a month already run from holding that view, to one where there is a roughly 30 per cent implied probability that the RBA will cut interest rates this year. Needless -to-say, the dynamic has legged the Australian Dollar: the little battler held up resiliently during Asian trade, bouncing off psychological support of 0.7000. But as we wake up this morning, the local currency has plumbed lows of 0.6982, taking it to its lowest level since February 2016. Growth concerns, safe-havens: It can’t be surprising that this is so; arguably its over-due, though one only ever admits that after the fact. Despite the bounce in global equities in certain geographies this past week, assets tied to fundamental growth prospects are still ailing. Last night’s swathe of Europe PMI figures, while not as poor as their Chinese counterparts, were still tepid, and did little to relieve investor anxiety. Copper was off slightly on this basis overnight, and amid continued institutional dysfunction in the White House, gold held above $US1280 as a safe-haven, despite looking a little overbought in the short-term. US Treasuries also caught a bid, as interest rate hikes from the US Fed this year become progressively priced out, with the yield on the US 10 Year note falling to as low as 2.64 per cent. Wall Street and ASX Futures: There’s 30 minutes to go in Wall Street trade at time of writing and the benchmark S&P500 is lower by a small margin, and SPI futures are indicating a healthy 86-point bounce for the ASX200 this morning. After opening considerably lower, US stocks recovered and have traded within a 2.11 per cent intraday range. A boost in oil prices was the major catalyst, courtesy of some Saudi-data, revealing how important (and understated) the black stuff’s impact is on this market. Credit spreads are still flashing orange, but higher energy prices are keeping that contained. The trend is still to the downside for stocks, however the likelihood we are experiencing a bounce is higher: for the S&P500, a rally beyond 2600, and for the ASX200, a rally beyond 5800, would be a strong indicator that this is so.

MaxIG

MaxIG

Not so Happy New year; China manufacturing slowdown - EMEA Brief 2 Jan

Asian equities began the new year in the red as Chinese manufacturing had a worse December than expectations, PMI dropped to 49.7 from 50.2 in November. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell by 2.4% and the Shanghai Composite declined by 1.2%, while the ASX 200 dropped by 1.6%. S&P futures mirrored the performance of Asian stocks and fell 0.9%, erasing earlier gains after Donald Trump indicated he may be willing to strike a deal to end the government shutdown in the US. Indian stocks also dropped as fiscal deficit concerns grow due to lower tax collection and a potential farm relief package proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom is seeking re-election this year. The NSE Nifty 50 declined by 0.3%. The yen reached a six month high at 109.36 per dollar, rising 0.3%. The Aussie dollar fell 0.5%, whilst the Euro and pound were both down around 0.15% each. Investors 'safe haven' gold rose 0.3% to $1,286.04 per ounce. WTI crude slipped to $44.97 per barrel, falling around 1%, whilst Brent crude futures were down 1.4% to $53.05. Asian overnight: Investors started the year concerned about the global economy coming off the back of the worst year for equities we have seen since the global financial crisis in 2008. China's manufacturing contracted for the first time in 19 months in December as a result of continued trade tensions between the US. Results from the Purchasing Managers' index (PMI), dropped to 49.7 in December, a reading below 50 generally indicates a contraction in manufacturing activity.  The director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM group explained that the results "showed external demand remained subdued due to the trade frictions between China and the U.S., while domestic demand weakened more notably".  UK, US and Europe: An annual survey conduced by the Financial Times has shown that economists are shying away from making forecasts regarding the outlook for the UK economy this year. Results highlighted that the majority of the economists that took part in the survey did not give a firm prediction for UK GDP for 2019, amid concerns over uncertainty around Brexit and global trade tensions. Looking ahead, we have a busy day ahead for data releases with PMI numbers due in the morning for the UK, Italy, France, Germany and Eurozone, the times of the releases can be seen below.  Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Deutsche Telekom has filed a lawsuit over a 5G auction against the German government, highlighting issues with a set of preconditions for participating in the auction. China National Tobacco Corp, the biggest cigarette maker in the world, has announced plans to IPO it's international business unit on the Hong Kong stock exchange. According to the Times, Iceland is facing a £21m bill for breaching minimum wage rules as staff voluntarily had sums taken from their wages which was then paid into a savings scheme, meaning pay had fallen below the national minimum wage. Playtech, a gambling software company, will pay £25.2m in a tax settlement with Israeli authorities following an audit of its financial accounts. IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary. 

