Market Insights & Analysis

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

17 Jan 2014 08:06
US stocks pulled back from recent record highs after a string of disappointing earnings releases from banks left investors struggling to find justification for the current equity market valuation. Asian stock markets broadly followed US markets into negative territory as Japanese indices struggled with direction despite recent economic data releases indicating a broadly bullish outlook. Spot gold prices have pulled back from the rally which materialised at the start of the year as yesterday’s long legged doji signalled at the current indecision in the market. 3-month LME nickel rallied for a fifth consecutive session yesterday as market participants continued to assess the impact of Indonesia’s export ban on unrefined mineral ores.
16 Jan 2014 16:37
A choppy session for European equities today, with major indices spending much of the day swinging between gains and losses as investors reacted to key economic data and earnings releases. Wall Street bears were in control on the open with the S&P 500 and DJIA trading between 0.3% and 0.6% lower at the time of writing.
14 Jan 2014 08:03
Japanese equity indices fell significantly lower in overnight trading after investors, returning to the market after the long weekend, sold off holdings in response to Friday’s weaker than expected non-farm payrolls figures. Wall Street echoed the Asian session’s sentiment, closing lower as investor concerns regarding stock market valuation prompt a sell-off. Gold traded towards a one month high yesterday, building on support at the 50 day MA. The US Fed is considering taking further action to limit banks’ activities in physical commodities as pressure from congress steps up.
13 Jan 2014 08:06
US stocks ended last week on a positive note supported by a weaker than expected jobs report which alleviated concerns that the Fed would aim for a rapid withdrawal of QE. Spot gold prices rallied 1.7% on Friday on the weaker non-farm payroll numbers as investors approached markets with caution. Indonesia has signed in a ban on mineral ore exports, supporting three month LME nickel prices 3.6% higher on Friday while the rupiah also made steady gains against the dollar.
10 Jan 2014 08:20
A mixed session for Asian equities as investors hold out for key data releases later today with Japanese stocks managing to end the day in positive territory while mainland Chinese stock indices slip lower. Major US equity indices ended the day largely unchanged yesterday despite better than expected initial jobless claims and a marginally improved Bloomberg weekly consumer comfort index. China’s imports accelerated to their highest level since July 2013, supporting the view that domestic demand remained on track to support economic growth.
09 Jan 2014 16:47
European equity markets drifted lower today after yesterday’s mixed trading session after rates decisions and comments from the ECB and BOE as well as the FOMC meeting minutes released yesterday prompted investors to take flight on a round of profit taking. Over in the US, despite an encouraging initial jobless claims reading for the week ending January 4th, which saw claims fall by 15K w/w to 330K which was 5K below analyst expectations.
08 Jan 2014 08:31
US stocks rebounded yesterday on an improving trade balance as the S&P 500 snapped a three day losing streak, adding 0.61% throughout the session while the DJIA pushed 0.64% higher. Spot gold prices snapped a 5 day bull run yesterday as intraday price moves met with resistance towards the 50 day MA at $1,250. The IMF will raise its forecast for world growth as confidence in global markets returns and growth prospects in the US and other developed markets improve.
07 Jan 2014 16:45
After a sluggish start to the day European equity indices managed to gain significant ground as encouraging economic data out of both the eurozone and the US prompted reluctant investors back into the market. Despite the overhanging eurozone concerns the better than expected data supported the DAX index 0.83% higher as it moved back above 9,500 after slipping from record highs on the first trading day of the year as investors took profits.
07 Jan 2014 08:59
Janet Yellen has been confirmed as chairman of the Federal Reserve by the US Senate in a 56-26 vote, becoming the first woman to head the central bank. Wall Street drifted lower yesterday as lacklustre ISM non-manufacturing data weighed heavy on markets, leading the S&P 500 to decline for a third straight session.
27 Dec 2013 15:05
Global equities extended their rally on Friday as risk appetite was encouraged by lower than expected jobless claims in the US. Weekly jobless claims dropped 42,000 w/w. The positive sentiment carried over into the European session where major indices started the day on a strong footing as London’s blue chip index climbed above 6,730 on opening. Over on Wall Street, the S&P 500 and DJIA built on previous gains, opening 0.1% and 0.15% higher respectively.
