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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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Prolonged trade truce - APAC bried 26 Feb
Trump-Tweet #1: US President Trump announced yesterday what had long been assumed: the trade-truce will be delayed, because of the “very productive talks” going on between his administration and Chinese policymakers. Understandably, the formal recognition that tariffs won’t be hiked to 25 per cent (from their current rate of 10 per cent) on $US200bn of Chinese goods stoked risk sentiment. The overall impact wasn’t quite as deep and broad on one might have hoped, however. The reasoning is logical: progress in trade talks, as alluded to, has long been well known. In fact, for several weeks, in a gradually thinning market recovery, it’s been trade-war headlines that have been providing the sugar hit to sentiment to keep this run going at all.

AUD, RBA and ACGBs: The AUD/USD, and Australian assets, constitute many of the favoured proxies for trading trade-war headlines, and the news’ impact on price action has illustrated nicely the mixed opinion in markets relating to the developments. Yields on short-term bonds are a little higher, but interest rate markets haven't shifted much, while the yield on 10 Year ACGBs has actually fallen to 2.08 per cent, showing that traders are reluctant to price in markedly improved global growth conditions just on the basis of the latest trade war story. As the speculative tool of choice amongst traders to play-with trade war headlines, there has been a noteworthy rally in the AUD, over the last 24 hours, towards resistance at 0.7200.

ASX200: The ASX benefitted somewhat from positivity stemming from the subsequent climb in commodities prices, along with yesterday’s remarkable ~6 per cent rally in Chinese equities. Breadth across the ASX200 was so-so, with only 56 per cent of stocks clocking gains yesterday.
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Trade War Progress Ripples Through Markets - EMEA Brief 25 Feb
Developments have been made in the US-China trade war with Trump announcing ‘substantial progress’ has been made by both sides resulting in the hike on Chinese imports being delayed.

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Stocks finish week on solid footing: APAC brief 25 Feb
Stocks finish week on solid footing: Global equities finished last week on a solid footing. Across Asia, Europe and North America, the major share indices closed both Friday and the week in the green – the only notable exception being the FTSE100, which has dipped (typically) because of a stronger Sterling. The solid run into the week’s close came courtesy of more friendly-trade-war headlines, suggesting that significant progress is being made in US-China trade negotiations. A bit of headline jumping, sure. But these headlines were a little brighter than what has been received of late. In short: a final agreement on currency manipulation has been reached, an extension of the trade war truce is likely, and a trade-deal is more likely happening than not.


Risk appetite piqued: This is all according to US President Trump, so the gut says it be taken with a pinch of salt. Equity traders heard enough, however, driving the rally in global stocks. Chinese equities led the gains on both the daily and weekly charts: the CSI300 was up 2.25 per cent on Friday and 5.43 per cent for the week. Growth currencies also rallied into the week’s close. The AUD has climbed back to 0.7129, the NZD is fetching 0.6844, and the CAD (supported by higher oil prices) has broken above 0.7600 once more. Most promisingly of all is price action in commodities. The Bloomberg Commodity Index is at a YTD high, led by a break higher in copper prices.

Venezuela and oil: In commodity-land, arguably as it always is, oil is hogging the conversation. News in the last fortnight that the Saudis intend to deepen production cuts has formed the fundamental basis of oil’s rally. The short-term factors though pertain to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Venezuela.
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Post in Crude Oil (WTI)
"Oil pushing up to resistance again and looking to break". What are your thoughts going into the weekend? Inverse head and shoulders as others have pointed out, or over bought and looking for a pull back?
ASX Rallies on Weak Australian Dollar - EMEA Brief 22 Feb
The AUD continues to trade lower following the Chinese ban of Australian coal to its Dalian port. The ASX has benefited for the weaker exchange rate as it is trading at its highest level since October.
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Wall street pull back - APAC brief 22 Feb
Wall Street pulls back: On balance, and with Wall Street a few hours from ending its session, it's been a soft 24 hours for equities. The often heard calls of a looming "new-peak" in the market in the shorter term can be heard from some. Momentum has certainly slowed down. The S&P500 has its eyes one 2815 again - that crucial area where that index sold off on three occasions from October to December last year. It could be a slow drive to arrive at a challenge of that level now. The dovish Fed will keep the wind behind US stocks; but the earnings outlook, post reporting season, has dimmed on Wall Street, while positive regarding the trade war has already been heavily juiced.


