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MaxIG

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Blog Entries posted by MaxIG

  1. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 4 Mar 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 

     
    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.
     
    Special dividends this week
    UKX RIO LN 7/03/2019 Special Div 183.55 AS51 QUB AU 6/03/2019 Special Div 1.4286 AS51 RIO AU 7/03/2019 Special Div 483.8571 AS51 S32 AU 7/03/2019 Special Div 2.4286 RTY NHTC US 4/03/2019 Special Div 8 RTY BTU US 11/03/2019 Special Div 185
    As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements.
    How do dividend adjustments work? 
    This 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. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 23 Sept 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 

    Special Dividends         Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount UKX MRW LN 26/09/2019 Special Div 2 UKX HL/ LN 26/09/2019 Special Div 8.3 NKY 1808 JP 27/09/2019 Special Div 1000 - ESTIMATE NKY 1803 JP 27/09/2019 Special Div 800 - ESTIMATE XIN9I 601857 CH 24/09/2019 Special Div 0.777 SHSN300 601857 CH 24/09/2019 Special Div 0.777 HSI 27 HK 24/09/2019 Special Div 46 AEX RAND NA 27/09/2019 Special Div 111 FBMKLCI SIME MK 30/09/2019 Special Div 70 How do dividend adjustments work? 
    As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements.
     
    This 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. MaxIG
    New headlines to chase: The discourse in markets shifted early this week to where the next upside catalyst would come from. It needn't be substantial; just enough to fuel sentiment and attract buyers back into the market. In the last 24 hours, market participants received what they'd be yearning for: the combination of an in-principle deal in US Congress for border-security funding, along with the announcement that the US-China trade-truce deadline could be extended, has stoked bullish sentiment. These stories are more headlines than substance, however one thing traders ought to have heard ad nauseum recently is that, indeed, this is a headline driven market. So: for the last 12-18 hours in the financial world, markets have shown all the trappings of a renewed risk-on impulse.
    Short-term bullishness depends on Trump: It can be for some an uncomfortable thought: the key variable for both the US government funding and trade-was issues is the mercurial US President Donald Trump.
    The US President, it must be said, has outwardly advocated for a resolution to each concern. The worry for markets may be though whether Trump maintains his balanced temperament on the matters, and that there isn't an ulterior motive held by the President on either issue that could subvert the market's positivity. There isn't a clear timeline, other than those which have been imposed upon the President, to arrive at a decision regarding border funding or the trade-truce extension. Traders are taking bullish positions, but while doing so must surely be in a heightened state of vigilance, at least until firm validation for the rally arrives.
    Global growth concerns deferred: The activity at the margins driving price activity in financial markets overnight speaks of slightly diminished fears relating to the global growth slow down. It has to be said that the weakening growth outlook for the world economy is still hurtling like a freight train towards markets; the news last night simply increased hopes that perhaps there may be some tapping of the brakes when it comes to this phenomenon. Growth sensitive currencies were the major beneficiaries of last night's trade-headlines: the Australian Dollar, for one, is edging back to the 0.7100 handle. The US Dollar took a breather from its recent rally, as global bond yields climbed, and credit spreads narrowed – for the first time in several sessions. The confluence factors naturally gave a boost to stocks.
    Fear is falling, thanks to a friendlier Fed: Considering the balance of evidence, and the irrational, momentum chasing that pushed Wall Street to all-time highs in September 2018 may not be present right now. Fear is diminishing too: the VIX has fallen into the low 15s as of last night – a level also not seen since September 2018. If one were to infer a crude message from current market behaviour, it might be that maybe the Fed-engineered panic in Q4 2018 has been full remedied now. Of course, it was ultimately the Fed which fed to markets the medicine they were craving – the prospect of higher global rates and tighter financial conditions has evaporated. The strength in fundamentals is indeed waning, but appropriate conditions are in place for traders to take greater risks.

    US stocks recovery possesses substance: Wall Street is registering its best performance in several days on the back of the risk-on dynamic, though it's worth remarking volume has been below average and doesn't do much to validate the market's strength, just on an intraday basis. Market breadth conversely is portraying a broad willingness to jump into equities, with over 80 per cent of stocks higher for the S&P500 on the session -- at time of writing -- led by cyclical sectors and the high multiple tech stocks. What has been encouraging recently about US equities' recovery in 2019 is the substance behind it: the Russell 2000 (a deeper index made up of relatively smaller-cap stocks) is outperforming, and the SMART Money index suggests a market supported by buying from large institutional investors.
    ASX to be guided by global growth: As a trickle-down effect, the circumstances are favourable for Australian equities too, especially as our central bank joins the chorus of policymakers backing away from rate-hikes. Given the power of the RBA pales in comparison to that of the Fed, supportive monetary policy is eclipsed by the global growth outlook as the major determinant of the ASX’s direction. It does help in a meaningful way that market participants are receiving soothing words from central bankers, especially as our economy shows signs of slowing, as evidenced by yesterday’ weak home loan figures. The proof of what market participants see as the main risk to the Australian economy is in the price action, however: since the “Trump-trade-war-truce” news overnight, implied probability of an RBA rate cut in 2019 is once again back below 50%.
    ASX200 demonstrates will to power-on: The overnight lead has SPI futures pricing in a 27-point jump at the open for the ASX200. If realized, the index ought to challenge and likely break in early trade the resistance level at around 6100/05. From here, on a technical basis, the market meets a cluster of resistance, established during the period in September 2018 when the ASX traded range bound for the better part of a month. It’s been repeated frequently by the punditry that the market is overbought at these levels. Technically that appears true. But momentum is still in favour of the bulls, so for those with further upside in their sights, perhaps a break and close above 6100 this week could be the signal for some short-term consolidation, before the ASX200 builds strength for its next move higher.

    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
     
  4. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 25 Mar 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 

    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.
    Special dividends
    Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount UKX RBS LN 21/03/2019 Special Div 7.5 AS51 FLT AU 21/03/2019 Special Div 212.8571 HSI 27 HK 25/03/2019 Special Div 45 RTY JILL US 18/03/2019 Special Div 115 RTY WSBF US 20/03/2019 Special Div 50 As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements.
    How do dividend adjustments work? 
    This 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. MaxIG
    Around the globe, geopolitics dominates: Political spot fires have captured the attention of market participants. From Washington, to Hanoi, to Kashmir, to Caracas, to London: the ugly machinations of power have dominated the headlines. Only, despite fleeting action, the impact to market activity has seemingly been muted. A facile logic might suggest that it is because of the geopolitical uncertainty in the world that markets have traded so dull overnight. It would be too long a bow to draw, though: tremors can be seen in prices, but a global earthquake can’t be found. Not to diminish the events turning the world in the last 24-hours: they go well beyond the importance of markets. It’s simply just developed markets haven’t responded terribly much to them.

    In Washington: The most salacious news that had traders’ interest excited last night took place in the halls of US Congress. No, not the testimony of US Fed Chair Jerome Powell – though his words are of far greater import to markets. It was instead the unfolding Michael Cohen testimony, at which the disgraced lawyer has cast a series of accusations and aspersions toward US President Donald Trump, on issues ranging from Russian ties, electoral fraud and hush payments. On the face of what’s been said, the revelations are potentially monumental. However, although demonstrating signs of nervousness in the lead up to the testimony, as it unfolded, financial markets have seemingly shrugged off the possible implications of that event.
    In Hanoi: Is it a collective dismissal of Cohen’s testimony? It’s too hard call. One assumes that if there was a material chance that US President Trump could fact impeachment, traders would stand to attention. So far: they haven’t, so the roughest conclusion is that such an outcome is still considered unlikely. As the never-ending circus plays-out in Washington, US President Trump is of course half-the-world away in Vietnam, trying to employ his self-styled statesmanship to charm North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The end game is denuclearisation in the Korean Peninsula and the end of what is technically a multi-decade war. Again, despite all the pomp and ceremony, markets are behaving as though no breakthrough will happen in that matter this week, either.
    In Kashmir and in Caracas: Political posturing, and financial markets’ eye rolling, aside, there is a firm gaze on what is happening in both Venezuela, and the Indian-Pakistan border. At risk of conflating two all too complex geopolitical issues, markets are apparently taking note of the escalating tensions in those geographies. The necessary moral caveat:  the potential for human suffering in each conflict is the biggest issue by any measure. But for traders, the power-struggle in Caracas is being judged on its impact on oil markets, and the potential it could inflame tensions between the US, Russia and China; while the conflict in Kashmir is being monitored for the potential for an all-out war between two nuclear-armed nations.
    Back in Washington; and in London: It’s a tinderbox out there, but until it catches alight, markets en masse don’t appear too fussed. The geopolitical concerns pertain primarily to the trade-war and Brexit – the perpetual bugbears. The trade-war narrative overnight centred on a statement by Robert Lighthizer that America is pursuing “significant structural changes” to China’s economy. It’s contestable what impact that statement had on markets. The Brexit narrative did manifest in markets, however: falling into lock step with the UK on the issue, the European Union stated its amenable to extending Brexit if necessary. The Cable leapt to 8-month highs, Gilt Yields rallied across the curve, and a much better than 50/50 chance is being priced in the BOE will hike rates this year.
    Bonds fall; oil rallies: The market-friendly Brexit news looks as though it shared its benefits across national economies. German Bund yields climbed considerably, as did US Treasury yields. The yield on the US 10 Year note touched 2.70 per cent – something of a relief rally. Global equities were more reticent, with the major European and North American indices trading generally in the red. Important to note: the selling in bond markets could perhaps also reflect fundamentally altered inflation expectations, over and above growth optimism. Oil prices leapt overnight after US inventory data showed a much larger than expected drawdown in reserves, leading to US 5 Year Breakevens hitting 1.87 per cent – a level not registered since the middle of November last year.

