Market Insights & Analysis

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

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.
15 Feb 2016 08:30
Bullish moves for LME nickel prices overnight with the three month rolling forward garnered support at Friday’s close and rallied as much as 5.6% higher overnight as Chinese investors returned to market after the week long Chinese New Year celebrations. Comments from PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan over the weekend went some way to calm markets, with the mood across Asia at the start of the week largely upbeat. In a sign that market sentiment was improving gold prices plummeted almost 2% overnight, adding to Friday’s modest losses as appetite for risk displayed a market improvement at the start of the week.
10 Feb 2016 08:36
LME three month copper prices had near term support kicked from underneath them yesterday as prices closed over 2% lower on the day, breaching near term support at the 50 day MA which we had anticipated to hold up well given Monday’s cautious session. The dollar index extended declines yesterday after some brief consolidation around the 200 day MA over the past few sessions, targeting a close just above 96.000. Gold prices look to have hit a ceiling with prices struggling to lift much higher yesterday, end the session around $1,190/oz with activity early this morning stabilising around these levels.
09 Feb 2016 08:22
The yen resumed its run of strength against the dollar after a brief respite around 117.00 late last week as well as early moves yesterday giving back some of the previous week’s gains towards 117.50. 10 year Japanese government bond yields declined to unprecedented levels, dipping into negative territory in a steady decline since the start of the month.
05 Feb 2016 08:36
Spot gold prices extended gains yesterday after breaching the 200 day MA as the precious metal rallied just over 1% on safe haven buying. The dollar extended declines against a basket of major currencies yesterday, registering its worst performance since the financial crisis as the dollar index lost as much as 1%, compounding the previous session’s losses and breaching the 200 day MA. Investor attention will be firmly focused on today’s release of December US trade data which investors anticipate will show a slight increase in the trade deficit as a stronger dollar hindered exports.
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.
27 Jan 2016 08:31
Front month crude prices managed to recover the majority of Monday’s losses during yesterday’s trading session as investors viewed the sharp sell-off at the start of the week as overdone. Gold prices managed to hold onto yesterday’s gains as global growth concerns saw investors continue to pile into the safe haven asset. Chinese imports of copper rose to their highest level since December 2011 as customs data released yesterday saw the world’s second largest economy import just over 423K tonnes of the red metal.
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.
21 Jan 2016 08:29
The PBOC once again stepped up efforts to shore up capital markets as it injected 400bn yuan (roughly $60bn) into financial markets using reverse repo agreements. Risk aversion prompted continued buying of gold as jittery investors piled into the safe haven asset. The dollar remains very much in vogue despite struggling with direction in recent sessions as it remains well supported towards the 50 day moving average.
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.
12 Jan 2016 08:38
Asian equity markets posted mixed results overnight as Japanese stocks headed lower for the sixth straight session after the long weekend and Chinese mainland stocks pushed tentatively higher. The yuan has had a very tumultuous start to the year and yesterday’s session was no exception as the offshore yuan exchange rate gained 1.4% against the dollar with much of the strength came throughout the European session. Gold struggled to hold onto support above $1,100/oz yesterday as resistance at the 100 day MA capped any intraday gains and investors believed the recent rally from $1,060/oz since the start of the year was overdone.
11 Jan 2016 08:29
Another rocky start for Asian equity markets with mainland Chinese equity indices closing 5% lower during overnight trading as the nervous trading conditions and risk off approach by investors showed no signs of letting up. Despite the overall risk off mood permeating through Asian markets the offshore yuan exchange rate offered further indication of stability after the PBOC kept the daily fixing for the currency firm for a second straight session. The risk off appetite spurred demand for gold as the safe haven asset remained well supported around $1,105/oz early on today.
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.
05 Jan 2016 08:33
A semblance of calm returned to Asian equity markets overnight after a bearish start to the week which saw the negative sentiment spill over to the European and US sessions. Despite the Chinese central bank’s best efforts to instil renewed confidence in global markets gold is on track to close higher for a second straight session as risk averse investors increase holdings of the safe haven asset. The Aussie dollar and Canadian dollar managed to regain some of yesterday’s losses against the US dollar after the PBOC intervention as investors welcomed the support.
04 Jan 2016 08:33
Spot gold prices got off to a strong start to the year with early moves above $1,071/oz today as tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia saw demand for the safe haven asset improve. Not a very Happy New Year for Chinese markets as circuit breakers were triggered and trading was abruptly halted after the CSI 300 index plummeted 7% lower in overnight trade. The Japanese yen strengthened significantly against the USD as safe haven demand saw the currency trade towards 118.70 overnight and in the early hours of the morning.