GeorgeIG

GeorgeIG

Dividend Adjustments 31 Dec - 7 Jan

Expected index adjustments  Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 31 Dec 2018. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video.  NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.   Special dividends this week Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount RTY HIFS US 4/01/2018 Special Div 50 RTY GBCI US 7/01/2018 Special Div 30   How do dividend adjustments work?  As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements. This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.  

MaxIG

MaxIG

Will 2018's turbulence continue into the New Year? - EMEA Brief 31 Dec

China's stock market leads 2018 losses with both major indexes, the Shanghai composite and the Shenzhen component each facing annual declines of over 24%. 2018 saw both Australia and Hong Kong's benchmark indexes face annual declines. The ASX 200 falling 6.9% compared to its 2017 closing, whilst the Hang Seng index saw around a 13% decline compared to 2017.  China's manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in two years.. The official Purchasing Manager's Index reporting at 49.4, falling short of the 49.9 prediction.  The ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Pacific (CPTPP) by seven of it's members yesterday may see further disruption to American trade in 2019. The agreement will slash tariffs among members, leaving non-CPTPP members such as the US less competitive.  US stock-index futures rallied on Sunday after Trump's Tweet reported positive US-China negotiations. S&P 500 March contracts rose 0.7%, the Dow climbed 0.8% and Nasdaq futures increased 0.9%. Asian overnight: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured her third consecutive term with landslide victory. Hasina's party and it's allies won 288 out of 300 parliamentary seats but opposition calls for investigation into vote-rigging allegations.  UK, US and Europe: Paris fire this weekend most recent result of Yellow vest protesters  anger over inequality and the high cost of living. After resisting demands to reinstate wealth tax President Emmanuel Macron's government is scrutinizing the tax situation of business leaders and state they will take measures to force them to pay their taxes in France if necessary. Bexit deadline may be forced back until as late a july, warn both members of the Conservative and labour parties, if May fails to deliver vote in favour of her proposal.  South Africa:  Polls close in vote for new Democratic Republic of Congo president. Delays caused by electronic voting machines caused further frustration after 2 year wait for the election.  Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Sears announcement to increase store closures from 40 to 80 by late march 2019, stocks saw resulting slip of 2.24%. IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

