Market Insights & Analysis

Read our analysts' daily briefings, together with our Market Snapshot reports.

18 Feb 2016 08:39
Front month Brent futures rebounded yesterday, offering additional stability to global equity markets which in recent weeks have been highly correlated with crude oil futures. Chinese inflation data came in broadly in line with expectations as data for January released overnight saw consumer price growth quicken, increasing 1.8% y/y from last month’s reading of 1.6% y/y. Today’s eurozone monetary policy meeting and release of eurozone December current account data will provide some interesting insights and data points for investors.
17 Feb 2016 08:19
Three month LME nickel futures managed to hold onto previous gains yesterday as prices opened firmly around the previous session’s close and traded towards $8,350/tonne. For now though, Chinese investors seem cautiously optimistic as risk appetite fuelled by PBOC assurances and positive sentiment after the Chinese New Year conflicts with Chinese debt concerns. Spot gold prices gained some support towards $1,200/oz during overnight trading despite moves lower testing appetite for prices around $1,190/oz. Front month Brent crude futures struggled to push past the 50 day moving average yesterday as the global benchmark was subjected to a protracted sell-off throughout much of the day.
16 Feb 2016 08:28
Chinese data released yesterday and overnight signalled towards a more upbeat outlook than previously expected as Beijing’s efforts were slowly starting to leave a lasting effect. The spot offshore yuan exchange rate snapped a nine session bull run against the USD overnight as risk aversion continued to dissipate steadily, providing support for the dollar to regain some of the recent losses. Crude futures have extended gains for a third straight session with activity overnight and early this morning seeing front month Brent futures post firm gains and stabilise around $35.40/bbl early on.
11 Feb 2016 08:40
Janet Yellen gave testimony to the House Financial Services Committee yesterday and as expected, played down the likelihood of another interest rate rise in March. The weaker dollar failed to offer much support to the base metals complex with zinc and tin the only two registering gains on the day. Front month Brent futures continue to trade under pressure this week but support around the $30-$30.50/bbl level continues to hold up well.
08 Feb 2016 08:27
As expected Asian trading was subdued as the week long New Year celebrations in China kicked off, with very little of note to report overnight. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali al-Naimi announced that talks held with his Venezuelan counterpart, Eulogio Del Pino, were “successful” as OPEC members increasingly step up efforts to bolster the crude market. China’s foreign exchange reserves continue to decline as the impact of the considerable efforts the PBOC have had on the world’s largest currency reserve come to light.
02 Feb 2016 08:35
Jittery investors saw mixed trading during the Asian trading session as continued support by the PBOC saw mainland Chinese equity benchmarks rise against a backdrop of weaker stocks across the region. In a further sign of the cautious outlook adopted by many investors spot gold prices extended gains yesterday, rallying towards $1,130/oz yesterday on a combination of investment and physical demand. Front month Brent futures snapped a four day rally yesterday after briefly trading towards a four week high as investors took an opportunity to bank profits.
26 Jan 2016 08:20
The brief glimmer of optimism faded overnight as the rally in risk assets that had seen last week’s bullish activity spill over to the start of this week lost steam. Spot gold prices managed to post a close above key resistance at the 100 day MA yesterday as nervous investors saw haven demand for the precious metal improve. Following on from last week’s ECB meeting, President Mario Draghi offered markets additional insight into the central bank’s outlook for the year ahead.
25 Jan 2016 08:43
Front month crude oil futures ended the week on a high note as Brent contracts for March delivery rallied back above $30/bbl, ending the session 8.6% higher. Persistent global growth concerns have shored up investment support for gold as the previous metal rebounds back above $1,100/bbl at the start of this week. The steel market in China was offered some encouragement after Premier Li Keqiang promised additional cuts to capacity as efforts to restructure the world’s biggest steel industry continue.
20 Jan 2016 08:51
The pound sterling dropped to its lowest level against the USD since 2009 yesterday as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney signalled that it was too soon to consider a rates rise, pushing back the expectation further. Crude oil came under renewed pressure yesterday as Brent front month futures attempted to recover back above $30/bbl, however, these efforts were in vain as markets slid lower giving back the majority of the day’s gains. Spot gold prices rallied strongly overnight and early this morning as the safe haven asset traded back above $1,096/oz.
18 Jan 2016 08:48
Spot iron ore prices stabilised above $40/tonne last week as the steelmaking raw material faced another week of under pressure prices. Front month Brent futures slipped to a fresh multi-year low on Friday as the bears dominated the entire session, pushing the global crude benchmark as low as $28.82/bbl. A quiet session for economic data today and with a US market holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day we anticipate a relatively subdued European session.
