Independent Investor News and Updates - Part 3

Week Ahead: OPEC Meeting, UK Bank Stress Tests

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Oil is the asset in focus as OPEC discusses a potential extension of production curbs, while in equities all eyes are on British banks with the Bank of England’s stress tests due out. OPEC Oil grandees from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) convene in Vienna for their semi-annual meeting on Thursday, November 30th. The key topic for discussion will be whether to extend the 1.8m barrel-a-day production curbs due to expire in March 2018. Current market consensus is that members, along with Russia, will agree to prolong the output controls as they seek further rebalancing in the oil market. Expectations are high. Crude prices jumped to two-year highs ahead of the meeting in anticipation and speculative net long positions are at record highs, according to CFTC data. With the market positioned this long, it may be tough for OPEC to deliver enough to see crude futures rally any […]

Week Ahead: Inflation Data & Wal-Mart Earnings

Author: Phil Evans / In News

This week the inflation data from the US and UK will be closely watched. UK Inflation Following the Brexit talks and some turmoil in the cabinet over the last few days, the focus for sterling traders returns to the data this week. On Tuesday is the release of the latest CPI inflation figures, which are expected to remain steady at around the 3% mark. Rising inflation helped the Bank of England hike interest rates but it’s expected to fall back towards the 2% target level fairly soon as the worst of the pound’s decline no longer forms part of the year-on-year calculations. US Retail Sales and Inflation Following the British data we have the monthly CPI inflation and retail sales data dump from the US on Wednesday. Higher gas prices meant a jump in the headline rate, underlying inflation remained a slack. Core CPI rose 1.7% year-on-year in September, flat […]

Week Ahead: Hoping for Brexit Breakthrough

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Another round of Brexit talks, central bank policy decisions and more earnings releases. Brexit Talks The next round of negotiations begins on Thursday with two days of talks between the UK and EU expected to yield more progress than previous meetings. That is because the UK’s chief negotiator and Brexit secretary, David Davis, has signalled Britain may be prepared to give ground to the EU over the much-contested divorce bill. “The withdrawal agreement, on balance, will probably favour the union in terms of things like money and so on,” he told MPs, adding that the plan is to “strategically accelerate the process”. His counterpart, Michel Barnier, has also been sounding more positive, saying that he is “ready to speed up negotiations”. Talks on the future UK-EU relationship cannot proceed until the divorce is settled and the bill is seen as the largest sticking point. If the next round of talks […]

Week Ahead: Japan Elections, GDP Prints and ECB Meeting

Author: Phil Evans / In News

The mood music in the markets remains pretty much unchanged – the standoff between Catalonia and Madrid continues while we have no real progress on Brexit. Trump’s tax reforms have moved forward but a lot of work still needs to be done to get a bill over the line. Spotlight this week is first on Asia with the snap election in Japan an important test for the economic reforms of Shinzo Abe, while the European Central Bank (ECB) is in action on Thursday. Japan Elections The prime minister calls a snap election because the government has a healthy lead in the polls over a floundering opposition – sound familiar? Japan’s Shinzo Abe gambled on calling Sunday’s snap poll but unlike Theresa May, looks set to win an easy victory and cement his power. At stake is the future of Abenomics and the ultra-loose monetary policy pursued by the Bank of […]

Week Ahead: Banks Kick off Wall Street Earnings Season

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Wall Street Earnings The fourth quarter kicked off with a series of fresh all-time highs for the major US indices and bulls will be eyeing fresh momentum from the start of the third quarter earnings releases. The major Wall Street banks kick things off, with Citigroup, JPMorgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo all due to update the market this week. As is customary, analysts have been dialling back their Q3 earnings estimates over the last few months. Earnings have been strong so far this year, with EPS growth of 13.6% in Q1 and 11.1% in Q2, but according to Zacks Investment Research expectations for Q3 have declined to a mere 3.2%. US Inflation and Retail Sales Expectations for a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve will either be gilded or dented by the double-helping of CPI inflation and retail sales data on Friday. As has been repeated time […]

