Market Insights & Analysis

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

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.
03 Feb 2016 08:18
The bearish outlook continued to dominate investor sentiment as the sell-off in Asian equity markets extended overnight, prompted by crude oil futures posting fresh losses. Appetite for the USD remains firm with the dollar index trading confidently above 98.700, remaining well supported towards the 50 day MA against a basket of major currencies. Safe haven assets were buoyed by the extended sell-off in Asian equity markets as the Japanese yen strengthened for the third straight session against the dollar.
29 Jan 2016 08:21

The Japanese yen weakened significantly overnight against the dollar after the Bank of Japan surprised market participants with additional monetary easing. Japanese bond yields dropped sharply on the announcement with ten year government bond yields dropping to a record low of 0.100% from a high of 0.230%. Today’s session sees the release of US Q4 GDP data and investors are hoping that the advanced reading for the final quarter of last year will offer some stability and encouragement to risk appetite.

06 Jan 2016 08:15
The onshore yuan exchange rate dropped to a fresh multiyear low against the USD as the PBOC cut its daily fixing for the currency, a surprise move that caught many investors off guard. Yen strength continued on the Chinese central bank’s intervention, gaining on the dollar for the third straight session as moves overnight saw the currency trade towards 118.36 against the dollar, a fresh two and a half month low. A busy day for economic data particularly for US markets with the release of ADP employment change data for December and November trade data later on today. The dollar continues to strengthen against a basket of major currencies with the dollar index building on Monday’s gains, adding 0.5% against its major peers with gains compounding early on this morning as the greenback finds firm support around yesterday’s close, trading above 99.500 early on.
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.
17 Dec 2015 08:40
Finally, investors welcomed the long awaited first hike in US interest rates yesterday as the FOMC increased rates by 0.25%, marking the first rate rise since 2006 and putting an end to the historically low rates that have persisted over the past six years. However, after overshooting yesterday we’ve seen demand for the greenback push the dollar index to an open just below 98.650 and target 99.000 early on this morning as investors digested Janet Yellen’s comments. Asian equity markets reacted positively to the US rate rise as the positive sentiment from the US session spilled into overnight trading.
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.
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.
05 Nov 2015 08:26
US bond yields continued to rise while benchmark stock indices pared recent gains yesterday on the growing expectation that the US Fed would raise interest rates in December. Yesterday’s release of encouraging ADP employment change data for October strengthened the case for an incoming rates rise after 182K jobs were added, two thousand more than the median estimate compiled by Bloomberg. The yen extended declines against the dollar for a fourth straight session during overnight trading, edging towards the 100 day MA as it traded around 121.70.
30 Oct 2015 08:46
Treasury yields climbed higher on the US Fed’s hawkish outlook as increasing speculation of a December rates rise saw risk appetite for equities improve. While monetary policy in the US and the UK gears up for an eventual tightening, as expected the Bank of Japan held the annual rise in the monetary base at 80tn yen. The yen traded within a wide range against the dollar overnight, weakening towards 121.50 before swinging towards 120.30 towards the European open. Base metals prices as well as mining stocks came under renewed pressure yesterday as the Fed’s outlook for a potential December interest rate rise prompted a sell-off across a sector already beset by oversupply and lacklustre demand concerns.
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.
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.
26 Oct 2015 08:36
Chinese stocks closed higher for a third straight session, rising to a two month high, as investors welcomed Friday’s decision by the PBOC to cut interest rates as policymakers continued to wrestle with a slowing economy. Japanese investors were upbeat following the PBOC’s decision to push for more monetary easing as speculation that the Bank of Japan would also increase stimulus measures saw both the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices post steady gains, adding between 0.655-0.75% overnight.
28 Sep 2015 08:38
After a somewhat disappointing September FOMC meeting as policymakers in the US opted to keep interest rates unchanged despite the hype surrounding the decision among market participants around the world Fed chair Janet Yellen offered additional clarity late last week. The yen continues to find firm support around 120.00 against the dollar as Chinese growth concerns continued to weigh heavily on investor sentiment. The pound sterling faced another under pressure week last week as selling dominated trading activity and dollar strength saw the pound lose over 2.6% throughout the week.
06 Aug 2015 09:17
It’s finally here, the day market commentators have dubbed ‘Super Thursday’ as the Bank of England prepares to release a torrent of reports, data and analysis on the UK economy. The case for a US rates rise continued to strengthen yesterday as better than expected US data saw confidence in the economy improve. As the camp expecting a rates rise in the coming months from both US and UK central bankers gains support, investors will be paying close attention to macroeconomic data releases.
27 May 2015 08:02
Japan’s TOPIX index closed higher for the ninth straight session during overnight trading as it pushed to its highest level since October 2007. After trading rangebound throughout March, April and the first half of May the Japanese yen staged a breakout yesterday, losing 1.2% against the dollar as it traded towards a fresh seven and a half year high. US equites experienced their steepest sell-off in three weeks as a stronger dollar and mixed macroeconomic data releases yesterday saw the S&P 500 and DJIA erase 1% apiece.
20 May 2015 08:09
