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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 on its head. Naturally, given their substantial weighting in the index, a bad day for the banks more-often than not leads to a pull-back in the market. That notion certainly proved to yesterday and looks to prove true again this morning.

A good lead, but a weak start: Thus, at time of writing, SPI Futures are pointing a 7-point drop at the open. With half-an-hour left in Wall Street trade, it won’t be for a lack of a positive lead that this will be so. It’s been a reasonable day for US stocks, rallying just over 0.3 per cent, according to the S&P500. Market participants, it would seem, have had hurled back at them, when it comes to the banks, the political risk to the industry, they’d thought, had disappeared following the final report handed down by the Royal Commission. This being the case, the simplest answer for the ASX’s likely sluggish start today is this returning shadow of regulatory uncertainty over the financial sector.
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May Secures 'legally binding changes' to her Brexit Deal; Pound Rallies - EMEA Brief 12 March
Theresa May has announced that she has secured "legally binding changes" to the withdrawal agreement ahead of the pivotal vote on her deal in the House of Commons this evening. Specifically, the changes mean that the Irish backstop would not "become permanent".
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Up, down, turnaround - APAC brief 12 Mar
Up, down, turnaround: It’s been a bipolar market of late. Global stocks are moving in unison, and have swung from broad-based losses on Friday, to broad-based gains overnight. US equities are naturally the exemplar and are a responsible for driving overall risk appetite. With an hour left in trade (and as a quick aside, Wall Street closes at 7am AEDT for the next few weeks) the S&P500 is up well over 1 per cent. It’s been a day of relatively low activity. However, breadth is expansive: over 90 per cent of stocks are higher for the session. After last week’s losses, the S&P500 is some way from the key resistance at 2815. The fundamental strength of the market will be assessed by its ability to rechallenge that level.

ASX to hit the ground running: It was topsy-turvy yesterday, as far as the ASX’s behaviour went within the context of the global rally in equities. Unlike during stages of last week, the ASX200 was a thin-cut of red in an otherwise sea of green, when looking at the global equity index map. Australian stocks will join the party this morning, and according to the SPI Futures contract, will bust out of the gate at today’s open with a 34-point rally. Inducing from European and North American trade what we might see today: materials stocks may follow their international counterparts, energy stocks may track a lift in oil, and Australia’s growth stocks in the biotechnology industry should follow US tech’s run higher.
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BoE Tightens Bank Liquidity Controls - EMEA Brief 11 March
Amid the political uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the Bank of England has advised UK lenders to triple their holdings of liquid assets in the run-up to Brexit to prepare for a forecast market meltdown if the UK leaves the EU without a deal later this month. Banks are also being told to adjust their balance sheets on the assumption that they will not be able to swap sterling for USD.
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Week US jobs data - APAC brief 11 Mar
US NFPs: The final bastion of global economic growth is showing cracks in it walls. Arguably last week’s key-release, US Non-Farm Payrolls disappointed market participants over the weekend, printing well below expectations. It wasn’t a clear-cut, poor print. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 per cent and wage-growth climbed to 3.4 per cent. The shocker was the headline number: forecast to reveal a jobs-gain of 180,000, the US economy only added 20,000 last month. It’s given rise to concerns that, given how low the unemployment rate is in the US, and that wages are finally picking-up, the long-thriving US labour market has finally reached full capacity for this economic cycle.

US stocks fall, but losses were limited: That would be bad news for the US and global economy. Despite this gloomy picture painted by NFPs, and an initial knee-**** reaction, traders sought to see through the data. It was a bad day, ending a bad week, for risk assets on Friday – that’s no question. But given that the weak US jobs figures punctuated a series of weak global economic data, which solidified the fear the global economy is sharply slowing, the reaction in markets was fairly contained. Global stocks certainly put in their worst weekly performance for the year. However, Wall Street’s daily losses were contained to a relatively modest 0.21 per cent, if judged by the S&P500’s performance on Friday.
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Huawei Sues The U.S. Government - EMEA Brief 07 March
Global tensions reach new heights as Chinese tech giant Huawei files a lawsuit against the U.S, claiming that a law that bans government agencies from buying the company's equipment is unconstitutional. This comes after Huawei's CFO also filed legal proceedings against Canada. Meanwhile, there has been a report that North Korea are moving to rebuild a nuclear missile site, following a break down last week in the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un. 
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Australia's slowdown - APAC brief 7 March
Australian data draws global interest: Australia’s remarkably weak growth figures captured attention, both locally and abroad. The numbers conveyed in yesterday’s GDP were truly disappointing. Growth in the final quarter of 2018 was a paltry 0.2 per cent, and after another set of revisions to previous data, the annualized growth rate fell to 2.3 per cent. Each figure was quite an undershoot of expectations: for one, economists were expecting the quarterly number to come-in-at 0.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms. Now, on the face of it, this may not seem too bad. However, this estimate had been revised down several times in the week preceding yesterday’s GDP release, from around 0.6 per cent, in response to other underwhelming Australian economic data.