14 Jan 2016 08:59
Front month Brent futures dipped below $30/bbl for the first time since 2004 as expectations that Iranian crude could soon be hitting the market dampened investor sentiment. The dollar remains well supported above the 50 day moving average as confidence in the US economy continues to build. Today is a somewhat busier session for economic activity with the Bank of England interest rate decision expected at midday followed by a string of US economic indicators.
08 Jan 2016 08:34
Chinese markets began to show some signs of stability overnight, much to the relief of anxious market participants after a bearish start to the year which saw the benchmark Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 indices lose over 12% apiece this past week. It would appear that doing less is more in this regard and while policymakers in Beijing have shown an increasing willingness to prop up financial markets this over reliance on the Beijing put may in some cases be making the situation worse. Front month Brent futures hit a fresh eleven year low yesterday towards $32,16/bbl as prices surpassed the trough seen during the global financial crisis.
22 Dec 2015 08:07
Prospects of additional stimulus in China saw currencies across the region rise with off-shore yuan strengthening for the third straight day. The PBOC offered up additional support to the Chinese currency, strengthening the daily fixing for the yuan on Monday and bringing an end to the recent streak of weakness which has seen onshore renminbi lose 1.5% against the dollar over the past two and a half weeks. Front month Brent futures are holding around their eleven year lows this morning as negative investor sentiment for the year ahead saw appetite for the global benchmark drop.
21 Dec 2015 08:24
It seems the euphoria from last week’s interest rate increase in the US quickly dissipated as stocks on Wall Street faced firm selling pressure on Friday. The majority of market participants polled by Bloomberg and the FT expect the Fed to increase rates by another 25 basis points as early as March next year. The dollar index remains well supported around 98.700 early on this morning after giving back some of Thursday’s gains on Friday. Just when you think it couldn’t get any lower, front month Brent futures have hit a fresh year-to-date low this morning as the global crude benchmark trades towards $36/bbl early on this morning.
15 Dec 2015 08:18
US natural gas prices slumped to their lowest level in over a decade as warm weather conditions saw the supply glut increase. Crude oil benchmarks hit a fresh low for the year on Monday as both front month Brent and WTI contracts faced renewed selling pressure early on with intraday moves hitting $36.33/bbl and $34.53/bbl respectively before a late stage rally. Iron ore prices continue to face significant headwinds at the start of this week with very little to indicate prices may recovery any time soon.
10 Dec 2015 09:20
Front month crude prices failed to halt the bear run yesterday as both Brent and WTI prices slipped for the fourth straight session after a late stage rally failed to take root. The dollar faced further headwinds ahead of next week’s FOMC rate decision as it experienced substantial selling pressure against a basket of major currencies yesterday. UK investors will be eagerly anticipating the Bank of England interest rate decision today and while the consensus expectation is for rates to remain unchanged at 0.5%, market participants will be on the lookout for any phrasing or terminology that could offer any additional insight.
09 Dec 2015 08:48
Some slightly better data coming out of China overnight as we start to see the emerging impact of stimulus measures. The yuan failed to halt its recent bearish run against the USD as investors focused on weaker factory gate prices and continued to digest yesterday’s weaker than expected trade data. Both front month Brent and WTI futures seem to have stemmed the recent outflows as they find support around yesterday’s opening levels.
08 Dec 2015 08:20
Chinese trade data released overnight painted a bleak outlook for the world’s second largest economy, prompting another run on Asian stocks with the miners in London under renewed pressure. Mainland Chinese stocks led the charge lower overnight with both the CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite losing between 1.7%-1.9%. Front month Brent futures sank to their lowest level since the financial crisis as the price per barrel hit $40.60 on selling that dominated the entire day.
03 Dec 2015 08:48
Front month Brent futures slid close to levels last seen during the financial crisis as investors took a bearish stance ahead of tomorrow’s OPEC meeting. Expectations for a Fed interest rate rise this month increased after Janet Yellen gave her strongest hints yet. A very busy session for economic data today, with global PMI data expected throughout the session as well as eurozone retail sales and US employment data.
02 Dec 2015 08:21
Brazil’s economy shrank by a record 4.5% y/y in Q3 as worries that the largest economy in Latin America would slip into the worst recession since the 1930’s compounded. Front month Brent futures dropped for the fourth straight session yesterday as investors positioned themselves ahead of this week’s OPEC meeting. An engaging session for economic data today with eurozone inflation data expected out later this morning while over in the US investors will have ADP employment change, EIA crude stocks and the US Fed Beige Book to look forward to.