18 Dec 2015 08:25
Mexico’s central bank followed the Fed yesterday and increased a key rate for the first time since 2008 as officials expressed their desire to keep in step with the US central bank in order to prevent and limit any currency distortions between the US dollar and Mexican peso. The Japanese yen strengthened substantially overnight after briefly trading above 123.50 against the dollar as the Bank of Japan offered additional support to the economy. Spot gold prices managed to find some stability around $1,050/oz during overnight trading as immediate support around this level managed to hold firm at the close yesterday.
27 Nov 2015 08:39
Gold prices are on track to close lower for the sixth straight week as an increasing number of investors expects the Fed to increase interest rates at next month’s FOMC meeting. Japanese economic data released late last night was less than impressive to say the least, prompting some modest weakness across Asian equity indices as the quiet optimism seen in Europe failed to spill over to the overnight session. Three month copper prices are finding it tough to hold onto yesterday’s gains early on this morning, with prices traded on the LME hovering around yesterday’s close, towards $4,620/tonne.
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.
23 Nov 2015 08:06
Gold investors were hopeful that last week’s choppy trading potentially signalled that a floor was developing. San Francisco Fed President John Williams proffered strong hints on Friday, stating that there was a “strong case” for the Fed to increase rates in December. The commodity rout continues with industrial metals, oil and gas leading the way lower, largely driven by a stronger dollar and a growing fundamental imbalance. The stronger dollar, which has gained over 3.5% so far this month, and weaker demand outlook has seen the base metals complex take a battering as investors look to limit risk taking.
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.
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.
04 Nov 2015 08:45
Spot gold prices fell for fifth straight session yesterday, registering their biggest one day drop in almost two months as investors positioned themselves ahead of today’s ADP employment change and trade balance data. Chinese mainland stock indices rallied strongly overnight with the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 both registering gains in excess of four percent as the government unveiled the details of its latest five year plan. ICE raw sugar futures extended gains towards 15.5 cents per pound yesterday as a combination of persistent rain in Brazil and increasing fuel costs in the world’s second largest producer increased the prospects of more cane crop being directed towards ethanol production.
27 Oct 2015 08:28
The yen posted gains for a second session overnight against the USD as investors positioned themselves ahead of tomorrow’s FOMC rates decision and Friday’s BOJ meeting. Gold prices offered further indication of the shift in risk appetite as prices snapped a four session bear run during the overnight session. The pound sterling managed to snap a four day bear run against the USD yesterday as the currency traded back above the 200 day MA, ending the session at 1.5352 but not before attempting to test resistance at the 50 day MA towards 1.5380.
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.
19 Oct 2015 08:51
China’s third quarter GDP managed to beat analyst expectations as data released overnight saw the economy expand at 6.9% y/y, slightly better than the 6.8% y/y expected. While growth in the Chinese economy continues to moderate investors owe thanks to policymakers in Beijing and the PBOC for improving liquidity conditions and their continued effort to bolster capital markets. In a sign that the overall mood is becoming more bullish for risk assets, spot gold prices were on track to close lower for the third straight session after breaching support at the 200 day MA during overnight trading.
15 Oct 2015 08:19
After UK inflation data released earlier this week posted a surprise decline into negative territory, investors were bracing themselves for a similar negative outlook for the UK labour market with stocks trading sideways throughout much of the session. The pound sterling recovered all of the previous sessions losses on yesterday’s encouraging employment data, posting its biggest one day rally against the dollar since May as it targeted the 100 day moving average towards 1.5500.
12 Oct 2015 08:21
Copper, aluminium and zinc managed to hold onto Friday’s gains during early morning trading on Monday, finding firm support around the previous session’s close as upbeat investors reacted positively to the expectation of further output cuts. Further details regarding the Fed’s interest rate outlook were provided over the weekend as Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer signalled that there may be sufficient strength in the US economy to support an interest rates rise this year. Recent volatility reminds us of June 2013 where global asset prices exhibited significant “taper tantrum” as the Fed reined in its asset purchase programme
02 Oct 2015 08:40
Asian trading was mixed overnight following a cautious session on Wall Street yesterday as investors assessed the days economic data releases. The Bank of England may have a stronger case for an incoming rates rise as yesterday’s release of the final Markit manufacturing PMI reading for September hold firmly at 51.5 with last month’s reading revised up slightly to 51.6. Spot gold prices extended declines for a fifth straight session yesterday and are on track to extend the bear run for a sixth straight session as investors position themselves ahead of today’s labour market data.
25 Sep 2015 08:18
Platinum prices snapped a four day bear run yesterday as prices seemed to find some near term support just above $931/oz after losing over 5% since the start of the week. Conversely, palladium prices extended gains back towards the 100 day moving average yesterday as investors increased exposure to the metal most commonly used in petrol catalytic convertors. Gold experienced a strong rally yesterday as emerging market fears prompted investors to take shelter in the safe haven.