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Fed rate decision; trade wars versus earnings; Dollar, Nasdaq and Oil breaks - DailyFX Key Themes
There is a lot of high-profile event risk – both data and events – on the docket this week. The distinction of importance for these potential catalysts is defined by their capacity to tap into more systemic fundamental themes.
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APAC brief - 30 April
Wall Street adds to its record-highs: The first day of the financial week has been done and won, and its resulted in another small victory for Wall Street indices. US stocks have added to their record highs overnight, as market participants become increasingly bullish across asset classes. The story wasn’t quite so rosy for markets in other geographies yesterday: Asian equities generally slid amid low activity, while European stocks were positive, yet tepid in their trading. Still, it seems, the one clear bright-light in global financial markets is in the US, with the question once more becoming: how long can this latest bull-run last?

Momentum picking-up in US equities? There remains a general reluctance from market participants (to use an American idiom) to drink the Kool-Aid in this market. The fundamentals, though solid-enough, don’t seem to justify it entirely. Valuations aren’t stretched, but they are largely as attractive as they are due to discount factors, rather than true earnings growth. Nevertheless, perceptions are shifting, with some of that FOMO-money, long sitting on the sidelines in this rally, apparently making its way into US equities. The great momentum play stocks, are exhibiting some of the behaviour they did during last-years run-up, suggesting a growing exuberance in the market.

US tech playing catch-up: As one with a clear enough memory may recall, the centre of last year’s flow chasing rallies and busts was the US tech-sector. Perhaps remarkably, and reassuringly for the bulls in the market, although valuations across the S&P500 has crept towards levels reminiscent of October last year, valuations in tech stocks have so far lagged the broader market, this time around. It’s a state of affairs that’s rapidly changing, but using the NASDAQ as the barometer, valuations in US tech, at 35:1 price-to-earnings, is still well below the eye-watering 48:1 and 53:1 P/E ratios registered in October 2018 and December 2017.  
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Dividend Adjustments 29 Apr - 6 May
Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 29 April 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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APAC brief 29 April
US GDP data capped-off last week’s trade: Trade closed last week on something of a puzzling note. The attention, from a macro-economic point-of-view, was fixed in on US GDP data. Amidst all the fears of slower global growth on one hand and hope for a nascent global economic turnaround on the other, the US growth figures were being viewed as a tangible insight into the cogency of each point of view. Ultimately, the data provided little support for one over the other – and perhaps even deepened the divide. The headline figure was good for the bulls, however below the surface, there was plenty for the bears to find vindication, too.

US economy in a mixed state: The news flow, naturally and rightly, focused on the headline figure: against an expectation of a 2.2 per cent print, it came-in at a robust 3.2 per cent, reversing (apparently) a multi-month decline. The underpinning driver of the strength was in the exports and inventories component of the data, which greatly exceeded expectations. However, for market participants, there were some far more significant details in the fine-print to drive market action. Consumption was much weaker than expected, adding to concerns that the US consumer may be displaying some late-cycle behaviour; while the price-growth component revealed softening price pressures within the US economy.

S&P500 rallies as US Treasury yields and USD fall: It’s for this combination of reasons that US stocks rallied, and the US Dollar and US Treasury yields fell, throughout Friday’s North American session. The S&P500 put in a solid performance, on heightened activity, as the confluence of better than expected earnings, stronger than expected economic growth, lower bond yields, and a weaker currency bolstered equities.
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Amazon's Profits More Than Double in First Quarter - EMEA Brief 26 Apr
Amazon's net income for its first quarter more than doubled to $3.6bn, or $7.09 a share, from $1.6bn in the same quarter last year, beating analysts' expectations of $4.72 a share. Revenue rose 17%, in line with consensus estimates, although it was the lowest YoY growth rate since the beginning of 2015. Operating expenses increased by 13%, down from  41% growth in the same quarter of 2018. Amazon plans to roll out one-day shipping worldwide for its Prime members this year, which will likely drive up further spending.
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A mixed day for global stocks: APAC brief 26 Apr
A mixed day for global stocks: It’s been a mixed 24 hours for global markets. A series of conflicting messages are being delivered to traders, after the release of some major corporate reports in the past 24-48 hours. Market participants are truly in the meatiest part of earnings season now. The trader’s eye has been fixed on earnings from US tech and industrial giants yesterday and overnight; with the former, thanks to Facebook and Microsoft, beating expectations overall, but with the latter, courtesy of Caterpillar and 3M, undershooting consensus estimates. It’s all culminated in a high activity, but effectively flat, day for the S&P500, which has added trade 0.1 per cent.