MichaelaIG

MichaelaIG

Friday’s trade: APAC brief - 31 Dec

Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia Friday’s trade: Activity in global markets was more settled on Friday. There isn’t a consensus yet whether the trading witnessed last week was a dead-cat bounce, or a true bottom. Nevertheless, perhaps the lack of substantial news flow was enough to keep the bulls and bears from clashing heads for one day. The ASX200 impressed the bullishly inclined, albeit once again on thin trade, to add 1 per cent during the Asian session. The index managed to chop through the cluster of resistance between 5600 and 5630, to end the week at 5654. The rest of the Asian region put in a mixed performance, with China’s market finishing 0.44 per cent higher and Japan’s Nikkei ending 0.31 per cent. Europe fared well, ending its week in a sea of green, while US indices were also mixed. Final day of 2018: Today is quite obviously the last trading day of 2018 and it caps off an extraordinary month – and an extraordinary year, at that. A reliance on the calendar as a way of defining and measuring market success is shallow. But for purely rhetorical purposes: who would have thought that a year that would contain two all-time highs for Wall Street would culminate in a negative year for global equities? In a similar vein: what about the gang buster earnings, and white-hot economic growth – does this seem like the end of a year that contained both those things? It’s reductive to distil the year’s market action to those two points, however it does highlight how unconventional and sometimes strange this year has been in global markets. Volatility: The year was much about the return of volatility. Volatility is a measure of fear, and fear is a function of uncertainty. Uncertainty breeds confusion, and the behaviour in financial markets at present is reflecting a state of confusion. It stands to reason and doesn’t necessarily need to induce pessimism. A collective view on the state of the world is absent – good, bad or otherwise, the aggressive swings in equity markets last week is a function of market participants seeking to price-in the most accurate representation of the financial world right now. Such a representation is far from being fully formed, and its shape is being pushed and pulled by opposing ideas and views. Until the will of either the bulls or bears can overcome the other, swings in markets, in an environment of tightening financial conditions, will continues into 2019. Bulls, bears and the Fed: Fundamentally, there is a disagreement between the bears and the bulls about future global growth and financial conditions. On the one hand, the bulls suggest the sell-off is overdone, and prices have corrected approximately to where they ought to be. On the other hand, the bears are of the belief that this sell-off has more to run, and that prices remain distorted. The logic begins with the US Federal Reserve, and market views on what the Fed will and ought to do, then expands to the many other major issues impacting market sentiment from there. A great many think that the Fed is overestimating the strength of the US economy and will lean on it in such a way that it will exacerbate a looming economic slow-down – so much so that Fed hikes have been effectively priced out for next year. Risk-off, anti-growth: It’s been over a week since the December 19 Fed meeting, and the central bank’s next meeting isn’t until January 31st, opening-up the chance of an uncertain and volatile month. In equities, beginning on Wall Street, the foundations of major turbulence are in place. Traders are bidding up safe-havens, and pricing out higher global interest rates, pushing the yield on US 10 Year Treasuries to 2.72 per cent, and the yield on US 2 Year Treasuries to 2.52 per cent. The US Dollar is looking exhausted as-a-result, falling to 96.40, supporting a push higher in gold, which rallied to $US1283 over the weekend. The anti-risk, ant-growth mentality of traders has also pushed the Yen deep into the 110-handle and held the AUD/USD to support at 0.7040. Trade war: It’s very unlikely to change the trend or status quo, however today’s focus, at the outset, should be directed towards riskier, growth exposed assets. A mere Tweet of course, though confidence again has been piqued by assurances from US President Donald Trump over his Twitter account that there is being made “Big progress being made (on a trade deal)”. Markets are used to this commentary, so the chances of a complete overturn of the prevailing view on the trade war is next-to-zero. Even still, it adds to what appears to be positive momentum in working towards a trade-resolution, at a time where Chinese equity equities keep plumbing to new lows, and fears mount for the health of the Chinese economy and financial markets. ASX200: As this all relates to the ASX200 today: the latest traded price in SPI Futures is implying a 22-point jump for the index today. The trend for the ASX200 is still lower, meaning market bulls should remain cautious. With its break through ~5630 on Friday though, the index apparently possesses some upside, even if for no longer than the short-term. The market is currently wrestling with the index’s 50-day EMA at 5669 – eyeing the psychological-barrier of 5700 presents as the next key level. Beyond that, a line-in-the-sand is draw at 5760: the level represents boundary line resistance, traced back to the index’s last high. Given that the fundamentals are yet to greatly shift, a break through this level seems unlikely. However, it might well indicate that at least for the ASX, the bears are losing control of the market.  

MaxIG

MaxIG

US markets close higher in volatile session - EMEA Brief 28 Dec

US equities rallied late on Thursday to close higher in a wild session which saw the Dow finishing 1.1% up, after initially falling over 500 points earlier in the day. The S&P and Nasdaq also fell 2.8% and 3.3% respectively, but both ended in positive territory after the late surge. Donald Trump is said to be considering an executive order which will ban US firms from using equipment built by Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei, according to a Reuters report. Overall, European markets fell in their first trading session post-Christmas. The Dax saw a slide of 2.8%, while the FTSE fell as the day continued ending down 1.5%. The Cac followed by falling 1.1%. Japanese 10-year government bond yields fell by three basis points taking it down to negative 0.004%. Gold rose 0.5% to $1,281.40 an ounce, which is its highest level in over six months. Crude oil also increased yesterday, the price increased to $45.75 a barrel - a 2.5% rise. UK, US and Europe: Thursday's roller coaster session comes after the historic rally on Wall Street on Wednesday, as the Dow surged over 1,000 points marking its biggest daily point gain. The early sell-off in yesterdays session was sparked by renewed trade tensions between US-China and weak US consumer confidence data for December. Dave Campbell, principal at BOS explained that "The uncertainty will continue to weigh on the market," and "I think that's going to help drive the volatility as we roll forward because I don't think it's going to be a clean path to an agreement or some kind of resolution." Large end of year FX swap rates: Please be aware that due to year end market factors we are seeing significant moves in the funding rates for most FX pairs. This has been observed across the market, although some pairs are looking to be worse affected than others (most notably if you are short US dollars). These factors include financial institutions balancing their books before the end of the year, putting a strain on certain currencies: Read more here Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) [ Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades The Defence Secretary has highlighted is "very deep concerns" regarding Huawei's involvement in the UK's mobile network upgrade. Cannabis retailer Green Growth Brands Ltd. plans to launch a hostile takeover bid for Aphria Inc. (APHA), which values the marijuana producer at nearly $2.1 billion.  CentryLink, which provides telecommunication services to customers across 37 states, had significant internet and phone outages nationwide yesterday leaving its customers being unable to use their services.  IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary. 

