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.
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.
22 Jan 2016 08:25
The ECB signalled toward more QE as President Mario Draghi set the stage for more stimulus, citing China’s economic slowdown and persistent market volatility throughout the second half of 2015 as factors threatening the eurozone’s recovery. Front month WTI futures ended firmly higher yesterday, posting strong gains and ending the session over 11% higher compared to Wednesday’s close. A busy day for economic activity today as investors after assessing eurozone PMI data will have UK retail sales and UK public finances data to pore through.
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.
07 Dec 2015 08:22
An eventful week last week as investors were offered plenty of cues from central bankers with the US Fed offering further strong hints that it would look to raise rates at next week’s FOMC meeting. After a bumper week for economic data last week we’ll be getting off to a slow start this week with UK Halifax house prices and Japanese third quarter GDP data the only data points of note to look forward to today.
04 Dec 2015 08:20
Investors were left somewhat underwhelmed by Mario Draghi’s reaffirmed commitment to extend monetary easing until March 2017 “or beyond” with no clearer sign of this than yesterday’s sharp recovery in the euro. While the ECB failed to offer as much support as investors were expecting, the decision to hold monthly bond purchases unchanged could be as a strategic move, saving further stimulus for a rainy day. Janet Yellen continues to prime markets for December interest rate rise as comments during yesterday’s Joint Economic Committee hearing.
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.
30 Nov 2015 08:32
Iron ore prices slipped below $40/tonne on Monday after facing considerable headwinds last week. Three month LME copper prices look to be heading lower today as the red metal trades under pressure early on, failing to capitalise on last week’s late gains. The euro is set for its worst monthly performance since March as a growing number of economists expect the ECB to announce additional stimulus efforts at this week’s meeting.
19 Nov 2015 08:58
Following a statement after October’s Fed meeting, Fed members made it clear that an interest rate increase would be considered at their “next meeting”, which is scheduled for 15-16th December 2015. The clear message spread optimistic signs across most global markets and increased risk appetite. Most Fed members agreed that US economic conditions are improving, while others agreed that conditions had already been met, in order to trigger a rate increase.
09 Nov 2015 08:42
Chinese exports declined by 6.9% y/y in October, versus analysts’ expectations of a 3.2% drop. Imports dropped sharply by 18.8% y/y in October (vs exp. of -15.2%) compared to a 20.4% strong decline in September. The fairly disappointing Chinese economic data weighed to some extent on market sentiment, while Asian equity markets were mixed overnight. The Hang Seng index retreated by 0.6% towards 22,700.
23 Oct 2015 09:20
Front month crude futures continued to exhibit substantial downside pressure this week as data releases confirmed a bearish outlook for both Brent and WTI. Market participants were upbeat yesterday as ECB president Mario Draghi hinted at the prospect of more euro zone stimulus possibly before the end of the year. Three month LME aluminium prices sank to 2009 lows as the supply glut continues to pile downward pressure on the metal.
22 Oct 2015 09:15
The main focus will turn to the ECB meeting as investors remain cautious awaiting the speech of ECB’s President Mario Draghi regarding market expectations. We do not expect any big surprises coming out of the meeting as it seems unlikely the ECB to introduce further QE into the European economies, partially due to inflation concerns and increasing worries regarding the Eurozone’s economic growth.
04 Sep 2015 08:55
ECB’s Press conference yesterday proved to be very dovish as President Mario Draghi signalled to market participants that the ECB could expand its current stimulus if the slowdown across financial market continues to weigh heavily on economic growth. The euro retreated sharply to hit a 2-week low at 1.1087, while European equity markets declined sharply in early trade this morning.
03 Sep 2015 08:54
European equity markets rebounded strongly this morning as the DAX, CAC, IBEX and London equity benchmark indices rallied between 1.2% and 1.5% in early trade. We don’t expect any big surprises from the European Central Bank today, as recent momentum is that interest rates will be left on hold. However, all eyes are on ECB’s President Mario Draghi press conference.
10 Aug 2015 08:26
Asian equity markets started the week on a strong footing despite data released over the weekend continuing to pile on the pressure, presenting policymakers with significant headwinds. Athens is nearing the conclusion to its €86bn third bailout package with creditors with the hopes of a deal being reached this week ahead of an August 20th deadline when Greece must make a $3.2bn loan repayment to the ECB. Spot gold prices have started this week on a firm footing as weaker than expected Chinese inflation and trade data prompted some haven demand.
03 Aug 2015 08:21
A weaker than expected July manufacturing PMI reading over in China prompted a retreat from Asian equities during overnight trading as investors expressed fresh concerns for policymakers who have in recent months used a variety of tools at their disposal to try and reverse China’s economic fortunes. Both the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 spent the majority of the session under pressure with wider equity indices across the region following mainland Chinese stocks lower. Greek financial markets have reopened today after remaining closed for five weeks as creditors concluded the process of negotiating a third bailout for the indebted nation.
29 Jul 2015 08:46
Base metals indicated encouraging signs early on this morning after steady gains posted yesterday stemmed the recent rout in the metals market. It seems as if intervention from policymakers in China to utilise state funds in an effort to prop up the equity market is having the desired effect with mainland Chinese stock indices gaining just over one percent overnight. The ECB approved the reopening of the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday with further details on the exact timing and proposed trading restrictions still to be decided.
