Forex – Pound Gives Up Gain as DUP Rejects Deal “as Things Stand”

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The British pound gave up gains on Friday in Asia as traders digested the latest Brexit news.

The British pound rose to near a five-month high against the U.S. dollar after the European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson both confirmed via twitter that a Brexit deal had been reached.

However, the pound reversed gains after Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said it remains opposed to the proposed agreement, making it uncertain if the deal will be passed by the U.K. Parliament when it votes on Saturday.

The DUP said the proposals are not beneficial to the economic wellbeing of Northern Ireland.

The pair last traded at 1.2852 by 11:45 PM ET (03:45 GMT), down 0.3%.

For the week, the pound was on course for a 1.7% gain versus the dollar.

The pair was little changed at 7.0765. The release of China’s GDP data had little impact on the currency pair.

China’s economic growth in the third quarter slowed more than expected to 6.0% from last year, the National Bureau of Statistic reported on Friday. Analysts expected GDP to grow 6.1% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, industrial output gained 5.8% year-on-year in September, compared with a 5.0% growth expected by analysts.

Retail sales rose by 7.8% year-on-year, in line with expectations.

Fixed asset investment grew 5.4% year to date, also matching expectations.

The pair slipped 0.1% to 108.56.

The pair and the pair gained 0.1% and 0.4% respectively.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Tuesday

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com — China throws a party with ICBMs and stealth drones, while Hong Kong burns. Meanwhile, Europe’s economy looks ever grimmer and Credit Suisse (SIX:) clears its CEO of wrongdoing in a spy drama. Here’s what you need to know in financial markets on Tuesday, 1st October.

1. Happy Birthday, Red China

China celebrated 70 years of Communist Party rule with a massive military parade that showcased intercontinental ballistic missiles and stealth drones, while said in a keynote speech that “no force can stop the advance of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.”

In Hong Kong meanwhile, the local government ordered the evacuation of the Legislative Council complex after fresh protests turned violent, leading to the shooting of one protester with a live round by police, according to The New York Times.

Chinese markets are closed for the national holiday.

2. The dollar – cleanest shirt in the laundry basket

The dollar surged overnight after the cut its key interest rate to a new all-time low, and Japan’s survey came out weaker than expected.

The greenback also broke through parity against the after Switzerland – alongside many other European countries – saw its manufacturing sector contract more sharply in September.

PMIs from across Europe indicated that there’s still no stabilization in sight for the . Even though the U.S. economy too is slowing, the dollar is still widely seen as “the cleanest shirt in the dirty laundry basket.”

The for the U.S. is due at 10 AM ET (1400 GMT), along with a monthly update on U.S. construction spending. Interventions from Federal Reserve officials , and will punctuate the day. There’ll also be speeches from outgoing ECB President and German central bank chief .

3. Stocks set to open 4Q higher

Wall Street is set to open the fourth quarter in positive mood, shrugging off signs of concerns about the upcoming third-quarter earnings season and increasing political jeopardy for President Donald Trump from the impeachment proceedings against him (reports late on Monday indicated that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also listening in on the notorious call where Trump asked Ukraine’s President Zelensky for help in investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter).

At 6 AM ET, were indicated up 60 points, or 0.2%, while were up 6 ponts or 0.2% and were up 22 points or 0.3%.

The Treasury yield, meanwhile, touched 2.20% for the first time in five days in overnight trading.

4. Johnson’s Brexit plans look dead on arrival

U.K. Prime Minister is due to send his detailed plans for solving the post-Brexit Irish border problem to the EU. He’s hoping that the plans will allow him to craft some kind of deal at a summit in two weeks’ time that is effectively the last chance for the U.K. to ensure an orderly departure from the EU on Oct. 31.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the plans involve a string of customs clearing centers a few miles back from the actual border. That effectively breaches the Good Friday Agreement’s provisions on keeping physical border infrastructure off the island or Ireland. As both the U.K. and EU have agreed to uphold the Good Friday Agreement, the chances of the EU agreeing to Johnson’s proposals seem minimal.

The released earlier indicated that British firms have again started ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline, although not by enough to stop the manufacturing sector contracting again in September.

5. Credit Suisse (SIX:) CEO escapes unscathed from spy drama

The board of Credit Suisse (SIX:) Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam from wrongdoing in a review of how the bank came to spy on former wealth management head Iqbal Khan as he prepared to start work for rival UBS.