27 Dec 2013 08:25
Asian stocks ended the week on a positive note with Japanese equity indices rallying for a third straight session on better than expected US jobless claims and easing money market conditions in China. US equity markets extended gains, pushing to new record highs after yesterday’s release of initial jobless claims came in 7,000 lower than expected at 338K new claims for the week ending 21st December. Spot gold prices managed to recover above $1,200/oz throughout the week as prices climbed towards $1,210 but the yellow metal is still headed for a fourth consecutive monthly loss and is currently down 27.5% throughout the year.
24 Dec 2013 08:57
Gold prices trended below $1200/oz yesterday on the bullish economic growth outlook, which has prompted investors to pare holdings of the yellow metal. Asian markets gained overnight on better than expected US data with the MSCI Asia Pacific index rallying for a fifth straight session, closing 0.4% higher. US markets extended gains for a fourth straight session, spurred by a better than expected Chicago Fed national activity index and stable growth in personal spending.
23 Dec 2013 15:43
Equity markets have built on the previous week’s gains with a stable Asian session paving the way for a strong European open. The positive sentiment seen in European markets was carried over to the US session where Wall Street equity indices built on previous gains to extend to fresh intraday highs.
23 Dec 2013 08:14
Chinese liquidity conditions tightened further on Monday with the seven day repo rate rising above 9%, suggesting banks are still holding on to cash as monetary conditions worsen. US markets extended gains on Friday, spurred by better than expected Q3 GDP figures with the S&P 500 closing at a new record high at 1818.32 after gaining 0.48% throughout the day as the DJIA added 0.26% to close at 16,221.14. Despite credit crunch fears in China, equity indices have manage to snap a five day losing streak as financials and pharmaceuticals led the rebound on technical support.
20 Dec 2013 16:01
European equity markets managed to build on yesterday’s bullish session, pushing higher as investors reacted to economic data releases. Wider European indices also managed to post steady gains, with the DAX gaining 0.63% and the CAC closing 0.38% higher. After Wednesday’s announcement that the Fed would initiate tapering in January sent US markets to record highs, momentum continues to build as investors welcomed the better than expected third quarter annualised GDP growth.
19 Dec 2013 08:21
The US Fed has announced it will begin tapering QE to $75bn a month from $85bn previously after stronger than expected housing and labour market data over the past few months prompted the central bank to begin winding down its asset purchase programme. Markets were also supported by stronger than expected housing starts in the US, which rose to their highest level in over five years in November, increasing 22.7% m/m and providing further insight into a recovering construction sector. UK unemployment fell unexpectedly to 7.4% in October from 7.6% the previous month as 250K workers were added in the three months to October, significantly above the 165K expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Chinese equity indices extended losses in overnight trading as concerns regarding higher funding costs spooked investors.
18 Dec 2013 08:02
US markets struggled with direction yesterday as investors remained on the side-lines ahead of the FOMC rates announcement and Bernanke’s last press conference as chairman of the US Fed. Asian markets rose in overnight trading ahead of the Fed decision today as a weaker yen supported exporters, leading to a 2.0% gain in the Nikkei while the TOPIX added 1.48% throughout the session. China’s benchmark seven day repo rate increased to its highest level in six months, reaching 6.28% on speculation that the central bank will further relax the control on borrowing costs.
17 Dec 2013 08:15
Bullish economic data releases helped Wall Street lift higher ahead of the Fed meeting due to start today. A mixed session for Asian stocks ahead of the Fed meeting with Japanese stocks pushing higher while Chinese markets drifted lower. Three month LME copper prices rallied for a seventh consecutive session yesterday as intraday prices briefly moved above $7,300/tonne, the highest level since 23rd October.
12 Dec 2013 08:32
US equity markets dropped for a second day amid tapering concerns. The CBOE volatility index closed above 15 points for the first time since mid-October as investors largely ignored the progress made regarding the budget in the US. Most major European equity indices have struggled to hold near the recent record highs as the DAX and CAC drifted lower for the third consecutive session yesterday.
11 Dec 2013 08:43
US markets consolidated yesterday on budget concerns and tapering expectations as both the S&P 500 and DJIA closed 0.3% lower. Asian markets extended losses during overnight trading, following the European and US sessions lower as the recent budget deal shifted focus back to stimulus concerns which weighed heavy on investor sentiment. Three month LME copper prices rose for the third consecutive session yesterday, climbing above $7,150 as investors considered the recent Chinese data releases. Iron ore prices gained further support from recent encouraging data, with the TSI 62% Fe index rising to $139.40/tonne from $135.90/tonne four weeks ago.