Trade war truce already priced in? Markets are positioned for a relatively positive outcome in the trade-war, and that's manifesting in pockets of market activity. A true resolution in the trade war isn't expected, however an extension to be March 1 trade-truce-deadline seems to be. The overnight fall in US Treasuries, coupled with a topside break of copper's recent range, is a testament to this sentiment. The yield on the US 10 Year note has jumped back towards 2.70 percent, while the 3 month copper contract on the LME leapt another 0.83 per cent overnight. In G4 currencies, the US Dollar is stronger against the Euro and Pound, albeit very, very marginally, but weaker against the Yen.

The curious case of gold: Gold prices have dipped slightly courtesy of the stronger Dollar and greater confidence in the policy-outlook for the world's major central banks. The price of the yellow metal is sitting just above $1325 presently, as it continues its short term trend higher. One of the more divisive debates amongst traders currently is the outlook for gold. Like any market, time horizons are crucial to illustrating the trend for an asset's price.
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Galaxy Fold: Future or Gimmick Feature? - EMEA Brief 21 Feb
Samsung announced the Galaxy Fold the first consumer available phone to feature a folding display. The new phone also comes with a $1,980 price tag.  
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New platform feature: new visibility icon
On the back of client feedback and to make the platform easier to navigate, we have now made the ‘show’ button easier to find by adding the toggle to the top of the charts.
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Ford Pulls Brakes on Brazil Factory - EMEA Brief 20 Feb
Ford announced plan to close a factory in Brazil, resulting in 2,800 job cuts. This follows as Ford pulls sale of heavy commercial trucks in South America. 
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UK REAL ESTATE
What are your thoughts on the UK housing marker? "This UK REIT pays a 10% dividend yield and recently consolidated shares showing signs of hitting the bottom. Not only is this security trading at a massive discount, but its future looks stronger with as the Brexit cloud passes over."
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HSBC misses earnings expectations- EMEA Brief 19 Feb
HSBC fails to beat expectations for 2018 earnings, reporting 15.9 percent higher in pre-tax profit and 4.5 percent in revenue, in comparison to 2017, against the expected 23.8 percent increase in pre-tax profit and 6.28 percent for revenue
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Australian markets in focus - APAC brief 19 Feb
News flow light thanks to US holiday: SPI Futures are indicating a flat start for the ASX200 this morning, in a 24-hours starved of meaningful news and data. US markets were closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday, meaning a crucial source of information was absent from the news flow. It was perhaps a positive thing for market-bulls: the vacuum left by US markets allowed for Asian and Europe equity indices to seize the improved sentiment flowing from Wall Street on Friday, following further progress in US-Sino trade negotiations. Commodities continued to climb, to multi-month highs according to the Bloomberg Commodity Index, led by a push higher in oil prices, as well as a renewed rally in gold, which edged to around $US1326 courtesy of a weaker US Dollar.