GeorgeIG

GeorgeIG

Pull back - APAC brief 28 Dec

Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia A pull-back amid interesting activity: Markets received their slingshot higher and continue to swing about in both directions. That’s the key takeaway from last night’s trade; of course, that’s all too general, though – akin to explaining a rally in the market to their being more buyers-than-sellers. Yes, it’s self-evidently true, however it does little to answer the question of “why?”. Overall, market activity in the last 24-hours has provided a much greater and more nuance picture than what we got from the one-way rally in US markets on Boxing Day. There are now burgeoning answers to some of the questions traders have been asking; like any complex phenomenon though, the answers only lead to more questions. As a trader, this is daunting, but reason for excitement: risk is everywhere, so volatility is higher – but opportunities abound. The real versus paper economy: It could be a far too grand a notion: the push and pull in financial markets at present is being driven by confusion regarding the current relationship between the “paper (or financial) economy”, and the “real economy”. The fact that such a distinction exists feels absurd. Shouldn’t proper functioning financial markets be the vessel to allocate capital efficiently throughout a (“real”) economy? In principle, that ought to be so. In this world, that axiom seems far from true. The battle being waged within markets at present – and this unfolded in a significant way overnight – is between economic policy makers (a la the US Federal Reserve) on one hand, and financial market participants on the other: the former says things are alright, while the latter is indicating everywhere that things are not okay. End of the cycle? It’s an obscure and distorted world, when it comes to the global economy and how it interacts with financial markets. It’s not necessarily the prevailing view, nor is it absolutely the truth, but times like these when there is such utter confusion in the financial world, it lends itself to the idea that markets have become dislocated from the economies they supposedly serve. Financial cycles (the concept goes) aren’t being driven by economic fundamentals. Instead, they are fuelled via credit cycles that drag real economic growth along with asset bubbles. (Ray Dalio recently discussed the matter in an article certainly worth “Googling”). In such a world, economic relations don’t dictate financial market behaviour, but the other way around – and, unfortunately, as an aside: to the benefit of a very few. The Fed’s part to play: Who to blame for that? It’s systemic, and structural and probably founded on some false-ideology. One big part of this system of thought however goes back to this “paper economy” and “real economy” binary. Analysing the rise of the term “real economy” and its usage over time, a spike in the phrase occurred around the early-1980s, around about the time the neo-liberal revolution and subsequent global financialization process began. Since then, policy makers (again, a la the US Federal Reserve) have rationalized away the emergence of massive, credit fuelled asset bubbles, seemingly exacerbating the already unstable underpinnings of the boom-and-bust cycle. That is: the booms and busts have become bigger as the response to each necessitates even more aggressive policy (i.e. monetary policy intervention) to keep the process going. Risk-off, anti-growth: This is all very abstract, to be sure. However, it is relevant in the context of last night and today’s trade because of the price action we’ve been handed. First-off, of course, the sell-off on Wall Street continued after the day prior’s historic rally. In saying this, the major Wall Street indices have rallied into the close, on lifted volumes, to add weight to the notion US equities have met their bottom. The real fascination ought to be directed to what has again happened in interest rate and bond markets overnight. Rates and yields have tumbled once more: interest rate traders have reduced their expectations of hikes from the US Fed to a measly 5 points in 2019 (at time of writing), while the yield on the US 2 and 10 Year notes has fallen by 4 basis points each. Soft US data: It reeks of the trouble markets find themselves in. The pull back in stocks had been on the cards all day, with US futures pricing that in throughout mixed Asian and European trade. The major driver of sentiment overnight though was the US consumer confidence print, which revealed consumer sentiment plunged last month. It piques concerns that the engine of the US economy – the almighty consumer – is sensing tough times ahead. Forget that the labour market is strong, and consumption has been hitherto solid, the everyday US punter thinks next year will provide them with less than what they have received in the recent past. It’s given the perma-bears the vindication they sought, who’ve once again wagged their finger at the Fed for being so naïve as to think the US economy could prosper without accommodative monetary policy. Australia macro and day ahead: Fortunately for Australian markets, we’ve not been forced to deal with such a struggle between markets and policy makers. We’ve yet to resort to extreme monetary policy measures to support our economy, and we’ve a simpler economic structure: at its core, if global (read: Chinese) growth prospers, so do we. There are risks there that may mean our economy will face headwinds in 2019, mostly in the form of the trade war. Tighter financial conditions will filter through to our markets, as well. Given the weightiness of the banks and miners in the ASX200, these variables pose reasonable downside risk for our market next year. So: today will be risk-off, in line with the lead passed to us from bearish traders in Europe and North America. Hence, SPI futures are indicating a 73-point drop at the open for the ASX200, on the back of a volume-light, but broad-based 1.88 per cent rally on the index yesterday. The market closed just below the significant 5600 level during yesterday’s trade – above which a cluster of resistance levels exists up towards 5630. The anti-risk, anti-growth feel to overnight trade has also harmed the Australian Dollar, which despite a sell-off in the USD, is testing support at around 0.7020, and eyes a break below the key psychological barrier at 0.7000.

