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Showing content with the highest reputation since 20/10/19 in Blog Entries

  1. 2 points
    We've released options for the Volatility Index. You can find them on our platform under the options tab> Indices. Options, when buying the call/ put, are a great way to get involved in market movement whilst having limited risk. Dealing hours : 09:00:00 – 21:15:00 GMT Monday-Friday Contracts offered : Currently offer the next two months (November and December) Expiry for monthly options : Every 3rd Wednesday of the month Last trade : 21:15 GMT the day before expiry Settlement : Settled basis the Special Opening Quotation (SOQ) of VIX calculated by the opening prices of the SPX constituents used to calculate the VIX index on settlement date If you need any clarification on how options work, contact me through the community or give our help desk a call.
  2. 1 point
    Do you have an interest in building long-term wealth through investing? Have you always wanted the chance to ask an expert a specific question about portfolio management, or find out more about IG's and BlackRock's trading strategy for our Smart Portfolios? We are giving you the opportunity to ask your questions directly to our Portfolio Managers here at IG. You can be part of a new article series here at IG called 'Ask the Portfolio Manager' by simply commenting your question below. What is this article all about? We are creating a new article series where the content is driven solely by your questions. Once we have collected your questions we will get them answered by one of our Portfolio Managers. We will then post the article on the IG Investments site and here on the IG Community also. You can ask us anything, but to give you some inspiration questions can be on: IG Smart Portfolios Investing strategies Macroeconomic events/news Product questions Questions on understanding a certain topic/strategy More general questions on IG or the Portfolio manager's themselves So, to get involved just post your question below - even if you don't have an account with IG you can create an account on the community and post a question! Who are IG's Portfolio Managers? Sam Dickens, Portfolio Manager, IG Smart Portfolios: Sam joined IG in 2014 and has worked as a portfolio manager for IG Smart Portfolios, our online wealth management platform, since its launch in February 2017. He has a degree in Economics and has previously worked at Capital Economics - a leading independent macroeconomic research company. He also holds the Investment Management Certificate qualification (IMC) and has passed CFA Level 1. George Bear, Assistant Portfolio Manager, IG Smart Portfolios: George joined IG on the graduate scheme in 2018 and has just recently joined the Smart Portfolio team as an Assistant Portfolio Manager. Prior to his recent move, George worked on the trading floor at IG, as a Sales Trader, and on our premium accounts relationship management team. He is a CFA Level 1 candidate and has a degree in Business with Economics.
  3. 1 point
    Market Conditions in Data Overload Markets often struggle for traction when there is a lack of a clear motivator such as meaningful event risk or an evolving systemically important theme. On the other hand, there are times when a surfeit of important events, indicators and headlines overwhelm the clear speculative picture, leaving us with an abundance of volatility without the benefit of a reliable course. We have dallied with this latter scenario these past weeks, but the constant redirection of our attention will be in special form in the week ahead. There is a near constant run of high-importance events scheduled for release moving through the next five days of active trade. What’s more, many of these various measures will tap into the top level themes that have stood as the undercurrent for economic and financial conditions for months, if not years. For trade wars, much of the critical development rests in the hands of a few officials who are weighing policy decisions that could significantly alter the course of the global economy. Washington and Beijing continue to negotiate after verbally agreeing to a ‘phase one’ deal back on October 11th but the details and sign off are still vague. The EU meanwhile is weighing whether to retaliate against the United States for the Trump Administration using the WTO ruling of a $7.5 billion ‘allowance’ for tariffs to recoup losses owing to unfair Airbus subsidies with a 25 percent tax on imported European agricultural goods. Meanwhile, data like the US trade balance and Chinese industrial profits figures on Monday will build upon trade-dependent earnings from the likes of AMD, United Steel and Alibaba. More tracked out for the timing of its updates is the wave of monetary policy updates we are due over a particular 48 hours period. There are a number of supportive updates such as the October US NFPs due Friday, but five central bank decisions between Wednesday and Thursday will make for a far more incisive view of our financial system. In chronological order, we are due the Bank of Canada; Federal Reserve; Brazilian Central Bank; Bank of Japan and Hong Kong Central Bank. Stacking these events so closely together will cater to the relative comparison of the currencies and their assets, but it may also stir further collective discussion of the distortion and costs associated to the extreme easing. The