Market Insights & Analysis

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

22 Feb 2016 08:07

The pound sterling traded back towards a three week low against the dollar as Brexit fears saw investors pull out of the currency. Japanese PMI data released in the early hours of the morning saw manufacturing activity slow sharply in February. Despite the less than impressive Japanese PMI data, Asian equity market started the week on the front foot.

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.
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.
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.
03 Nov 2015 08:15
US manufacturing data released yesterday offered little in the way of encouragement to investors as the consensus outlook among manufacturers was one of sluggish overseas demand and a lack of domestic restocking. The dollar struggled to regain territory above Friday’s close on Monday as investors weighed up the manufacturing and construction data in the light of a potential interest rate rise this year. The Australian dollar extended gains against the USD for the third straight session after the RBA left the interest rate unchanged at 2.0%, keeping them at a record low for a sixth straight month.
02 Nov 2015 08:36
Crunch time for the Bank of England is fast approaching as policymakers meet this Thursday for the penultimate MPC meeting of the year. The Turkish lira experienced considerable strength against the USD during early trade on Monday morning after a surprise win for the AK party. China’s manufacturing PMI reading for October released over the weekend offered little encouragement for investors who had hoped that activity in the world’s second largest economy had finally bottomed out and reached a floor.
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.
01 Oct 2015 08:34
Asian equity markets managed to extend upward momentum during overnight trading, following Wall Street higher as investors seemed unfazed by pessimistic data. Compounding worries for the region China’s manufacturing activity shrunk for a second straight month as the index compiled by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing held below the 50.0 point mark despite a marginal improvement month-on-month to 49.8 from 49.7. Three month LME copper prices were encouraged higher by the stabilising Chinese PMI data and while it was far from bullish, early signs of the recent PBOC intervention having the desired effects saw the red metal rally above the 50 day MA during the early hours of the morning
30 Sep 2015 08:45
The Taiwanese dollar attempted to regain some of the territory lost this quarter during overnight trading as it traded back below 32.900 against the US dollar. Despite a pessimistic longer term outlook Asian markets were upbeat overnight as most major stock indices across the region saw higher closes during the last session of the third quarter, however, the modest gains offer little comfort. The dollar index continues to find firm support around the 200 day moving average as investors fleeing emerging market currencies find safety in the greenback.
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.
04 Aug 2015 08:52
Spot gold prices failed to hold on to Friday’s tentative gains as prices traded 0.9% lower at the start of the week on sluggish investment demand and Chinese economic concerns. The rout in emerging market currencies extended on Monday as the rouble continued to feel the pressure, trading back towards levels last seen in late February/early March. Front month Brent futures displayed significant selling pressure yesterday as the 3.9% decline saw the global benchmark trade back below $50/bbl for the first time since January as the bear market continued.
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.
15 Jul 2015 15:14
The release of Chinese Q2 GDP data, which saw growth hold firm at 7.0% y/y for a second straight quarter, failed to provide mainland equity markets with adequate support. Instead both the Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 extended declines for a second day, losing 3% and 3.5% respectively. Investors were right to approach equity markets with renewed caution as recent efforts to stimulate the Chinese economy and reverse mounting deflationary pressures saw a significant spike in volatility.
03 Jul 2015 09:01
As the Greek bailout negotiations have been “on hold” until the country’s referendum on Sunday, attention turned to US employment data yesterday. We received mixed US employment indicators yesterday, which somewhat distorted the outlook for a possible US interest rate rise later this year.
03 Jun 2015 08:05
Eurozone officials have agreed to a bailout plan for Greece and are hopeful that the revised terms will be agreed to by the end of the week. Australia’s GDP grew by 0.9% q/q during the first quarter as growth was driven largely by newly completed mines boosting exports and the RBA’s decisions to keep interest rates steady. It’s a packed day for economic data releases today and we expect to see increased market volatility as investors respond to key data announcements.
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.
01 Jun 2015 08:04