Chief operating officer Patrick Bouee, a long-time confidante of Thiam who also worked with him at Prudential (LON:) PLC, took the rap and resigned. Meanwhile, the contractor who hired investigators to tail Khan on behalf of Credit Suisse (SIX:) , ensuring that an embarrassing and noxious episode for Credit Suisse’s reputation ended on the grimmest possible note.

Khan, meanwhile, starts work at UBS today.

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NewsBreak: Fed’s Clarida Says Fed Taking Things ‘Meeting by Meeting’

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com — The Federal Reserve “isn’t on a preset course” and will be “taking things meeting by meeting”, vice-chairman Richard Clarida told CNBC Friday. Clarida also indicated that the Fed will soon take action to address the liquidity shortages that have plagued funding markets this week, but would not restart outright purchases of bonds, a program known as quantitative easing.

Key Quotes:

  • “We’re gonna take this meeting by meeting. We’re not on a preset course.”
  • Global economy has been “getting worse over the course of the year.”
  • “I can’t think of a time” when the U.S. consumer was in better shape.
  • Yield curve inversion partly caused by foreign inflows seeking higher rates.
  • Fed “still learning” about an economy operating at full employment.
  • Repeats Powell’s assurances that negative rates aren’t on the table.
  • at 98.187, up 0.4% on the day.
  • at 1.77% vs 1.79% immediately before comments.
  • Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

    Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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    ‘Bad things could happen’: Turning to tech to tame the crypto jungle

    © Reuters. Joel Fruhman, right, and Dan Fruhman, directors of BCB Group pose for a photograph in London © Reuters. Joel Fruhman, right, and Dan Fruhman, directors of BCB Group pose for a photograph in London

    By Tom Wilson

    LONDON (Reuters) – “Hi guys, could you please show me a firm bid for 100 bitcoin?” a seller texts on Skype.

    “One sec. $ 10270.”

    Two minutes later: “Sorry guys, that was an old order from Friday when skype wasn’t working.” 

    “I really think we should get off skype. Bad things could happen. Someone is going to make an expensive mistake.” 

    *****

    A messaging exchange over a potential $ 1 million deal, between a European asset manager looking to sell bitcoin and broker Joel Fruhman, illustrates the casual and often chaotic nature of cryptocurrency dealmaking.

    Trades involving hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars are routinely struck via brief chats on apps like Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat or Zoom, often with scant certainty over the identities of participants or the legal basis of agreements.

    “We’d end up in a Zoom call with about five ‘introducers’ – we didn’t really know who any of them were,” said Fruhman, a physicist by training who started a cryptocurrency brokerage business with his brother Dan in their British hometown of Manchester in 2018.

    “And who were we? What was our credibility?”

    Over-the-counter (OTC) trading – buying and selling through a broker – is now beginning to change, however.

    It is moving toward electronic automation as the cryptocurrency sector matures from the province of online enthusiasts to emerging financial assets drawing increasing mainstream interest, Reuters interviews with more than a dozen industry players show.

    This is a fundamental shift, as messaging apps have for years been the predominant platforms.

    It is a key front in attempts by cryptocurrency enthusiasts with roots in the traditional finance industry to drag into the mainstream a singular, largely unregulated sector born on the web a decade ago as a symbol of rebellion against the establishment and offering users near-anonymity.

    OTC trading is favored by big investors like hedge funds because cryptocurrency exchanges often suffer from thin liquidity, and large buy and sell orders can move the market.

    But the opaqueness of the messaging process and its impracticality for use on a large scale, plus the glitches that could cause the “expensive mistake” warned of by Fruhman, have left it fraught with risk.

    Now, as spreads – the differences between bid and ask prices for immediate orders – tighten as liquidity in crypto markets grows, OTC brokers and market makers are seeking to move away from unsophisticated chats and offer quotes electronically, with automated execution and settlement.

    “Things have shifted quite rapidly toward electronic trading,” said George Zarya, CEO of London-based cryptocurrency exchange BeQuant, which also runs an OTC desk and is planning to switch toward automation.

    “Anything that is liquid – bitcoin or ethereum – these markets are going to go electronic. That’s a natural path that traditional markets have gone through.”

    The changes are likely to appeal to larger investors using algorithms and high-frequency trading for whom split-second timings are important, according to the interviews with cryptocurrency OTC brokers, market makers and investors.

    Alameda Research, a crypto trader based in California and Hong Kong, launched an almost entirely automated OTC desk around six months ago that is already seeing flows of $ 20 million-$ 30 million a day, said Ryan Salame, its Asia-Pacific head of OTC.

    For Salame, the future of OTC trading is electronic, with prices for all but the smallest coins to be quoted electronically.