    Australia: While inevitably influenced by Wall Street’s limp-lead, and the political ructions evolving across the planet, SPI Futures are indicating an Australian share market that is marching to its own beat once more. On that contract: the ASX200 ought to open roughly 9 points higher this morning, perhaps due to the jump in oil and a leg-up in iron ore prices. The day’s trade might find itself focused on the macro-outlook for the Australian economy, and the reactions in ACGBs, the AUD and pricing for RBA rate cuts: local Capex figures will be delivered at 11:30AM this morning – and are taking on greater significance after yesterday’s Construction numbers greatly missed economist consensus forecasts.
    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
  6. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 5 Nov 2018. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 

     
    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.
    Special dividends this week
    Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount RTY COLB US 6/11/2018 Special Div 14 RTY HFWA US 6/11/2018 Special Div 10 RTY MPX US 8/10/2018 Special Div 10 RTY NHTC US 9/11/2018 Special Div 18 SPX ROL US 8/11/2018 Special Div 14  
    How do dividend adjustments work? 
    As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements.
    This 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. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 22 April 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 

    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.
    Special dividends         Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount AS51 SUN AU 1/04/2019 Special Div 11.4286 AS51 ABC AU 2/04/2019 Special Div 5.7143 As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements.
    How do dividend adjustments work? 
    This 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. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 29 April 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 
     

    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.
    Special dividends
    Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount UKX CRDA LN 29/04/2019 Special Div 115 STI CIT SP 30/04/2019 Special Div 6 SIMSCI CIT SP 30/04/2019 Special Div 6 RTY HCC US 3/05/2019 Special Div 441.6183515 How do dividend adjustments work? 
    This 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. MaxIG
    The tariffs get hiked: The latest round of trade talks didn’t have the desired outcome. But nevertheless, the always forward-looking equity market closed last week on something of a high-note. It was a choppy day’s trade in Asia as the news filtered through that an agreement between the US and China in Washington wouldn’t be reached. Ultimately though, and just like the last time tariffs were hiked, financial markets handled the news with aplomb. The simplest explanation for why there wasn’t a huge reaction financial markets is roughly this: it “was buy the news and sell the fact” with markets having already discounted a trade-war escalation.
    Markets (probably) saw it coming: It’s an unhelpful cliché, that one. However, market-moves, ex-post or not, are often chalked up to such a dynamic. It’s one of those helpful mental models to make sense of the madness of financial markets day-to-day. Regardless, it’s ostensibly what financial markets have done in this instance; giving solace to the bulls and bolstering risk-appetite. Fundamentally, the global equity map was a rich-shade of green after the end of Friday’s trade. The S&P500, for one, closed 0.37 per cent higher, CSI300 lifted a remarkable 3.63 per cent, and SPI Futures are indicating a 29 point jump this morning.

    The future feels more uncertain: The question moves today to: where to from here? From a pure fundamentalists point of view, those folks probably just wait to see how new trade-barriers show up in the hard-data. That one is probably going to be a slow-burn. Recall, after the last round of tariffs were implemented, it took the better part of a quarter for them to show in the data, and vaguely reflect in market fundamentals. For the short-term sentiment watchers, an answer to that overriding question will be more immediate, however perhaps more gradual in its unfolding. Afterall, this is a headline driven market, and those headlines are still being produced.
    Trade will remain “headline-driven”: Hence, on the headline front, what was received over the weekend – after the market had closed – was probably not all that favourable for risk-sentiment. While Friday’s trade was buoyed by news that trade-talks were continuing and were “constructive”; trade at the very early stages of this week is being stifled by the harsh rhetoric from the Trump administration, towards the Chinese, over the weekend. Upping his binary “winner-and-losers” language, news has filtered through the wires that the US has delivered China an ultimatum: make-a-deal, or tariffs get applied to all Chinese goods going into the US in a month’s time.

    Higher trade-barriers to stifle global growth: The reliability of this story is somewhat questionable. Regardless, if tariffs are applied to all goods going into the US from China, and retaliatory tariffs are proportionately applied to all goods going into China from the US, then the global economy will almost certainly suffer. Speculation now in financial markets will probably centre in a big-way on trying to quantify the impact of this dynamic. This will take some time to actually materialize. But you can bet the quants and other data crunchers of the world will be adjusting their models to try and predict their impact now.
    US-China conflict possibly the “new-normal”: For traders not-so resource rich, the matter becomes less about predicting the numbers, and more about getting a rational grasp on whether the trade-war will continue to escalate. Given the current circumstances, a bitter spoonful of pessimism may well be the conclusion. That’s because the trade-war, as has been repeated ad nauseum in the punditry, is not an economic issue, but a strategic one. To borrow from the classics, it’s a case of Thucydides-trap. China does not wish to compromise its inexorable rise; while the US is trying to force China to rise within the restrictive confines of the world-order it, itself created.
    The consequences of this new order: The intractability of such an issue means that, at the very least intellectually, a true resolution to the trade-war in the short-term in unlikely. Tariffs may come and go, but financial markets will have to deal with a world in the future where its two biggest economies are “at each other’s throats”. This new reality will probably be internalized by markets, which will move-on over time, and trade according to the market-fundamentals, determined by economic and corporate strength. However, as the economic cycle continues towards its end, the interest will be in how weaker global-trade steepens its descent, and compromises the markets’ fundamentals.
    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
  10. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 20 May 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 

    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.
    Special Dividends         Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount UKX MRW LN 23/05/2019 Special Div 4 AS51 FMG AU 22/05/2019 Special Div 85.7143 HSI 1299 HK 21/05/2019 Special Div 9.5 SX5E ENGI FP 21/05/2019 Special Div 38 CAC ENGI FP 21/05/2019 Special Div 38 How do dividend adjustments work? 
    This 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. MaxIG
    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
    Inverted Yield Curves: There’ll probably be a lot of talk about “inverted yield curves” and “recessions” today. For some, reading such headlines will come as a shock. Perhaps even a cause of anxiety. It’s wise to understand why such commentary has emerged – and what that may imply. The price action in US Treasuries has been quite dramatic in the past 24-hours: the (what ought to be) familiar themes regarding a looming global economic slow-down, and the prospect of softer future US inflation has seen traders cut their predictions of future rates hikes from the US Fed. The short-end of the yield curve – the end which is more exposed to the near-term actions of the Fed – has held up well; but it’s the middle-to-end of the curve – the part controlled very much by traders’ expectations about future growth and inflation – that is experiencing the greatest duress.

    What it all means: In short: traders are anticipating an imminent end to the Fed’s hiking cycle, and they are now trying to approximate when the Fed may cut rates again.  This is where the talk of recession starts to pop-up. As is easy enough to grasp, the Fed would need to cut rates in the event that the economy requires stimulatory support from monetary policy. Such circumstances would emerge if the economy began to slip into something resembling a recession. Hence, when yields at some point in the curve invert, it’s a reflection of traders collectively estimating that in the near-enough future, interest rates will be lower than what they are (around about) now, because the economy will enter into a period of significant weakness to require a rate cut from the Fed.
    No reason to panic (yet): It sounds quite ominous when the mechanics are explained. It’s doubly as bad when one considers the last time the US went into recession, it was the GFC. We all have memories of how dire that stage of history was. However, any fears elicited by talks of recession and everything that comes with it must be moderated by some counterbalancing arguments. Indeed, an inverted yield curve has portended the last 9 out 11 US recessions, but the time-lag between yield-curve-inversion and a recession should be noted. After an inversion of the US 2 Year Treasury note and the 10 Year Treasury note (the spread on these two assets being the most popular barometer for the phenomenon) it’s not for another 12-18 months that a recession is realized.