China’s manufacturing PMI reading for May rose to 50.2, sending risk assets higher as investor confidence steadily improved. Three month LME copper, aluminium and nickel prices were supported higher early on this morning on the stable Chinese PMI data, as the industrial metals attempted to recover some of Friday’s steep losses. The deadline for a Greek deal is fast approaching and it seems hope is quickly fading as talks over the weekend failed to garner any significant traction.
21 May 2015 15:35
European equity indices experienced a rather subdued trading session today, following on from a mixed Asian session as investors continued to mull over yesterday’s FOMC meeting minutes. With a growing number of market participants worried that US equity markets are now overvalued after the S&P hit a new record intraday high yesterday having gained 14% over the past twelve months.
21 May 2015 08:31
LME warehouse stockpiles of zinc shot up 7.8% yesterday alleviating some of the upward price pressure which has seen three month LME zinc prices rally over 20% since bottoming out at a year-to-date low of $1,981/tonne in mid-March, rising to a fresh year-to-date high just above $2,400/tonne earlier this month. Yesterday’s release of Aprils FOMC meeting minutes indicated that policymakers were increasingly expressing doubts regarding the strength of the US recovery as unimpressive economic data saw the prospects of an interest rates rise this summer diminish.
01 May 2015 07:56
China’s official manufacturing PMI held firm month-on-month as it managed to hold above the 50 point mark that separates expansion from contraction, coming in at 50.1 in April. The euro posted its largest monthly gain against the dollar in over four years as it snapped a nine month bear run against the greenback in April. Initial weekly jobless claims fell to their lowest level in fifteen years to 262K during the week ending April 25th as underlying labour market conditions continued to improve.
23 Apr 2015 08:05
China’s manufacturing PMI reading fell further below the 50 point mark, dropping to a 12 month low in April as efforts by policymakers in Beijing have seemingly failed to provide the necessary boost to an ailing economy. Despite a weaker than expected PMI reading, Chinese mainland stock indices extended gains overnight as investors broadly chose to ignore the weaker data, instead focusing on the recent PBOC stimulus announcement - hopeful that central bankers would introduce additional monetary easing measures. The dollar index snapped a two day bull run as investors breathed a sigh of relief after Greece managed to gain access to emergency funding.
01 Apr 2015 15:28
European stocks got off to a strong start to the first session of Q2 as economic data released earlier today indicated that the recovery in the eurozone is well on track, dispelling concerns that have kept the pressure on risk assets in recent sessions. It’s been a tough first quarter for commodities as global demand growth struggled to lift off and ample supplies skewed the fundamental balance. Seaborne iron ore has been particularly hard hit by off balance fundamentals, exacerbated by a stronger dollar, with the TSI 62% Fe CFT Tianjin benchmark price leading the worst performers for the quarter as it ended Q1 at $51/tonne, down almost 28% since the start of the year.
01 Apr 2015 08:44
Japan’s Manufacturing PMI fell slightly to 50.3 in March from 50.4 in February. China’s manufacturing PMI increased just above the key level of 50.0, at 50.1 in March. European equity markets were mixed this morning ahead of key manufacturing PMI data from Eurozone.
24 Mar 2015 09:26
European equity markets rebounded from earlier losses this morning following robust manufacturing PMI data which improved market sentiment. The euro rebounded towards 1.10 against the dollar this morning.
02 Mar 2015 15:37
European equity indices pulled back from multi-year highs as the bullish undertones from the Asian session failed to spill-over to today’s trading session. Better than expected macroeconomic data failed to offer some upside potential to European markets today with London’s blue chip index trading tentatively lower even after the UK manufacturing PMI reading rallied to a seven month high in February as the Markit reading rose to 54.1 against expectations of 53.3.
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 15:11
Global markets breathed a collective sigh of relief today as eurozone finance ministers approved Greece’s reform programme, setting the path for a four month extension of the current rescue package.
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.
04 Feb 2015 08:37
The ECB has proven unwilling to approve the new rescue plan put together by the Greek government with the central bank reluctant to raise the €15bn t-bill insurance to the €25bn threshold requested by Athens. China’s services sector expanded at the slowest pace in six months as January’s HSBC services PMI reading slipped to 51.8 from 53.4 the previous month.
02 Feb 2015 16:37
European equity markets fluctuated strongly in today’s session as mixed manufacturing PMI data from the US, Asia and Eurozone failed to provide clear direction. The euro edged higher and held around 1.1350 against the US dollar today, despite the ongoing uncertainty regarding Greece’s economic prospects.