G20 outcome bolsters sentiment: Market activity was defined by a demonstrable lift in risk appetite yesterday. Stock markets rallied, especially in China, and the S&P500 touched new all-time highs. The Yen dipped, as did the Swiss Franc. The stronger Greenback combined with the lift in global bond yields knocked gold prices down below the $US1400-mark. And oil rallied – boosted, too, by the prospect of coordinated supply controls from OPEC-members at their meeting this week. While the positi
Don’t Forget Trade Wars Aren’t Isolated to US-China
Trade wars remain my greatest concern for the health of the global markets and economy. There have been threats in the past where a localized fundamental virus has turned contagious to the rest of the world by unforeseen circumstances – such as the Great Financial Crisis whereby a US subprime housing derivative implosion infected the wider financial markets by destabilized a foundation built on excess leverage throughout the system. When i
The Euro was nearing a 21-month low yesterday as the ECB was perceived to be dovish after its speech, ahead of US jobs data to be released today. During Thursday's session the EURUSD hit $1.1176, its lowest since June 2017, as the ECB announced it had pushed back the first rate increase to at least 2020 and announced a new round of TLTRO funding for European Banks.
China has reported worse than expected trade data for the month of February. Its dollar-denominated exports fell by 20.7 per
Another trade-war headline downs sentiment: There’s some news floating through the wires that sentiment has taken a hit overnight courtesy of some unfavourable trade-war headlines. It’s been reported that Chinese officials aren’t co-operating with their US counterparts, as it applies to certain sensitive elements of trade-negotiations. The S&P500, which had been developing some intraday momentum prior to the release, has retraced throughout trade, consequent to the news. It’s closed flat for
Market action proves it again: this market hinges on the Fed: The US Fed has proven itself as the most important game in town for traders. The FOMC met this morning, and lo-and-behold: the dovish Fed has proven more dovish than previously thought; the patient Fed has proven more patient that previously thought. Interest rates have remained on hold, but everyone knew that was to be the case today. It was about the dot-plots, the neutral-rate, the economic projections, and the balance sheet run-of
Aussie growth underwhelms: Australian GDP data was the highlight of the economic calendar yesterday. All-in-all, the data was of minimal impact, though it did for make big headlines: the growth rate came-in at 1.8 per cent on an annualized basis, as expected – the slowest rate of economic growth since the GFC. A poor print undoubtedly, but one that had been priced into the market well in advance. Hence, markets were little moved upon the release. The ASX200 hardly budged. The Australian Dollar l
Wall Street trade: Rolling into Wall Street’s close and the S&P500 is battling it out with the 2800-mark. There’s two hours to go in trade as this is being written, and the crucial last half-hour of trade is what analysts will be breaking down today. It’s been for all intents and purposes a flat day for US stocks, but another bout of selling into the close will add credence to the idea that the buyers are thin at these levels. Market internals don’t appear too stretched for the S&P, and
Markets trade thin ahead of central bank risks: It’s said that money makes the world go around. And given central bankers control the money of the world, it is they who decide when the turning starts and stops. Described this way, central bankers role in the economy sounds Bond-villain-esque. That’s entirely unfair of course – only fringe-dwellers would suggest they are so malevolent. But recent history, based on experiential evidence, suggests that when it comes to financial markets, the action
A night of mixed trade: Overnight trade might be considered an elegant microcosm for the affairs of financial markets right now. The news flow shifted from mixed, to bearish, to bullish, then back to mixed again. The story began with a US Retail Sales data-beat, that cast doubts on the Fed’s need to cut interest rates. That doubt was compounded by more soft-ish bank earnings in the US. The mood then turned decidedly nervous on headlines US President Trump stated his willingness to increasing tar
And Now, the Fed
The market has monetary policy on its mind heading into the new trading week thanks to the actions of the European Central Bank (ECB) this past Thursday. One of the world’s largest central banks, the group is making a bid – perhaps unintentional and perhaps not – to be the most accommodative group of its size. Already sporting a negative rate, a large balance sheet and a T-LTRO program; President Draghi steered his team back into an expansionary phase of dovishness despite
Asian Pacific markets were mixed on afternoon trading, edging off seven-month peaks as investors digested a rebound in U.S. jobs data and reports of more progress in the trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing, but still cautious on the outlook of the global economy and the U.S. earnings season.
The U.S economy added 196,000 jobs in March, beating economists' expectations of a figure of 175,000.