    US growth is solid (for now): So: while financial markets will be whipped into a frenzy about what is going on – especially as safe-haven assets like US bonds are gobbled-up as risk appetite wanes – the effects on the “real” economy are unlikely to manifest in the all-too immediate future. And justifiably so: global growth is waning, and it is not as synchronized as it was in 2017, but at least in the US, economic indicators remain relatively strong. The labour market, which is in focus this week with Non-Farm Payrolls figures released on Friday, is still very tight, leading to gradual wages growth; quarter-on-quarter GDP is still around 3-and-a-half per cent; and although business conditions are cooling, Monday’s release of US Manufacturing PMI still posted a much better than forecast result.
    What triggered the panic: It begs the question what precipitated this bearishness overnight. In financial markets, an underlying dynamic – such as that which has been experienced in the last 24 hours – may well be present, but it requires a catalyst to ignite it into full motion. Last night’s jitters, in a macro-sense, were brought- about by a slew of disappointing news. The post-G20 rally has been faded, as traders question the longevity and substance behind the so-called deal between the US-China, after several top White House advisers failed to substantiate what outcomes have been agreed upon between the two trade-waring nations. The trade related pessimism was exacerbated by renewed concerns regarding Brexit, and the apparent inevitability of an economically disruptive “hard-Brexit” outcome.
    Risk-off, havens-on: A rush to safety, and a subsequent liquidating of positions in riskier assets, has occurred. Touching again on US Treasuries: the yield on the benchmark 10 Year note has plunged to 2.91 per cent, and on the 2 Year note it has dipped to 2.80 per cent, taking the spread there to a narrow 11 points. Equities have been slaughtered, unwinding a considerable amount of last week’s gains: the Dow Jones is off 2.73 per cent, the S&P500 is off 2.3 per cent, and the NASDAQ is off 3.3 per cent (with an hour remaining in trade). The USD has climbed on its haven appeal, as has the Japanese Yen, which is back into the 112-handle, though gold has also rallied, despite the stronger greenback, to $US1238 per ounce. While in other commodities, copper is down 1.8 per cent, and oil is flat (this, leading into Thursday’s OPEC meeting).
    Australia today: SPI futures are predicting another punishing day for the ASX200, with that contract at time of writing indicating a 52-point fall for the local index. The heavy hitting financials and materials sectors will probably struggle today: the former due to this tumble in bond yields, the latter as traders unwind the growth optimism piqued by the weekend’s G20 meeting. In line with overseas markets, defensive sectors could be the play today, though a day similar to yesterday which saw 10 out of 11 sectors in the red on 17.5 per cent breadth shouldn’t be discounted.
    It’s GDP day today, and that should be watched closely, especially after the RBA at its meeting yesterday talked up the growth prospects of the Australian economy. Whatever the result the numbers produce – forecasts are for annualized growth at 3.3 per cent – it will unlikely shift Australian equities. The interest will be on the Australian Dollar and interest rate markets – the A-Dollar fell below 0.7350 again last night as risk-proxies were dumped – however the likelihood rates traders will bring forward their RBA-hike expectations in from 2020 is rather slim.

  12. MaxIG
    Global political economy in focus: International diplomacy, politics and global trade are at centre of attention to begin the new week. Indeed, that’s in part due to the corporate and economic calendar appearing relatively lighter, being the final week of the month; as well as the fact the UK and US are off on public holidays on Monday. But even in the absence of other hard-hitting, high impact news, the confluence of politics-related headlines merits attention in their own right. And it spans the globe: Trump is talking trade in Japan, the Europeans are voting in their Parliamentary elections, and the UK is now searching for a new Prime Minister.
    Markets watching for surprises: The overarching narrative hasn’t fundamentally changed. Generally speaking, a level of bearishness characterizes market activity, as the US-China trade war continues to rattle nerves. Nevertheless, global politics and international relations is bringing-about some shifting gears within the broader economic machine. On balance, there’s been little fall-out from the handful of political events unfolding across the globe. If anything, though not game-changing, they’ve collectively proven to be a net-positive for market sentiment. Of course, this could turn-around rapidly: traders ought to be used to expecting the unexpected by now. Hence, the least that can be said is “so-far”, so good.
    The future of Europe in question: European Parliamentary elections was where most interest lay over the week. For market participants, the vote is being viewed, and has been positioned for, through the lens that this election is a measure of public-sentiment towards the European Union as a political structure. Voting is in the process of wrapping-up currently, but from the available early indicators, the outcome of the poll looks to be in favour of pro-European parties. It must be said, there seems to be a sustained growth in Euro-sceptic parties. However, for the time being, such anti-establishment forces remain in the minority, and look broadly contained.
    Euro-sceptic parties grow, but stay in minority: Whether that proves to be a good thing or not is a value judgement. Of even greater import: whether, in the long-term, the continuation of the status quo is desirable is a more profound issue. In the here and now though, fewer uncertainties within the European political system will inevitably be welcomed by investment markets. This is especially so given Europe’s precarious economic position. European growth is anaemic, in the truest possible way, with policymakers possessing very few options in terms of monetary and fiscal policy. Europe’s problems won’t disappear with this election result, but at least it keeps one risk at bay for now.

    Leadership tussle begins in the UK: Across the English Channel, and the UK is facing its own political challenges. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has tended her resignation, and the jostling now begins for the Conservative Party leadership. In what will probably be another little test of liberal internationalism, market participants are watching the Tory leadership contest closely, in order to judge every candidates credentials and positions on Brexit. It’s very early days, however Boris Johnson is emerging as the favourite to achieve his long-held ambition to wrest the party’s leadership. And markets aren’t taking kindly too that, given the man’s “hard-Brexit” sympathies, and general populist-streak.
    Trump in Japan: For the next 24 hours, the interest of market participants will turn to US President Trump’s visit to Japan, as he chats trade and regional security. Japanese Prime Minister Abe and his team are apparently on the charm-offensive with Trump – treating him to games of golf, and all the other spoils of high-diplomacy. At-the-moment, risk-appetite is dwindling in financial markets, as the trade-war escalates and the White House hurls threats to its trading partners about imposing higher trade barriers. Market action will be in some-way determined by what commentary comes from Trump after this little summit, and whether he cools his anti-trade rhetoric.
    The lead-in for Australian markets: Despite the heightened nervousness brought about geopolitics, price action was relatively limited, and market activity was quite low, on Friday. The S&P500 edged modestly higher, while US bond yields lifted slightly. SPI Futures are indicating a follow through of this sentiment, pointing to a narrow, two-point drop in the ASX200 this morning. The AUD is back into the 0.6900 handle too, courtesy of a weaker greenback, after US Cored Durable Goods orders data disappointed on Friday – and comes despite a major drop in Australian bond yields, which saw the 10 Year note’s yield fall to par with the current cash rate of 1.50 per cent.

    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
  13. MaxIG
    US Retail Sales capped-off last week: The climax of last week’s trade was Friday night’s US Retail Sales data release. As is well known, sentiment in the market centres around concern for the state of the global economy. As the biggest component, of the world’s biggest economy, US consumption data was hotly awaited to test the thesis that the global economy is winding down for another cycle. As it turns out: right now, those fears are very slightly exaggerated, if the US Retail Sales data was anything to go-by. Core Retail Sales came-in bang on expectations at 0.5%, taking the annualized figure to around 3.2 per cent.
    Fed-cut expectations unwound slightly: Solid-enough US Retail Sales data numbers tempered some of the enthusiasm for rate cuts from the US Fed. To be clear: imminent US rate cuts are still in the market. In fact, 25 basis-points of cuts remain implied for July’s Fed-meeting. However, as it pertains to this week’s meeting, as well as the aggressiveness of future policy intervention from the Fed, traders unwound some of their rate-cut bets in the market. US Treasury yields climbed as a consequence on Friday, stifling the rally in global sovereign debt, with the yield on 2 Year US Treasuries, in particular, jumping by as much as 7 points.
    Bond yields climb, and stocks dip: The marginal pricing-out of Fed-intervention in the US economy was a negative for US stocks during Friday’s trade. Seemingly, this was particularly true for high-multiple stocks in the S&P500, like US-tech, which lead the overall market lower. As is widely known, US equities’ strong performance year-to-date has been largely attributable to a progressive increase in rate-cut expectations from the Fed. Though the overall trend remains intact – that is, rate-cuts are coming from the Fed in the near-enough future – Friday’s US Retail Sales numbers somewhat curbed the excitement for imminent, easier monetary policy-conditions, and its consequent benefit for US risk assets.
    US Dollar rallies across the board: A shift higher in US rates markets catalysed a spike in the US Dollar. The Dollar Index climbed 0.64 per cent on Friday, underpinned primarily by a tumble in the EUR/USD, which fell into the low 112.00 handle following the release. The Sterling also felt the pinch, plunging into the 1.25 handle for the first time since December last year, unaided by the ongoing uncertainty associated with the UK’s ruling Tory party’s leadership contest. While the Japanese Yen, as the final piece of the global currency market’s big-quartet, also softened against the Greenback – though it’s still finding buyers amidst continued global economic uncertainty.