RBA’s dissolving logic: As it stands, the picture the GDP print painted of the Australian economy blows the RBA’s base case out of the water. Recently, the RBA had become candid in its assessment of the (let’s say) “crosswinds” in the domestic economy. So cognizant of the risks, they’d adopted a “neutral” stance to monetary policy moving forward into 2019. But still, their optimism remained: growth would remain strong enough to lead to an even tighter labour market, which would eventually feed into a pick-up in wages growth, and subsequently the inflation and consumption growth long-missing in the Australian economy. It was this view that fundamentally created the bedrock for the RBA’s policy bias and supported their hope for improved local economic conditions.
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Aon Plc considers $24 billion bid for rival Willis Tower Watson Plc - EMEA Brief 6 Mar
Trading in Asia was mixed as investors wait for more clarity on the US-China trade deal. The top performer was Shanghai Composite which was up 0.7% while Japan’s Topix was down 0.2%. 
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Trump states he will cooperate with House Judiciary Committee Investigation  - EMEA Brief 05 Mar
Trump is subject of large-scale investigation by the House Judiciary Committee who have sent requests for documents to 81 individuals. The investigation will look into alleged obstruction of Justice, corruption and potential abuses of power. 

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American stocks fall - APAC brief 5 March
American stocks fall: Wall Street looks poised to register its worst daily performance since the start of the year. The technical action was sweet: another early challenge of 2815 – the price ran slightly above that – before the bears swooned, and traders “pulled the trigger”. It’s been a day of selling since, with the S&P500 down 0.6 - 0.8 per cent, at time of writing. It’s nothing to be too concerned about, of course. This is nothing like the behaviour witness at the end of last year. It’s just that the price action has the commentariat ready to call the long-awaited reversal in US, and global equities. The closing price will be crucial today, but a bearish engulfing candle already signals looming weakness.

Bulls fail to break technical resistance: It’s the considerable lack of upside momentum, coupled with the breadth of the sell-off, that is noteworthy. After all, again, the S&P500 is only down 0.6 per cent on the day. The RSI is pointing its head downwards, though, clearly breaking with its recent upward trend. Intraday breadth is very poor: only around 20 per cent of stocks are higher for the session, and every sector is presently in the red. Right now, the triple top at 2815 – the formidable level that saw the bulls bail-out on as many occasions in Q4 2018 – has proven its might. The discourse might once again shift from here to where the next low could be registered.
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Vix Offers on Platform
Get your answer on Community - "Can you please clarify what the Volititily index tracks on the platform. I see DFB, Mar and Apr offers. Does the March track the March 19 future, the Apr track the Apr19 future? What does the DFB track?"
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Economic stagnation; ECB and other central banks; range trading - DailyFX Key Themes
As pattern recognition machines, humans want to avoid a repeat of a painful event from the past, but we don’t always bore down to the root of the problem – especially when the situation is complicated or inconvenient (such as chasing mature and fundamentally dubious trends). At present, we have a range of high-profile fundamental themes that could ease experience another flare up that coincides with the eventual turn of the markets (trade wars, monetary policy flub, fiscal policy flub, political crisis, diplomatic relationships breaking down, etc). Yet, in a neutral market environment, all of these issues could be absorbed readily with little more than a brief injection of volatility.
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US-China Trade Deal 'moving along nicely' - EMEA Brief 04 Mar
Reports over the weekend have indicated that the US and China are in the later stages of trade talk discussions in a deal which could see tariffs and sanctions lifted on both sides. Donald Trump tweeted over the weekend asking China to remove all tariffs on agricultural products and that trade talks are "moving along nicely". 
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The latest from Trump - APAC brief 4 Mar
Are things not so bad after all? It appears there’s emerged a self-reinforcing belief that economic fundamentals aren’t as bad as once thought. There’s not a simple binary that can be reduce out of this – a clear “risk-off” or “risk-on” signal. It’s clear there remains a general sense that the global economy is entering a soft-patch. But in that, is the key: slower growth is taken as granted, however the extent of such a slowdown is ostensibly being revised. There isn’t quite (just for the moment) the same level of catastrophism filling the news wires in financial markets right now. It raises the question whether the fundamentals have changed at all, or whether its actually market participants’ perception of the fundamentals that’s changed.

Improved perceptions towards fundamentals: An answer to that one is very difficult to grasp just looking at the price-action. To rattle-off one of the stalest of undergraduate clichés: perception is reality. In the case of traders, the rosier perception of economic fundamentals has inspired the emergence of a virtuous cycle in financial market bullishness. Very often, a break from fundamentals, and a movement towards some imagined state of affairs, gives birth to a sufficient enough divergence between sentiment and hard-data that a relatively small catalyst can spark a jolting correction in market-pricing. That may well be the situation market participants are operating. A blithe optimism or not, some key markets are approaching now key inflection points.
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Planned interview with Jim Rogers
Hey all - just to let you know that we have an interview planned with Jim Rogers on Monday and we want to make sure our clients have the opportunity to submit any questions they may have. You can do so by leaving your question on this post.
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Chinese factory activity shrinks again- EMEA Brief 01 Mar 2019
Chinese factory activity reduces for the third month in a row with Caixin/Markit Manufacturing PMI at 49.9 for February. A reading above 50 shows expansion
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Chinese bull run - APAC brief 1 March
“A tale of two cities”: As far as Australian markets go, they’ll be defined, broadly-speaking, by the unfolding “tale of two cities” story in global markets. That is: the renewed optimism about the US growth outlook, versus the deterioration in global economic prospects, led by the slowdown in China’s economy. The Australian economy is heavily geared to the latter, so the hunch is our fortunes will be more greatly impacted by that variable. But it won’t be clear cut, and that’s where the uncertainty and opportunity may emerge. The last 24 hours of trade presented a series of curious themes for market participants, with the subsequent price action patchy. What transpired did shift the narrative somewhat, setting the foundations for an interesting week next week.

