Market Insights & Analysis

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

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.
16 Dec 2015 08:25
The euro hit a seven week high against the dollar as investor confidence in the greenback was shaken ahead of today’s FOMC rate decision. Despite these last minute jitters Asian equity markets rebounded strongly during overnight trading as the bullish mood spilled over from Wall Street and prompted a strong rally across all major benchmark indices. A relatively busy session for economic data today with UK unemployment data kicking off proceedings which will be soon followed by eurozone inflation data.
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.
20 Nov 2015 08:58
Crude oil prices remain under pressure as ongoing concerns regarding global supply glut dominate the market and weigh heavily on market sentiment. This morning, WTI futures came under renewed pressure in early trade and extended declines towards $40 per barrel while the strong USD adds additional pressure to the market. Please note that both WTI and Brent front month futures have declined over $8/barrel within 3 weeks in November.
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.
18 Nov 2015 09:00
The US Federal Reserve publishes minutes from its latest FOMC meeting this evening. At the last meeting, the US Fed reported that the current 0% to 0.25% interest rate target “remains appropriate”. The US dollar index hit a high yesterday at 99.745 despite the recent disappointing US economic data. However, this morning the USD index slid slightly lower in early trade and hovered around 99.50 against a basket of currencies.
17 Nov 2015 09:01
The strong USD rally continues to dominate the global equity and commodity markets, as the USD index rallied for third consecutive session and extended gains above 99.50 against a basket of currencies. Gold has been hovering around $1,080/ounce. Copper extended declines towards $4,600 this morning, as the strong USD and bearish copper fundamentals weigh on market sentiment.
16 Nov 2015 08:59
Asian and European equity markets remained under pressure and posted renewed losses today as the attacks in Paris, France, on Friday caused high uncertainty across global markets. The tragic events limited any risk appetite and caused nervous trading conditions. Japan’s economy contracted by 0.8% y/y in Q3 2015, following a revised 0.7% drop in Q2 2015, missing analysts’ expectations of a -0.2% decline.
13 Nov 2015 08:57
European equities continue to remain under pressure extending losses in early trade on Friday, following the tepid GDP data. The German economy grew by 0.3% in Q3 2015, in line with expectations, while its y/y figure was reported at 1.7%, missing estimates of 1.8%. The French economy grew by 0.3% in Q3 2015, in line with estimates. The EUR continues to remain in choppy consolidation mode after hovering around 1.0750 against the USD. Today’s release of European GDP data has failed so far to provide any direction to the currency.
11 Nov 2015 09:00
Market participants will be keeping an eye on the crucial political conditions in Portugal following the collapse of the government in the country. Portugal’s 10-yr bond yield hit a 5-month high as it widened to 2.85% yesterday. It seems Portugal’s uncertainty is likely to dominate the markets during the following weeks for the rest of 2015, until the political situation stabilises.
10 Nov 2015 08:46
Further signs of weakness in China prompted investors to selloff. The Hang Seng index plunged over 300 points (-1.43%) towards 22,400 while the Shanghai Composite Index slid lower by 0.20% towards 3,640. China’s CPI rose 1.3% y/y in October compared to 1.6% in September, missing analysts’ expectations of a 1.5% rise, showing the lowest level since May 2015.
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.
28 Oct 2015 08:32
The Japanese yen traded towards a seventh week low against the euro and posted additional gains against the USD as investors repositioned themselves ahead of this Friday’s Bank of Japan monetary policy statement. The Australian dollar dropped unexpectedly against the dollar after inflation data for the third quarter registered a surprise fall to 0.5% q/q compared to the 0.7% q/q expected by market participants. Activity today is anticipated to be relatively mute as investors eagerly anticipate today’s FOMC rates decision.
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.
21 Oct 2015 08:50
Eurozone stocks traded lower for a third day yesterday as investors chose to remain side-lined ahead of tomorrow’s ECB rates decision and subsequent press conference from President Mario Draghi. A growing fear of Chinese bond defaults saw a sharp decline in appetite for mainland Chinese stocks as both the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 benchmark indices traded between 3.8%-4.3% lower overnight. The dollar index continues to face firm resistance towards 95.00 after recovering swiftly from the recent six week low towards 83.806.
