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A (relatively) settled session - APAC brief 12 Dec
A (relatively) settled session: It’s been a soft day for global equities. With almost exactly two-hours to go in the US session at time of writing, another modest rally has apparently been faded by traders. Indications are that Wall Street will close lower. If proven true, this will punctuate a mixed day for Europe, and quite a solid day for the Asian region. The former found little impetus to be bid higher, while the Asian session showed the ebullience of diminishing trade tensions. Scanning the major indices, volumes were up compared to their 100-day average, however were slightly down when compared to their 10-day and 20-day average. It reveals a market that is more settled than what it has otherwise been seen during the global share-market correction – but remains vigilant and prepared to turn at the sight of bad-news.

Global growth: Given price action in last night’s trade was relatively more subdued, traders and analysts seemed able to take the clearer air to reflect on current market drivers. The theme that’s popped up consistently in the last 24 hours can be crudely articulated as “downside risks to growth”. It was a theme adopted by ECB President Mario Draghi during his press conference following last night’s ECB Meeting; and it was also referenced by PBOC last night in relation to China’s economic fortunes. It bears repeating: October, November and December in markets have been characterizes by bearishness, of course. However, the causes throughout this period have shifted. What was initially a sell-off catalysed by fears regarding higher US interest rates has transformed into one driven by fears about slower global economic growth.
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Theresa May survives, Second Canadian diplomat apprehended in China - EMEA Brief 13 Dec
Prime Minister Theresa May won a vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservative party last night. The results showed that Mrs May won the vote by 200 to 117, securing 63% of the total votes, she is now immune from any further vote's of no confidence for a year.
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What’s making headlines - APAC brief 13 Dec
What’s making headlines: There’s an hour and a half to go in the US session and global equities are up. Let’s assume they finish that way – there is plenty of room for clarification (and rationalization) late-on, if need be. Traders have taken the new green shoots in the trade-war and spun them into a positive narrative. Sure, the old green shots lay trampled below the new ones, but perhaps this time around the positivity will be given a chance to thrive. The other story hogging headlines in the financial press is the vote motion UK Prime Minister May’s leadership of the Tories. Market confidence has been shaken by that development, but as we wake-up this morning, the balance of opinion seems to be suggesting that May will win the day.

The data side-show: Politics is driving markets still, which is always dangerous – it’s often a distortionary influence on prices rather than a revealer of fundamental facts. However, the fundamental economic data that was handed to traders overnight supported their optimism. Arguably the most significant release for the week, US CPI figures delivered a bang-on forecast number. If you’re a bull, locked in an environment where there exists fear of a global economic slowdown on one side, and fears about higher global interest rates on the other, a moderate outcome to any data-release is welcomed. Fundamental data last night was light otherwise, with US crude oil inventories the next most important release. It overshot forecasts, but still showed shrinking supplies, which boosted oil prices and (at the very least) didn’t detract from the bullish sentiment.
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China to cut US car tariffs from 40% to 15%- EMEA Brief 12 Dec
Asia stocks were higher Wednesday morning; Nikkei 225 rising over 2%, ASX 200 up by 1.25% and Hang Seng Index around 1.36%. This was followed by the news of China to cut US car tariffs from the planned 40% to 15%, the same tax charge on car imports from other countries
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The pattern continues - APAC brief 12 Dec
The pattern continues: Wall Street indices have been swinging about madly again. The pattern continues: an open, a rally or fall, then a retracement or recovery. Today we’ve had an open, a rally, then retracement, then a recovery again. There were stories behind this price-action. Everything that happened overnight appeared perfectly explicable. One wonders though if the swings in trading activity are being overly attributed to headlines. Or perhaps it’s the case that higher volatility and sensitive nerves are leading to accentuated moves. Whatever the cause, fundamentally, the bears still have control of the equity market. There is a softer intensity to the selling on Wall Street this week. However, with the extremeness of last week’s moves having not been unwound yet, what we are seeing is sellers piling in on top of sellers, bit by bit.

ASX200: SPI futures have turned positive, after oscillating wildly during the overnight session. That contract is indicating a 17-point jump for the ASX200 at time of writing. Yesterday was a tepid but respectable day for Australian shares, managing to muster a 0.4 per cent gain for the day. Volume was slightly above the 100-day average and breadth was okay. Growth stocks led the charge, following US tech’s gains the night prior, with the health care sector up 1.7 per cent, courtesy of a strong bid for CSL and ResMed. The materials space was the biggest points score for the index, adding 8 to the overall index’s performance. The trend is still down for the ASX200, as it is with global equity indices presently. However, yesterday’s daily candle, combined with a bullish divergence on the RSI, suggests some buyers are re-entering the market in the short-term, potentially offering temporary upside to ~5700.
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Trading in Asia was mixed as US shares stabilized overnight. In the meanwhile, the ongoing discussions between China and the US adds uncertainty.
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Brexit pains - APAC brief 11 Dec
Day 1 of 5: Monday looks like it may be one of those days where Wall Street hesitantly pulls itself up out of the dirt in the final hours of trade. There is just under two-hours to go in the US session, and at a high level, things appear not-too-bad. Let's return to America a little later. Whichever way we happen to end the first 24 hours of trade for the week, heightened risk, growth fears and bearishness is still driving sentiment. There has been no shift in market behaviour to indicate a market turnaround is upon us yet. If anything, the headlines regarding the macro-landscape added to the negativity. The data traders received was mixed; rather it was the numerous developments in the politico-economic sphere that inflamed trader's trepidation.