Chinese (and global) growth: First, the darker side of (the all too crude) binary: a view on what’s happening in China and the world ex-American economy. The Asian session yesterday was preoccupied first by political theatrics, then macroeconomic information. The Cohen testimony gripped attention, however proved more a distraction as far as traders’ were concerned. The falling apart of the Trump-Kim talks in Hanoi disturbed markets, mostly in North-East Asian markets, such as the KOSPI, before the conclusion was drawn that a grand-peace pact between the US and North Korea was an absurd fantasy to begin with. The true focus was on China’s PMI numbers during our Asian trade – and how, once more, very disappointing they were.
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What does 'following' content mean?
Updates, directly to your inbox: There are a number of areas within Community which you can ‘Follow’. Threads, community members, blogs, and gallery posters. When you click on the ‘follow’ link you will be asked specifics on how often you would like to be updated on the content published.
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Post in Indices
Join the debate: "Here is a great chart I originally posted on the forum back in 2016 and I'm very pleased to see it's recently been updated. It gives a valuable insight into the mind set of 'the punters' and has become famous over time as it is so revealing."
Short summit with no agreement- EMEA Brief 28 Feb
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un summit cut down to 30 minutes with no agreement reached and the joining signing ceremony cancelled, however, both parties are “looking forward to meeting in the future”
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Global geopolitics: APAC brief 28 Feb
Around the globe, geopolitics dominates: Political spot fires have captured the attention of market participants. From Washington, to Hanoi, to Kashmir, to Caracas, to London: the ugly machinations of power have dominated the headlines. Only, despite fleeting action, the impact to market activity has seemingly been muted. A facile logic might suggest that it is because of the geopolitical uncertainty in the world that markets have traded so dull overnight. It would be too long a bow to draw, though: tremors can be seen in prices, but a global earthquake can’t be found. Not to diminish the events turning the world in the last 24-hours: they go well beyond the importance of markets. It’s simply just developed markets haven’t responded terribly much to them.


In Washington: The most salacious news that had traders’ interest excited last night took place in the halls of US Congress. No, not the testimony of US Fed Chair Jerome Powell – though his words are of far greater import to markets. It was instead the unfolding Michael Cohen testimony, at which the disgraced lawyer has cast a series of accusations and aspersions toward US President Donald Trump, on issues ranging from Russian ties, electoral fraud and hush payments. On the face of what’s been said, the revelations are potentially monumental. However, although demonstrating signs of nervousness in the lead up to the testimony, as it unfolded, financial markets have seemingly shrugged off the possible implications of that event.
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'Spend It Well'; M&S and Ocado Confirm £750m Deal  - EMEA Brief 27 Feb
Marks & Spencer and Ocado have officially confirmed a deal whereby M&S will buy a 50% share of Ocado's retail business in a £750m home delivery deal, a huge transformational step for the iconic retailer. M&S will finance the deal by offering a £600m rights issue to shareholders and cutting dividend payouts by 40%.
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Wall Street trade - APAC brief 27 Feb
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 it is being said that there still exists plenty of cash on the sidelines. Weaker volumes and underwhelming intraday breadth suggest the bull’s enthusiasm has waned somewhat for the short-term.


US traders search for leads: Momentum has certainly slowed across US equity indices, adding to the sense that the market has lost upside conviction. Neither the MACD nor the RSI are flashing conspicuous sell signals, but the former is conveying a gradual downside turn, while the latter is flirting with oversold territory. A lack of high impact news, or any general surprises, has deprived US equity markets’ of fuel to further power its rally. Rosy trade-war headlines no longer appear enough to embolden bulls and invite buyers into this market. And the Fed’s back-down to market-pressure over monetary policy settings implies that fear about tightening financial conditions has more-or-less been parked to one side for the foreseeable future.
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Trade war end and recession; central bank testimony; another Brexit milestone - DailyFX Key Themes
Investors are starting to see a path form for the United States and China to find a way out of their economically and financially-damaging trade war. After months of little more than a few words of optimism from only one side of the table – which was frequently reversed only days later – we are starting to see conviction from high level officials on both the American and Chinese sides.
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Barrick Gold Announces Plan to Acquire Newmont Mining - EMEA Brief 26 Feb
Barrick Gold has announced an unsolicited plan to merge with Newmont Mining in a $19 billion all-share transaction. The merger, if successful, would create the world's largest gold mining company and could potentially re-shape the industry, along with gold prices. This comes after Barrick completed their $6.1 billion acquisition of Randgold Resources last month. 
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