Australian markets in focus: The Asian session will similarly quiet today, before markets return to normal transmission this evening. Arguably, it’ll be a day with attention directed to developments in Australian markets: the key data releases pertain to the RBA and its Monetary Policy Minutes, and ASX heavy-weight BHP, which reports its earnings today. Both the Australian Dollar and ASX200 will enjoy special focus this morning. The Aussie Dollar has pulled back below the 0.7150 handle after rallying beyond that mark on the back of trade-war optimism. The ASX200 will be more interesting for observers: having leapt from the gates yesterday morning to break above 6100 resistance, the index once again failed to prove its bullish mettle, closing trade yesterday at 6089.
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Post in US 500 - Potential Shorting Opportunity
"...It doesn't pay to buy directly into resistance but rather wait and see how price deals with it first. As ever there can only be one of two possible outcomes at this important level (2812.8). I wouldn't bother trying to predict which way but once the issue is resolved the next target is pretty obvious."
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Post in Bitcoin - Price Behaviour
"So Craig Wright is suggesting he is Satoshi according to a SEC filing. Bitcoin is approaching its first month since July 2018 where it could end in positive territory. Is this the end of the bear market in crypto currencies?"
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Dividend Adjustments 18 Feb - 25 Feb
Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 18 Feb 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below.
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Bear Bull Historical Chart
"History of the US Bear Bull markets since 1926 (or why it always seems to take forever for a bear market to come along or why am I always losing money betting on the next bear market)"
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Asia Markets Rise as Trade Talks Move to Washington - EMEA Brief 18 Feb
Asia share markets began the week with strong gains as investors hope for both further progress at US-China trade talks in Washington this week and more stimulus from major central banks. Trump stated in a White House news conference that he would be "honored" to remove current tariffs if an agreement can be reached, and to possibly extend the March 1st deadline for a deal.
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President’s Day: APAC brief 18 Feb
President’s Day: It’s Trump’s market – and we are all just trading in it. It’s perhaps for some – especially market-purists – the uncomfortable reality that, as far as short-term movements and sentiment goes, US President Trump and his policy making is the greatest determinant of the current macro-economic outlook. It cuts in both directions, and certainly the US President is just as prone to deflating the market as he is to inflate it. But almost by his own admission, Trump’s modus operandi is to implement policy and spout rhetoric that feeds the US equity market. For market bulls, there is the argument that this is a welcomed dynamic: we’ve seen the exercise of the Powell-put, and perhaps now traders are witnessing the execution of something resembling a Trump-put.


Where does Trump want the market? The risk is that President Trump’s temperament and agenda can be difficult to gauge. He giveth to the market, and he taketh, depending on his personal, political priorities. For stages of his Presidency, Trump needn’t pay close attention to the US share market: he inherited improving economic conditions, then fuelled it with massive tax cuts, and stood back to observe the records falling in US stock indices. His hawkishness on international trade and bellicosity towards domestic political wrangling brought much of it undone, as the US President turned a cyclical slowdown in China into a possible trigger for recession in Asia and Europe. The global growth outlook is as downbeat as it has been in several years, and this has manifested in market-pricing.
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Another blow to economic growth - EMEA Brief 15 Feb
Weak retail figures in the US have spilled over to most major stock markets, with European stocks set to open lower this morning. The 1.2% decline in retail sales for the month of December, the biggest drop in almost ten years,  have brought new fears that we are facing a global economic slowdown. The DJIA closed 104 points lower at 25,439.39, the S&P 500 closed 7 points lower at 2,745.73, whilst the Nasdaq managed to close in the positive with a gain of 6.6 points at 7,426.96.
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A little bit of everything - APAC brief 15 Feb
A little bit of everything: It certainly wasn’t the highest-impact day market participants have experienced so far this year, but there was a spoonful of everything, thematically speaking that is, driving the macro-economic outlook for markets in 2019. To keep it high level, there was a series of significant growth-related data released out of all three of the world’s major economic geographies – China, Europe and China – plus a healthy smattering of geopolitics and corporate news to keep traders interested. Only, if you look at the price action, one might say that it didn’t amount to terribly much. Global equities are taking the middle road, posting a mixed day, as Wall Street creeps towards its close at time of writing; though some shifting in currency, rates, bonds and commodities markets has occurred.
Markets immune to trade-war headlines: Fresh trade war headlines are at the top of the list of headline risks, however in contrast to what’s been seen in the past, the reactions have been muted. Arguably, and barring any news that hints at a true resolution in the trade war, stories that the US and China are getting along just fine are becoming (relatively) ineffectual. Yesterday saw the news that the Trump administration is considering pushing the White House imposed March 1 deadline for trade negotiations back another 60 days. The developments saw the standard risk assets shift – Australian Dollar-up, Asian stocks-up, US futures-up, commodities-up – but compared to the massive relief rallies seen in the past, the price action indicated a market that’s wanting more than just piecemeal developments in trade-negotiations.
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Post in Bonds and Gilts
"If one looks at the German Bund chart then it looks very interesting indeed. The trend is upwards and the price action is supporting this over the past 12 months which could possibly mean there has been a shift in capital and strategy for some of the largest players in the bond market." Join the debate.
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