fundamental theme that will pack the most obvious punch in my view is the run of official (government-derived) GDP updates on tap. The United States is the world’s largest economy, so its Wednesday release will draw particular scrutiny. The Eurozone, French and Italian figures will be similarly important - particularly given the chatter about recession risks and the added pressure of external pressures like Brexit and the US tariffs. Two additional updates that are worthy of reflection for the big picture is the health reports for Mexico and Hong Kong. These are two large economies that stand on the cusp of the developed/emerging market designation with particular exposure to trade wars. This data can potential thaw fears of recession that have hardened over the past year behind data and increasingly complicated diplomatic situations, but the potential definitely skews the opposite direction. If this run of data reinforces the reality of economic struggle, it will serve as another cut to a speculative reach that seems divorced from fundamentals that are traditionally assumed to reflect value. In general, all of the thematic risk represents a greater role of risk rather than relief. Redressing the Limitations and Costs of Extreme Monetary Policy as Fed Arrives With the world’s largest central bank and its most dovish both on tap for this week, it is important to consider what is driving these groups to loosen navigate into uncharted dovish waters rather than just go along for the ride by trading relative yield advantages in FX or capitalizing on a familiar speculative equation that suggests more external support buys more lift from favorite capital market benchmarks. There is little denying the years of connection between the amount of accommodation (low interest rates, negative interest rates and quantitative easing programs) and the enthusiasm from the investing masses. This is a relationship forged originally in ‘monetary policy in capital markets’ textbooks, but the connections have grown more than skewed in the latter years of this extended cycle of easing. First and foremost, the overriding intent of monetary policy to foster economic health have been proven to be lacking. It could be argued that the dovish shift after the 2008 Great Financial Crisis / Great Recession stemmed the bleeding. Yet, the exceptional support has only grown over the years and we find ourselves on the cusp of another economic stall. This is a feature of the landscape for most of the major groups, but it is perhaps a lesson that should have been learned earlier through the Bank of Japan’s own experiences. The central bank has failed to return inflation to its target for any period of consistency for decades – not just years. So, though it is not considered one of the most prescient groups for a global overview, there is much to learn here. Though an inability to reach their principal economic objectives is a significant problem in itself, it may not be the straw that ultimately breaks the camel’s back. That is more likely to be the consequences to come out of the financial market influences from these extraordinary measures. Though it may not be their intent, the central banks’ easing has inflated capital markets substantially. The pressure is not even, but we have seen risky assets hit record highs at various points with different levels of excessive price to value. Few places is the extravagance more evident than with the US equity indices. At record highs, we should consider that the equity market is pricing in perfection for growth, earnings and returns. It is not very controversial to say that is not the case now. Far from it. Stimulus and low rates has not improved circumstances that remarkably rather the lack of significant return and a tepid economic environment has left investors starved for opportunities that can provide substantial growth at a reasonable risk. And so, they accept greater and greater risk to make ‘ends meat’. Propping capital markets higher may seem a net benefit in the absence of genuine growth, but there are serious risks associated to this state. Expectations for more support will grow exponentially with time. Capital distribution outside of the healthy business cycle will encourage funds to underperforming or zombie businesses that will further weaken economies. And, the growing disparity will inevitably lead to a point at which recognition of risks will force an acceleration of deleveraging which will manifest as a financial crisis that more readily turns into an economic crisis. This troubled state is growing increasingly apparent to investors and business owners, but now the concern seems to be permeating the central banks themselves. Outgoing ECB President Draghi admitted concern late in his tenure, though not as loudly and directly as some of the more hawkish members of his board who will remain with Lagarde at the helm. Some of the Fed officials have stated concern along these lines as well, but the group is not yet as overextended as most of its counterparts. In previous years, the US group’s tightening was viewed as a sign of optimism around the potential of self-generated growth. That perspective may hold as the circumstances change. If the Fed seems forced to loosen the reigns to match the ECB or BOJ, it may not be interpreted as a uniform source of speculative liquidity but rather admission that all economic traction has been lost. It is not wise to cheer negative rates and QE. A Brexit Solution Seemed So Close Less than two weeks ago, a breakthrough between the UK and EU teams in their negotiations for a quickly approaching Brexit cutoff date seemed to have changed the dynamic of an impending crisis. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson repeatedly stating the Article 50 extension date of October 31st would be held to ‘one way or the other’, there has been an understandable intensity by all those involved to find a compromise to avoid an economically-painful ‘no deal’ outcome. As such, the concessions found between the UK government and European representatives to form a Withdrawal Agreement Bill seemed the most important hurdle to overcome and sentiment understandably swelled after the developments. Yet, that optimism has significantly deflated this past week. First, it was the previous weekend’s extraordinary Saturday Parliamentary session which delayed the Government’s implementation of the deal which started the decline in ambitious optimism. Tuesday’s ‘second reading’ further delivered PM Johnson a blow when he was outright rejected on pushing forward to meet the short time frame. What was more remarkable to me than the familiar trouble to find an agreement exit from such disconnected parties was the Sterling’s ability to hold onto the gains of the previous weeks – prompting GBPUSD to an incredible 6.5 percent rally in in just a few weeks. Trading not far from multi-decade lows, it may not seem that difficult for the Cable to hold some of its recent buoyancy even if progress seems to have dangerously stalled. Yet, the real fair value question is to be found in the array of possible outcomes and their market influence. A divorce with no terms is still a serious probability and its economic and financial impact is not likely priced in even after the slide of the past three years. An extension is nevertheless a greater probability than a cliff on Thursday evening. That said, we are inviting more complication and additional cutoff dates while maintaining the same mix of impasses. Prime Minister Johnson, frustrated by the lack of progress, called for a snap election for December 12th this past week. That request will be considered in Parliament Monday. Presently, polls suggest conservatives could gain support but it is not clear if he will be granted his wish. Further a complication is the EU’s allowance for an extension. The PM sent a request for an extension to January 31st according to the Benn Act back on October 19th , and to this point no reply has been given. France is reportedly skeptical of giving the disgruntled country so much additional time without clarity on what they will actually do with it. Uncertainty is having tangible economic impact, and the discount is increasingly permanent even if the next steps are still fluid. So, this week, we will have to find out what Parliament will agree to concerning the election on Monday and the EU will have to grant an extension before the deadline on Thursday night. Mind your UK/Sterling exposure.
  4. 1 point
    We're happy to announce that both Bollinger %B and Bollinger Bandwidth are now available to use on the web platform and mobile app. Bollinger %B Bollinger %B indicator helps you work out where price is in relation to the upper and lower Bollinger Bands. This shows a reading of 1 if the price is trading at the upper band, or 0 if it's at the lower band. Bollinger %B allows you to take readings of divergences that often precede market reversals: A bearish divergence occurs when there are lower highs in %B during an uptrend in price (higher highs) A bullish divergence occurs when there are higher lows in %B during a downtrend in price (lower lows) Bollinger Bandwidth The Bollinger Bandwidth gives a reading on the distance between the upper and lower Bollinger Bands: A low reading could be a sign that volatility is about to rise. Low volatility is often seen as a precursor to a spike in price. You can use the tool in a highly trending market. A fall in volatility is often seen when markets are consolidating, or momentum is building for the next move. A reversal in the direction of the bandwidth can be a sign of a market reversal, as it could mean a recent surge or slump in price is losing momentum
  5. 1 point
    Heikin-Ashi candles are now available on the IG trading platform for both desktop and mobile. This feature has been one of the more highly requested additions to charts as these types of candles are commonly used by traders looking at identifying trends visually without the need of complex analysis. How can I see Heikin-Ashi candles on the IG dealing platform? Turning on Heikin-Ashi candles is simple. If you want to see these candles; Simply open the main menu by right clicking on the charts Navigate to “Types” and bring up the second menu list Select “Heikin-Ashi” - the candles will appear straight away How are Heikin-Ashi candles different from regular HLOC candles? You can read more about what Heikin-Ashi candlestick are on IG.com, but to see a simple visual on the difference and how these could be used for identifying possible trends, just check out the charts below. Both charts are the same time fame on the same asset, one with regular candles and the other with Heikin-Ashi candles. Pic 1: regular candles (and the visual of how to turn H-A candles on) Pic 2: Heikin-Ashi candles
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