    “This is just the next step how you stay more competitive. Each desk is trying to be more competitive and making better systems,” he said. “It’s just a by-product of spreads coming in so much that I can’t update in the chat fast enough to give people the pricing they’re expecting.” 

    ‘CAN YOU SELL A FEW MILL?’

    The Fruhman brothers, Joel aged 29 and Dan 28, built a contact book packed with bitcoin miners they met on internet forums and apps as they grew interested in the emerging technology.

    Miners use computers to solve complex mathematical puzzles, competing against others and earning rewards in the form of new digital coins. As recently as a few years ago, individual crypto enthusiasts could mine bitcoin from their bedrooms.

    But many had a problem, the Fruhmans found: They were producing bitcoin faster than they could convert them to the cash they needed to clear the hefty electricity bills run up by their high-powered computing gear working overtime. 

    “We saw something very clear: A bunch of guys with a lot of bitcoin valued in USD, who had no idea how to turn that into money,” said Joel. “It started with one request, which was just one of these guys, our mate, who was like: ‘Can you sell a few mill?'”

    Late last year, in an attempt to tap bigger investors and offer more sophisticated back-office services, the brothers swapped their contact book for a stake in a startup run by ex-financiers well-versed in the infrastructure of the financial system, from escrow accounts to settlement systems.     

    The startup, BCB Group, then based in London’s financial district, offered something the Fruhmans lacked: regular access to clients from mainstream finance willing and able to buy the regular supply of digital coin offered by their mining contacts.

    “It’s not the stoned 22-year-old that we were dealing with a year and a half ago,” said Joel. “And it’s not the equity traders, the Goldman Sachs (NYSE:). They’re kind of in between – it’s growing from one into the other.”

        

    TRADE BLOSSOMS IN BITCOIN BUBBLE

    Global cryptocurrency trading volumes are highly erratic. Over the past year, bitcoin alone – by far the largest coin – has seen daily volumes of between $ 900 million and $ 3 billion, according to research firm Coin Metrics.

    Brokers estimate the OTC market typically accounts for 10% to 30% of global volumes on any given day.  

    The OTC market blossomed as bitcoin’s value soared during its 2017 bubble. That was when miners, wealthy individual investors, hedge funds and companies earning revenue in crypto grew active in the market.

    Now, said the industry players who spoke to Reuters, the market is seeing a new shift as the predominance of messaging apps wanes and the more sophisticated tools used in traditional markets like equities and bonds become increasingly common. 

    “Doing stuff over Skype and over these voice chats is not really scalable,” said Kevin Zhou, co-founder of San Francisco-based OTC desk Galois Capital.

    The evolution is partly being driven by newer entrants to the sector, many of whom are tooled up with cutting-edge tech. Some, like Chicago-based Jump Trading, are from the traditional proprietary trading worlds. Others, such as Alameda Research, specialize in cryptocurrencies. 

    And the changes are popular with big investors.

    “I prefer to use electronic because all our algorithms are fully automated,” said Andrea Leccese, president of Bluesky Capital in New York, an investment firm that often runs orders of $ 5 million-$ 10 million through OTC desks. “If we can send our quote electronically to the OTC broker, it’s much better for us.” 

    “It’s fair to say more or less half of OTC trading is going through technical innovation like making fully electronic platform, and that’s even better on our side.” 

    Cryptocurrency regulation is patchy across the world, with curbs on the illegal use of digital coins the priority, and the implications of increasing automation in OTC trading are unclear. But, some market players say, because the changes are likely to attract more mainstream investment they could be a factor in speeding up the introduction of the kind of securities rules seen in traditional markets.

    MACHINE VS MAN

    While increasing automation may be inevitable, many OTC desks are in a bind. Some clients are loath to ditch the personal relationships they have established with their brokers and the apps they use to communicate.

    New York-based Genesis Global Trading sees around $ 1 billion a month in volume, CEO Michael Moro said. While that’s down from the $ 2 billion-$ 2.5 billion a month during bitcoin’s 2017 boom, volumes are now rising between 10% and 20% a month.

    Genesis uses TradeBlock, a New York firm that provides tools for trading cryptocurrencies, to execute its deals – but can’t completely abandon messaging apps.

    “We will give market color over (Skype), but the actual transactions are over TradeBlock,” Moro said. “When your clients that are buying $ 5, $ 10 million say, ‘Hey, let’s just chat on Skype’, to get them to change their behavior and say, ‘No, we don’t do Skype’, you end up creating a friction.”

    For the Fruhman brothers, personal relationships will remain key. 