07 Oct 2015 08:57
WTI front month futures extended gains for a fourth consecutive session, eyeing the key $50 per barrel level. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its monthly outlook that US crude oil production fell 120,000 barrels per day in September compared to a month earlier. The API weekly oil inventories report showed yesterday that US crude oil inventories have shrunk by 1.2 million barrels for the week ending 2nd October.
06 Oct 2015 09:08
German factory orders dropped significantly by 1.8% m/m in August, versus expectations of a 0.5% rise. European equity markets reversed yesterday’s solid gains and retreated this morning as the DAX, CAC and IBEX fell slightly between 0.50% and 0.80%. The euro continues its consolidation mode, hovering around 1.12 against the USD.
05 Oct 2015 09:12
Asian equity markets rallied overnight with the Nikkei index gaining over 1.5% and adding over 280 points to breach above the 18,000 area. The Hang Seng index climbed 1.4% (300 points) towards 21,800, supported by strong gains in information technology and consumer discretionary sectors. Glencore rallied in Hong Kong and hit a high at 18.36 but gave back earlier gains to finish the session at 12.40.
23 Sep 2015 08:59
Caixin’s China manufacturing PMI declined to 47.0 in September from 47.3 in August, missing analysts’ expectations of 47.5 and hitting a 6 ½ year low. The disappointing manufacturing data verified the recent slowdown of the Chinese economy and weighed on market sentiment. The Hang Seng index plunged over 550 points (-2.50%) towards 21,200, while the Shanghai Composite index declined over 2% to retest 3,100.
22 Sep 2015 09:00
The euro declined sharply for a third consecutive session today and dropped below 1.1200 against the USD, hovering around 1.1180. There was some relief in the markets regarding the Greek elections. However, market participants remain cautious ahead of this weekend’s elections in Catalonia, Spain, as the local government is looking to make this a separatism ballot with a possible clash with the Spanish national administration.
21 Sep 2015 08:47
The Greek left-wing party Syriza secured a clear victory -for a second time within a year- and won the snap elections on Sunday. Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras reported that “this victory belongs to the people and those who dream of a better tomorrow and we wll achieve it with hard work”. The euro hovered around 1.13 against the USD this morning.
18 Sep 2015 08:54
The Federal Reserve held interest rates unchanged at the latest FOMC meeting, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen delivering a “dovish” message. The statement identified that the recent global economic and financial conditions may restrain economic growth and added further downside pressure on US inflation in the short-term. The USD index retreated towards 94.0 against a basket of currencies, remaining under heavy pressure.
16 Sep 2015 08:52
Asian equity markets rebounded strongly overnight. The Hang Seng index rallied by 2.50% towards 22,100, while the Shanghai Composite index climbed higher by 4.9% to retest 3,150. There is increasing volatility and nervous trading conditions as investors await key decisions from the FOMC meeting tomorrow. The USD index remains strong after hovering around 95.60 against a basket of currencies.
15 Sep 2015 09:15
Asian equity markets remained under pressure overnight. Market participants will be keeping an eye on today’s release of the ZEW economic survey expectations in Germany and the Eurozone, as well as the Eurozone’s trade balance in July and unemployment data for Q2 2015. In the UK, this morning’s key inflation data will draw investors’ attention.
14 Sep 2015 09:02
This week, the main focus will turn to the FOMC meeting on Thursday. The USD index has lost its upside momentum against the G10 currencies, retreating towards 95.0, as investors remain cautious about the timing of a US interest rate rise this year. We do not expect any big surprises from the Fed this week, as it is likely that the US Federal Reserve Bank will leave interest rates unchanged this time, possibly signalling that the beginning of a tightening policy is approaching.
10 Sep 2015 08:52
The Bank of England announces its latest decision on interest rates, which have been unchanged at 0.5% since March 2009. The Halifax survey showed that house prices increased by 2.7% m/m in August, beating expectations of a more modest increase of 0.5% and showing the biggest monthly increase since May 2014. Sterling slid lower towards 1.5350 against the USD, while the London equity benchmark index retreated nearly 1.0% in early trade this morning, towards 6,170.
09 Sep 2015 08:55
Asian equity markets posted strong gains overnight, as risk appetite increased and market sentiment generally improved. The Nikkei index rebounded from recent losses and spiked over 7.7% (1340 points) towards 18,800, showing its biggest one-day gain since 2008. The Shanghai Composite index gained over 2.2% towards 3243, while the Hang Seng index rallied strongly over 900 points (+4.25%) towards 22,150.