MaxIG

MaxIG

Dow Pares Losses Following Worst Christmas Eve Ever - EMEA Brief 27 Dec

The three main American indices: the Dow, the S&P and the NASDAQ all rose over 4% on boxing day following the Dow’s worst Christmas eve ever. Asian markets followed the trend with the Nikkei also raising 4% Oil saw its largest daily gain since 2016 with an 8% rally. Oil related companies in Australia also climbed on the price increase. The dollar basket rose almost 0.6% in the main session but finished the day with a strong gain of 0.29% Huawei concerns deepen as the UK Defence Secretary states the firms’ involvement in the UK’s network upgrades should be reviewed. This follows an announcement earlier in the week that Huawei’s hardware is to be removed from UK emergency services. UK business confidence is at its lowest since the Brexit vote according to a poll by the Institute of Directors which showed a negative outlook by 57% of directors. US consumer confidence released today could highlight the public perception on the ongoing trade war with China, the Fed rate hike and the Huawei tribulations.  Gold is sitting near its 6 month high as market volatility pushes people towards the safe haven asset. UK, US and Europe: The Trump administration has assured markets that the head of the Fed, Jerome Powell will not be fired following this month’s rate hike. However, Trump has made it clear that he believes rates are being raised too fast, causing this recent volatility and contributing to the Dow’s worst Christmas eve. Meanwhile, the partial government shutdown has continued with Trump stating it will be sustained until a deal on the border wall is made. Large end of year FX swap rates: Please be aware that due to year end market factors we are seeing significant moves in the funding rates for most FX pairs. This has been observed across the market, although some pairs are looking to be worse affected than others (most notably if you are short US dollars). These factors include financial institutions balancing their books before the end of the year, putting a strain on certain currencies. Read more... Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar Corporate News Head of Tesla, Elon Musk has announced they are looking at setting up supercharger coverage in Africa in 2020. Huawei have announced they expect revenue to reach $109 Billion fror 2018, a 21% increase YoY. Vinci are set to buy a 50.01% stake of London Gatwick for £2.9 Billion IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary. 