    “The plan is to go to an automated platform, where they’ll be able to request quotes on our front-end website,” said Dan. “But the interesting thing is that a lot of people actually like the human-to-human interaction.” 

    “It’s not just ‘like’,” said Joel, quickly. “If you’re trading $ 20 million, you’re not clicking a button – you want to push on the price, you want to get a feel, you want to maybe break it up.”

    “I think there’ll always be this human OTC component for institutional clients.”

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    8 things that worsen your trading performance

    What are some of the biggest traps you can fall into as a trader?

    FBS 1

    Trading is a process that is different for every participant: a great deal of success depends on personal qualities and strengths. And yet, a number of things are universal – the similar challenges everyone goes through and the common traps that at some point await all traders.

    In this article, we have gathered the potential killers of trading success as well as the recommendations on how to eliminate them or turn the situation around in case you are already suffering.

    #1: Being too lazy to test things

    It can be tempting to just start using a new trading strategy right away to bear monetary fruits as soon as possible. However, launching into the unknown is not the best idea. Practice makes perfect and it’s always better to test things first.

    As a result, use the potential provided by demo accounts to its most: test the services provided by your broker, test a new strategy, work on your risk management and position sizing.

    #2: Extreme emphasis on the result

    A lot of traders expect to see the mind-blowing amounts of profit literally in no time. Others get fixated on the idea that every trade should be profitable.

    We won’t argue that trading should be to your benefit, that goes without saying. However, obsession with rewards alone won’t do you any good. After all, the rewards won’t achieve themselves.

    All important things – analysis, strategy, risk management – are the elements of the trading process. So, while it’s absolutely necessary to have a goal (a reasonable one, for sure), once the goal is set, you should throw all your strengths and attention to the process of trading.

    Learn from each trade you make – your own experience of observing and dealing with the market is your most precious asset. Focus on the key elements of trading mentioned above and try to improve your skills in each of them.

    #3: Lack of proper money and risk management

    The reasons for this misstep may be different: laziness that we have already mentioned before, ignorance, the lack of patience. Bear in mind that professional trading is not a game and that every time you put your money at stake, not just some abstract numbers you see on the screen.

    In addition, be always aware that by nature people are inclined to underestimate probabilities of bad events. Accept the idea that there will be losses and your job is to make sure that they don’t put devour your deposit. Be prepared: don’t risk too much and use Stop Loss orders.

    #4: Forgetting bigger timeframes

    Some intraday traders – beginners – perceive timeframes from daily and bigger as something remote and unrelated to what they are doing. Yet, bigger timeframes show the bigger picture.

    Although fractals we see on the smaller timeframes are the first to show a change in the market, they may always be just ripples that don’t mean a new trend.

    As a result, make sure that you consult large timeframes on a regular basis to ensure that your short-term trades don’t clash with some important long-term support/resistance levels.

    #5: Constant hurry

    Ask yourself a question: are you a patient person? Do you have this urge to open a trading order, no matter buy or sell, right after you have turned on your trading software just for the sake of doing something?

    Such a hurry to start trading is quite common these days when the process of setting up a trade is swift and easy. Another form of the illness is when a person sees a rapid movement of the price and has a sudden panic attack, seized by the fear of missing out (FOMO) a trade of a lifetime.

    The problem is that if you are in a hurry, you will probably cut yourself a lot of slack in market analysis and get into something you shouldn’t have got into. The odds are that by doing so you will forgo risk management.

    In order to avoid such situations, try to consciously monitor your psychological condition during every trade. Make it a routine checkup: every time you feel that you are moving too fast, slam on the brakes, take a deep breath and think some more.

    #6: Not understanding the essence and logic of the market

    Often enough traders look at a chart but don’t really see it. Remember that the price action is a result of the activity of all market participants or that a pullback comes after every big move. It’s also worth noting that a lower high in an uptrend is a worrying sign for bulls or that breakouts of important levels may be false.

    Furthermore, candlesticks and their patterns can tell you stories about what happened with the price; that technical indicators don’t bring new information but are derived from the price; that fundamental economic disparities shape the longer-term trends and the market is driven by expectations in a greater deal than by events themselves, etc.

    To become better at reading the market, make your forecasts for the instruments you do not trade and see how the situation turns out. Watch the price’s reaction to economic releases. Apply every bit of the knowledge you get to practice.

    #7: Overanalzying

    Regrettably, there may just be too much of a good thing. You should always be able to see the price chart below all the lines you have drawn and all the indicators you have applied – no jokes!