Updates to ETX Capital Platform

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Chart Toolbar Update We have moved the chart toolbar so that all options run along the top of the screen just below the account summary information. This toolbar will appear when you are using the chart. When you select one of the drawing tools you will be put into drawing mode where you can select other drawing tools, edit, copy and delete them from the drawing tool icon. Settings and indicators are part of the chart toolbar. Heikin-Ashi Chart type The Heikin-Ashi chart looks like the candlestick chart but the method of calculation and plotting of the candles on the Heikin-Ashi chart is different from the candlestick chart. Heikin-Ashi candles are different and each candle is calculated and plotted using some information from the previous candle: Close price: Heikin-Ashi candle is the average of open, close, high and low price. Open price: Heikin-Ashi candle is the average of the open […]

Week Ahead: Will German Elections Set Pulses Racing?

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Germany’s federal elections look set to return Angela Merkel to power, but are markets overly complacent? German Elections As far elections go, Germany’s upcoming federal poll is hardly the most exciting. But after the shock of Brexit and Donald Trump, boredom may be a welcome relief for investors. Angela Merkel is odds-on to return to power and continue her reign as chancellor, a position she has held since 2005. Victory would easily make her the longest-serving western leader and cements her position as Europe’s pre-eminent politician. Her Christian Democratic Union and Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union are expected to gain a third of the popular vote, comfortably enough to make it the leading bloc in any ruling coalition. The question is who will form the junior partner or partners. As by far and away the biggest power in the EU, the elections have vital ramifications for everything from […]

Week Ahead: All Eyes on the Federal Reserve

Author: Phil Evans / In News

Will the Federal Reserve start to reduce its balance sheet or will it opt to wait a little longer? FOMC meeting Hold on to your hats: the time has arrived for the Federal Reserve to start unwinding its gigantic balance sheet. At least that is what the market is expecting from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) when it convenes this week for a key policy meeting. Minutes from recent meetings show a fissure opening up between those who favour waiting before reducing the $4.5 trillion balance sheet and those who think the US economy is ready for stimulus to be removed. As far back as June, Fed chair Janet Yellen said the central bank would start to reduce the size of its balance sheet “relatively soon”. Markets expect soon to mean this week’s meeting. The next FOMC meeting is in October, but without a press conference to explain the […]

Week Ahead: North Korea Looms, Bank of England Meeting in Focus

Author: Phil Evans / In News

North Korea The ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula are likely to set the tone for financial markets throughout the week. Markets remained jittery all last week, with equities and other risk assets enduring bouts of selling after a fresh nuclear test and threats of the US receiving more “gift packages” from the Pyongyang regime. Bank of England The Bank of England will meet to decide interest rates this week, with the announcement due at the usual time of midday on Thursday. Expectations that the Monetary Policy Committee is moving closer to raising rates has been tempered by a slight slowdown in inflation and concerns that growth is precarious. Policymakers are expected to leave the Bank Rate unchanged at 0.25% and make no adjustments to the size of the asset purchase programme. The pound has been sensitive to rate hike speculation but with MPs sitting and scrutinising Brexit talks again, […]

Week Ahead: Data Set to Guide Federal Reserve, ECB

Author: Phil Evans / In News

After the fun of Jackson Hole, the Federal Reserve faces a key week of data. Labour market, inflation and GDP numbers will dictate how the market views the likely course of monetary policy over the coming months. Nonfarm Payrolls The US labour market is centre on Friday with the monthly nonfarm employment change. Despite clear evidence that the tight labour market is not leading to a significant upturn in inflation, the headline nonfarm payrolls numbers remains one of the most closely-watched data releases for the markets and the US dollar in particular. In July the US economy added 209,000 jobs, ahead of forecasts, while unemployment fell to 4.3%, the lowest since March 2001. Markets are again braced for a strong number but the marginal effect seems to be lesser now that the Fed has shown caution on its assessment of how the labour market strength is translating into inflation. In […]