IGAaronC

IGAaronC

Wall Street momentum - APAC brief 27 Dec

Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia A big bounce, but a bottom? There’s little shortage of folks calling a bottom in the market this morning, but in truth it’s too early to tell if we are there yet. Sentiment indicators and other market internals suggest that the market could be oversold right now, however a short squeeze here-and-there and a shake-out of a few opportunistic bears doesn’t necessarily mark a change of trend. It’ll be returned to towards the end of this note, but in the interest of providing context, Wall Street is registering a solid day of activity, with its three major indices up over 2-and-a-half per sent so far in the session. It’s setting up a solid day’s trading for the Asian region, and likely Europe when it re-opens tonight, on what poses as a thin albeit positive day for stocks. Wall Street momentum to lift ASX: After a two-day hiatus, Australian equity markets reopen this morning. The last price on SPI Futures is indicating a 35-point pop for the ASX200 at today’s open, though that price, it must be remarked, comes from its closing price on December 24th. A lot has transpired in the 48 hours-or-so during the Christmas public holiday period: immense sell-offs in certain markets, more political chaos and uncertainty in the US, and now an ample bounce in US stocks. Considering the time of year, the Australian share market is more than likely to experience another session of thin trade today. Monday’s session, for example, saw volume 63.40 per cent below the 30-day average. In saying this, though unsubstantial, Wall Street’s momentum looks likely to carry our market higher. The stories moving markets: The financial press has been comparatively quiet owing to the holiday period, meaning major headlines from the media-machine are lacking so-far this morning. A recap is in order, perhaps, to touch-on some of the market moving stories this week. Much of the focus has centred on the machinations of US President Donald Trump and his administration, predictably. Given the US Government shut-down, the US President, by his own admission, has spent much of his time “all alone” in the White House –  apparently pondering who to fire next. Of course, his ire hasn’t left the US Federal Reserve and its Chair Jerome Powell. But in the last few days or so, rumours are circulating faster that the latest career-fatality on the White House merry-go-round will be US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin’s mistake: One can somewhat understand the frustration of US President Trump toward Mnuchin: financial markets seemingly experienced a dose of it Monday, after the Treasury Secretary called a crack-squad of America’s largest bankers to confirm that the market was supported with ample liquidity. Trader’s hated the notion, labelling it akin to calling-out in a crowded cinema “Nobody panic, the fire department is on its way!”. It was this move by Mnuchin that hobbled already weak sentiment on Monday and resulted in the worst Christmas eve performance in US stocks in history. Fortunately for Mnuchin (and his job-prospects), traders have moved passed the gaffe; however, the disorder in Washington, and even more so the White House, remains an ongoing concern. Risk appetite piqued: With a little over an hour to go in Wall Street’s trading session, the solid gains for the day look likely to hold. Appetite for growth stocks has led the charge: the NASDAQ is up over 4 per cent presently, courtesy of a surge in Amazon’s share price on the back of reports of strong holiday consumption within the US economy. Oil prices have also rallied in response to a commitment from OPEC over the holiday break that it remains committed to managing production and supply. The dynamic has narrowed credit spreads marginally and provided further support for equities, while risk-on sentiment has culminated in a climb in US Treasury yields and the US Dollar, with the yield on the US Year note jumping to about 2.80 per cent

US growth expectations unchanged: The curious matter behind today’s moves though, is that under the surface traders are still pricing in softer US growth. Although equities are up, along with the US Dollar and bond yields, interest rate markets are still moving in the direction of pricing out hikes from the US Fed in 2019. It must be said that US break-evens have bounced with equities today, implying on the 5-year spread a rate of inflation around 1.55 per cent. However, in absolute and historical terms, that is still very low – a fact reflecting as much in implied probabilities of US rate hikes. There is presently only 9-basis points of interest rate hikes being factored in by traders for next year, suggesting slower than forecast fundamental growth is still baked in to market expectations. The jury is out: It begs the question whether last night’s activity is just a technical bounce, driven by short term factors. Picking tops-and-bottoms in markets is nigh-on impossible, so any argument for or against whether we are seeing a dead-cat bounce, or a meaningful turnaround, should be read in that context. The matter is, the bearish-narratives that have led the market lower haven’t dissipated yet. As such, volatility is still high – above 30 on the VIX – and considerable rallies, like last night’s, is the norm in bear markets.  The trend is the best guide, and the shorter-term trend remains lower for now. It’ll take a while to get there, but a retest of 2600 for the S&P500 may validate the view a reversal is in play; further falls to below 2290/2300 would provide firmer confirmation that the post-GFC bull run is over.

MaxIG

MaxIG

U.S. Government Shutdown set to continue - EMEA Brief 24 Dec

The U.S. Government has seen turmoil over the weekend after "Trump's Wall" disagreement on Friday resulted in a government shutdown. Trump will be bringing in the new year with new Defence Secretary. Patrick Shanahan will replace James Mattis on 1st January, earlier than expected.  The end of the year sees further stock slumps, particularly for 2018 tech IPOs. Domo plummeting 25%, Zscaler tumbling 18% and Zurora and SurveyMonkey falling over 10% Asian Stocks saw a mixed Monday session with Samsung Electronics declining 0.13% and SK Hynix rising 0.83%. BMW is facing criminal further investigation in South Korea after it was found that the company concealed fire hazards and delayed recalls. This potential prosecution follows a $10 million fine.  Asian overnight: A threadbare Asian session saw just the Chinese stock market open, with both the Shanghai and Shenzhen composite gaining ground. A Tsunami in  Indonesia on Saturday has left at least 200 dead and 800 injured after destroying hotels, houses and a gathering of beach concert attendees.   UK, US and Europe: Weekend affairs centred on the US, with the partial government shutdown coming into play as the President warned that the government shutdown could be in place for a long time. Parts of the U.S. government closed after Congress failed to agree, by Friday's midnight deadline, on Severn spending bills affecting nine departments. The disagreement appears sparked by the Democrats refusal to approve Trump's $5 billion Mexican Wall budget. Meanwhile, the US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin rattled market sentiment after announcing that he had conversations with the big US banks to ensure they have enough liquidity. That is not typically something that would take place unless there was a current or impending threat to the economy. Looking ahead, there are precious few economic events to watch out for on the coming days. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) 1.30pm – US Chicago Fed index (November): expected to rise to 0.9 from 0.2. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar   Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Playtech said that new Italian legislation would hit 2019 adjusted earnings by around €20 – 25 million.  IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