Chinese blue chip stocks climbed in the initial session, however slipped sl
Another record-reaching session: US stocks have notched-up another record high, as the S&P500 closes in on the 3000-mark. The ASX200 yesterday came close to its own psychological milestone, nearing the 6700-level. The highs came on a light-day’s trade on Wall Street, however, with US markets trading-in a shorted session in ahead of the Independence Day holiday. Currency markets were more volatile, with commodity currencies climbing courtesy of several positive trade balance data out of New Z
Financials drag on the ASX: The ASX200 was legged in the final stages of trade yesterday. It was led by a sell-off in major financial stocks, after a media address made by Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, during which he announced the Liberal government would not pursue the eradication of trailing commissions for financial advisors and mortgage brokers, as prescribed by Kenneth Hayne QC in the final Banking Royal Commission report. It turned what was an otherwise solid day for the ASX200 o
Positioning for the week’s climax: A little water-treading, as all eyes turn to Washington this weekend. And for two-reasons, really: highly anticipated trade-talks between the Trump Administration and Chinese officials – which includes Vice Premier Liu He; and the release of US Non-Farm Payrolls data by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both promise to be potentially market moving events. Fundamentally, both events come in one-and-two as the week’s most significant macro-economic stories. How
Stocks wander, bonds rally, oil tumbles: Equity markets edged higher overnight, however activity was generally thin, as fresh news and data proved lacking. Market behaviour suggests global growth concerns have returned to prominence: bond yields fell across the globe, with the yield on the benchmark US 10 Year Treasury note falling below 2 per cent again. Defensive sectors generally outperformed on Wall Street. Oil tumbled, while gold staged a bounce. And the USD was a little weaker, though it w
Broad-based based bounce in stocks: It was a buy the dip day yesterday, judging by price action in global risk-assets. As has been the theme this week, there wasn’t any meaningful macro-news to change market participants behavior. So: an explanation for the (almost) universally solid day for global equities ought to be chalked-up to internal market mechanics. What this may imply for the longer run is a touch obscure. This market is trading much in the way a plane rights-itself after some brief,
The biggest day of the (economic) year: The Australian economy garnered significant attention yesterday. Arguably, it was the biggest day on the economic calendar we’ll see this year. Insights into both the future of monetary and fiscal policy don’t often come on the same day. But yesterday it did: the RBA delivered their monthly decision on Australian interest rates; and the Federal Government handed down its latest budget. The price action in financial markets has thus far been limited – thoug
Event risk passes with no surprises: The litany of economic data provided market participants the green-light they were looking for; but so far, the price-reaction, while bullish, has been subdued. Relative to the past 100-days, volume on Wall Street, and a majority of developed markets, has been thin overnight. It’s giving the impression of a stock-market bereft of conviction, as nervousness sets in as the S&P500 edges towards new record highs. Admittedly, much of this phenomenon could be a
The Dow was up 0.11% as positive news from Boeing boosted the index, the Federal Aviation Administration said that the software update to the 737 Max aircraft is "operationally suitable". The S&P increased marginally by 0.05% whilst the Nasdaq gained 0.3%.
Netflix shares have dropped 1% after its earnings report yesterday, after announcing a weaker than expected guidance for Q2 as well as its CMO, Kelly Bennett, announcing her retirement this year. Although, Q1 earnings per share were
A lacklustre night of market action: The Independence Day holiday in the US kept trading activity relatively thin. The ASX200 clocked another new-high, breaking the 6700-level for the first time since November 2007, led by a big, broad-based bounce in the shares bank’s stocks. Equity markets across the global generally eked-out gains for the day, while bond yield were reasonably steady. The Yen and Swiss Franc were the slight outperformers in the G10 currency space, while commodity currencies sl
The US Yield Curve Flipped Back to Normal, Is the Recession Off?
A lot of attention was paid this past week by the financial media to the inversion of the yield curve. To understand the signal, it is important to define the circumstances. The yield curve is a comparison of the yield – in this case, on US Treasuries – of different durations. Normally, the longer the duration, the higher the yield should be owing to the longer tie-up of exposure. When a curve inverts, we have an atypical circ
An uneventful day on Wall Street: A flat, somewhat mixed, and low activity day on Wall Street, market participants seem to be eyeing events later on in the week. After Friday’s Non-Farm Payroll induced rally, traders have apparently looked-down below their feet, realized how far this market has climbed, and decided a fresh-wind is required before scaling to new record-heights. Such a milestone stands only 1-and-a-half per cent away for the S&P500; and sensibly, the market is in no rush to ge
Other central bankers throw their weight around: After the US Fed exited the ring yesterday, some of the world’s other heavyweight central-bankers weighed-in on the global race-to-the-bottom for global interest rates. The BOJ met yesterday, and though they kept their policy entirely untouched, it Governor Haruhiko Kuroda affirmed his commitment to monetary stimulus if necessary. RBA Governor Philip Lowe also delivered a speech, in which he was explicit in his belief that lower interest rates wer
A rocky start to the week: The first day of the week’s trade can be reasonably said to have ended – and it was a tumultuous one. US President Trump’s tweeting of new tariffs on the Chinese economy sparked a level volatility not experienced in the financial markets for several months. It certainly had the effect of waking some (perhaps) complacent market participants from their slumber. And although the panic has abated somewhat, sentiment has been dented again this morning, after an announcement
G20 Summit goes to plan: Financial market participants will be relieved by the outcome of the Trump-Xi meeting at the weekend’s G20. They’ve effectively received what they’d been expecting: no-deal of course, but a pledge to restart talks and not increase tariffs in the interim. As has been discussed by many, this is likely to be just the latest chapter of what’s going to be an epic tale for US-China relations. And it doesn’t, in the shorter-term, completely remove the headwinds faced by the glo
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