26 Nov 2015 08:20
Base metals prices rebounded firmly overnight as investors reacted warmly to the news that Chinese regulators were considering launching a probe into short selling on local exchanges. Yesterday’s Autumn Statement saw Chancellor George Osborne tackle the deficit from another angle after failing to curb welfare spending, instead introducing a 2% increase to council tax to help pay for social care while wielding the axe on departmental budgets. Front month Brent futures managed to post gains for a fourth successive session yesterday as intraday dips towards $45/bbl were firmly bought into and futures ended the session at $46.17/bbl after attempting to gain a foothold at $46.50/bbl.
25 Nov 2015 08:40
George Osborne is set to deliver his Autumn Statement today and is largely expected to present fresh plans on how public sector debt will be curtailed, with an aim to balance the books by 2020. Front month Brent futures managed to gain for a third straight session, a feat last achieved in early October, as mounting geopolitical tensions in the Middle East prompted some buying. The fresh bout of risk aversion has also offered some support to gold prices which look set to rally for a second day after gaining 0.6% yesterday.
24 Nov 2015 08:03
Three month LME nickel prices slumped to their lowest level since 2003 as prices extended declines for a sixth straight session. With the last OPEC meeting of the year looming, due to be held on December 4th in Vienna, investors are wondering what the members will make of the year where we have seen crude prices trade around multi-year lows and what the coming year will bring for the group. The dollar index flirted with 100.00 yesterday as intraday moves briefly touched this level before paring back slightly as investors maintained their positioning ahead of an expected US rates rise next month.
20 Oct 2015 09:01
After rallying towards $54/bbl at the start of the month, front month Brent futures swiftly gave back the majority of those gains over the subsequent sessions with activity yesterday reversing Friday’s tentative push back above $50/bbl as contracts ended the session just above $48.50/bbl. Iran’s energy minister is adding to this depressed outlook, stating at an industry conference in Tehran that the country would aim to restore its share of global crude exports within months of the sanctions being lifted. In an encouraging sign of the cautiously optimistic mood spot gold prices headed lower for a third day yesterday as support at the 200 day MA gave way.
06 Oct 2015 11:10
Crude oil prices hovered within the recent range in early trade this morning as investors await renewed talks that Russia is ready to meet OPEC and non-OPEC crude oil producers in order to discuss the market. The news provided strong upside momentum in the oil market, as Russia has been thus far unwilling to cut oil production and cooperate with the OPEC members in order to support the current low crude oil prices.
12 Aug 2015 08:07
The base metals complex saw intense selling pressure overnight as prices revisited levels last seen during the financial crisis. The yuan declined against the dollar for a second day, losing 1.94% from the previous close against the greenback as the government’s latest efforts to shore up markets struggled to have the desired impact. OPEC output hit a three year high in July sending front month Brent futures back below $50/bbl as the supply glut continued to build.
30 Jul 2015 08:23
Details from yesterday’s FOMC statement added further weight to a rates rise in the coming months as hawkish policymakers at the Fed further outlined their willingness to increase borrowing costs. The dollar resumed its upward rally against its major peers with the dollar index rallying towards 97.250 yesterday with activity early this morning extending those gains for a third day, targeting 97.455 early on. Crude oil prices managed to lift for a second session yesterday as improving supply data halted the recent downward moves in both front month Brent and WTI futures
14 Jul 2015 08:25
After over a decade of political wrangling an Iranian nuclear agreement has been reached as officials negotiations in Vienna came to an end. After Monday’s euphoria as a Greek deal was reached, PM Alexis Tsipras faces a fresh challenge today as he seeks a parliamentary vote approving the fresh bailout reforms agreed over the weekend. Global equity market reflected this uncertainty early on today with a hesitant Asian session paving the way for a mixed European open as investor appetite was subdued by a weak trading session in China and doubts over the Greek deal.
18 May 2015 08:02
Time is quickly running out for Greek officials as Greek banks run the risk of a shortfall of collateral with buffers dangerously low, threatening to derail any potential deal in the pipeline. Crude oil exports from Saudi Arabia to the US have fallen to their lowest level since the crisis as the impact of shale oil in the US and increasing presence of Canadian exports impacts the oil rich nation’s current account. Rio Tinto have announced a fresh attempt to sell-off surplus aluminium assets in a deal that could come with a $1bn price tag as it struggles to restructure itself and shed non-core assets in the face of a worldwide commodities slump.
24 Apr 2015 08:00
The Nasdaq composite index finally surpassed the high seen in March 2000 as increasing risk appetite spurred the index 0.41% higher in a record session for technology stocks. Front month Brent futures remain tentatively on track to post gains for a third straight week as investors shift focus away from the bearish fundamental outlook after tensions rising in the Middle East on Saudi led airstrikes in Yemen heighten investor concerns of a potential spill over to neighbouring nations.