    Australian Dollar tests new lows: This dynamic in global currency markets weighed heavily on the Australian Dollar, in particular. The AUD/USD touched a new-low on Friday, trading at levels not experienced since January’s notorious FX-market “flash-crash”. The all-important yield differentials between US Treasuries and Australian Commonwealth Government bonds crept wider, with the spread between the comparable 2-year bonds expanding to 85 points. The local unit now hangs precariously above a level of price-support in the market around 0.6865, which has been tested on 4 separate occasions in the last month. It sets-up a big week for the currency, ahead of the release of tomorrow’ RBA minutes release, and Thursday’s Fed-meeting.
    Chinese data disappoints: Of course, the Australian Dollar remain sensitive to the global growth outlook, on top of these two events – especially as it pertains to the Chinese economic narrative. Traders were handed a touch of information on the subject Friday, with the release of the Middle Kingdom’s monthly data-dump. What was revealed was, at best, a mixed picture: Fixed Asset Investment numbers missed, as did Industrial Production data; but Retail Sales beat, and joblessness held steady. For markets, the data was vapid – not good enough to ameliorate the economic outlook, but not bad enough to warrant more economic stimulus – resulting in a dip in Chinese indices.

     
  14. MaxIG
    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
    2018 reaches a climax this week: It’s effectively the last serious trading week of the year, and the economic calendar reflects that. Indeed, there’ll be a handful of days between Christmas and New Years to keep across, but with little news and thin trade, it’s tough to imagine anything coming out of them. The markets are still ailing, with the bears firmly in control of price action. There’s so many risk-events coming up this week, traders with a bearish bias are surely salivating. They did well to knock-off US equities in the final round of last week: the S&P500’s 1.9 per cent loss on Friday ensured another down-week for Wall Street. How this year is remembered and how next year will begin will in no small way be revealed in the next 5 days: if you’re a financial markets buff, it’s exciting stuff.

    Economic data: Concerns about future global economic growth tightened its grip on market participants last week. A slew of fundamental data was released across numerous geographies on Friday, and most of it was quite underwhelming. European PMIs undershot expectations, probably attributable in a big way to the impact of being caught in the middle of several domestic political crises and the US-China trade war. US Retail Sales data printed very slightly above expectations, to the relief of many, showing that the almighty US consumer is holding up well – at least for the time being. But it was a very soft set of Chinese numbers that had the pessimists tattling: the spate of economic indicators released out of China on Friday afternoon proved once more it’s an economy that is slowing down – and hardly in a negligible way.
    Recession chatter: Market commentary is continually focused on what prospect exists of a looming US recession. Financial markets, as distorted as they have become, do not necessarily possess strong predictive power of economic slow-downs. Nevertheless, your pundits and punters have taken a significant preoccupation with whether 2019 will contain a global recession. The signs are there, at least in some intuitive way. A google trends search on the term recession has spiked to its highest point 5 years, for one. Bond markets are still flashing amber signals: the yield curve is inverting, and US break evens are predicting lower inflation. Equities are still moving into correction mode, demonstrating early signs of a possible bear market. Credit spreads are trending wider, especially in junk bonds, as traders fret about the US corporate debt load. And commodities prices are falling overall, with even oil still suffering, on the belief that we are entering a period of lower global demand.

    Economic data: Concerns about future global economic growth tightened its grip on market participants last week. A slew of fundamental data was released across numerous geographies on Friday, and most of it was quite underwhelming. European PMIs undershot expectations, probably attributable in a big way to the impact of being caught in the middle of several domestic political crises and the US-China trade war. US Retail Sales data printed very slightly above expectations, to the relief of many, showing that the almighty US consumer is holding up well – at least for the time being. But it was a very soft set of Chinese numbers that had the pessimists tattling: the spate of economic indicators released out of China on Friday afternoon proved once more it’s an economy that is slowing down – and hardly in a negligible way.
    Recession chatter: Market commentary is continually focused on what prospect exists of a looming US recession. Financial markets, as distorted as they have become, do not necessarily possess strong predictive power of economic slow-downs. Nevertheless, your pundits and punters have taken a significant preoccupation with whether 2019 will contain a global recession. The signs are there, at least in some intuitive way. A google trends search on the term recession has spiked to its highest point 5 years, for one. Bond markets are still flashing amber signals: the yield curve is inverting, and US break evens are predicting lower inflation. Equities are still moving into correction mode, demonstrating early signs of a possible bear market. Credit spreads are trending wider, especially in junk bonds, as traders fret about the US corporate debt load. And commodities prices are falling overall, with even oil still suffering, on the belief that we are entering a period of lower global demand.

    ASX in the day ahead: There are signs a general risk aversion is clouding the ASX to begin the week. SPI futures are pricing a 32-point drop for the Australian market this morning, which if realized will take ASX200 index through last Tuesday’s closing price at 5576. There has been the tendency for the market to overshoot what’s been implied on the futures contract of late, as fear and volatility galvanizes the sellers in the market. This being so, a new test of last week’s low of 5549 could emerge today, opening-up the possibility for the market to register a fresh two-year low. On balance, the day ahead looks as though it may belong to the bears, with perhaps the best way to judge the session’s trade by assessing the conviction behind the selling. Although it appears the less likely outcome, a bounce today and hold above 5600 would signify demonstrable resilience in the market.

     
     
  15. MaxIG
    Fed on tap: It’s a commentary written on the fly this morning, as developments out of this morning’s US Federal Reserve meeting are being digested by markets. The Fed has hiked rates just as they were expected to do, with market participants now trawling through the fine print in the Fed’s commentary. We were expecting a “dovish hike”; what we got looks like a “less-dovish than-expected-hike”. The dot plots were revised as presumed: the Fed has told the markets that it expects interest rates to be lifted twice in 2019, rather than the three-times implied in the September dot-plots. It also downgraded its growth expectations and hinted unemployment is likely to pick up in the medium term. Overall, though, at first glance this looks like a Fed reasonably content with their policy position, as well as the position of the US economy.

    First responders: Price action in markets have been interesting. The message being delivered by the Fed is somewhat curious. Initial judgements are that they’ve struck quite an effective tone, albeit one that was probably different to that which was implied in market pricing prior to the event. US stocks are paring their gains for the day; volume has returned to Wall Street, after being below its average for most of the session last night. The NASDAQ is in the red presently: momentum stocks (read: information technology firms) are being hurt by the “less-dovish” Fed. Investors don’t want to buy into growth, it would seem. The intraday trend is pointing to a down day for Wall Street, though naturally that could turn in the next hour-and-a-half.
    Rates markets: The VIX is down currently, which is a good early indicator that markets are less-uncertain after the Fed’s announcement. That’s not always guaranteed and is liable to change today; one assumes policy makers would be pleased with that outcome. Interest rate markets, as the data presents itself in the Bloomberg World Interest Rate Probability data, aren’t presenting signs of adjustment yet. That indicator still implies only a modest 14 basis points of hikes into 2019 from the Fed – though it is showing a greater chance that the central bank will stop or even reverse course in 2020. Arguably, the most interesting price action has transpired in US breakeven inflation rates: the 5 Year indicator has dropped to imply future inflation of just below 1.6 per cent – well below the Fed’s target level of 2.00 per cent.

    Powell Press Conference: Fed Chairperson has delivered his commentary and is taking questions from the press. Markets are reacting quite well to what he is saying but most asset classes are still swinging around a lot. The “data-dependant” line is being touted once again, suggesting a flexibility to future policy decision. The dot-plots too, it has been stated several times, is not a consensus estimate or guideline and is subject to revision. Traders ought to take comfort from that notion: if things get uglier, for whatever reason, the Fed will provide some sort of a back stop – a low-premium Powell-put, perhaps. However, a positive – a less dovish, more hawkish – tone has been delivered. Powell is waving away some of the recent financial market volatility, despite acknowledging that financial conditions are less accommodative for economic growth.
    Bonds and currencies: Bond and currency markets have been the locus of activity, as one would assume. Sentiment is still shifting in response to new information, though some insights into the collective consciousness of traders can be inferred. The US Dollar is turning higher for the day, climbing toward 97 according to the US Dollar index. The greenback is performing best against risk and growth sensitive currencies like the Australian Dollar: our currency has been dumped, tumbling over 1 per cent to sit just above 0.7100, at present. Bonds are rallying across the board and all the way across the curve. US Treasuries are of course leading the drive: there is the feeling that risk aversion is taking hold now. Equities are selling-off: one criticism popping up now is the Fed is not taking financial market volatility seriously-enough.
    US Treasury yields: A cursory analysis of the yield curve is presenting some interesting information, too: the yield on rate sensitive US 2 Year note has fallen by 2 points at time of writing, but the US 10 Year note has fallen by an even greater 5. The spread between those two assets has narrowed to 13 points. Traders are suggesting, as they had been at stages in the lead up to this Fed meeting, it expects the Fed to keep tightening rates, even in the face of lower inflation and growth prospects. If anything is going to spark fear and further volatility today, it’s probably going to be based on that point. An imminent-enough economic slow-down is upon us, it is being implied, however the Fed will likely stick to its strategy of restricting financial conditions by lifting interest rates.

