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  1. South Africa’s Platinum Group Metal (PGM) is bracing for industry-wide tough salary negotiations as it urges the government to invest in platinum markets. Chris Griffith, Chief of Anglo American Platinum Ltd, the world No.1 miner, reassured investors that workers are likely to avoid prolonged strikes. Meanwhile, the rand basket price for platinum and its sister metals rose 20% to 25 % this year already. Slowing global growth could pressure the metal, which hit $891 at 6:00am GMT+1 on the IG Web Trading Platform Gold prices edged lower after being up the most in more than one week on Tuesday. The yellow-metal seems to have reinvigorated after the IMF downgraded global economic growth from 3.5% down to 3.3%. Spot contracts hit $1302.57 at 6:00am GMT+1 on the IG Web Trading Platform. Oil steadied overnight after rising to five-months highs on Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate May futures were trading at $64.21, having advanced 0.27%, as of 7am GMT+1. The recent rally of crude was strengthened by supply concerns in Libya after the attack on Tripoli by the Libyan National Army. The US dollar floated overnight as markets weight US-China trade negotiations and the Brexit uncertainty. The Australian dollar was up overnight supported by rising prices in commodities such as Iron ore, liquified gas and aluminum, which compose a major part of the country’s exports. The Bitcoin squeeze seems to have arrested since Monday, after the Chinese Government released a plan to ban mining. Even though cryptocurrency trading and ICOs are illegal in China, it has remained the epicenter of global crypto mining with more energy spent to mint Bitcoins than any other country. It is not yet clear which is the time horizon needed to enact the restrictive proposal and how it will impact crypto prices in the short term. Asian overnight: Equities in Asia dropped on concerns over global growth and an escalation in trade talks. The worst performer was Japan’s Topix Index which dropped 0.8% while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.4%. US 10-year Treasury yields floated back below 2.5%. UK, US and Europe: Threats from the US over a potential $11 billion of tariffs have been responded to in kind after the European Commission noted that they would retaliate in accordance with WTO guidance. Looking ahead, it is a big day for the pound, with UK monthly GDP, manufacturing production, NIESR GDP, and the all-important EU27 meeting over whether to grant an extension to article 50. Central banks are also in focus, with the ECB expected to keep their monetary policy steady and FOMC minutes also released later in the day. South Africa: The rand trades at multi-week highs. Tencent Holdings is up 1.2% in Asia, suggestive of a positive start for major holding company Naspers. The BHP Group is down 0.35%, suggestive of a flat to slightly lower start for diversified miners. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK trade balance, GDP (February): trade deficit to narrow to £1.2 billion, while GDP falls 0.3% MoM from 0.5% growth, and the YoY figure drops to 1.2% from 1.4%. The rolling three-month figure is expected to fall to 0.1% from 0.2%. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 12.45pm – ECB rate decision (1.30pm press conference): no change is expected but the bank may push towards more easing after the announcement of TLTROs at its last meeting. Markets to watch: eurozone indices, EUR crosses 1.30pm – US CPI (March): headline CPI to rise to 1.8% from 1.5% YoY and 0.3% from 0.2% MoM, while core CPI to be 0.2% from 0.1% MoM and hold at 2.1% YoY. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses 3.30pm – US EIA crude inventories (w/e t April): stockpiles rose by 7.2 million barrels last week. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI 7pm – FOMC minutes: these minutes will help reveal the thinking behind the cautious tone to the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Tesco reported a 34% rise in operating profit for the full-year, to £2.2 billion, while revenue rose 11.2% to £63.9 billion. McCarthy & Stone said that first-half pre-tax profit fell 66% to £3.6 million, despite an 18% rise in revenue to £280.5 million. Restructuring costs caused a drop of £14 million, and the dividend was left unchanged at 1.9p per share. Rolls-Royce said it would start to inspect its Trent 1000 TEN engines after blade deterioration was identified in some of the products. Dunelm expects to beat forecasts for the full-year after like-for-like sales rose 12.5% in the third quarter. Sales were bolstered by a 32% surge in online like-for-like sales. Aena Upgraded to Buy at Kepler Cheuvreux FLSmidth upgraded to overweight at Morgan Stanle DNA downgraded to hold at SEB Equities Valeo downgraded to sell at Citi Glencore downgraded to sector perform at RBC Novartis cut to underweight at Morgan Stanle IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  2. Bitcoin’s chart is finally generating some interest in technical traders as prices are slightly down from Wednesday’s record highs. April last year saw a “short squeeze” that had the price of Bitcoin jump from $6,700 to $8,000 in a single move. Other cryptocurrencies are following the trend as investors look for the drivers in the volatility surge. Gold prices edged higher after steadying on Wednesday. The yellow-metal keeps rotating around the mean as the effect of the rally in global stocks balances out the recent dip of the dollar. Spot contracts hit $1292.46 at 6:00am GMT on the IG Web Trading Platform. Palladium slumped 2% on Wednesday on concerns that the recent equity rally might be drying up. The use of the metal in industries such as automotive, chemical and electronic appliances provide for a high correlation with global growth. Interestingly, the price of the precious commodity is also bonded to the economic situation of Russia, which provides slightly over 40% of the global supply. Slowing global economy could drown the metal, which hit a record $1409.2 at 6:00am GMT on the IG Web Trading Platform. Oil seems to have steadied after its sustained one-week growth. West Texas Intermediate was trading at $62.40 as of 7am GMT. Crude is rallying faster than analyst expected and this is pushing gasoline prices up as well, with May futures up about 5% from last week at 7am GMT. The US dollar weakened against emerging markets currencies on the possibility of improvement of the US-China trade relationship. The Australian dollar is off to a mildly positive start against USD after the rebound that followed stronger-than-expected retail trade figures on Wednesday. Trading in Asian equities was mixed as investors wait for developments on US-China trade deal. The worst performer was Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index which dropped 0.9% while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.6%. Treasuries yields retained their recent gains with Australia’s 10-year yield ticking up about 5 basis points to 1.89%. Asian overnight: Asia-Pacific markets exhibited a distinct lack of direction overnight, with the session proving largely forgettable given the lack of major news. Chinese stocks were the biggest mover, with the Shenzhen composite rising once again in a week that has seen a widespread boost to the nation's PMI surveys. UK, US and Europe: The European and US sessions look similarly quiet, with ECB meeting minutes providing the one event of note. In the UK, we saw parliament pass a bill to seek an extension to article 50, with talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn expected to continue through the week. Risk sentiment this week was helped by media reports touting progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks. Bloomberg reported on Thursday the U.S. wanted to set a 2025 target for China to meet trade pledges. The plan would see China committing to buy more U.S. commodities, including soybeans and energy products, and allow full foreign ownership for U.S. companies operating in China as a binding pledge. Overnight, Wall Street edged higher to extend a strong start to the quarter as a rally among chipmaker shares provided a boost to the broader market. The Dow rose 0.15 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.21 percent and the Nasdaq 0.6 percent. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 3pm – Canada Ivey PMI (March): expected to fall to 50.4 from 50.6. Markets to watch: CAD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Mothercare said that like-for-like sales in the UK fell 8.8% in the three months to 30 March 2019, but this was an improvement on the previous two quarters. Full-year guidance remains unchanged. Electrocomponents expects to deliver strong adjusted pre-tax profit growth thanks to good performance in the fourth quarter. Saga suffered a 5.4% fall in underlying pre-tax profit for the year to 31 January, to £180.3 million, as retail broking and underwriting activity both fell. The dividend was cut from 9p to 4p. Acciona upgraded to buy at AlphaValue Chr. Hansen upgraded to hold at DNB Markets Polytec Holding upgraded to hold at Erste Group UDG upgraded to overweight at Barclay Casino downgraded to underweight at Morgan Stanley Intrum downgraded to hold at SEB Equities Stagecoach downgraded to hold at Liberum Sage downgraded to neutral at Cit IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  3. Gold prices edged higher after falling on Wednesday. Globally declining treasury yields could increase demand for the yellow-metal if a stock rout were to take place. Spot contracts hit $1311.54 at 6:00am GMT on the IG Web Trading Platform. Palladium slumped 6% on Wednesday on concerns of slowing demand from the automotive and electronic appliances sectors. Slowing global growth could drown the metal, which hit a record $1620.52 last week. Oil slumped on Wednesday on reports that US inventories rose by 2.8 million barrels last week, exceeding expectations. Brent Crude May futures dropped 0.5% in just one hour after the report at 14:30 GMT. Crude is under additional downward pressure since Monday following a yet unresolved power blackout in Venezuela’s main oil export port of Jose. Oil prices have risen more than 25% this year, supported by supply curbs by OPEC+ and US sanctions on exports from Venezuela and Iran. The Turkish lira funding went out of the roof on Wednesday with lenders totally vanishing and swap rates touching 1000%. The funding crisis was prompted by a government measure that prevents banks from facilitating deals and reinforced by reports last week that the TCMB has drawn billions of dollars in foreign exchanges in March. Turkish equities dropped to their lowest since July. The Pound fell yesterday, following Theresa May’s announcement that she’ll resign as Prime Minister if her deal is passed. If she won’t get her deal through parliament by Friday, the UK will be forced to either crash out of the EU without a deal or potentially be granted more time and prolong the Brexit bleeding. Asian overnight: Equities in Asia dropped on concerns over the decline in developed-market treasury yields. The worst performer was Japan’s Topix Index which dropped 1.6% as of 1.46pm in Tokyo while South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.6%. Yields on Japan’s 10-year sovereign bonds fell to levels last seen in 2016, which prompted a decline in shares that led to declines in the whole region that were quickly recovered. The yen traded higher against major currencies and might benefit more thanks to its safe-haven appeal. UK, US and Europe: The UK parliament failed to break the impasse, with yesterday’s indicative votes failing to find a single form of Brexit that held a majority of support. We remain within consolidation mode, as the chances of both no-deal and a second referendum rise. All eyes will be on Theresa May, who yesterday promised that she will step down should parliament vote for her deal. Time is running out for her to bring that deal back for a third time, with Bercow standing in the way of it even being called once more. Kee an eye out for whether we do see her find a way to call that third vote. However, without the DUP support, it is effectively dead despite the shift from a number of ERG members. Also this morning, traders will be watching for the German CPI figure, with the final US GDP figure dominating the afternoon. South Africa: Emerging market currencies have come under pressure with Turkey now looking to intervene in their currency market. The Rand will be finding some further short term apprehension ahead of this afternoons rate announcement, although perhaps more importantly tomorrows credit rating review from Moody's Investor Relations. Tencent Holdings is down 0.5% in Asia, suggestive of a soft start for major holding company Naspers. BHP Group is up 0.6% in Australia suggestive of a positive start for local miners. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Meggitt has won a $37 million contract to provide cooling and power systems for the US Army’s Abrams tank programme. Derwent London said that the Brunel office space in Paddington was now fully pre-let ahead of its completion. Debenhams reported that its bondholders had agreed to change the terms of some of their bonds so that it can secure new loans of up to £200 million from existing lenders. BAT upgraded to buy at Citi CYBG upgraded to equal-weight at Barclays Imperial Brands upgraded to buy at Citi CTS Eventim downgraded to hold at Baader Helvea KWS Saat cut to hold at Kepler Cheuvreux Swedbank Downgraded to Hold at Handelsbanke IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  4. Gold prices edged lower as the yellow metal’s rally might be over. Spot contracts hit $1306 at 6:00am GMT on the IG Web Trading Platform. The safe-haven appeal of the gold bullion seems to fade as investors get more bullish on a possibly incumbent US-China trade deal. However, according to Goldman Sachs the combination of a pause in interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and more robust growth in emerging markets could weaken the US dollar and support the gold price. As palladium hit an alltime high yesterday we have seen fellow platinum group metal (PGM) platinum starting to rise as well. The high palladium price suggests its substitution with platinum in the petrol automotive sector, thereby speculating an increased demand for the metal. Oil slipped on worries over global growth and over China pushing back on trade negotiations with the US. West Texas Intermediate was trading at $59.16, having dropped 0.35%, as of 5:30am GMT. The recent rally of crude seems to have stalled this week after Russia pressured the OPEC+ to delay the extension of its production cuts, which added up to the feeble US-China trade negotiations. The US dollar weakened on the possibility of more dovish policies from the Federal Reserve. The Australian dollar seems to be mildly recovering from the drop that followed the release on Tuesday of the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s March meeting which suggested a more dovish stance. AUD/USD was trading at 0.70805 at 7am GMT on the IG Web Trading Platform. French Luxury goods house Hermes International is scheduled to release today its full year International SCA Earnings. The report is likely to provide a good indication of how much the Yellow Vest protest is affecting business in France. Asian overnight: Equities in Asia dropped on concerns over difficult US-China trade talks. The worst performer was South Korea’s Kospi which dropped 1% while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3% as of 12:38pm in HK. Caution over Federal Reserve’s rate decision due today might spur tiepid openings in the European markets. UK, US and Europe: Conflicting trade talk headlines yesterday plus pre-FOMC caution saw equities in the US and Asia struggle, but European stocks had a better day yesterday on rumours that the ECB would dramatically expand its QE efforts. Mining stocks in Australia were hit hard on news that Vale in Brazil was planning to restart production at a key facility. Apart from the Federal Open Market Commitee later today, the session also sees the release of CPI data for the UK, coming off the back of a strong employment report ahead of the Bank of England meeting tomorrow. South Africa: Tencent Holdings is flat on the day suggestive of a similar start for major holding company Naspers. BHP Group is down 1% in Australia, suggestive of a soft start for local resource counters. Meanwhile, the Rand was relatively flat against major global currencies on Tuesday afternoon, benefiting from a weaker dollar environment. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK CPI (February): inflation fall 0.7% MoM and rise 1.9% YoY, while core CPI to rise 0.6% MoM and 1.9% YoY. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 2.30pm – US EIA crude inventories (w/e 15 March): previous week saw a fall in stockpiles of 3.9 million barrels. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI 6pm – FOMC meeting: no change in policy expected, but the current outlook will be worth noting. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Kingfisher reported a 52.8% fall in pre-tax profit to £322 million for 2018, while underlying pre-tax profit fell 13% to £693 million. Like-for-like sales fell 1.6%, with performance hit by weakness in France that affected performance at its branches in that country. TI Fluid said that pre-tax profit for 2018 rose 37% to 217.1 million, but revenue fell 0.5% to €3.74 billion. B&S Group raised to overweight at Morgan Stanley Deutsche Post upgraded to buy at HSBC TUI upgraded to buy at Oddo BH Antofagasta downgraded to reduce at HSBC Bayer downgraded to neutral at MainFirst Veolia downgraded to neutral at JPMorga IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  5. The pound ticked higher after dropping on Tuesday after Theresa May’s amended Brexit deal rejection. Today’s vote in the UK parliament whether to leave the EU without a deal is unlikely to provide excessive pressure on the sterling in case the proposal is rejected, however downside risk exists. Cable was almost flat as of 7:30am GMT trading at 1.31069. The US dollar floated and yields fell on Tuesday after softer inflation data increased the possibility of more dovish policies from the Federal Reserve. The Australian dollar lost 0.4% on the back of weaker consumer confidence. The Aussie was down to 70.52 US cents as of 1:00pm Sidney time. Gold prices edged higher as the greenback floated after weaker CPI data on Tuesday. Spot contracts hit $1304.95 at 5:00am GMT on the IG Web Trading Platform. The safe-haven appeal of the gold bullion seems to fade as investors get more bullish on a possibly incumbent US-China trade deal. However, a worse performing US economy could provide upside momentum to the precious metal. Oil rose as upward pressure was provided by ongoing US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran as well as supply cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The West Texas Intermediate was trading at $57.51 as of 7:00am GMT, up 0.62% on the IG Web Trading Platform. Asian overnight: Equities in Asia dropped on concerns over global growth slowdown. The worst performer was Japan’s Topix which dropped 0.7 while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.7% as of 2:06pm Tokyo time. UK, US and Europe: The FTSE 100 was the outlier in Europe for good reason, with the pound heavily under pressure in the wake of another dramatic loss for Theresa May’s Brexit deal (-149). That vote takes us closer to a no-deal, but also closer to a second referendum as they seek to break this impasse in parliament. For today, we are looking towards the UK once more, with the Spring budget taking place as almost a side-show to this evening’s vote on whether or not there is support for the UK to leave the EU on a no-deal basis. That is likely to fail, bringing us on to Thursday where the question of an extension to article 50 is raised. In the US, watch out for the core durable goods figure, coupled with the latest crude inventories number. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 12.30pm – UK spring budget: the Chancellor unveils the outlook for UK government spending. Given the impending Brexit deadline, this may be a more interesting statement than usual. Market to watch: GBP crosses 12.30pm – US durable goods orders (January): orders to fall 0.8% MoM, but rise 0.1% excluding transportation. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses 2.30pm – US EIA crude oil inventories (w/e 8 March): stockpiles to rise by 1.2 million barrels. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Morrisons reported an 8.6% rise in adjusted profit for 2018 and declared a special dividend of 4p per share. Like-for-like sales rose 4.8%, excluding fuel. Stobart will cut its dividend, moving to a twice yearly dividend in equal payments of 3p per share. Passenger volumes at the airport for the year through February rose 33% to 1.5 million. Dixons Carphone said that the regulator had imposed a fine of £29.1 million on the firm after an investigation into mobile phone insurance selling practices. Standard Life Aberdeen saw a 19% rise in pre-tax profit, to £699 million, while revenues fell 11% to £2.1 billion. Banco Santander upgraded to outperform at RBC Lonmin upgraded to hold at Renaissance Capital Dialog Semi upgraded to buy at AlphaValue IAG upgraded to outperform at RB Axel Springer downgraded to hold at Nord/LB Credit Suisse downgraded to neutral at JPMorgan Schindler downgraded to equal-weight at Barclay IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  6. 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%. Gold prices edged lower as the greenback gained from stronger than expected economic data. Spot contracts hit $1287.34 at 5:00 am GMT, having been almost flat on the day, as can be seen on the IG Web Platform. What is the short- and mid-term fate of the gold bullion, as investors seem to be rushing to equities while the global economy slows down? Oil slipped after a report by the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday showed that crude inventories increased by 7.29 million barrels last week, largely more than the expected 388,000 barrels. West Texas Intermediate was trading at $56.30, having dropped 0.82%, as of 5:30am GMT. Increased supply might be a concern to traders if the world economy were to slow down and the demand for crude weaken. The dollar rallied for the fifth consecutive day while US equities dropped, lacking motor for growth. Absence of progress on the US-China trade deal seem to be a major worry for investors more than better-than-expected job reports. The Dollar Index Spot was up 0.05% at 9643.4 as of 6am GMT. Aon Plc was said to be considering an all-share bid for rival insurance broker Willis Towers Watson Plc, which could result in the industry’s largest ever merger. Willis Towers jumped 8.6% on the news, reaching $24 billion in market cap. According to a report from Deloitte, deals among insurance brokers accounted for approximately 16% of the total insurance deals in 2018. M&A activity in a particular sector provides for enhanced volatility due to price adjustments while steering the investments flowing into the industry. Asian overnight: A mixed session saw Japanese stocks fall back, while the Australian ASX 200 led the way higher despite a disappointing fall in Australian GDP (0.2% from 0.3%). With new stimulus measures in China, coupled with hopes of a US-China trade breakthrough, there is good reason for the Chinese gains. However, we have also seen a risk-off move, with North Korea restoring part of one missile site in response to Kim Jong-Un’s failed meeting with Trump. UK, US and Europe: Looking ahead, today sees an almost non-existent European session when it comes to economic events. However, the day will be busy for traders of European equities as many major corporate earnings are to be released. Noticeable stocks to watch might be UK food delivery platform operator Just Eat Plc, UK asset manager Legal & General Group Plc and German chip-maker Dialog Semiconductor Plc. Meanwhile, the pound has continued its decline, with Brexit talks in Brussels failing to find any progress after another three hours of negotiations yesterday. Markets will also be focused on the US and Canada amid ADP, payrolls, the Bank of Canada rate decision, and trade data from both countries. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 1.15pm – US ADP payroll report (February): forecast to see 190K jobs created , from 213K last month. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses 1.30pm – US trade balance (December): deficit expected to widen to $54 billion. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses 3pm – Canada Ivey PMI (February) & BoC rate decision: previous PMI reading 54.7, no change in central bank policy expected. Markets to watch: CAD crosses 3.30pm – US EIA inventories (w/e 1 March): stockpiles to fall by 2.8 million barrels. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Legal & General reported that assets under management passed £1 trillion, while pre-tax profit was up 2% to £2.23 billion for 2018. PageGroup saw pre-tax profit rise 20% for the year, to £142.3 million, as a good overseas performance helped offset weakness in the UK. Paddy Power said that pre-tax profit fell to £219 million, down 11%, while revenue was up 9% to £1.87 billion. The firm will rebrand itself to Flutter Entertainment,. Atlantia Upgraded to Outperform at MainFirst Tullow Upgraded to Overweight at Barclay .Nordea Downgraded to Reduce at AlphaValue Genel Downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Burberry Downgraded to Sell at Goldman Intertek Downgraded to Underweight at Barclay IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  7. Banco Santander SA skipped an option to call 1.5 billion euros of convertible notes next month, after leaving investors in the dark for weeks. The news had the bonds trade at 97 cents on the euro, after being almost at par last week. A portfolio manager at Financiere de La Cite SAS commented that credit buyers “will need some serious new issue premium to touch that name again”. Trading in Asia was optimistic on hopes of a trade war resolution as Trump commented during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that he is open to extend the March 1st deadline to raise tariffs on China. The top performer among major indices was the Nikkei, which advanced 1%, followed by the Shanghai Composite Index which as up 0.9%. None of the concerns that recently stalled riskier assets have disappeared, however markets seem more positive that economic growth can be sustained. Oil climbed 1% amidst resuming hopes following the 800,000 barrels per day production cut in January by Saudi Arabia, confirmed on Tuesday. More upward pressure is due to supply concerns in Venezuela, following US sanctions. However, the crude market could be well balanced as US crude production rose by 2 million bpd last year and trade concerns could further weaken demand. Kiwi dollar was up at least 1.5% against all major currencies on the IG Web Trading Platform following news that New Zealand’s central bank would push out forecasts for an interest-rate increase to early 2021. The revision disappointed market participants that were expecting looser monetary policy later this year. Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr commented that chances of a rate reduction have not increased, underplaying systemic risks that had markets concerned recently. The offshore yuan strengthened overnight on trade war optimism. USD/CNH was down 0.15% at 5:40am on the IG Web Trading Platform. Markets were positive on Monday after the Lunar New Year holiday, however Chinese spending grew only 8.5% to CNY 1.01 trillion, making it the smallest celebration since 2011. Asian overnight: Asian markets traded overwhelmingly in the green after Donald Trump floated the idea of extending the 1 March deadline with China. With both sides seemingly working hard towards a deal, it feels as if there is an end in sight. Officials in Washington and Beijing had expressed hopes that a new round of talks which began this week would bring them nearer to easing their seven-month trade war. "We are currently seeing negative sentiment which had built up over trade concerns and U.S. fiscal issues being unwound," said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo. "For risk assets to move purely on optimism, the U.S.-China trade row will need to see some kind of a closure in March. A more permanent solution to avoid a U.S. government shutdown is also necessary. It has to be remembered that we are not there yet". UK, US and Europe: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he could see letting the March 1 deadline for reaching a trade agreement with China slide a little if the two sides were close to a complete deal. U.S. congressional negotiators cobbled together a tentative bipartisan border security deal late on Monday to avert another partial government shutdown. However, Trump on Tuesday expressed displeasure with the agreement and said he had yet to decide whether to support it. The CBOE Volatility Index , Wall Street's so-called "fear gauge," dropped to as low as 14.95, its lowest level in more than four months, overnight. Looking ahead, inflation is going to be in focus. The UK headline inflation rate is expected to fall back to 1.9% from 2.1%, easing pressure on the BoE once more. We also see CPI data from the US in the afternoon, where the monthly CPI reading is expected to rise from -0.1% to 0.1%. Also keep an eye out for the eurozone industrial production, and US crude inventories data. South Africa: Markets have continued to gain following comments from US President, Donald Trump that the 1 March deadline, where US will resume increasing tariffs on Chinese imports, could be extended (a bit) if necessary. The news adds to the suggestion that the US government shutdown will be averted this week. The dollar has weakened marginally to aid modest gains in commodity prices and a slight recovery in emerging market currencies (including the rand). This mornings gains are expected to be broadbased in the South African market although led by resource counters. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK CPI (January): CPI to rise 2% YoY from 2.1%, and core CPI to rise 2.1% YoY and fall 0.7% MoM. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 1.30pm – US CPI (January): CPI to rise 1.6% YoY and fall 0.1% MoM, and core CPI to rise 2.1% YoY from 2.2%. Market to watch: USD crosses 3.30pm – EIA crude inventories (w/e 8 February): stockpiles rose by 1.26 million a week earlier. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI 11.50pm – Japan GDP (Q4, preliminary): growth forecast to be 0.4% QoQ and 1.4% YoY. Market to watch: JPY crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Smurfit Kappa said that it suffered a pre-tax loss for 2018 of €404 million, compared to €576 million a year earlier. Underlying earnings were up 25% to €1.55 billion however, while revenue was 4% higher at €8.95 billion. Dunelm reported a 16.7% rise in pre-tax profits to £56.3 million, while revenue was up 1.2% at £545.4 million. The dividend was raised by 7.1% to 7.5p per share. It remains on track to hit full-year expectations. Tullow Oil reported a pre-tax profit of $85 million for the year, compared to a loss of $175 million a year earlier, while revenue rose 7.9% to $1.86 billion, while the firm will also pay a final dividend of 4.8 cents per share. Banco BPM upgraded to buy at Citi Investec have a rating of buy on Anglo American Platinum with a target price of 62500c SBG Securities have a speculative buy rating on ArcelorMittal South Africa with a target price of 520c ABB downgraded to hold at SEB Equities Metro AG downgraded to underweight at JPMorgan Nyfosa downgraded to hold at SEB Equities Orion downgraded to underperform at Credit Suiss IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  8. Asian equities are modestly up as investors price in strong US job report and president Trump’s optimism on trade talks. The top performer was Japan’s Topix index which was up 1% at 3:32 GMT, following a weaker Yen. Major markets across Asia will close for part or all of the week as the region heads into Lunar New Year holidays. India NSE Nifty 50 is down 0.5% as of 5:15 GMT as investors evaluate the populist push in the government’s last federal budget. India is set to cut taxes to middle-class citizens and distribute cash to farmers in an attempt to restore confidence in the middle-class. The dollar held Friday gains against the Yen, which followed a better-than-expected US job report. However, caution towards subdued holiday trade in Asia and Federal Reserve policy might hold back further gains. The greenback is up 0.21% at 109.75 as of 5:30 GMT on the IG Web platform. Gold prices edged lower as the greenback held steady. The April contracts hit $1317 at 5:00 am GMT, after dropping consistently since opening, as can be seen on the IG Web Platform. Will fewer expectations of Fed rate cuts this year push the gold bullion much lower? Oil maintained gains from the previous session as markets participants weigh in OPEC production cuts vows and US sanctions against Venezuela. International Brent Crude oil futures were up 1% from their last close, trading at $62.76 per barrel. Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst for Commonwealth Bank of Australia commended that US sanctions on Venezuela “could see 0.5 to 1 percent of global supply curtailed”. Asian overnight: Asian markets are trading firmer this morning following on from gains in US markets on Friday, as optimism around trade talks between the US and China grows. Japanese markets were the outperformer overnight, as a bullish start to the week took hold despite the absence of Chinese trade (Spring festival). Today's economic calender is light and market moves are relatively subdued. China is currently getting ready for its Lunar New Year's celebrations. Data-wise, the Chinese Caixin services PMI fell less than expected, maintaining a healthy 53.6. Tencent Holdings is down 0.1% in Asia suggesting a flat start for major holding company Naspers. BHP Group is flat in Australia. UK, US and Europe: As May will launch today a new working group intended to look for a Plan B on Brexit, Nissan Europe Chariman Gianluca De Ficchy ditched commitments to Britain after the divorce with EU. According to the Times newspaper, British ministers are now considering whether to withdraw a 60 million pounds package to the Japanese car manufacturer. Despite the fact that the Brexit storm seems far from over, cable volatility traders appear bullish on a positive divorce scenario as pound volatility keeps dropping. According to SEB AB, given the risk of a no deal scenario, investors may have to reconsider their optimistic positions. Looking ahead, a relatively interesting day on the economic calendar sees the UK construction PMI take the lead in Europe. Th rest of the focus is on the US, with factory orders, trade balance, durable goods, and retail sales figures all released. Also keep an eye out for the Q4 earnings figures from Alphabet. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK construction PMI (January): previous reading 52.8. Market to watch: GBP crosses 1.30pm – US retail sales, housing starts & building permits, durable goods orders (December): retail sales to rise 0.2% month-on-month (MoM), and durable goods orders to rise 1.8% MoM and rise 0.3% MoM, excluding transportation. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Serco said that it had won a £560 million contract with Bupa to provide services to Australia’s defence forces. The contract is for six years, plus up to four one-year extensions. Indivior has entered into an agreement to sell its rights to a psychotropic drug in China for up to $122.5 million. Ryanair reported a 9% rise in revenue for the final three months of 2018, to €1.53 billion, but suffered a pre-tax loss of €22 million for the period, compared to a €113 million profit a year earlier. The number of passengers rose 8% to 33 million. Michael O’Leary will move to become group CEO, while a new CEO of Ryanair will be appointed later in the year. Wizz Air flew 10% more passengers during January, while passnger volumes rose to around 2.3 million. Impala Platinum headline earnings and headline earnings per share for the interim period are expected to increase to at least R2.1 billion or 292 cents per share. Headline lossand headline loss per share for the comparative period were R150 million and 21 cents per share,respectively. AngloGold Ashanti The basic earnings for FY18 are expected to be between $120 million and $137 million, resulting in basic earnings per share of between 29 cents and 33 cents. Basic loss and loss per share for the comparative period were $191 million and 46 cents, respectively. Hapag-Lloyd upgraded to buy at Berenberg HeidelbergCement upgraded to buy at HSBC Royal Mail upgraded to buy at HSBC Morrison upgraded to neutral at Cit BHP Group PLC downgraded to underweight at JPMorgan Electrolux cut to accumulate at Handelsbanken KAZ Minerals downgraded to hold at HSBC Novo Nordisk cut to accumulate at Handelsbanke IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  9. After twenty years as a prominent business leader in the global auto industry, Carlos Ghosn resigned the top job at Renault late on Wednesday. He will be replaced as Chairmen by Michelin chief Jean-Dominique Senard and as CEO by Thierry Bollore. The news could shake the unstable Renault stock, as markets would balance their trust on the restored leadership with the implied uncertainty. It was an exciting trading session in Singapore as Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd plunged about 83% in pre-market trading. The stock recovered quickly most of its losses and the swing was blamed on a fat-finger error. Such volatility provided for unforeseen opportunity for automated trading systems. Trading in Asia was vaguely optimistic as investors try to balance the developments of US-China trade talks with concerns over the global economic slowdown. The top performers were the Shanghai composite and the South Korea’s Kospi which rose respectively 0.6% and 0.4%. The offshore Yuan was stable ahead of a key trade talk next week. The People’s Bank of China has set the Yuan reference for today at 6.7802 against the US dollar, slightly higher than the previous day. The yuan is allowed to move as much as 2% from the central parity rate each trading day. Oil futures fell amidst widespread economic slowdown, after a brief rally on news that China and Japan would increase fiscal stimulus. Poor economic data in Asia reinvigorated concerns over US- China trade disputes while increased US crude output provides for continuous downward pressure. Brent crude March Futures traded at $60.765 as of 7am GMT. Bad news for Bitcoin as CBOE Global Markets pulled its application yesterday for what would be the first Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund. The SEC’s approval is needed before VanEck and SolidX partners are able to list their ETF on the CBOE’s BZX exchange. The Bank of International Settlement lined up with cryptocurrency detractors this week in an article calling out the cryptocurrency a pyramid scheme. While this year was not the first time that saw Bitcoin lose 80-90% of its value, the issuance of a crypto ETF could boost Bitcoin liquidity. Asian overnight: Asian stocks were mixed overnight, following on from a difficult session in the US. After leaping higher since Christmas, the upward move seems to have stalled for now, with trade war concerns helping to cancel out any positive feeling from stronger earnings. Growth fears are also coming to the fore, as the Japanese manufacturing PMI for January fell to 50, holding just inside expansion territory. UK, US and Europe: All three major U.S. equity indexes closed in positive territory, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average booking the largest gains on upbeat quarterly results from International Business Machines and other major firms. The S&P 500 gained 0.22 percent. But gains were capped by uncertainty over the partial U.S. government shutdown, slowing global economic growth and the yet-unresolved trade standoff between the United States and China. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said in a CNN interview the U.S. economy could see zero growth in the first three months if the partial government shutdown lasts for the whole quarter. On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that the United States was doing well in trade talks with China, saying at a White House event that China "very much wants to make a deal." Economic data ramps up again today, with flash PMIs from the eurozone, setting markets up nicely for the ECB meeting. This is followed by US PMIs, providing investors with a good look at the state of the global economy. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 8.30am – German mfg & services PMI (January, flash): mfg PMI to rise to 51.9 from 51.5, while services to rise to 53.4 from 51.8. Markets to watch: eurozone indices, EUR crosses 12.45pm – ECB rate decision (1.30pm press conference): no change in policy expected, but given the weakness in eurozone data of late, investors should watch out for the views of the bank on growth and inflation. Markets to watch: eurozone indices, EUR crosses 2.45pm – US mfg & services PMI (January, flash): mfg PMI to fall to 53.4 from 53.8, and services to fall to 54.2 from 54.4. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses 4pm – US EIA crude inventories (w/e 18 January): stockpiles rose by 7.5 million barrels in the previous week. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Fever-Tree said that annual performance would be ‘comfortably ahead’ of expectations, after solid growth in its various markets. In the UK, revenue was up 52%, and in the US sales rose 21%. St James’s Place saw assets fall by £5 billion in Q4, though net inflows hit a record of £2.6 billion. Countryside Properties reported Q1 performance in line with forecasts, with total completions up 28% to 1094 homes. Derwent London raised to hold at HSBC Just Eat upgraded to overweight at JPMorgan Sanne Group upgraded to buy at Citi Auto Trader downgraded to add at Peel Hunt Metro Bank downgraded to sell at Citi Moneysupermarket downgraded to add at Peel Hunt Reckitt downgraded to underperform at Jefferie IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  10. Crude oil bounced higher overnight after a free-fall since Friday. WTI floated past $51.50 a barrel, after gaining 1.29%, as the markets struggle to balance out the OPEC production cuts with concerns over global growth and increased US production. Gold prices held steady as investors balance out the strong trading session in Asia with expectations of fewer interest rate hikes by the US Fed. The yellow metal lost about 0.2%, trading at $1,291.33 at 6am GMT. Asian equities gained as markets recovered after poor economic data in Europe and China. The rebound was helped by Chinese officials’ vow to curb taxes. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was the top performer with a jump of 1.7%. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 1% at 4am GMT. Will investors hold their nerves during the European session in face of the Brexit vote? Weak China data pushed Yen crosses higher, despite supportive comments from the PBOC and the Ministry of Finance. AUD, EUR, NZD, CAD and GBP all traded higher against CNH. Bitcoin remained unchanged overnight at $3665.75 as of 7am GMT, after a short rally yesterday. As Russia is reportedly planning to replace US dollar reserves with Bitcoin, investors interest towards cryptocurrencies seem to increase. While the Winklevoss twins are waiting for the SEC to approve their ETF, last week Bitwise Asset Management filed to sell shares of a fund that would own a mix of short-term treasuries, US dollars and Bitcoin. As a speculative asset in its infancy, Bitcoin might not have found price stability just yet. Asian overnight: Asian markets have been on the rise, with Chinese indices leading the charge higher with gains of almost 2%. Japanese markets have returned after yesterday’s national holiday, with both the Nikkei and Topix in the green. As market fears spurred by weak Chinese trade data fade, we have seen sectors such as the mining and energy sector rebound on Tuesday. UK, US and Europe: Looking ahead, today is a hugely momentous occasion for UK politics, with UK Parliament finally afforded the opportunity to vote on Theresa May’s Brexit proposal. The meaningful vote seems to be headed towards a disastrous outcome later today as at least 70 members of the Conservative Party pledged to join opposition. As Theresa May already postponed the vote in December, she might not have much more room for maneuver to avert a disorderly Brexit. The British pound could feel the hit, or the relief, before anything else. Looking ahead, today is a hugely momentous occasion for UK politics, with UK Parliament finally afforded the opportunity to vote on Theresa May’s Brexit proposal. Neil Jones, head of hedge-fund sales at Mizuho Bank, sees the sterling fall to $1.225 if the defeat. For the day-time, eurozone trade balance, US PPI inflation, US Empire state manufacturing survey, and an appearance from the ECB will also help provide market volatility. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 1.30pm – US NY Empire State mfg index (January): previous reading 10.9. Market to watch: USD crosses Evening – UK Parliament to vote on Brexit deal: the House of Commons will vote on the PM’s Withdrawal Deal. It is still unclear whether it will pass, and the future is uncertain if it does fail. Market to watch: GBP crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Persimmon said that it expects annual profit to be modestly ahead of current forecasts, thanks to higher home completion numbers and better selling prices. Revenue for the year to 31 December was up 4% to £3.74 billion, while completions were up 3% to 16,449. Provident Financial expects annual profits to be at the lower end of expectations. Profits in the year to the end of December were likely to be towards the bottom end of the £151-166 million forecast. Impairments had been modestly higher than expected, the firm said. Savills said that it expects to report growth in revenue and underlying profit after strong trading in the final quarter of the year. Results for the year are expected to be in line with forecasts, but the outlook for 2019 is overshadowed by uncertainties around the globe. Hays saw Q2 performance bolstered by growth in its international businesses. For the final quarter of 2018, total net fees were up 8% overall, and 9% on a like-for-like basis. The firm said that the outlook remained good across most markets. DIA upgraded to hold at HSBC Eiffage upgraded to buy at HSBC Weir upgraded to buy at SocGen Ferrari upgraded to market perform at Bernstei BBVA downgraded to hold at HSBC IMI downgraded to hold at SocGen Cairn Energy downgraded to equal-weight at Morgan Stanley IMI downgraded to hold at SocGe IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  11. Trading in Asia was mixed as investors try to balance macro risks with optimism towards trade talks. The top performers were Japan’s Topix and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 both rose about 0.5%, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3%. Gold prices edged lower as the greenback’s descendant spiral seem to have stopped and amidst the possibility of a pause in further rate hikes. The February contracts hit $1291.4 around 1:10am GMT before dropping consistently during the following hours, as can be seen on the IG Web Platform. Oil crude rose for the seventh consecutive trading day as markets participants weigh in OPEC production cuts vows with concerns on high crude inventories after a record crude oil production year for US. West Texas Intermediate rose 0.3% to $48.67 a barrel. The US dollar stabilized after five days of losses as the Trump administration deemed a trade deal with China “reasonable”. Asian overnight: A largely bullish session overnight saw Chinese stock markets provide the only negative move amid gains across the indices in Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia. Trade talks between the US and China remain ongoing, with hopes of a breakthrough and fears of a breakdown ensuring that we see volatility and uncertainty dominate. With those talks playing out as the backdrop, today’s release of US trade data will be watched carefully to see how they are changing in response to Trump imposed tariffs. We have already seen the Australian trade data released overnight, with a fall in import growth (2% from 3%) leading to an improvement in the overall balance of trade. We are likely to see markets continue their focus on talks between the US and China, with any update overshadowing much of the economic calendar. UK, US and Europe: Theresa May’s cabinet is due to meet today to discuss a plan drafted by pro-EU politicians that could reduce the risk of a no-deal Brexit. There’s speculation that the premier is thinking whether to accept changes in her budget legislation, which stresses how weak her position is on this final rally. Intra-day traders should focus on the cable this morning, as the markets keep pricing in aggravated political risk, and calling-off unnecessary short movements. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 10am – eurozone business confidence (December): expected to hold at 1.1. Market to watch: EUR crosses 1.30pm – US trade balance (November): deficit to fall to $54 billion from $55.5 billion. Market to watch: USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Morrisons said that sales rose 4% overall for the nine weeks to 1 January, while like-for-like sales excluding fuel were up 3.6%. Expectations for the 2019 financial year are unchanged. National Grid has reached a ‘satisfactory agreement’ with Massachusetts gas unions in contract negotiations over employment terms. Greene King remains confident in its overall outlook, after like-for-like sales rose 3.2% for the 36 weeks to 6 January. Bankia upgraded to hold at Jefferies Outotec upgraded to buy at Goldman Capital & Counties upgraded to add at Peel Hunt Electrocomponents upgraded to buy at Jefferies Geberit downgraded to sell at Goldman Mapfre downgraded to neutral at JPMorgan Vodafone downgraded to underperform at RBC Ryanair downgraded to sell at Berenber IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  12. Bitcoin could have bottomed as its priced stabilized after the big disappointment it gave earlier this year. As the cryptocurrency has corrected 80-90% multiple times in the past, the slump this year could only be another bump in the road. However, scalability issues flog the currency as its promoters try to entail it in the real economy. Is the crypto market ready for another roller-coaster? Oil temporarily bottomed after falling 7%, amidst concerns over the strength of global trade. West Texas Intermediate