ASX200 seemingly to follow suit: Given the mixed lead delivered by Wall Street (and that of Asian markets yesterday, for that matter) SPI Futures are pointing to a slim 3-point gain for the ASX200 this morning. Two trading days in a row like that which was experienced on Wednesday may be difficult to come by, especially given the lack of a clear catalyst, for now. Perhaps its slightly academic, but the question for many now is how long this rally for the ASX200 can last. With new 11-year highs made, technical levels become difficult to ascertain. However, one useful guide may be the index’s multi-year trend channel: it suggests there remains room for the ASX200 to test higher levels from here.


Wednesday’s CPI numbers: To jump back slightly to Wednesday’s trade, local market participants had their attention firmly fixed on Australian CPI numbers and that data’s implications for the AUD and RBA monetary policy. After a considerable miss last week in New Zealand’s CPI numbers, traders were wary as to whether comparable disinflation was emerging within the Australian economy. These suspicions proved valid: the numbers greatly underwhelmed: inflation printed flat on a quarterly basis, taking the year-on-year figure to 1.3 per cent.
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JPY hedging activity surges ahead of Golden Week - EMEA Brief 24 Apr
Hedging activities in JPY are building up as the Golden week in Japan approaches. Japanese markets will be shut for 10 days from Friday’s close in occasion of the accession of the new emperor to the throne.
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Wall Street clocks new highs: APAC brief 24 April
Wall Street clocks new highs: Wall Street achieved a milestone overnight: it registered an all-time closing high. It in some way punctuates one of the more bemusing runs in US equities, following (what felt like) the near-cataclysmic market correction at the end of 2018. The S&P500 closed at 2933 this morning – a mere 10 points from that index’s all-time intraday high. As had been expected, the catalyst for US stocks’ latest burst higher came directly from US reporting season. A series of companies, including the likes of Coca-Cola, Twitter and Procter and Gamble, beat analysts’ expectations, inspiring hope that the feared “earnings recession” isn’t confronting the market after all.

Can the good times last? The natural question to ask in these circumstances is: how far further can this run? This is especially pertinent give that the last two occasions Wall Street hit record levels, it was followed by major market corrections. A familiar point too: the previous market pullbacks were characterized by the evacuation of momentum chasers from the market, after US indices began to test “overbought” levels, somewhat like they are beginning to do now. The growth and earnings outlook then, as compared to what it is currently, was also much more favourable, giving credence to the notion that this market isn’t being supported by strong enough fundamentals.
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Oil Prices Surge as Trump Cuts Iran's Oil Exports - EMEA Brief 23 Apr
Oil prices have surged as Trump aims to cut Iran's oil exports after the White House announced that waivers from countries buying oil from Iran would end in May, a decision made to slash revenue for the Iranian government. Brent crude futures are trading at $74.29 a barrel, up 0.3%, whilst WTI crude reached its highest level since October last year currently trading at $65.95 per barrel.
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APAC brief 23 April
Traders have plenty to catch up on: As one might expect after (effectively) four days-off, there’s plenty of macro-economic news for Australian market participants to catch-up on following the Easter-holiday break. Chinese and Japanese markets have traded without interruption; while the US jumped back in to action overnight. And although price action won’t be the cause of any conniptions across trading floors this morning, there’s still enough information there to inspire a few novel ideas in the minds of traders. It will be this digesting of old news that will be the most significant determinant of market activity this morning: the corporate and economic calendars are rather bare to begin the week.

Stocks tread water as US earnings news pauses: SPI Futures are pointing to a very modest jump for the ASX200 this morning of 5-points, after a more-or-less flat session on Wall Street. The S&P500 added a paltry 2-points, or-so, during North American trade, as the steady flow of corporate earnings that began last week was suspended for the holiday-break. The relative lull in price action speaks-of a market primarily preoccupied with company earnings – despite ample market moving news impacting individuals market sectors. As has been said before: traders are searching for validation from US corporates that earnings, along with global growth, can be expected to turnaround. 