    The aftermath: The event is more-or-less over now: all the official information is out-there, and Powell has delivered his press conference. Now traders trade and speculate on what has been communicated to the market. After holding up well enough initially, US equities are being smashed and futures markets are pricing in a sell-off across both European and Asia markets. Looking at the market-map of the S&P500, it’s all a sea of red now, with just over half an hour left in trade. That index is clambering to hold onto the 2500 handle, while the Dow Jones has just registered a new year-to-date, intra-day-low. After all the formalities, market participants are behaving none-too-happy with what they have received this morning: stocks are off on volumes that have gone through the roof, credit spreads have widened, and safe-havens are being sought out.

    ASX today: Though it has suffered in the global equity sell-off, the ASX200 has held-up rather well of last, at least when compared to its global peers. SPI Futures have swung heavily this morning, vacillating all in the time it takes to type a sentence in a range between 7-to-25-points. Yesterday was a soft day for Australian shares as traders positioned for this morning’s Fed; the only bright spot for the session was the announcement from APRA it was going to lift lending restrictions on investor only loans. That fact gave the real estate sector, the banks and the consumer staples space a boost. What’s in store for the day ahead is hard to pick for a trader right now: the markets are shifting so rapidly. Anything more than a flat day for Aussie shares would be surprising. IG is pricing the ASX at 5560 as of 7.45AM, with the recent intra-day low of 5551 the level to watch today.
  16. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 12th Oct 2020. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video.



    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account.
    Special Dividends
    Index
    Bloomberg Code
    Effective Date
    Summary
    Dividend Amount
    HSI
    386 HK
    14/10/2020
    Special Div
    7
    HSCEI
    386 HK
    14/10/2020
    Special Div
    7
    RTY
    BCC US
    14/10/2020
    Special Div
    160
               
               
    How do dividend adjustments work? 
    This 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.
  17. MaxIG
    Wall Street clocks new highs: Wall Street achieved a milestone overnight: it registered an all-time closing high. It in some way punctuates one of the more bemusing runs in US equities, following (what felt like) the near-cataclysmic market correction at the end of 2018. The S&P500 closed at 2933 this morning – a mere 10 points from that index’s all-time intraday high. As had been expected, the catalyst for US stocks’ latest burst higher came directly from US reporting season. A series of companies, including the likes of Coca-Cola, Twitter and Procter and Gamble, beat analysts’ expectations, inspiring hope that the feared “earnings recession” isn’t confronting the market after all.
    Can the good times last? The natural question to ask in these circumstances is: how far further can this run? This is especially pertinent give that the last two occasions Wall Street hit record levels, it was followed by major market corrections. A familiar point too: the previous market pullbacks were characterized by the evacuation of momentum chasers from the market, after US indices began to test “overbought” levels, somewhat like they are beginning to do now. The growth and earnings outlook then, as compared to what it is currently, was also much more favourable, giving credence to the notion that this market isn’t being supported by strong enough fundamentals.
    Valuations are (relatively) favourable: Of course, it’s impossible to predict these things with any certainty; however, for US equity bulls, confidence can be taken from a few facts. The first, is that that valuations aren’t looking quite as stretched as they were in February 2018 and October 2018 when the last two corrections hit. As of today’s close, the S&P500’s price-to-earnings ratio of 19:1 is markedly below the 24:1 and 21:1 that defined those two market-corrections. Furthermore, yields are still attracting flows into stocks over other asset classes, with the S&P500 still boasting a relatively attractive 1.89 per cent yield overall.

    The core risk missing this time: As might be inferred from these statistics, the key risk absent now as compared to when the S&P500 hit its last record highs is the prospect of interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve. One might even suggest that the cause of and solution to Wall Street’s volatility has been the Fed. Recall: the February 2018 market correction was sparked by a surprise increase in US wage growth that forced bond markets to price in the greater prospect of Fed rate hikes; and the October 2018 market correction came subsequent to Fed-Chair Jerome Powell’s now infamous “a long way from neutral (interest rates)” comments.
    The Fed unlikely to remove the punchbowl: It was the unwinding, if not flat-out reversal of the Fed’s policy bias, that inspired the most recent ascent to all-time highs for the S&P500. And as opposed to the corrections of 2018, the chances that the Fed will “pull away the punch bowl” as this party is getting started is quite low. Instead, the muted inflation outlook, combined with economic and policy related realities, has led market participants to bet that the next move in US interest rates will be a cut. Hence, financial conditions are likely to be supportive of risks assets, with the key now ongoing economic, and corporate earnings growth.
    ASX to join the party? In light of Wall Street’s quick-sip of euphoria, SPI Futures are suggesting that the ASX200 will back up yesterday’s strong showing and add around 20 points at today’s open. Though missing true volume through the market, the ASX demonstrated signs of robustness during Tuesday’s session, with breadth solid at 76 per cent, every sector in the green, and the major energy, mining and financials stocks all adding substantially to the index. It was enough to push the ASX200 into and beyond the 6300 level, and clock highs not witnessed for Australian stocks since September 2018.

    Event risk centres on Australia today: A few supportive inter-market variables have underwritten the strength of Australian stocks this week: a tumble in the Australian Dollar, and Australian Government Bond yields. Arguably, it's in anticipation for today's headline event-risk that this has been so: quarterly local CPI figures. Though not as significant as labour market data to the RBA, the inflation numbers will offer some insight into the RBA's potential next move. Australian inflation, as it has been globally, has been stubbornly low. A matching or missing of today's 1.5 per cent estimate for CPI only adds weight to the idea the RBA's next move will be a cut.
    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
  18. MaxIG
    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
    Overnight bounce: A bounce in equities has finally arrived, unwinding some of the week’s heavy losses. As it currently stands, the NASDAQ – ground zero for much of the recent market correction – is leading the pack, up 1-and-a-half per cent for the day, followed by the S&P, which is up 0.8 per cent, and the Dow Jones, which is up 0.65 per cent. Volumes are down generally speaking, so the recovery today lacks bite – though the Thanksgiving holiday in the US may somewhat be behind this, meaning an apparent lack of conviction in this relief rally could be explained away. Meaningful price action in other areas of the market that gives a solid read on the current psychology of traders is absent: US Treasuries have been comparatively inactive, with yields remaining contained across the curve, and the US Dollar is slightly lower, without demonstrating remarkable activity itself.

    Risk assets: Certain assets have benefitted from the lull in panic-selling. To preface: the VIX has receded to a reading of 20, from highs around 23 yesterday. In currency land, the Australian Dollar and New Zealand Dollar, as risk proxies, have ticked higher to 0.7265 and 0.6795. Obviously, the reduced anxiety amongst traders has meant the converse is true for haven currencies like the Japanese Yen, which is trading above 113 today. The Euro and Pound remain in the 1.13 and 1.27 handle respectively, most unmoved by the day’s sentiment. While credit spreads, which have blown out recently as risk-sentiment evaporated, have finally come-in. To counter the notion of complete risk-off: Gold has caught a bid, to trade at $US1227, or thereabouts, with its rally attributable largely to a modestly weaker greenback.
    Global indices: But overall, risk appetite has been ever so slightly whetted, even if it is only temporary. European equity indices were well into the green, aided by a skerrick of positivity generated by good news relating to the Italian budget crisis. The DAX was up 1.61 per cent and the FTSE added1.47 per cent, shaking-off the mixed lead from Asia, which saw the Hang Seng up 0.51 per cent and the CSI300 up 0.25 per cent, but the Nikkei down 0.35 per cent and the ASX200 down 0.51 per cent. A bounce in commodity prices has fed into and supported the solid sentiment in equities, especially as it relates to oil, which rallied off its lows to trade just below $US54 in WTI terms and hold within the mid-$US63 handle in Brent Crude terms.
    Slow news day: If this all sounds dry, it’s because that in the context of the volatility experienced in the past week – if not almost 2-months – it very much is. Little has catalysed the overnight bounce. The major themes are still hovering about, and the questions implied by them have barely been answered. The big data release overnight – in fact, it’s probably the biggest for the week – was US Core Durable Goods numbers, and they disappointed. That release, very marginally, added to the chorus of pundits suggesting that the US Federal Reserve’s hiking path may be a little flatter than recently thought. As far as what can be inferred from the data, the US economy is cooling off, implying the “data dependent” Fed will lack the reason to aggressively hike interest rates.
    Fed-watch: A lot of these matters relating to the Fed will be clarified when a slew of board members speak next week. The markets attitude though is simpler to read: Fed Funds futures have reduced their bets on the number of rate hikes from that central bank to 2 and a bit from here. December’s telegraphed hike is being priced again at a 75 per cent chance, but after, if traders are a good barometer, rates in 2019 are looking very flat. A more dovish Fed, in the absence of developments in other issues like the Trade War or Brexit, is what is aiding the staunching of risk-off sentiment. It opens the risk now that markets could be all too wrong, and a spike in volatility will arrive if traders were to once again adjust expectations.