fluctuated around $46.28 a barrel, after gaining 0.1%. Investors keep an eye out for the US crude inventories, with the recent decline highlighting expectations of continued oversupply despite the OPEC+ production cut vow. Gold prices edged higher to a more than five-month peak supported by a softer greenback and uncertainty towards today’s Fed’s hike decision. The yellow metal hit its highest since July 11 at $1,251.06 earlier in the current trading session. The continued stock rout this year seem to have commodity traders excited again about the bullion. Trading in Asia was mixed, with investors titubant about the FOMC rate decision due today. Softbank’s weak IPO did not help shares in Japan, where the Topix fell 0.6%. Indices fell also in China and Australia but kept steady in Hong Kong. Japanese 10-year bonds yield climbed almost to zero for the first time since September 2017. The recent decline in government bond yields provided for more liquidity moving to Yen and Yen-denominated assets. Asian overnight: Another bearish session overnight has seen losses across Asia, with the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng providing the one flash of green after posting a miniscule gain of less than 0.1%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.4 percent, Japan's Nikkei steadied after an early dip and E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 added 0.2 percent.With the Fed widely expected to raise rates once again today, emerging markets are understandably under pressure given their exposure to USD-denominated debt. Donald Trump's warns not to "make yet another mistake" will unlikely affect the FOMC meeting today. UK, US and Europe: Italian budget plan Odyssey continues as the European Commission is due to meet today to discuss the country’s spending plan. Italy cut its deficit target for next year to 2.04% of GDP from the initial 2.4% after the skirmish with the EU. Concerns that deficit projections could be underestimated could jeopardize the Italian populist government’s case to the EU. The major risk is that the plan will not deliver the expected growth in Italy. EU is already tackling difficult Brexit negotiations and the slowing global economy does not help. As a G7 country, Italy could prove to be an earthquake to the EU unity. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK CPI (November): prices to rise 2.5% YoY and 0.2% MoM, and Core PCI to rise 2.2% YoY. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 1.30pm – Canada CPI (November): CPI to rise 2.2% YoY from 2.4%. Markets to watch: CAD crosses 3pm – US existing home sales (November): sales to fall 0.5% MoM from a 1.4% increase. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses 3.30pm – US EIA crude inventories (w/e 14 December): stockpiles to rise by 1.1 million barrels. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI 7pm – Fed rate decision: rates are expected to rise to 2.5% from 2.25%, but the main focus will be on the future path, and we may get some hints about this in the statement and in the press conference at 7.30pm. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to spin off its consumer health business into a joint venture with Pfizer, in which GSK will have a controlling interest of 68%. Within three years of closing the transaction, GSK intends to demerge the consumer division from the pharma business. Polymetal has completed the non-cash asset swap of its Tarutin property in Russia for 85% of a Kazakhstan copper-gold property. Versarien reports that it has signed a non-binding agreement with an unnamed Chinese state-owned aerospace firm. Bpost upgraded to outperform at RBC Fresenius SE upgraded to buy at Goldman Kongsberg upgraded to buy at SEB Equities Petrofac upgraded to buy at Kepler Cheuvreux Asos downgraded to outperform at RBC IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  13. Trading in Asia was mixed as US shares stabilized overnight. In the meanwhile, the ongoing discussions between China and the US adds uncertainty. The bottom performer among major Asian indices was the Nikkei, which fell 0.45%. Oil climbed higher amidst resuming hopes following the 1.2 million barrels per day production cut agreed by OPEC+. However, concerns that the US could much further increase its shale production and the slowing global economy could make the output cut less effective. Gold ticked higher in Asian trading as its biggest nemesis – the US dollar – lost ground. Disappointing data about the US construction sector and concerns about a possible global economy slowdown could further have the USD slump, and hence increase bullish bids on the yellow metal. The Indian Rupee slumped 1.6% overnight following the resignation of its central bank governor. The Pound kept steady after the initial slump that followed May’s delay of the vote on Brexit. The yield on US 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 2.85% on concerns about trade talks with China and the lack of clarity concerning the faith of the jailed Huawei CFO. Asian overnight: An 18-month low for Japanese stocks set the seal on a difficult session in Asia, but another strong rebound for Wall Street provided some hope that the selling in equities has abated for now. While the agreed March 1 deadline for further agreement on trade differences with the US looms, China over the weekend had contributed to increasing alarm in financial markets by summoning US and Canada’s ambassadors to answer about the Chinese businesswoman arrest. Stocks in China climbed following news that a timetable for trade talks was discussed. UK, US and Europe: News that the Chinese Vice Premier Liu He discussed the timetable for trade talks with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had shares in China rise. Furthermore, the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co’s CEO makes the diplomatic wrestling even more critical. While possible progress on tariff talks had Chinese benchmarks ticked higher overnight, is a positive outcome for US concretely foreseeable? Macron announced yesterday evening a series of resolutions in an attempt to end to the “yellow vest” protest that is jeopardizing its presidency. While the raft of new spending could undo part of the French government’s gains from tax increases, it could also stabilize the Eurozone politics, after more uncertainty was produced by the power switch in Germany’s CDU. With the Brexit deadline on the pipeline and concerns about a possible meddling in the “yellow vest” protest from Russia, the Old Continent is finding it hard to benefit from the Holiday Season’s higher spending. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK employment data: September expected to have seen employment drop by 64,000, while the claimant count rises by 7400 in November. Unemployment rate for October expected to hold at 4.1%, while average hourly earnings to rise 3% for October. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 10am – German ZEW (December): economic sentiment to rise to -12 from -24. Markets to watch: EUR crosses 1.30pm – US PPI (November): factory-gate inflation to rise 0.1% MoM, from 0.6% last month. Markets to watch: USD crosses 11.30pm – Australia Westpac consumer confidence index (December): forecast to fall to 104 from 104.3. Markets to watch: AUD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Ashtead retained its full-year outlook, saying that stronger rental revenue growth in North America boosted performance. Pre-tax profit for the first half was up 25% to £610 million, while revenue was 19% higher at £2.25 billion. WPP said it would spend £300 million over the next three years as part of restructuring efforts. Organic growth in line with peers is expected to return by the end of 2021. Full-year results are expected to be in line with forecasts. Serco has won two UK contract extensions worth a combined £135 million. Aviva upgraded to top pick at RBC Lancashire upgraded to outperform at RBC Sanofi upgraded to buy at Jefferies Unicaja Banco raised to buy at Ahorro Corporacion Derwent London cut to equal-weight at Barclays Phoenix cut to outperform at RBC Superdry downgraded to hold at Berenberg Standard Life Aberdeen cut to sector perform at RB IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  14. Asian equities gained as investors weighed in comments from Federal Reserve officials and a possible breakthrough in US-China trade war. Shares in Hong Kong and China led the gains with the Hang Seng Index climbing 0.5% and the Shanghai Composite gaining 0.7%. Oil crude was up with WTI gaining 