MichaelaIG

MichaelaIG

Dividend Adjustments 24 Dec Nov - 31 Dec

Expected index adjustments  Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 24 Dec 2018. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video.  NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange. Special dividends this week Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount RTY EVI US 24/12/2018 Special Div 13 RTY ABR US 27/12/2018 Special Div 15 RTY CNXN US 27/12/2018 Special Div 32 RTY NRC US 28/12/2018 Special Div 5 RTY CHMI US 28/12/2018 Special Div 15 SPX CME US 27/12/2018 Special Div 175 SPX HST US 28/12/2018 Special Div 5   How do dividend adjustments work?  As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements. This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

MaxIG

MaxIG

Wall Street rout - APAC brief 24 Dec

Wall Street rout: Wall Street capped-off last week with another day of considerable losses, even despite Europe posting an okay day. Come the end of the trading session, the Dow Jones had lost 1.81 per cent, the S&P500 had lost 2.06 per cent and the NASDAQ had lost 2.99 per cent. The fact markets are entering the thin holiday period doesn’t help. One assumes that many-a investor would be rather reluctant to be sitting at Christmas lunch this year holding open-positions in equities given this market. Friday’s volume was extraordinarily high, especially in the Dow Jones, which saw activity 140% of its 30-day average. That statistic is particularly remarkable when considering that the past 30 days have seen volumes at levels very elevated by broader historical standards. A down day, week, month, quarter: Looking at the S&P500 as the natural benchmark, US equities have shed 12.5 per cent so far in December, and 17.1 per cent in the fourth quarter. The 14-day RSI is flashing signs of an oversold market presently, however historical trading patterns suggest the S&P can dive lower, and momentum indicators are showing bearish-momentum is still building. A technical bear market, defined as a 20 per cent drop from previous highs, looks reasonably imminent given the current context. The NASDAQ, for one, is already there. Perhaps another concerning signal, IG’s sentiment measure is indicating traders are 70 per cent net long the S&P, implying that many traders may be trying “catch a falling knife”. If big-money keeps selling, the unwinding of these long positions could hasten the market’s tumble. Market-wariness: With all of this in mind, even if this bearish-trend feels overdone, and that therefore an inevitable bounce must be in store, it pays to understand this can get worse. That isn’t to prophesize and suggest that it will, but more that these circumstances require higher vigilance. As the cliché goes, the trend is your friend: with panic causing normal behaviour and correlations to break-down, falling back on that one may be comforting. Of course, these ideas only speak for 50 per cent of the traders in this marker presently. The uber-bears – particularly the ones who have been calling a central bank engineered market burn-out for years – are presumably feeling vindicated at-the-moment. If not that, then at least a little richer this Christmas than compared to last year’s. It’s still the Fed: To address the driver of current market activity: it is still fundamentally about the Fed. There seems to be an unshakeable notion held by market participants that the US central bank is way off the mark with their policy and views on the economy. A handful of central bank speakers have hit the hustings, so to speak, in the last several days to defend the bank’s position. An interesting question that keeps getting asked (more-or-less) is if by the bank’s own modelling inflation is going to undershoot, why lift rates now at all? The answer is frequently something that resembles the “data dependant” line, made to mean that the Fed’s forecasts are dynamic and therefore so is their decision making. Trump’s Powell-problem: The problem is, traders aren’t buying it: they likely want to hear here-and-now that hikes will stop. It’s been made a little more difficult in the last 48 hours to get a read on how this sentiment is evolving in markets. Looking at US Treasuries for one, there’s been a slight risk premium seemingly priced into yields after US President Trump drove the US government into shut down over the weekend. This may be exacerbated today and into the week by reports over the weekend (since denied by White House Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) that the US President had several serious conversations last week about firing Federal Reserve Chairperson Jerome Powell because of the central bank’s recent policy actions, and views on the US economy. Political instability: He couldn’t do it, could he? According to many, legislation does open-up the possibility that a President can fire the Fed Governor for “cause”. It’s an ambiguous one, and a low probability event at this stage. But all this institutional dysfunction is spooking market participants. Not that the political instability hasn’t been the norm in last few years; the perception is though it’s getting a trifle worse. It’s an international phenomenon and strikes at the core of international political system. It’s manifesting in Brexit, in US politics, in France’s yellow vests movement, in the trade-war – and on and on. Financial markets take an amoral position on such subjects; however, they do manifest emotion, and right now the political climate is leading to a lift in fear. Australia: Trading in sympathy with Wall Street’s rout on Friday, the last traded SPI Futures price has the ASX200 opening 40 points lower today. There’s been a level of bemusement in the financial press about how rapidly this sell off took hold. Another down day today brings into clearer view the boundary line of the ASX200’s post-GFC bull-run trend channel at about 5380. The Aussie Dollar will also be an interesting one: it tumbled to rest on support at 0.7040 over the weekend. As fears build about the strength of the Australian economy, and greater volatility in global markets leads to diminishing risk appetite, an AUD/USD exchange rate with a 6 in front of it at some point this week is becoming a stronger possibility.