The Brexit tragicomedy: The big story overnight must be Brexit. This week ought to be about the state of Europe, and at its outset, it has been. If the potential consequences weren't so dire, the situation would appear comical – akin to some absurd, but all-too real life Waiting for Godot re-boot. First-up, the European Court of Justice released a ruling that the UK could unilaterally cancel Brexit and revoke its action of Article 50. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has dutifully shut down that notion. But things did get sticky when Prime Minister May announced she would delay a vote in Parliament of her Brexit bill, on the understanding she lacked anywhere near the required votes to get it passed lawmakers.
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Brexit, December seasonality deviations, worst case Dollar and Euro - DFX Key Themes
Make or Break for Brexit? There have already been so many twists and turns in the UK’s efforts to negotiate its separation from the European Union that that investors are getting dizzy. It is troublingly difficult to gain a reliable bead on a probable outcome for this stalemate, but the lack of time and dwindling hope of an outcome that will satisfy the majority of those involved raises the threat of a ‘bad’ outcome and even worse market response.
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Dividend Adjustments 10 Dec Nov - 17 Dec
Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 10 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. 
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Markets Fall on Renewed US-China Tensions - EMEA Brief 10 Dec
The Dow will open lower today that its open price for the year following weak jobs data and the resulting sell-off of FAANG companies.
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New indicator: Ease of Movement
What is the EOM indicator?

An indicator that highlights the relationship between price and volume and is particularly useful when assessing the strength of a trend. As implied by its name, it is used to measure the ease of movement in price. It is a volume-based oscillator that fluctuates above and below the zero line.
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Bitcoin hits year low - EMEA Brief 07 Dec
Bitcoin hit year low falling below $3,5000 after a 11% dive.
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Panic stations - APAC brief 7 Dec
Panic stations, still: The behavior in financial markets is resembling cats trapped in a burning room: the air is unclear, it’s unbearably hot, and people are scrambling to find an exit – or at least, somewhere appropriate to hide. The chaos is one thing, but the true issue – as is always the case, when these situations become particularly fraught – is no one can really describe why this is going on exactly. Now, we all know the stories: the Fed has equivocated and that’s confused the heck out of markets; US-China relations are hot-and-cold; future global growth expectations are being unwound; Brexit is on-again-off-again; and a breakthrough in oil markets out of the OPEC meeting hasn’t emerged. These issues are ongoing, so it’s not any sort of surprise that they’d all be weighing on markets in some form. The confusion is why they are all conspiring to create such fireworks now.

Risk-off: Maybe traders have just taken too many hits in the last 3-months, and the bulls are effectively tapping out. A premature call, here, to be sure, however there seems so little motivation to hold onto riskier assets. It seems that collectively, a clear strategy to handle the volatility isn’t yet to emerge. The classic plays into safe-havens can be seen: US Treasuries are going on a tear presently, for a variety of reasons to be discussed shortly. An unwinding of the Yen carry trade has pushed the USD/JPY to 112.50. And gold is looking at a break-out above resistance at $1240. Inversely, risk proxies have also been thumped: global equities (needless to say) are getting hammered, the AUD/USD is taking a rinsing, and commodities, led by a 3 per cent tumble in oil, and a 1.1 per cent fall in copper, are plummeting.
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#IGCommodityChat: Base Metals
Join us today at 1pm for the final #IGCommodityChat, when we will be talking to economist Daniel Lacalle and mining analyst John Meyer about base metal markets. Put your questions to the experts as part of the live Q&A by using #IGCommodityChat using the comments section below. 
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China-US cease-fire in jeoprady as Huawei CFO is arrested in Canada - EMEA Brief 06 Oct
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada where she faces extradition to the US for violating US sanctions, leading to growing tensions between the China and US that create further doubt about the cease-fire on the tariff war declared over the weekend. Shares in Asian suppliers to Huawei sank on Thursday after the arrest was made pubic.

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New platform feature: Deal position preview
On the back of client feedback and the success experienced on the IG apps, we have now added the deal position preview functionality to the web dealing platform. This feature is automatically enabled on the new dealing platform. To disable it, right click on the graph and select Position Preview from the “show” dropdown.
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Government Found in Contempt as Theresa May Suffers Further Defeats in the House - EMEA Brief 05 Dec
UK government found in contempt of parliament for the first time due to not releasing the full legal advice regarding Brexit. The government has now agreed that it will be published which may cause more instability in the markets
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OPEC preview
OPEC faces a difficult task this week, as it aims to prop up the oil price without antagonising the US or putting too much strain on state finances by cutting production too much.

The current state of demand and supply

After being in deficit for 2018 and 2019, the oil market is expected to shift back to surplus next year:


Crude output continues to rise despite the decline in Iranian output:


Crude oil seasonality

Usually oil weakens in the first two months of Q4, but it then tends to pick up from the first half of December, beginning a steady rally into the summer.