    A softer outlook: But with the volatility we’ve seen in markets, corporate earnings petering out, and economic growth cooling, the assumption of a more reserved Fed isn’t outlandish. It perhaps reflects the broader risks in the markets and economy too: the Trade War is ongoing, Brexit is falling apart, China is slowing, oil is tumbling, and Italy’s fiscal situation could blow up any day. Given such a landscape, an inevitable pull back by the Fed, timed with lower activity in financial markets, is very understandable – the game of chicken being played by markets and the Fed may have been won by the former. It could all turn on a dime very quickly of course, but as it stands now, the current environment is leading market participants to the conclusion that a period of soft growth, lower earnings growth and a more neutral Fed is upon us.
    ASX200: So: as it all related to the Australian share market in the here and now: our bounce today, according to SPI futures, will begin with an approximately 25 point jump at the open. Yesterday’s performance was naturally poor, but some solace can be taken in the fact the market bounced off the 5600-support level. The edging higher throughout the day’s trade was helped by a solid run from CSL, which rallied after Morningstar upgraded that company’s stock to “buy”. The banks also experienced some buying; however, breadth was very low, revealing the lack of conviction in yesterday’s modest upward swing. Today ought to see a broad pick-up, in sympathy with Wall Street’s trade: meaningful technical levels within reach on the daily chart are hard to find, but maybe the barometer is how closely a track towards the 5700 can be established.

     
  19. MaxIG
    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
    A loaded menu: If this week in financial markets is a buffet of information, then yesterday’s session tasted like the entrée. The themes that were predicted to define this week’s trade all showed-up in one form or another, hinting at bigger things to come. US President Trump added heat to the trade war, then spiced up the Brexit debate; a speech from US Federal Reserve Vice President Richard Clarida had traders questioning how many Fed hike’s markets have baked-in; another day of plunging  oil prices stirred up fears regarding corporate credit; and overcooked tech-stocks fluctuated, with the key ingredient there the wobbles in Apple Inc.’s share price. The mixture of stories blended through the market is just a sample of what could be in store for the rest of the week, with traders now at the edge of their seat and hungry for more answers.
    Trump and the Trade War: Okay – enough of the cheesy food metaphors (sorry, last one). What we were delivered in the last 24 hours is very important and establishes the firm possibility of spikes in volatility over the next seven days. US President Trump, for one, hogged the airwaves – and he doesn’t seem like a happy camper. After the close of Monday’s North American session, President Trump fired the first broadside at his Chinese counterparts ahead of this week’s meeting at the G20, stating that he expected that his administration would go ahead with increased tariffs on Chinese goods come January 1 this year. Not only that, but he suggested that iPhones and other high-volume consumer goods could be included in the next round of tariffs, proclaiming consumers would be comfortable paying an extra 10 per cent on such items.
    Nervous trade: Apple Inc. naturally struggled in overnight trade because of the comments, leading to a choppy session for the NASDAQ and Wall Street as a whole. It must be said that in late trade, US stocks are turning higher, and trading in a much tighter range than what we’ve endured over the past 2 months. Nevertheless, President Trump’s rhetoric is making traders edgy, as they try to take in their stride his inevitable provocations leading into this weekend’s trade negotiations. It has ignited concerns about global growth, resulting in an overall fall in commodity prices last night. Safety has been sought in US Dollar denominated assets consequently, keeping the yield on the benchmark 10 Year Treasury note to 3.05 per cent; and pushing the US Dollar higher, with the US Dollar Index challenging resistance at 97.50 – a dynamic in which has cut gold prices down to $US1213 per ounce.

    Protectionism: A big part of why the greenback and US assets performed so well is President Trump really fired-up the MAGA rhetoric yesterday. It must have been news that General Motors was planning to close 5 North American factories that really got him going and excited his protectionist impulses. Not only did he take to Twitter to voice his frustrations at GM and its CEO for its decision –  threatening to introduce new auto-tariffs in response –  he also went out of his way to lash-out at Theresa May and her Brexit deal, asserting that it may compromise futures trade deals between the US and UK. The onslaught of commentary from the President drove the Pound back within the 1.27 handle and the EUR below the 1.13 mark; and dragged European equity indices lower across the board.
    Fed-Watch: Away from the antics of US President Trump now, and the less-headline grabbing (yet arguably more significant) story for the day was a highly anticipated speech from US Federal Reserve Vice President Richard Clarida. If you recall, it was another speech delivered by Mr. Clarida a few weeks ago that kicked-off the “the Fed is becoming dovish” narrative, prompting traders to unwind their bets on future Fed hikes. Last night’s speech was far less impactful than that one, with US rates markets barely budging. But the tone – it’s all about the tone – of the speech has been judged as more “neutral” than the last, emphasizing the “data dependence” explanation for the Fed’s outlook on rates and the US economy, setting the groundwork for a speech Fed Chair Jerome Powell in the next 24 hours, and the Fed’ monetary policy minutes on Friday.
    Oil, credit and equities: The final major theme dictating overnight trade is oil prices, and its implications for equities and credit markets. Leading into the end of the US session, in line with activity in US stocks, oil has pared its losses to presently be sitting more-or-less flat for the day. A bearish bias remains for the black stuff, as traders seek to anticipate what the G20 meeting plus a meeting between OPEC a week later will mean for global production. The prospect of lower oil prices, while good for consumers, has traders nervous: credit markets have built in wider spreads in corporate bonds on the risk that energy giants will prove less credit worthy if their income is diminished by a lower price of oil. The knock-on effect is weighing on sentiment in US (and global) equities, with fears that high funding costs will put pressure on highly leveraged US corporates and those company’s share prices.

    Asia and the ASX: With all of this as the back drop for today’s Asian session, futures markets are indicating a mixed start for the region’s shares, following a similarly mixed day of trade yesterday. SPI futures currently have the ASX200 opening flat this morning, off the back of solid Tuesday session, that saw the Australian shares add 1 per cent on higher than average volume. The heavy lifting was performed by the bank stocks, which compensated for the day prior’s weakness in the materials sector, to add 27 points to the index. The gains ran deep however, with every sector in the green, and breadth at 74 per cent. The index’s close at 5728 positions the market just below resistance at 5745: a push beyond that level today, if the S&P500 is any sort of lead, may need to come defensives and non-cyclicals, which lead the gains in US indices last night.

     
  20. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 17 Dec 2018. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 

    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.
    Special dividends this week
    Index Bloomberg Code Effective Date Summary Dividend Amount PSI20 COR PL 17/12/2018 Special Div 8.5 RTY PRA US 20/12/2018 Special Div 50 RTY HTLF US 20/12/2018 Special Div 5 RTY SYX US 21/12/2018 Special Div 650 RTY EVI US 24/12/2018 Special Div 13  
    How do dividend adjustments work? 
    As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements.
    This 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.
     
  21. MaxIG
    Written By Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
    The bullish week continues: The pointy end of the week has arrived, and so far, the news flow is lining up well for the bulls. The big release, perhaps for the whole week, was this morning’s FOMC Minutes. Naturally, the information is old, relevant mostly to the December 19 period in which the central bank met. But given the market turmoil experienced since then, along with January’s nascent recovery, this set of Fed minutes has taken on slightly greater significance. The reception, as far as investors and other bulls are concerned, has been positive. The document reveals a much more dovish Fed than the one that Chairperson Jerome Powell presented at that meeting’s press conference. The Powell-put is in, it is being judged: the market has Fed support.
    Confidence boosted by dovish Fed: That’s the perception, anyway. It could change but considering sentiment has vacillated recently on shifting “narratives”, a rosy outlook is apparently enough to pique risk-appetite. Combing through the fine-print of the Fed Minutes and few details jump out. Confidence about future growth has waned very slightly, and the need for higher interests has come into question. In fact, a few members voiced their belief the Fed should have kept rates on hold at the December meeting. The board also highlighted the disconnect between financial markets and the “real” economy, though it did add that downside risks to the US economy had increased. Without quoting line for line, the document contains the nuanced and market-sympathetic tone the bulls have been waiting for, vindicating this week’s upside turn in global equities.
    Market response: The response by traders has been to buy stocks and bonds, sell the US Dollar, and seek out other risk-on-assets. The comprehensive S&P500 is dancing with the 2600 pivot point, and the reluctance to go beyond that level shows. Note: it was that psychological-level of support the market bounced off twice before beginning its dive into bear market territory. US Treasury yields have also dipped. The US 10 Year note has fallen by 1 basis point to 2.72 per cent; however, the yield on the more interest rate sensitive US 2 Year note has plunged 4 basis points to 2.54 per cent. Credit spreads, especially on junk bonds, have narrowed further, supporting equity markets, and risk-appetite in general.

    The Greenback tumbles: The US Dollar has maintained its fall consequent to the FOMC Minutes, which it must be stated, experienced the lion’s share of its overnight tumble after a speech from Fed-member Raphael Bostic, after he’d stated that he believed interest rates were very close to neutral. The greenback looks vulnerable to further falls now, having retreated already by 2.3 per cent from its December highs. Gold is looking increasingly in vogue courtesy of the weaker USD and the absence of other appropriate currency safe-havens, climbing to $US1292. While the AUD/USD, having broken resistance at 0.7150 during Asian trade yesterday, is continuing its march towards 0.7200 support/resistance, even despite traders pricing an increased chance of RBA rate cuts at some point in 2019.

