Special Reports

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Can US stock markets continue to defy gravity? – Special Report

Posted on April 19, 2019 at 1:19 pm GMT

US equity markets have been on a tear in 2019, reclaiming lost ground to come within breathing distance of their all-time highs. The rally has been fueled mainly by the Fed putting its rate-hike plans on ice, though easing trade tensions and corporate buybacks helped as well. While stocks could advance even further and break new highs, the risks seem increasingly asymmetric, with gains looking limited if growth stays solid but losses severe in case fears of a recession make [..]

Q1 Earnings season: a helping hand or a hand out? – Special report

Posted on April 11, 2019 at 2:55 pm GMT

The time for the earnings season is coming again this Friday but unlike preceding releases, the S&P 500 companies are expected to have had a negative ride year-on-year in Q1 2019 for the first time since Q2 2016, with Refinitiv data suggesting a 2.5% decline in earnings per share. Another difference is that traders are feeling both nervousness and excitement as the unsurprising growth downgrade by the IMF earlier this week confirmed that something is wrong with the global economy, while in Wall Street, [..]

Dollar depreciation remains elusive even as Fed prepares to lower rate path prediction – Special Report

Posted on March 14, 2019 at 4:27 pm GMT

Following the Federal Reserve’s dovish pivot in January, there is a lot of anticipation for the next FOMC meeting on March 19-20 when policymakers will publish their latest economic projections, including a revised dot plot chart. But as the Fed becomes increasingly at ease with its newly-adopted wait-and-see approach, the dovish policy move does not appear to be transmitting into the currency markets, with the dollar index holding close to 1½-year highs.  The greenback was widely expected to weaken in [..]

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With a Brexit extension in sight, what’s the outlook for sterling? – Special Report

Posted on March 8, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT

The coming week will be a crucial one for the Brexit process, as the UK Parliament will finally have a chance to vote for an extension of the exit date. Alas, even if that happens, such a delay would only be a one-time trick, so ‘something has to give’ by the summer. While the eventual destination for sterling is likely to be higher from current levels, the fact that the deadlock is unlikely to be resolved over the coming months [..]

As a trade deal moves closer, is China at risk of overstimulating its economy? – Special Report

Posted on March 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT

Growth in China decelerated to the slowest pace since 1990 last year, underlining the challenges the country faces amid sluggish global demand and a more protectionist United States. China’s leaders haven’t been sitting on their hands, however, as an abundance of policy measures have been initiated since last summer when the first wave of US tariffs struck. But with the fiscal and monetary loosening being stepped up amid a continuing downtrend in growth, is the government risking undoing the progress [..]

Gold rips higher amid a quiet flight to safety – Special Report

Posted on February 20, 2019 at 3:26 pm GMT

Bullion prices continue to surge, ascending to fresh 10-month highs this week. Since the correlation between gold and the US dollar has diminished lately, it seems a flight to safety is quietly going on, amid global growth and recession concerns. Yet, for buyers to pierce above the elusive $1365 area, some more ‘fuel’ may be required, such as a fresh escalation in growth risks or a materially weaker dollar. Gold has had an impressive run so far this year, rising [..]

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Three important risks to know about crude oil – Special Report

Posted on February 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm GMT

The last quarter of 2018 was a tough one for oil producers as fears over a global growth slowdown and concerns on plentiful production sent prices to 1 ½-year lows. To reverse the slump, OPEC and non-OPEC members clinched a deal to cut output as of January 1 despite previously increasing levels, with the market responding immediately, sending prices higher by 18% since the start of the new year. But moving ahead, the outlook remains fragile as some issues still need to [..]

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Special Report – Aussie and Kiwi outlook: storm clouds gathering?

Posted on February 11, 2019 at 3:51 pm GMT

Both the Australian and New Zealand dollars have seen the wind leave their sails lately, amid mounting speculation that their respective central banks will cut rates soon, and as investors started having second thoughts about a US-China trade deal. Examining the landscape for each economy, the case for looser policy in New Zealand seems much clearer than in Australia, though market pricing currently implies roughly equal odds for a rate cut in both. This suggests that the risks surrounding aussie/kiwi [..]

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Euro recovery turns sour again as recession risks grow; will the ECB come to the rescue? – Special Report

Posted on February 7, 2019 at 2:24 pm GMT

The euro’s slow recovery against the US dollar from November’s 16½-month low appears to have stalled as the outlook for the Eurozone economy grows grimmer by the day with no sign yet that a turnaround is around the corner. Expectations that the European Central Bank will nevertheless press ahead with its plans to start raising rates later this year, along with a pullback in the greenback have been supporting the single currency until recently. However, with the ECB’s normalization plans [..]

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Special Report – US government shutdown impact, and the prospect for more

Posted on January 30, 2019 at 4:15 pm GMT

The US government shutdown has ended, for the next two weeks at least, leaving a trail of delayed economic data and lost economic output in its wake. Unless Republicans and Democrats can reach a compromise soon, the government will likely shut down again, or President Trump could declare a national emergency. Overall, the longer and the more frequent shutdowns become, the more political uncertainty rises – at a time when trade uncertainty is already elevated. The impact of the partial [..]

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