 

Expectations

Current forecasts suggest a cut of 1.4 million barrels per day will result from the meeting. Anything less than this would likely cause another drop in prices. The meeting may not go with an explicit number, merely creating an agreement to restrict supply. Again, this is unlikely to be well-received by the oil market.

 

Saudi Arabia – walking a tightrope

Saudi Arabia faces a difficult balancing act. On the one hand, it must avoid letting the oil price fall too far and hurt its finances (and those of the others in OPEC, though that is less of a concern). On the other, it will seek to avoid cutting too far, too fast, since this might lead to a sharp bounce in the oil price, which would annoy the White House.

Saudi Arabia knows that it has outraged world opinion with its actions regarding Jamal Khashoggi, and that only the lack of outright condemnation from the US has saved them from serious consequences. Trump’s decision to equivocate on the subject, while not conditional on keeping oil prices down, may waver if they cut output by a significant amount.

But then again, with a defence budget running at 10% of GDP (almost five times the global average and three times the US budget in GDP terms), plus large state spending commitments, Saudi Arabia has to look at some cuts in order to restore balance to its finances.
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Inverted Yield Curves -APAC brief 5 Dec
Inverted Yield Curves: There’ll probably be a lot of talk about “inverted yield curves” and “recessions” today. For some, reading such headlines will come as a shock. Perhaps even a cause of anxiety. It’s wise to understand why such commentary has emerged – and what that may imply. The price action in US Treasuries has been quite dramatic in the past 24-hours: the (what ought to be) familiar themes regarding a looming global economic slow-down, and the prospect of softer future US inflation has seen traders cut their predictions of future rates hikes from the US Fed. The short-end of the yield curve – the end which is more exposed to the near-term actions of the Fed – has held up well; but it’s the middle-to-end of the curve – the part controlled very much by traders’ expectations about future growth and inflation – that is experiencing the greatest duress.


What it all means: In short: traders are anticipating an imminent end to the Fed’s hiking cycle, and they are now trying to approximate when the Fed may cut rates again.  This is where the talk of recession starts to pop-up. As is easy enough to grasp, the Fed would need to cut rates in the event that the economy requires stimulatory support from monetary policy. Such circumstances would emerge if the economy began to slip into something resembling a recession. Hence, when yields at some point in the curve invert, it’s a reflection of traders collectively estimating that in the near-enough future, interest rates will be lower than what they are (around about) now, because the economy will enter into a period of significant weakness to require a rate cut from the Fed.
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Post in Crude Oil (WTI)
"Brent is now approaching (well poking through) my upper channel line.  I have been saying for weeks that this is the point to consider that a counter trend rally may be on.  We still need a close above to confirm but sometimes the breakout can be fast and it looks to me like we are in a wave 3 (strong move)." 
Liquidity is thinning, Fed is telling us something, a true G20 breakthrough? - DFX key themes
We have officially closed out November Friday and we are now heading into the final month of the trading year. Historically, December is one of the most reserved months of the calendar year with strong positive returns for benchmark risk assets like the S&P 500 along with a sharp drop in volume and significant drop in traditional volatility measures (like the VIX index).
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High-Stakes in the House of Commons  -  EMEA Brief 04 Dec
Theresa May will begin the five days of her House of Commons debate today, culminating in a historic vote on her Brexit compromise deal on December 11.

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A bullish Monday - APAC brief 2 Dec
A bullish Monday: That big uplift we were all expecting after the weekend’s events at the G20 has transpired. The trade-war truce, as fleeting as it may prove to be, has supported a substantial enough boost in sentiment. Risk appetite has been teased, and risk assets across the global, beginning in the Asian session yesterday, and carrying through European and North American trade, have dutifully rallied, consequently. It’s a synchronized boost, prevailing across asset-classes, with traders relishing the double-shot of bullishness injected into markets in the last 7 days: a much more dovish Fed, which has lowered the possibility of higher global interest rates; and a de-escalation of the trade-war, which has ameliorated the concerns regarding future global economic growth.

Global stocks: There remains, at time of writing, a few moments left in the North American session, and as it stands, the good-vibrations are waning somewhat. Nevertheless, Wall Street is higher, capping-off a positive day for markets overall. The NASDAQ is leading the charge, up around 1 per cent for the session, while the Dow Jones and S&P500 are 0.7 per cent higher for the day. It follows an Asian and European session which saw the Nikkei up 1 per cent, the CSI300 up 2.8 per cent, the DAX up 1.85 per cent, and the FTSE100 up 1.2 per cent. Volumes have also been very substantial, running 30 per cent above average on the S&P, and a remarkable 45 per cent above average in Chinese share markets, adding conviction behind the day’s trade.
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Adding the % Range column to a watchlist
You can now add % Range to a watchlist on the web trading platform


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US and China agree tariff ceasefire; Markets soar - EMEA Brief 3 Dec
The US and China have agreed a temporary ceasefire on additional tariffs on each others goods at the G-20 summit in Argentina to allow for trade talks to continue in the new year.
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