    In other news: Of course, the FOMC minutes, though certainly the biggest event in the last 24-hours, wasn’t the only news moving markets. Oil prices rallied by over 4 per cent last night on data showing crude inventories contracted in the US, along with greater expectations that OPEC’s recently announced production cuts would lower global supply. The dynamic has supported the lift in equity markets, aided the narrowing of credit spreads, and pushed-up the yield on US 5 Year Breakevens, as traders re-price for higher inflation. Positive noises coming from US-China Trade negotiations also improved the outlook for growth, adding to the week’s positive momentum toward a trade-war resolution. The only major dark-point thus far this week has been the ongoing US Government shut-down, which is showing no signs of ending any time soon.
    ASX at crossroads: SPI Futures are pointing to a jump at the open for the ASX200 of 13 basis points, at time of writing. Much like the S&P500, the ASX200 sits just shy of a key pivot point for the market, between about 5780/5800. The market yesterday attempted on several occasions to breakthrough that level, only to find any such challenged faded. The ASX is still trading primarily on the lead handed to it by Wall Street, and if that relationship holds true today, a play above the 5780 level ought to be on the cards at the market’s open. From here, a close above 5800 will be hoped for by market-bulls, to validate a change in the short-term trend, and subsequently open upside to ~5950.

    The state of play today: The data-docket is light in the Asian session ahead. The positioning in markets today will largely be concerned with a speech scheduled to be delivered by US Fed Chair Jerome Powell tonight. The tide does feel to be turning in equity markets. Volatility is lower, and the bulls have had delivered to them what they’ve been crying for: good data and a dovish Fed. Debate will continue to rage between the bulls and bears about where markets go from here. The former suggests the worst of the shake-out is over, a bottom has been put in place, and there is more upside to come; the latter points to historical precedent to suggest we are just experiencing a bull trap, and the bear market has only just begun.
  22. MaxIG
    US economy still leads the pack: The bounce in global equity markets has been uniform, but the economic data is pointing to a return of the “diverging global growth” narrative. It was what dominated the latter half of 2018: the US is humming, while the rest of the world economy languishes. The difference in economic fortunes isn’t quite so stark now, however it remains conspicuously extant. It becomes a matter of how long such a dynamic can last. Frankly, market participants had resigned themselves to the fact it was already over. But a quick review of even Friday’s economic data alone suggests the narrative still has legs. An all-encompassing global economic slowdown is likely to arrive, eventually. For now, though, the US economy has its head above the water, while rest of the world doesn’t. 
    Financial conditions and economic data supportive: The dovish Fed are, and will continue to be supportive of this, as financial conditions loosened once again in response to last week’s FOMC meeting. It’s no mystery to markets: the correlation between a recovery in financial conditions and the performance in equities is clear. The fears of a US recession, based purely on the macro-data, is still unfounded. The numbers coming out of the US on Friday weren’t spotless, but they were still very strong. ISM Manufacturing PMI beat economist consensus forecast, and US Non-Farm Payrolls showed an increase in jobs in the US economy of 304k. The jobs data was marred by a downgrade in previous months jobs-gain numbers, a dip in annualized wage growth, and a tick-up in the unemployment rate. Overall, however, the data showed a still strong US economy.

    Asian and Europe tangibly slowing: This contrasts with what came out of Europe, and really the rest of the world, during Friday’s trade. Europe is clearly heading for an economic slowdown, and it’s becoming a matter of true concern. Chinese economic data reminded traders too that the Middle Kingdom finds itself in its own strife. PMI numbers released from both geographies greatly disappointed market-bulls. The Caixin PMI release revealed a far steeper contraction than what had been estimated, while the balance of several European PMI numbers showed general weakness in the Eurozone – especially the embattled Italian economy. To be fair, European CPI numbers did beat forecasts slightly. But at 1.1 per cent annualized, it remains so far below target that the notion the ECB will hike rates before the next recession seems laughable.
    Financial markets neutral bias on Friday: As soft as the numbers were, they didn’t appear to faze traders a great deal. One assumes that the outlook reflected by the data was largely priced into the market. If anything, markets were pricing in a worse (collective) result to the weekend’s data. Interest rate traders lifted very negligibly their bets of rate hikes from the ECB and the US Fed – though it must be said the balance of opinion is in favour of no moves at all in 2019. Bonds sold off based on this, and emerging market assets, which had benefitted most from the dovish Fed, pulled-back to end the week. The US Dollar is in a short-term downtrend, apparently keeping gold prices elevated. The Australian Dollar kept range bound though, hovering around the mid-0.7200’s.
    The recovery keeps on rolling: Friday’s trade when assessed on its full merits belonged to the bulls though. Really, the entirety of last week did. It wasn’t a unanimous decision by any means; but it was enough to keep the “V-shaped” rally in equity markets intact. The extremeness of the January stock market recovery has pundits increasingly questioning what the next sell-off will look like. The “shape” of this price action is quite unusual, they are telling us. What was experienced in the last quarter of 2018 was somewhat extraordinary, so perhaps an extraordinary recovery is a necessary consequence of that. Where the market puts in its next low is a point of curiosity: Wall Street has visibly broken its downtrend, so the next low in the market builds the foundations for the next possible uptrend.

    ASX poised to gain this morning: The US lead will translate into a 20-point gain for the ASX200 this morning, according to the last traded price on the SPI Futures contract. Friday’s trade wasn’t quite as bullish for the ASX as it was for other parts of the global equity market. The index closed effectively flat, on a day of above average volume and relatively poor breadth. Iron ore prices, which have maintained a consistent rally since the tragic Vale dam collapse, have fed a rally in the mining stocks. The materials sector added 4 points to ASX200 on Friday and looks poised for further upside moving forward, as another shifter higher in oil prices, a weaker USD, and general market bullishness support elements of international commodity markets.
    The banks under scrutiny today: The challenge for the market will be trying to sustain a move higher while there remains so many concerns about the financial sector. The final report from the Hayne Royal Commission is released after-market today, and the uncertainty generated by what will be recommended in the report is keeping upside in bank stocks, and therefore the ASX200, at bay. Only time will truly tell what recommendations will come from the report – with less than 12 hours until its released, markets need not wait long for answers. Whatever is revealed, it will be assessed through the lens of how it may impact future credit conditions in the Australian economy, especially given the major slowdown in Australian property prices, and the recent slowing of consumer credit growth in the overall economy.  

    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
  23. MaxIG
    Expected index adjustments 
    Please see the expected dividend adjustment figures for a number of our major indices for the week commencing 25 Feb 2019. If you have any queries or questions on this please let us know in the comments section below. For further information regarding dividend adjustments, and how they affect  your positions, please take a look at the video. 

    NB: All dividend adjustments are forecasts and therefore speculative. A dividend adjustment is a 
    cash neutral adjustment on your account. Special Divs are highlighted in orange.
    Special dividends this week
    NKY 9602 JP 26/02/2019 Special Div 1000 AS51 WES AU 26/02/2019 Special Div 142.8571 AS51 TSL AU 27/02/2019 Special Div 4.2857 AS51 FMG AU 28/02/2019 Special Div 15.7143 RTY NPK US 28/02/2019 Special Div 500 RTY ULS US 1/03/2019 Special Div 11 RTY NHTC US 4/03/2019 Special Div 8 How do dividend adjustments work? 
    As you know, constituent stocks of an index will periodically pay dividends to shareholders. When they do, the overall value of the index is affected, causing it to drop by a certain amount. Each week, we receive the forecast for the number of points any index is due to drop by, and we publish this for you. As dividends are scheduled, public events, it is important to remember that leveraged index traders can neither profit nor lose from such price movements.
    This 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. 
     
  24. MaxIG
    Fed minutes: The week’s blockbuster event dropped over night: the release of the FOMC’s Monetary Policy Minutes. Equity markets have staged a tentative turnaround globally this week, but it has all been occurring in the shadows of what could be gleaned from last night’s Fed minutes release. When all is weighed up, the document reaffirmed the Fed’s hawkishness, revealing in-depth discussions ranging from cutting the word “accommodative” from the central bank’s language, to debating the possible need to hike rates above the “neutral rate”. A spike in volatility in financial markets wasn’t forthcoming on the back of the release, most likely because traders have been analysing it in a far different context to the one in which it was written: the meeting precipitated the recent equity market rout, and therefore appreciate circumstances have duly changed.
    US markets: However, the detail in last night’s minutes establishes the new environment within which future Fed policy discussion will take place – both for the Fed itself and amongst market participants. Reaction’s to the Fed minutes were relatively dull overnight, seemingly due to a reluctance from traders to jump-the-gun. Benchmark US 10 Year Treasury yields climbed modestly to 3.17 per cent and the US Dollar has taken advantage of a weaker bid on the Pound and Euro to climb slightly. Wall Street has suffered somewhat, erasing earlier gains on earning’s optimism to trade more-or-less flat-to-down for the day. The trade dynamic gives a curious impression for equity indices, a struggle between an apparent binary: a battle of forces, if you will, between optimism regarding solid earnings growth and pessimism regarding the impact of higher global rates.
    ASX yesterday: SPI futures have absorbed the lead on Wall Street and translated it (currently) to a 13-point drop at the open for the ASX200. No cause for alarm naturally, following a day where the Australian share market put-in a broad-based rally, to bust back within the upward trend channel it abandoned during last week’s equity sell-off. The ASX200 was registering an oversold reading on the RSI leading into yesterday, and a basic breadth reading of 74 per cent yesterday across the index recognized the sell-off was a tad overdone. The growth stock heavy health care sector ran with the lead of US big tech, to top the markets winners; while the only sectoral laggard for the day was the materials space – though that can somewhat be discounted by the unlucky timing of news from BHP regarding that company’s production downgrades.