    To be honest, it’s hard to see how you may need more than 3-4 indicators: there is little point in applying indicators that have similar functions. In addition, a bigger number of indicators will simply make a trading strategy bulky and dysfunctional.

    As a result, cut the excessive things and use the remaining ones efficiently.

    #8: Poor planning and organization

    In some endeavors, it pays off to be spontaneous. However, trading is rarely one of them. It doesn’t mean that trading is not creative, but that it requires disciplined execution on many levels.

    Here we stress not only the necessity of a trading plan with the technical details of your trades but also the need to have a daily routine in place. Make sure you organize your activity carefully. Assign defined periods of time to trading and make sure you stick to them.

    Conclusion

    Our most sincere advice is for you to try and actually apply the recommended solutions. As it often happens in trading, things listed above may seem like banality and easy stuff.

    Still, many traders put off amending the situation and forget about the simple steps that can make their trading life much better. What if a time to become a mindful trader has finally come?

    This article was submitted by FBS.

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    Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Friday

    © Reuters.  © Reuters.

    Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, May 3:

    1. Jobs report set to dominate trade

    Market focus on Friday will center on the April jobs report at 8:30 AM ET (12:30 GMT), with a string of Federal Reserve policymakers also set to make remarks throughout the day.

    Economists forecast the creation of while the is expected to stay at 3.8%.

    Wages are predicted to rise, with climbing 0.3% for the month, pushing its to 3.3%

    On Wednesday the Federal Reserve pointed to the employment picture as one reason it can remain patient either way on rates, saying in its statement that job gains “have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low.”

    Analysts argue that an upbeat jobs report could drive the higher. The greenback has been bid solidly since Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference on Wednesday, where he played down recent soft inflation data and said he saw no reason to cut interest rates.

    Read more: – Kathy Lien

    Following the NFP release, Chicago Fed president will speak on global economies while a swarm of fellow policymakers – including Fed Vice Chairman , New York Fed chief , Fed governor , St. Louis Fed president , San Francisco Fed president , Dallas Fed chief and the head of the Cleveland Fed – will all participate in a panel on “Strategies for Monetary Policy” to be held in Stanford, California.

    Although overshadowed by the jobs report, the Institute of Supply Management will also release its for April at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

    2. Stocks recover ahead of jobs data

    U.S. futures pointed to a recovery on Wall Street after Thursday’s negative close as investors braced for the monthly employment report.

    The blue-chip gained 77 points, or 0.3% by 5:32 AM ET (9:32 GMT), while rose 10 points, 0.3%, and traded up 40 points, or 0.5%.

    nearing midday trade Friday, helped in part by strong earnings reports from German sportswear maker Adidas (DE:) and Asia-focused lender HSBC.

    on Friday in holiday-thinned trade with Chinese and Japanese markets closed for holidays.

    3. Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway invests in Amazon

    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said that his finally bought shares in Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) for the first time.

    Buffett indicated that the purchase was made by one of his investment managers, Todd Combs or Ted Weschler, and said the details would be disclosed later this month in Berkshire’s (NYSE:) quarterly report of its U.S. stock holdings.

    Though Buffett has long praised the leadership of Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, the “sage of Omaha” took time to invest in the company’s shares.

    “Yeah, I’ve been a fan, and I’ve been an idiot for not buying,” Buffett told CNBC.

    4. Facebook recruits partners to launch crypto payment app

    Facbook (NASDAQ:) has stepped up the pace with its cryptocurrency-based payments system, recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help with the launch, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

    The code-named Project Libra has been underway for over a year and is based on a so-called stablecoin that users could use to make purchases on the social media’s platform and across the Internet, sources told the WSJ.

    Facebook is reportedly looking for total investments of about $ 1 billion in order to damp volatility in its coin’s value and has talked to such companies as Visa (NYSE:), Mastercard (NYSE:) and First Data Corp (NYSE:) about the project, which could one day threaten the dominance of today’s electronic payments giants.

    5. Oil extends weekly losses to more than 2%

    on Friday on concerns that rising U.S. output would begin to hit global markets.

    fell 30 cents, or 0.5%, to $ 61.51 by 5:34 AM ET (9:34 GMT), while traded down 53 cents, or 0.8%, to $ 71.22.

    Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude production hit a record 12.3 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, an increase of around 2 million bpd from a year earlier.

    The EIA also noted that U.S. crude exports broke through 3 million bpd for the first time this year, causing concern that the increase could outweigh OPEC-led efforts to reduce the global supply glut and rebalance markets.

    — Reuters contributed to this report.