24 Jul 2015 08:13
Gold prices slumped to their lowest levels since early 2010 as a combination of abating Greek debt concerns, the expectation of a US rates rise and the dissipating threat of deflation see investors fall out of favour with the precious metal. Athens extended the shutdown of Greece’s financial markets at least until Monday as officials prepared to meet creditors to negotiate the terms for its third bailout. Chinese equity markets ended the week on a positive note with the Shanghai Composite index posting gains for a seventh straight session, adding a modest 2.8% this week, as the PBOC took additional measures to shore up the market.
17 Jul 2015 08:35
ECB President Mario Draghi reassured markets as he announced an increase of emergency liquidity assistance limit by €900m. The euro traded back towards a six week low on Mr Draghi’s comments as contagion fears subsided and investor attention switched back towards the ongoing QE programme. Asian equity markets ended the week on a positive note as major indices across the region posted gains overnight with Chinese mainland stock indices leading the charge higher.
16 Jul 2015 08:36
The dollar index rallied to a six week high as Fed chair Janet Yellen once again reaffirmed the central banks outlook for a 2015 rates rise. Greek MPs voted in favour of the bailout agreement with 229 of the 300 members approving the terms that would need to be met in order to release as much as €86bn in rescue funds. The pound sterling struggled to extend gains yesterday on mixed data as faster wage growth accompanied by an increase in jobless claims left policymaker scratching their heads on the potential timing for a UK rates rise.
29 Jun 2015 15:35
After an incredibly choppy start to the European session, eurozone markets found some semblance of stability as the initial surprise of a Greek referendum faded. The Turkish lira was another casualty of today’s flight to safety as the currency immediately opened 1.7% weaker against the USD and traded towards 2.7127 against the dollar early on. The dollar posted significant gains against a basket of major currencies with the dollar index opening substantially higher as it traded above 96.350 against a basket of major currencies.
23 Jun 2015 15:35
Markets rose strongly for a second day as hopes of a fresh deal between Greece and its creditors buoyed risk appetite. However, backlash to the plan proposed by Athens was nowhere more vocal than at home as Greek officials reacted with hostility to the concessions offered in return for the release of emergency bailout funds. We’re far from out of the woods yet, and investors were reminded of this earlier today after the ECB stepped up its support to Greek banks, increasing the limit on emergency liquidity assistance to approximately €89bn.
22 Jun 2015 14:55
It has been a rocky ride for the euro over the past few months as the protracted stalemate between Greece and its creditors left investors struggling with direction. Fears of a Grexit once again popped up as the threat of a Greek default loomed ever closer on missed repayment deadlines and lack of progress.
16 Jun 2015 08:01
Tensions between Athens and eurozone lenders rose yesterday as it emerged that Greece had no plans to propose any fresh revisions as hopes of an amicable debt restructuring agreement and access to bailout funds continued to fade. Alexis Tsipras offered a very different outlook to the current standoff as he accused creditors of giving Greece a raw deal since the financial crisis and put it to the country’s creditors to come up with an alternative plan. Asian stocks followed Wall Street lower with mainland Chinese benchmark indices leading the way down as investors, spooked by the ongoing Greek debt standoff pulled out of risk assets in search of safer havens.
12 Jun 2015 15:31
It has been a tumultuous week for investors as ongoing talks between Greece and its creditors failed to reach any material conclusion as deadlines came and went. Despite tensions rising that have plagued eurozone investors for many months now, as Greece a missed debt repayment deadline to the IMF last week which culminated in the IMF pulling out of negotiations just yesterday.
04 Jun 2015 07:53
Efforts to reach a deal after four months of negotiations gathered pace as Angela Merkel stepped in to help break the stalemate and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras continued to hold talks with eurozone officials in Brussels. Sterling extended its bear run against the euro for the sixth straight session yesterday after comments from ECB President Mario Draghi during yesterday’s press conference outlined the positive outlook for the eurozone economy. Cocoa futures resumed their upward rally after Ghana revised its production forecasts lower from 850,000 tonnes to 750,000 tonnes for 2015.
03 Jun 2015 15:59
Comments from ECB’s President Mario Draghi spread optimism across European equity markets and prompted a strong rally for the euro which surged above 1.1250 against the USD.
02 Jun 2015 07:54
The rouble dropped to a five week low yesterday, losing almost 2% against the dollar as the currency struggled to hold on to tentative gains towards 50.00 throughout May. A choppy session yesterday set the tone for the remainder of the week as a flurry of US economic data releases yesterday supported Wall Street higher. Talks between Greece and its creditors intensified as concerns that Greece may miss its June 5th deadline to repay the IMF prompted eurozone leaders to take swift action.
28 May 2015 07:38
Chinese brokers have tightened margin loan rules as concerns of a bubble in the stock market force stricter controls from market participants. The yen dropped to a twelve year low against the dollar trading at an intraday high of 124.07 yesterday as contrasting policies between the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan saw significant flows into the greenback. European stocks rose on Greek optimism as it emerged that an official involved in the negotiations stated that Greece and its creditors were in the process of drafting a final agreement on its debt restructuring.
26 May 2015 07:54
The ECB could be the cause for some confusion this week after data published on the central banks website indicated that bond purchases slowed to their lowest pace in three weeks during the week ending May 22nd, despite vocal support from officials for an acceleration of asset purchases. Tensions between Greece and its creditors are once again flaring as the June 5th deadline for repayment to the IMF draws closer. Miners in South Africa have cut over 35,000 jobs in the past two years as a combination of labour unrest, persistently weak commodity prices and rising marginal costs create a troubling environment for producers.