    ASX day ahead: The day ahead will probably be a grind for the ASX200 given a weak Wall Street lead, but a hold within its trend channel, the bottom of which is around 5890, should be considered a win for the bulls. As always, the core strength in the market was underpinned by a bounce in the banks yesterday, a theme that may well continue today given the boost in global bond yields, but will likely fizzle in the weeks and months ahead. Activity around the Asian region was also settled, with Chinese equities for one catching a small bid on rumours that a further cut to China’s banks reserve-ratio-requirement may be imminent. The general relief-rally provided the fuel for a pop in the MSCI All-Asia Index, pulling that index away from its near-18-month lows.
    Aussie employment: The major event risk for Aussie markets today will be domestic employment data, out of which the ABS is forecast to print a steady unemployment rate of 5.3 per cent and an employment change figure of 15.2k. Only the most extreme outcome to this release will shift the dial in financial markets, especially that of interest rate markets, which continue to price in no-move from the RBA until early-2020. A sprinkle of volatility could be seen in the AUD/USD, as that pair hugs support just above 0.7100, but as always, will probably take a stronger lead from activity in the greenback. The spread between US 2 Year Treasuries and 2 Year Australian Government Bonds has narrowed of late, supporting the AUD/USD – however a repricing of interest rate expectations for the US Fed could widen this spread once again, potentially pushing Aussie Dollar back towards previous lows at 0.7040.

     
    Europe: Taking a glance at other risks entering the end of the week, European markets continue to remain a source of uncertainty. European bureaucrats have gathered for a multi-day summit in Brussels, to discuss the many seemingly intractable issues facing the continent. A Brexit deal this week is becoming a diminishing prospect and is showing up in pricing across the region’s financial markets. Adding to the tension is a slight spike in anxiety relating to the Italian fiscal situation, stoking fears of greater animosity between Europe’s leaders and a general instability the European Union’s political structure. Credit spreads have widened in sovereign bond markets as a result, weighing on the Euro and Pound (which also receded on the back of weaker CPI figures overnight), sapping strength from the major European equity indices consequently.
    Oil: Oil markets deserve a mention, given the human-tragedy that is defining much of the volatility found in the price of the black-stuff now. Fundamentals first: US Crude Oil Inventories surprised to the upside overnight, sending the price of Brent Crude to the $US80.00 per barrel mark. The real developments in all markets this week centre, however, on the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi Arabian regime. Putting aside (the far more important) humanitarian implications of this situation, speculation has increased that the Saudi’s will exploit the leverage they possess in the form of their massive oil reserves to suffocate scrutiny on the subject by members of the global community. The details of the matter are far too nuanced to do justice to here, but the approach taken by global leaders to the Saudis and the subsequent Saudi response could prove one of the major determinants of oil price volatility moving forward.
  25. MaxIG
    Written by Kyle Rodda - IG Australia
    The tone of overnight trade: All eyes back on the fundamentals – that’s the attitude now. The post US mid-term election rally stalled overnight, as investors turn their attention to this morning’s US Federal Reserve meeting. The Fed have kept interest rates on hold – that much was already baked into the price. Market activity to close the week will primarily be dictated now by how market participants interpret the language in the Fed’s accompanying policy statement. It’s been considered rather neutral thus far, and for equity markets, that’s not necessarily a positive result. Almost inexplicably, the US Dollar has rallied upon the release, despite very little new information being revealed in the statement. The argument for that may be that given October’s stock market volatility, a more dovish Fed was expected – true to form, this Powel-led Fed is not for turning, apparently sticking to the central bank’s existing outlook.
    Global price action: The conservative-bent to last night’s trade meant that equity markets traded more-or-less flat to lower. Asia provided a strong enough lead to the Europeans, however our region was last to the party in this week’s relief rally, so that meant little to European traders. Europe’s equities were reasonably mixed – generally down on the day. Stable and less risky assets therefore caught a bid, driving global bond prices higher. Bloomberg’s Commodity Index edged quite modestly higher, though both gold and copper traded rather directionless for most of the overnight session. The big mover in the commodity space was oil once again, with the black stuff continuing its tumble. WTI Crude has ticked into the $60.00 per barrel mark and Brent Crude has fallen to the $70.00 per barrel level, as traders adopt the position that there will remain a short-term surplus of oil in global markets.

    Wall Street session: At time of writing, Wall Street is entering its final moments of trade and the Fed’s monetary policy statement hasn’t inspired terribly much bullishness. Volumes are up on Wall Street, which is in stark contrast to European indices, that saw markedly below average volumes during their trading session. Activity in US Treasury markets is strong, with traders apparently judging that the Fed’s position is still one of firm, gradual rate hikes. The yield on interest rate sensitive US 2 Year Treasury note has ticked higher to a new post-GFC of 2.965 per cent, but the yield on US 10 Year Treasury Bond has remained hobbled by the outcome of the mid-week US mid-term election outcome, trading at 3.235 per cent. The spread between those two assets has thus narrowed once more to approximately 26 points.

    Currency markets: Across broader currency markets, the stronger greenback has exerted its influence: The Dollar Index began a rally overnight, and post-Fed has posted daily gains of 0.5 per cent.  The USD/JPY is knocking on the 114.00 handle’s door, while the other popular risk off pair, the USD/CHF, fell to 0.9945. The USD/CAD has rallied, by way of a combination of a stronger greenback, lower oil prices and developing news of another breakdown in trade relations between the US and Canada. The EUR/USD has fallen deeper into 1.13 and the GBP/USD has dipped back to float within the 1.30 (perhaps in part due to the release of UK GDP data tonight). Regarding the latter two pairs, they came under pressure overnight after the European Union warned that the Italian budget deficit is running the risk exceeding the bloc’s limit of 3 per cent. That sent bond spreads wider and placed additional weight on European equities, although the weaker Pound apparently provided a minor leg up for the FTSE100, which finished the session in the green.
    The Aussie battler: The Australian Dollar hasn’t escaped King Dollar’s might this morning, falling to 0.7270 (or thereabouts). The very illustrative spread between US 2 Year Treasuries and the Australian Commonwealth Government Bond equivalent has expanded to 90 basis points. A spread that wide has in recent times precipitated a tumble in the AUD/USD, however it must be remarked that the Aussie battler isn’t trading quite so much on fundamental themes in the market. Improved global growth optimism and heightened risk appetite this week has supported commodity-bloc currencies, but the best explanation for the local units’ rally is an unwinding of short positions in the market. Although this is only a short-term phenomenon, and the fundamentals will likely reassert themselves, the AUD/USD’s break of its trend channel supports the notion that upside to 0.7310, even possibly 0.7450, exists.

    RBA Monetary Policy Statement: The Reserve Bank of Australia’s quarterly Monetary Policy Statement could be one determinant of this move. The document, released at 11.30AM this morning, will be perused by traders for hints regarding the outlook for the Australian economy, and forward guidance from the RBA about its rate hike outlook. It must be assumed that little-less than the rosy picture painted by the RBA about the economy should be expected. This is especially true given the statement accompanying Tuesday’s monetary policy meeting upgraded the central bank’s employment, growth and inflation forecasts. As always, the fine print, hidden meanings and other semantics will dominate the analysis of the document, with interest given to the RBA’s view on the strength of Australian households. Arguably, it’s the combination of high household debt, falling house prices and its impact on future consumption and inflation that is keeping interest hikes on ice, so any indication about these matters could prove significant.
    ASX200 today: SPI futures are indicating today that the sputtering end to Wall Street trade will manifest in a 13-point drop for the ASX200. Yesterday’s trading session was a fruitful one for Australian investors: the local index climbed over half-a-per-cent for the day, led by an 18-point contribution to the index by the financial sector. In positive signs for risk appetite, growth sectors – in the form of health care stocks and IT stocks – topped the sectoral map. The ASX200 closed trade at 5928, just shy of a very key resistance level at about 5930. The failure to break above this mark is telling, but not surprising – and will likely prove a formidable barrier in the future: doing so would be a clear indicator of an (on balance) bullish control of the market, after the bears took the reins during October’s correction.
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