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    3 Things Under the Radar This Week

    © Reuters.  © Reuters.

    Investing.com – Here’s a look at three things that were under the radar this past week.

    1. ‘No Free Lunch’ Has Different Meaning For Some U.S. Gas Drillers

    There’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s the maxim the world pretty much operates by.

    Yet, the experiences of natural gas drillers at Texas’ Waha hub may make that sound like a cruel joke.

    Next-day natural gas prices at Waha plunged to record negative levels this week. And some drillers were not only getting no money for the commodity, but also paying those with spare pipeline capacity to take the unwanted gas.

    That’s akin to giving away your bread and paying people to eat it. It’s not something OPEC is ever expected to do with its oil, even if that unlikely reaches zero value at some point.

    Pipeline constraints in the Permian basin in West Texas were to blame for the phenomenon. The Permian is the nation’s largest oil field, but it also produces large volumes of gas and the region lacks pipelines to move it. That has squeezed gas prices there for some time.

    Weak demand and recent equipment problems on a key pipeline in New Mexico have exacerbated the problem, Reuters reported.

    Spot prices at the Waha hub fell to minus $ 3.38 per million British thermal units for Wednesday from minus 2 cents for Tuesday. That beat the prior all-time next-day low of minus $ 1.99 for March 29.

    On the broader front, futures of gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange, which set month-ahead prices, have also been weak lately as the advent of spring weather tempers heating demand.

    The United States experienced one of its heaviest gas consumption periods ever in the winter as heating demand spiked from record low temperatures caused by a polar vortex. reached more than 4-1/2-year highs of nearly $ 5 at the height of the cold weather in November. They are now well below $ 3.

    2. As Oil Prices Flirt With Highs, Energy Stocks Slide

    When oil prices rack up gains, energy stocks tend to join in on the fun. But energy stocks lagged the swashbuckling moves higher in oil prices this week, leaving many scrambling for answers.

    Oil prices rose nearly 5%, outpacing gains in the S&P 500 energy sector, which served up an increase of about 2.25%.

    Some in the investment community outlined three factors for the disconnect between energy stocks and oil prices: valuation, valuation, valuation.

    Energy stocks have gone up too fast too soon. This prompted investors to remain on the sidelines or head for the exits. The energy sector trades at 18x 2019 earnings, above 16.3x for the S&P 500.

    There appears little hope, however, that energy companies will be able to jack up earnings and justify their valuations as the bulk of companies in the sector have seen double-digit declines in first-quarter earnings expectations.

    Among the 11 sectors, the energy sector has recorded the largest decrease in expected earnings growth since the start of first quarter to -18.4%, FactSet said last week. Despite the decline in expected earnings, the energy sector “has witnessed the third-largest increase in price of all eleven sectors since December 31 at 15.6%,” the report said.

    The lower expectations on earnings growth has been driven by lower average oil prices in the first quarter of the year compared with a the same period a year ago.

    “Despite an increase in price during the quarter, the average price of oil in Q1 2019 ($ 54.81) to date is 13% lower than the average price of oil in Q1 2018 ($ 62.89),” FactSet said.

    3. Travel Spending Expectations Fall

    The index is down slightly year to date, slightly below the . But those long transports may have pause, given Morgan Stanley’s note this week.

    The investment bank said in note on airline stocks that companies are lowering their budgets for corporate travel this year after surveying managers again “to obtain an update given U.S. Government shutdown effects, uncertainty regarding Brexit and slowing global macro trends.”

    On a budget-weighted basis, corporate travel expenditure is expected to grow 2% in 2019, down from 3.7% growth expectations from a survey in November.

    Of airline respondents surveyed, 59% expect an increase in budget spending, which is down from 66% in November.

    “In this update we focus primarily on volume-based changes in travel spend, with airline managers now expecting net booking volume increase of (about) 1.5% in 2019,” Morgan Stanley said. “Compared to our November survey where 75% of respondents expected an increase in airline bookings for 2019, now only 45% of respondents expect an increase.”

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    Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Thursday

    © Reuters.  © Reuters.

    Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, March 21:

    1. Futures point to subdued open, Treasury yields hit 1-year low after Fed pivot

    on Wednesday and released details of a plan to end the monthly reduction of its balance sheet. The decision was a marked about-face from its prior December forecasts to raise interest rates twice this year.

    Although U.S. stocks turned positive after the decision, financial stocks dragged on the market due to their sensitivity to low interest rates, leaving the .