Data supports US economic outlook: To an extent, such a view is being priced-in marginally, at least as it applies to the US economic growth. US GDP figures will punctuate the end of this week’s trade; but in the lead-up, rates and bond markets have been slightly upgrading their outlook for US growth. Much of this centred on the US Retail Sales print last Thursday night, which surprised considerably to the upside, and alleviated some of the concerns relating to the state of the American consumer.
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Could the price of pork increase by 78% in China by 2020? - EMEA Brief 18 Apr
The African swine fever disease has reached Southeast Asia and parts of Europe, including the world’s biggest producer of Pork, China. A prediction from the Japanese bank Nomura, is that this could cause prices to rise by 78% in China by 2020, to 33 yuan per kilogram from 18.5 yuan

Global PMIs come into focus today, with eurozone and US figures released in the wake of a poorer Japanese number this morning. Pinterest has priced its IPO at $19 per share, above the previously indicated range but still lower than in private funding rounds two years ago.
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China’s data inspires relief: APAC brief 18 Apr
China’s data inspires relief: The Middle Kingdom was at the centre of financial market focus yesterday. Informally dubbed the “monthly economic data-dump”, market participants were granted the opportunity to test the thesis that the global economy’s Q1 malaise is turning around. And though it was only one set of numbers, the answer received from the Chinese data to this quandary was to the affirmative. China’s GDP figures beat economist’s estimates, printing at 6.4 per cent against the 6.3 per cent forecast; and the litany of other data-points, most notably retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment, all either exceeded forecasts, or showed signs of improvement.

The global economy’s resurrection? The Chinese data has added further credence to the notion that China’s economy, and therefore that of the rest of the globe, isn’t about to fall off the cliff. Judging by the improvement in the numbers, policymakers intervention and receptiveness to market and economic trouble, not just in China but globally, is apparently feeding through into economic activity. Although global equities, and especially Chinese equities, resisted reacting to the good news – the lower likelihood of greater monetary stimulus can explain that one – growth exposed assets conveyed the market’s greater optimism and risk appetite, boding well for risk-assets into the longer term.
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Drag to set your stops and limits on charts before you have placed a deal (and view % change in HLOC)
You can now use a 'drag and drop' functionality to set the stops and limits on your chart before you have placed a trade. This is available for anyone who has 'Position Preview' enabled. If you don't have this turned on, simply right click on your charts and make sure 'Position Preview' is ticked.
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US Equities Rise as Corporate Earnings Season Continues - EMEA Brief 17 Apr
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%.
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ASX to keep trading on own themes: APAC brief 17 Apr
ASX to keep trading on its own themes: SPI Futures are presently indicating an 18-point jump at the open for the ASX200. Once again, Australian equities look as though they’ll march to the beat of their own drum today. It comes on the back of a reasonably solid day for the ASX yesterday – though admittedly it was another day of relatively low activity. A general driver for the session’s activity was hard to pinpoint, perhaps fortunately, with the market trading much more on the basis of the myriad micro-concerns impacting individuals shares and sectors. It may be a dynamic that set not to last, as market participants prepare for a significant “macro” day today.

A dovish tilt from the RBA? Not that such themes were entirely absent in the local market yesterday, just that they proved insufficient to markedly change the narrative for the ASX. The RBA’s meeting minutes were released yesterday, and more-or-less confirmed the suspicions of market participants: the central bank is entertaining the idea of possible interest rate cuts in the future. Always the first to take the conservative route, the RBA was clear to state it merely discussed under what circumstances a rate cut would be necessary and were explicit in their view that such a set of circumstances aren’t present within the Australian economy right now.
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Penny Stocks
There is a minimum market cap requirement of £10 million to trade UK listed equities on the IG leverage trading platform (however there are options to trade these smaller stocks on the share dealing account). Get involved in the Community chat about Penny Stocks and see if it adds to your trading plan.
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Wall Street Slips After Lackluster Bank Earnings - EMEA Brief 16 Apr
Wall Street ended in the negative on Monday as investors digested mixed results from the latest batch of bank earnings. Goldman Sachs reported better than expected earnings, however its shares fell 3.8% due to first quarter numbers showing net profits fell by 21% YoY. Citigroup earnings also beat expectations, although saw a 2% fall in overall revenue. 
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Earnings optimism: APAC Brief 16 Apr
Earnings optimism tempers the markets’ mood: Financial market participants curbed their enthusiasm yesterday. Friday’s brief excitement on Wall Street relating to a handful of earnings beats from some of the US’s big banks failed to translate into meaningful momentum to begin the new trading week. Such a dynamic was also evident throughout the Asian session. The ASX200 closed flat for the day, and Chinese stocks rallied and retraced all in the space of a few hours. The Nikkei was higher for the day; however, that was largely due to a markedly weaker Japanese Yen, with that currency unable to reclaim its losses after Friday’s risk-on move.

