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Top content from across the community, hand-picked by us.

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. 
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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
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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.
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Dividend Adjustments 07 Jan - 11 Jan
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.
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Adding to Positions
The question is this: "Is it right that the initial deal is a tentative toe in the water and then when all indicators are in harmony a further position is taken? Or is it that a when the indicators match on your trading plan, the initial deal is set. Then on a wave two dip or rally, a further position is taken."
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Post in GBPUSD retrace trade
"For now the Technical analysis is showing me Pos Mom Div on Weekly and Daily chart with a nice bounce off the lower Daily Triangle line at a point of significant LT support.  The bounce was strong after the semi flash crash (I say semi because it is clearly dwarfed by the previous one) and could put in a nice pin bar reversal price action on the Weekly (still a day to go on that of course!)." 
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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. 
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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.
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'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. 

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First trading day of the new year - APAC brief 3 Jan
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.
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Post in Indices
"Review of the COT data of the Dow last updated 21/12/18 shows large speculators retaining net longs in similar respect to the COT chart of the 14/12/18 posted in this thread.

In the chart below comparing the Feb decline verses this recent decline it's interesting there was no real washout this time round and was much more controlled suggesting less panic and more a case of managing potential high risk over the holiday break."
Dividend Adjustments 31 Dec - 7 Jan
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.
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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%.
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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%.
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Friday’s trade: APAC brief - 31 Dec
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.
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Post in US 500 - Potential Shorting Opportunity
What are your thoughts? "Some extreme volatility at the moment. Some of the most I have seen over the past few days on the S&P 500. I think this Christmas period will be very volatile with less volume. This seems like it is a massive short covering rally which is likely to be bigger than normal due to sharp and large recent drop downwards."
End of year FX swap rates - significant moves currently likely
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.
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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.
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Pull back - APAC brief 28 Dec
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.
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The FT's year in review
The FT have recently posted a great article which I tried to share to friends but you needed to have subscription. Given its the last hour of work and it's quiet as hell I thought I may as well give a synopsis of the major events which have happened this year. Which ones do you remember?
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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.
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Wall Street momentum - APAC brief 27 Dec
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.
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Late Dec ‘18 crypto rally
"Has anyone been in this recent rally?" That's the question Community users have been asking. Get involved with the discussion and see the fundamental reasons behind the recent rally. What's your strategy? Which cryptos are you trading? Discuss and get the most out of your strategy and planning.
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How to use Commitments of Traders data
"Recently we have touched on an interesting and oft little know resource that technical and fundamentals traders alike leverage.  The US Commodity and Futures Trading Commission issues the positions "commitments" of traders on the exchanges covering a wide range of markets (see link below)."
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What are IG's Christmas 2018 dealing hours?
You can find some details on our trading hours below (all times GMT), or for the UK more info is available here. For areas outside of the UK you can find relevant hours on your local IG.com H&S (visit IG.com and use the Help and Support link in the top black navigation strip).  

 
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