10 Dec 2013 16:02
Figures published by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) estimated 0.8% growth in UK GDP during the three months to November, a slight increase from the three months to October figure of 0.7%. Wider European markets also struggled with the lack of economic catalysts, with both the DAX and CAC trading down 0.6% and 0.8% respectively at the time of writing. The euro climbed to a six week high against the dollar, rallying for a sixth consecutive session towards 1.3800 after last week’s interest rate decision from the ECB and subsequent comments by Mario Draghi failed to reassure investors.
10 Dec 2013 08:29
US equity markets extended the previous week’s gains with the S&P 500 closing at a record high, adding 0.18% throughout the day as investors continue to weigh positive economic data against the timing of tapering. Asian equities struggled with directions during overnight trading despite US investor bullishness as the lack of fresh economic releases from the US kept investors side-lined. The RICS house price index has risen to its highest level in over ten years as government schemes to boost buying coupled with supply shortages support higher prices. The Chinese yuan has pushed to a two decade high, approaching 6.0700 signalling policy makers are loosening their control on the currency with the hopes that it could ultimately lead to a free-floating exchange rate.
09 Dec 2013 16:14
European equity markets hold firm on encouraging Chinese trade balance as a lack of fresh data from the US left investors mulling over the positive employment numbers released last week. Market participants continue to contemplate the imminent withdrawal of Fed support in the coming months, helping developed market currencies push higher, with the euro and sterling adding 0.1% and 0.2% at the time of writing.
06 Dec 2013 08:17
US markets have extended declines for a fifth straight session on encouraging economic data which continues to fuel speculation that the Fed will begin tapering in the coming months. Comments by ECB president, Mario Draghi, hinted at possible policy action in 2014. Investors have adopted a cautious attitude ahead of key data releases today as they anticipate that any further positive surprises will support the view that the Fed will begin tapering soon.
05 Dec 2013 08:32
Wall Street drifted lower with both the DJIA and S&P 500 dropping for a fourth straight session, trailing 0.16% and 0.13% lower respectively as markets pulled back from the record levels achieved last week. Asian markets extended losses accrued in the previous session as investors weighed a stronger yen and positive US data. Gold prices recovered 1.74% yesterday, the highest one day gain since mid-October, after finding a floor around $1,210. 3-month LME copper prices gained 1.9% yesterday, the largest one day increase since 8th August as prices rose to $7,128 before closing at $7,095.
03 Dec 2013 07:56
US markets closed lower yesterday with the S&P 500 testing support at 1,800 and the DJIA holding firm above 16,000, closing 0.27% and 0.48% lower respectively. Rio Tinto is set to cut capex by half as global commodity prices continue to face significant headwinds. Regulators will meet on 10th December to discuss the final version of the Volcker rule, according to Bloomberg. Asian markets rallied higher, with the Nikkei gaining for the fourth straight session after stimulus speculation boosted risk appetite.
29 Nov 2013 17:15
Dow Jones and S&P 500 hit a fresh record high on Friday, posting strong gains for a third straight month in a row, while DAX also surged higher above 9,400 points. Despite the fairly disappointing European economic data, the strong upside rally in the equity markets seems not to be running out of steam anytime soon.
27 Nov 2013 09:21
US equity markets closed flat yesterday with both the S&P 500 and DJIA paring gains towards the close despite stronger housing data. Asian markets ex-Japan rebounded as financial and industrial companies supported indices higher. The euro strengthened against the dollar, pushing towards 1.3580 as speculation that the ECB will not loosen monetary policy further supported the currency against most major peers.
26 Nov 2013 08:18
Crude oil markets have stabilised after opening sharply lower on Monday with Brent prices recovering to the levels seen during the previous week as the euphoria surrounding the Iranian nuclear deal diminishes. US equity markets have managed to hold firm near record levels after housing data comes in lower than expected. Asian equity indices struggled to build on the previous session’s gains, taking the lead from the US session and drifting lower
21 Nov 2013 08:14
US markets pulled back slightly as details in the FOMC’s meeting minutes were largely in line with expectations. A mixed session for Asian equity indices saw Japanese markets lift higher while Chinese stocks dropped after minutes from the FOMC’s last meeting signalled that the central bank was considering cutting bond buying in the coming months. Oversupply in metals may be limited in the coming years as price declines this year prompt miners to cut back on capex.