    The market’s cautious stance continued to reign on Thursday with U.S. futures stuck around the unchanged mark. At 5:41 AM ET (9:41 GMT), the blue-chip fell 22 points, or 0.1%, dropped 1 point, or 0.1%, while the edged forward 5 points, or 0.1%.

    reacted most to the change in policy stance, dropping as far as 2.51%, their lowest level since January 2018.

    The initially fell over half a percent in reaction to the Fed’s decision but recovered during Asian market hours as worries over a disorderly Brexit took its toll on .

    2. U.S.-China trade talks progress without progress

    U.S. President Trump warned on Wednesday that he will keep tariffs on China in place until he is sure that Beijing is complying with the terms of any trade agreement.

    Overnight, however, China sounded more positive on trade developments, confirming that will continue next week.

    The Chinese commerce ministry said that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing on March 28-29, while China’s Vice Premier Liu He will then travel to Washington in early April.

    3. EU preps for decision on Brexit extension

    With the current March 29 deadline for the U.K. to depart the European Union running down to the wire, British Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to meet with the bloc’s 27 other heads of government at the EU summit at 10:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT).

    May is currently seeking an extension until June 30 to work further on a withdrawal agreement.

    However, the other member states must all approve such an extension. Reports suggest that they will only allow the deadline to be pushed back to May 22, the day before elections to the European Parliament.

    4. Oil holds above $ 60 despite profit-taking

    but U.S. crude remained above the $ 60 level it breached a day earlier for the first time since November.

    fell 12 cents, or 0.20%, to $ 60.11 by 5:46 AM ET (9:46 GMT), while traded down 3 cents, or 0.04%, to $ 68.47.

    Despite profit-taking on Thursday, WTI oil is still up more than 5% this month and has skyrocketed more than 30% in 2019 on support from production cuts from OPEC and its allies led by Russia.

    U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have also served to support oil prices, while the largest decline since last July in U.S. stockpiles pushed West Texas Intermediate past the $ 60 resistance level.

    Read more: – Ellen R. Wald

    5. Nike Profit Seen Rising

    The big earnings report on Thursday comes after the close when the athletic shoe, apparel and equipment maker Nike (NYSE:) reports fiscal third-quarter earnings.

    Nike is expected to report 64 cents a share in for the quarter, down from 68 cents a year ago, according to analysts polled by Investing.com. Revenue for the component is expected at $ 9.58 billion, up 6.7% from a year ago. The stock, up more than 16% this year, has been the sixth-best Dow performer.

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    Economy News

    Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

    © Reuters.  © Reuters.

    Investing.com – Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow.

    1. How Badly Are European Economies Weakening?

    Germany will offer a clue to European economic strength when it releases revised data at 8 AM German time (07:00 GMT) on fourth-quarter gross domestic product. The from economists surveyed by Investing.com is that the German economy remained flat in the quarter, the same as the earlier estimate.

    As important is the 10 AM German time (09:00 GMT) German IFO Business Climate Index. The last five reports have shown the index declining. The of economists surveyed by Investing.com is for the index to fall slightly to 99 from 99.1.

    The European Union will release a report revising its consumer price index at 10:00 GMT. The forecast is for a 1.1% gain, unchanged from a Feb. 1 estimate.

    Lastly, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak while receiving an honorary degree at the University of Bologna in Italy. The speech is at 10:30 AM Italian time (09:30 GMT).

    European economies have been struggling over the last year because of worries about Brexit and slowing economic growth overall.

    2. Federal Reserve Officials Set to Speak

    Many members of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed’s rate-making body, will speak on Friday.

    The two most important speeches are likely to be:

    – Vice Chairman at 12:00 PM ET (17:00 GMT) on “The Federal Reserve’s Review of Monetary Policy Strategies, Tools, and Communications,” at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum in New York.

    – , the Fed’s Vice Chairman for Supervision, on “The Future of the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet,” also at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum. He speaks at 1:30 PM ET (18:30 GMT).

    3. Earnings Reports Thinner, but Still Coming

    The crush of reports from the December quarter are starting to wind down.

    Look for reports from:

    – Royal Bank Of Canada (NYSE:).

    – AutoNation (NYSE:), the big national automobile dealership chain.

    – Real estate investment trust WP Carey (NYSE:.

    – Natural gas transporter Cheniere Energy Partners (NYSE:).

    – Ruth’s Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:), the parent of the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse chain.

    Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

    Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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    Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

    © Reuters.  © Reuters.

    Investing.com – Market participants are bracing for heightened volatility as the coming week will be dominated by several market-moving events.

    The Federal Reserve will hold its first policy meeting of the year on Tuesday and Wednesday, with investors hoping for more clues on how patient it will be before raising interest rates again.