Sluggish trade on Wall Street: The activity on Wall Street overnight was very much of the “let’s-now-wait-and-see” variety. The behaviour is sensible and based on a sound enough logic. Earnings seasons are a long-slog, with the possible arduousness of this reporting period even greater given the prevailing global economic backdrop. The return of thinner trade conditions, which of course were attributable in part to a level of Monday-itis, betrayed this cautiousness during the North American session. Volumes were below average, and market-breadth was meagre: 38.8 per cent of stocks were higher across Wall Street, with only 4 out of 11 sectors registering gains for the session.
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Post in Earnings Calendar
Big names for Monday morning pre-open earnings. Check out other companies reporting in the US this week and plan your trades.
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Nike celebrate as Tiger Triumphs - EMEA Brief 15 April
Asian shares crept towards nine-month high after US treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reported a positive outlook on trade talks. The Hang Seng rose 1.2% and the Nikkei climbed 1.4% to reach it's highest level in 2019. In the corporate world, Tiger Woods achieved his fifth Masters victory. The victory  is worth around $22,500,000 to his sponsor Nike (according to Aprx Marketing data). 
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Activity lifts to end last week: APAC brief - 21 Mar
Activity lifts to end last week: A risk laden week has ended with a pop. Asian and European trade was solid, albeit dull. However, it was a clear-cut-case of risk-on during the North American session. The new fuel to the S&P500s fire came as US earnings season kicked-off in earnest. JP Morgan, and a handful of America’s other big-banks, reported and generally surprised to the upside. The catalyst served two purposes: one, it supported (granted prematurely) the view that assumed earnings growth across US equities may be too low; and two, it pushed the S&P500 above key technical levels – notably, psychological resistance at 2900.
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Uber files for IPO ahead of corporate earnings season today - EMEA Brief 12 Apr
Uber has officially filed paperwork for the company's imminent IPO after observing rival Lyft's share price surge on opening only to fall below its IPO price later on. The ride-hailing company will be listed under the ticker "UBER" on the New York Stock Exchange. 
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APAC brief - April 12
A week that’s (so far) under-delivered: Anything can happen in the space of 24-hours in financial markets. But as we enter the final day of trade in global markets for the week, activity today is shaping up as being just as tepid as that which we’ve experienced in the week’s first four days. It was hoped some new, market-moving information may have been delivered in what was a back-loaded week. Afterall, there was no shortage of event risk. However, thus far, despite a litany of risk events, many of which yielded positive outcomes, market participants have responded to the stories with a shrug.

Market fundamentals take priority: Hence, we meander into this Friday having acquired some useful information about the world, but little in market pricing to show for it. It’s been said before (in fact, it’s been said a lot this week): market participants have developed a singular fixation on upcoming US earnings. And perhaps rightly, and comfortingly so: in a world where markets are dominated, even distorted, by macro-drivers and central bank policy, right now, company fundamentals matter more. It may seem trite to suggest so; however, it would be imprudent to underestimate how overwhelmed fundamentals become in a market dominated experimental monetary policy.
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UK economy grows amid Brexit stockpiling - EMEA Brief 11 Apr
The British economy managed to grow in the month of February as manufacturers are said to have increased stockpiling in preparation for the original Brexit deadline of March 29. GDP grew 0.2% MoM in February, despite predictions of economic stagnation amid fears of a global economic slowdown. 
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Event risk passes with no surprises: APAC brief 11 Apr
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 attributed to the upcoming US reporting season: while risk-taking is being encouraged by policy-makers, a true validation in corporate fundamentals needs to accompany the oft-touted accommodative global monetary policy settings.

Fed the highlight overnight: Nevertheless, the knowledge that monetary policy from the world’s largest central banks will remain supportive is a necessary precondition to any rally in equity-markets. Last night’s trade, and the data that was released and monitored within it, spoke of such a necessity. Naturally, it was the words of the Fed that held the greatest weight – this time, contained within their latest monetary-policy minutes. The information contained within them wasn’t new; however, it did confirm the stance makes have recently savoured. The majority of the Fed saw the need to remain qualifiedly “patient” in the face of “significant uncertainties”.
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