Asian equities rallied higher overnight following a strong session in Europe with Chinese mainland equity indices leading the charge higher as both the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 added over 2%. The yen weakened for a fifth straight session against the dollar during overnight trading, trading above 121.00 for the first time since mid-March as the currency remained on track to post its longest losing streak against the dollar since December last year. Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande have given Greece until the end of the month to reach a deal on its bailout programme as patience among eurozone officials started to wear thin.
18 May 2015 15:15
After a week of rather poor performance for the USD dollar, losing 1.76% against a basket of major currencies and adding a fifth straight week of losses, the dollar index started this week off on a firmer note. We continue to keep a close eye on JPY, which will seemingly remain locked in consolidation sideways throughout the remainder of the month. Shortly after Rio Tinto announced it would be looking for a buyer for its $1bn Pacific Aluminium business unit, an attempt to divest noncore assets, BHP Billiton’s South32 entity, where it spun off noncore assets, had a rather subdued debut on ASX.
30 Apr 2015 08:39
The US Fed moved to dampen expectations of an imminent rates rise as the recent string of weaker than expected economic data showed that growth was gradually losing momentum. Chinese interest rate swaps headed for their biggest decline since 2008 this month as the PBOC ramped up its stimulus efforts in a bid to support the economy. The Bank of Japan held off from additional stimulus this month opting to hold the expansion of the monetary base at 80tn yen this year despite the abating pressure of rising inflation. Brazil’s central bank increased its benchmark interest rate by half a percent bringing a fifth consecutive increase to the key rate.
22 Apr 2015 08:20
Another strong session for Asian markets overnight with Japanese benchmark indices pushing to a fresh fifteen year high. Chinese investors were seemingly unfazed by the first default of a SOE as mainland Chinese stocks rallied to a new year-to-date high, indicative of the renewed optimism shared by market participants in the wake of fresh central bank stimulus. The dollar index gained for a second straight session yesterday as it made steady progress recovering some of the previous week’s steep losses.
17 Mar 2015 08:12
Asian stocks rallied strongly overnight following the rally on Wall Street as risk appetite steadily improved. Investors across the region were further encouraged by the Bank of Japan’s decision to keep its record stimulus package unchanged with an annual rise in the monetary base of 80tn yen. Chinese stocks rallied to a seven year high with the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 adding 1.55% and 1.39% overnight respectively, building on the previous session’s gains.
13 Mar 2015 08:01
Expectations for an impending rates rise in the US were dampened yesterday as easing retails sales in February strengthened the case for keeping rates at their historic lows for longer. Asian equity indices extended gains during overnight trading with Japanese benchmarks reaching their highest level in 15-years as the recovery on Wall Street sparked an increase in risk appetite.
09 Mar 2015 08:07
Asian equity benchmark indices started the week on the back foot with most major markets erasing much of the previous session’s gains as investors continued to mull over Friday’s US jobs data. The surprise increase in Friday’s nonfarm payrolls, which rose by 295K in February against expectations of a lower 235K increase, prompted investors to speculate that a US rates rise was on its way. The US dollar index rallied to a fresh 12-year high on Friday, gaining 1.26% against a basket of major currencies as it touched levels towards 97.726.
27 Feb 2015 08:04
The dollar index posted significant gains yesterday rallying 1.14% as significant gains were made against most major peers as core inflation registered a bigger increase than expected. Most major equity indices in Asia ended the week on a positive note, encouraged by the better than expected US core inflation data released yesterday. Front month Brent futures held above $60/bbl yesterday as fresh supply outages in the North Sea and gas supply concerns in Europe supported the global benchmark above this psychological level of support.
25 Feb 2015 08:16
Fed Chair Janet Yellen set the stage for a potential interest rate rise this year, bringing an end to the historically low repo rates that have prevailed in recent years. Asian benchmark stock indices rallied higher overnight extending gains that have pushed stocks to fresh highs after comments from Janet Yellen offered investors an insight into the Fed’s outlook. HSBC’s China manufacturing PMI reading pushed back above 50 in February with the preliminary reading coming in at 50.1 after spending the past two months below the level that separates expansion from contraction.
24 Feb 2015 08:08
Asian benchmark equity indices pushed tentatively higher during overnight trading as investors held out for further details regarding Greece’s renegotiated deal with its creditors as well as Janet Yellen’s testimony to the Senate Banking Panel later on today. Investors will be paying close attention to today’s conference call between eurozone finance ministers after Greece submitted its revised proposal yesterday. Front month Brent futures slid lower on the tentative outlook with prices for the April contract losing over 2.3% yesterday, dropping back below $60/bbl.
23 Feb 2015 08:10
The Greek government rushed to finalise a proposal for economic reforms after Friday’s last minute deal which saw the current bailout terms extended by four months. Asian benchmark equity indices rallied to fresh highs on progress between Greece and its creditors, building on Friday’s positive session on Wall Street as risk appetite steadily improved. Spot gold prices extended declines for a second straight session on Friday as a tentative agreement between Greece and other eurozone members was made.
20 Feb 2015 08:19
Japanese equity markets extended gains overnight with the Nikkei 225 closing at a fresh fourteen year high and the TOPIX posting gains for the eighth straight session after uncertainty in Europe prompted investors to seek out safety. Germany rejected Greece’s requests to extend its bailout which came as a surprise to many market participants.
18 Feb 2015 10:47
On the one hand, markets are nearing record/multi-year highs given the ECB’s €1.1tn QE programme which has given some much needed liquidity and encouraged further risk taking as investor confidence builds. However, leaving the single currency union will have far reaching implications sentimentally.