0.9% to $52.02 a barrel after a US industry report signaled shrinking gasoline surplus. Concerns of sanctions to Russia following its sea clash with Ukraine and Saudi’s vow to cut production in December are also pressuring upwards historically low oil prices. Gold fell the most in two weeks and finally found support above $1210. The move was prompted by a stronger USD, and later today Powell’s speech could trigger more swings. The pound slipped 0.1% as UK Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly allowed lawmakers to vote on a series of potential changes in her Brexit plan. More uncertainty is expected ahead of the final MPs vote on the 11th December. US treasuries edged higher as markets await today’s Fed’s Powell speech to the Economic Club of New York. Fed Vice Chairman Clarida committed yesterday to support “some further gradual adjustment” in rates. Fed watchers took the comment as a sign that the end of the current rate-hiking campaign could be close, but not immediate. Asian overnight: Markets remain unperturbed by warnings from the US government over impending talks with China, as Asian markets close out the session overwhelmingly in the green. The Australian ASX 200 remained as the only major market in the red, with a rebound in crude prices not too little to help drive the index into the green. Chinese markets were the outperformer, with the G20 summit at least providing the possibility of a breakthrough. Should we see another failed attempt to find a resolution, we would simply be back at square one. UK, US and Europe: UK Prime Minister Theresa May dropped efforts to avoid lawmakers re-writing her Brexit deal. A series of potential changes in the plans could take place, among which a call for another referendum. Moreover, the Treasury will publish today an analysis on the long-term economic impact of Brexit on the UK which could prompt more resistance from the Parliament. As already almost 100 Conservative members of Parliament have publicly committed to not supporting the Brexit deal, May’s Brexit journey looks far from nearly completed. Meanwhile, the pound edged higher amidst hopes of a Brexit deal being ratified. From the US, expectations are growing ahead of Saturday’s dinner in Buenos Aires between Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping. Larry Kudlow, the US president’s top economic adviser, has clarified that Trump is ready to impose more tariffs if talks with China do not progress. As we are approaching a pre-election year, pressure is building on president Trump to yield results from his ongoing trade disputes. The market maintains a positive outlook on the meeting as the dollar held gains and tech shares gathered momentum. Looking ahead, the preliminary US GDP reading for Q3 provides the first revision to the 3.5% figure released last month. With US-China trade talks due to take place at the end of the week, the US goods trade balance due out today certainly comes at an opportune moment, helping shape trade walks with China. Later on, we have US crude inventories and UK bank stress tests to contend with. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 12pm – German GfK consumer confidence (December): forecast to fall to 10.5 from 10.6. Markets to watch: EUR crosses 1pm – US GDP (Q3, 2nd estimate): growth to drop to 3.5% QoQ from 4.2%. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses 3pm – US new home sales (October): forecast to rise 2.2% MoM from a 5.5% drop a month earlier. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses 3.30pm – US EIA crude inventories (w/e 23 November): stockpiles to rise by 2.5 million barrels. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades On the Beach said that full-year pre-tax profit rose 24% to £26.1 million, while revenue rose 25% to £104.1 million. RPC saw first-half pre-tax profit fell 5% to £154.4 million, while revenue was up 7% to £1.89 billion. Senior expects ‘good progress’ for the full year, after trading in the first ten months of the year met expectations. Frey upgraded to buy at Kepler Cheuvreux PSI upgraded to buy at DZ Bank S Immo upgraded to buy at SRC Research AstraZeneca downgraded to hold at New Street Research Marks & Spencer cut to sector perform at RBC Nostrum Oil & Gas cut to hold at Panmure Gordo IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  15. Crude prices gained, as Saudi Arabia leads OPEC and its allies into cutting Oil supply from December. The Saudis mentioned seasonal factors among concerns for weaker demand, as they laid ground for a wider production curb in 2019. Gold holds steady near a one month low as it keeps losing lustre as a safe haven to the benefit of USD. Spot gold was little changed at $1,209.57 per ounce at 01.21 GMT. Will the commodity benefit from a more divided White House? Yuan proxies such as AUD and NZD are experiencing downward pressure as traders hedge against interest rates hikes from PBOC. Yuan is gaining ground as a safe haven, amidst gloomy global outlook. The Euro could benefit from a rebound in German growth, as the country accounts for almost one third of the euro-zone economy. Expectations are growing as, according to the VDA German carmaker association, 440,000 new cars were produced in October, compared to 310,00 in August. The downward pressure on US Treasuries could weaken, after 10-year yields started coming down from almost a 7-year high, as oil moved higher overnight. Asian equities edged higher this morning overcoming the drag on Friday of Large-cap US stocks (the Nasdaq lost more than 1.5%). Australian shares added 0.13 percent, while Japan's Nikkei stock index gained 0.11 percent. Asian overnight: A somewhat uninspiring session saw Chinese markets provide the only substantial move, with the Shenzhen composite rising over 1%. The FTSE China A50 rebounded amidst positive expectations for industrial data to be released on Wednesday and Alibaba’s record sales volume yesterday. Meanwhile, Japanese, Hong Kong, and Australian markets largely posted very moderate gains to kick off the new week. On the data front, Japanese PPI eased from 3% to 2.9%. UK, US and Europe: May braces for a tough week to keep her Brexit plan alive. Opposition from both sides mounts and one area of contention is a clause that would allow the UK to exit the Customs Union only via a bilateral agreement. According to International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, a second referendum is not even in question. The Cabinet was expected to meet today, but yesterday there was no sign of progress. Meanwhile, major US banks are planning to shift about €250 billion of balance-sheet assets to Frankfurt because of Brexit. Italian treasuries have the highest yield among investment-grade bonds in the euro area and piqued the interest of M&G Investments and BlueBay AM LLP. Yield on Italian sovereign dept keeps plummeting before tomorrow, which is the deadline to submit a revised budget plan to the EU, as the markets downplay the risk of Italian populist politics. However, the Italian coalition government has already dismissed Brussels' ultimatum and warns that the plan remains unchanged. Looking ahead, Veterans' Day in the US means we will see lower volumes throughout the day. Given that there are no major events to note throughout the European session, we are likely to see a continuation of the running themes of the weekend, with crude and sterling grabbing market attention. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 6:00 - JPY Machine Tool Orders. Previous at 2.9% vs actual at -1.1%. Higher tracks trends in machine tool orders placed by major manufacturers means higher capital spending. Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades AstraZeneca said that its diabetes drug had ‘significantly’ reduced the risk of hospitalisation for heart failure. Playtech has reaffirmed its full-year guidance, although trading in Asia had hit performance. Overall growth outside Asia remained resilient. Diageo said that it would launch an additional share buyback programme after an agreement to sell nineteen brands to Sazerac for a total of $550 million. Burberry upgraded to neutral at Intermonte Logista upgraded to neutral at Credit Suisse DSV upgraded to buy at Berenberg Danske Bank upgraded to buy at Kepler Cheuvreux Hikma downgraded to hold at Peel Hunt Panalpina downgraded to hold at Berenberg Richemont downgraded to outperform at Raymond James UniCredit downgraded to neutral at Intermonte IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
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