    There is also the January jobs report on Friday, with the effects of furloughed government workers potentially impacting the unemployment rate.

    In earnings, results from Apple (NASDAQ:) on Tuesday, Microsoft (NASDAQ:) on Wednesday and Amazon (NASDAQ:) on Thursday will be high on the agenda.

    Meanwhile, markets will be keeping abreast of the next round of trade talks between the U.S. and China to see if any more news materializes amid recent signs the world’s two biggest economies are working to resolve their differences.

    Elsewhere, Brexit will also occupy minds as British Prime Minister Theresa May attempts to win support for her tweaked divorce deal in parliament.

    Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

    1. Federal Reserve Rate Decision

    The is not expected to take action on interest rates at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting at 2:00PM ET (19:00 GMT) on Wednesday, keeping it in a range between 2.25%-2.5%.

    Fed Chair will hold what will be a closely-watched press conference 30 minutes after the release of the Fed’s , as investors look for greater signs of the central bank’s likely rate hike trajectory through the rest of the year.

    Any hint that the central bank is closer to ending its runoff will also be in focus.

    The Fed raised interest rates four times last year and has signaled it will probably lift borrowing costs twice in 2019, though some central bank officials have said they will be patient and cautious in raising rates as risks to the U.S. economy mount.

    2. U.S. Jobs Report

    The U.S. Labor Department will release the nonfarm payrolls report for January at 8:30AM ET (13:30 GMT) on Friday.

    The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of , after adding 312,000 positions in December, while the unemployment rate is seen dipping to from 3.9%.

    However, most of the focus will likely be on average hourly earnings figures, which are expected to rise from a year earlier, the same gain reported in December.

    This week’s calendar also features data on U.S. personal income and spending, which includes personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation figures, the Fed’s preferred metric for inflation.

    Other top-tier economic data due this week includes the CB consumer confidence report, ADP (NASDAQ:) private sector payrolls, as well as the ISM surveys on manufacturing and service sector activity.

    3. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon Highlight Busy Week of Earnings

    Three of the four biggest companies in the world all report in the week ahead, as do about a quarter of the and nearly half the stocks as the fourth-quarter earnings season gathers pace.

    Tech bellwethers , , and report respectively on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Facebook (NASDAQ:), the sixth largest stock by market cap, also reports on Wednesday.

    Some of other high-profile tech names reporting this week are Caterpillar (NYSE:), AK Steel (NYSE:), and Whirlpool (NYSE:), all due Monday.

    Tuesday sees Verizon (NYSE:), 3M (NYSE:), Harley-Davidson (NYSE:), Pfizer (NYSE:), Lockheed Martin (NYSE:), Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:), and eBay (NASDAQ:) report.

    Boeing (NYSE:), McDonald’s (NYSE:), AT&T (NYSE:), Alibaba (NYSE:), Tesla (NASDAQ:), Visa (NYSE:), PayPal (NASDAQ:), Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:), and (NYSE:) are on the docket for Wednesday.

    Results from General Electric (NYSE:), United Parcel Service (NYSE:), Mastercard (NYSE:), Raytheon (NYSE:), Blackstone (NYSE:), Sprint (NYSE:), DowDuPont (NYSE:), Altria (NYSE:), Northrop Grumman (NYSE:), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:) are due Thursday.

    Finally, corporate results from ExxonMobil (NYSE:), Chevron (NYSE:), Merck (NYSE:), Honeywell (NYSE:), Madison Square (NYSE:) Garden (NYSE:), and Cigna (NYSE:) round up the week on Friday.

    4. U.S.-China Trade Talks

    The United States and China will have in-depth discussions on economic and trade issues during Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s U.S. visit on Wednesday and Thursday.

    That follows lower-level negotiations held in Beijing earlier this month to resolve the bitter dispute between the world’s two largest economies by March 2, when the Trump administration is scheduled to increase tariffs on $ 200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

    Washington and Beijing have been engaged in a trade spat for more than a year, with both countries slapping tariffs on several of each other’s products. The standoff has raised concern in the market about a potential in global economic growth.

    5. Brexit ‘Plan B’ Debate

    Investors will keep a watchful eye on the British parliament’s debate on Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed , as well as alternative plans put forward by lawmakers, including some that seek to delay Britain’s March 29 exit from the European Union.

    The opposition and many ruling party members will likely back an amendment providing for a nine-month extension to Brexit should a deal not be agreed by Feb. 26.

    Deliberations are set for Tuesday.

    — Reuters contributed to this report

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