MaxIG

MaxIG

Facebook to create a Cryptocurrency for Whatsapp- EMEA Brief 21 Dec

Facebook Inc. works on its plans to create a cryptocurrency allowing money to be transferred on Whatsapp, focusing on the remittances market in India first Chinese stocks become one of the worst performers globally as the Shanghai composite and Shenzhen index fall over 20% and 30% respectively this year US Futures show a slight incline in performance for stocks on Wall Street, following a fall for the second day in a row. Dow Jones Industrial Average suggests an opening gain over around 113.40 on Friday morning, following the decline on Thursday of 464.06 points. S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are also pointed to opening gains, after they decreased by 1.58% and 1.6% respectively on Thursday Nissan Chairman re-arrested on new allegations of aggravated breach of trust which suspects that Ghosn “made the automaker shoulder personal investment losses of around $16.6million, incurred in 2008”. The court rejected a request to extend his detention, meaning Ghosn could potentially apply to be released on bail The Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, is to step down at the end of February, as he believes Trump should “have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours” Former Canadian Diplomat, Michael Kovrig, was taken whilst in China following the arrest on Huawei CFO, has now been detained but denied legal representation Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM had its network breached by hackers working on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security, for access to hack into clients computers Trump administration plans to pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan, in hope that around 7000 troops can be sent home within months Boris Johnson cleared of breaking the Tories’ code of conduct, following a remark made about women wearing burkas Asian overnight: Asian markets were back in the red overnight, with Japanese markets leading the declines amid a flight to the safe haven Yen. Fears over a government shutdown are now front and centre of the collective investor mindset, with Donald Trump threatening to veto a bill funding the government unless he receives funds to build a border wall with Mexico. On the data front, Japanese national CPI declines to 0.9% from 1%, marking the first fall in inflation for six-months UK, US and Europe: Looking ahead, the pound remains a key focus for traders, with UK current account, GDP (Q3 Final), public sector net borrowing, and the BoE quarterly bulletin all being released. In the afternoon, keep an eye out for Canadian GDP and retail sales, with the Canadian dollar also relatively volatile around the recent sharp declines in energy prices. The US also looks set for a busy end to the week, with core durable goods, GDP, core PCE price index, and personal spending all worth following Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK GDP (Q3, final): growth expected to be 0.6% QoQ and 1.5% YoY. Markets to watch: GBP crosses
1.30pm – US durable goods orders (November): forecast to rise 1.2% MoM and up 0.2% MoM excluding transportation orders. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Anglo American has resumed mining operations at Minas-Rio in Brazil.  Diageo has sold a portfolio of 19 brands to Sazerac for $550 million.  In partnership with Dada-JD Daojia, a logistics company, Walmart are testing on a smaller store in Chengdu to focus on lower-tier cities, as online delivery services show an increase in China Tencent shares increase around 4.2% following the news that new games have been cleared for sale, after China stopped approving new titles in March Ontex upgraded to neutral at Goldman British Land downgraded to reduce at AlphaValue
Headlam downgraded to hold at Peel Hunt
Klepierre downgraded to reduce at AlphaValue
Telenor cut to hold at SEB Equities
  IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary. 

KatherineIG

KatherineIG

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