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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 4 2017, 05:19 AM
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UK and EU on the Verge of Sealing Brexit Divorce Deal



Britain and the European Union are on the edge of finalizing a Brexit separation deal on Monday, as UK Prime Minister Theresa May travels to Brussels to open trade talks.

Northern Ireland and the future role of European courts in Britain are the most delicate issues that remain to be endorsed in a draft joint text that May hopes to sign-off over the meeting with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker.

According to diplomats involved in the negotiations, objections from Northern Irish unionist politicians are currently the main potential deal-breaker. A senior Irish official said that they await signs of a definitive breakthrough, leaving the agreement hanging in the balance.

The largest risk is the consent of the British cabinet and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist party, May's parliamentary ally, to the wording of a proposed compromise on the Northern Ireland border.

The EU side calls for May to endorse draft language that would, in effect, acknowledge the need for a unique fallback option for Northern Ireland if EU-UK trade relations make a hard border impossible to avoid.

A group of 30 Eurosceptic figures from a campaign group known as Leave Means Leave said that Britain should pull out from talks unless certain demands were met.

May gave in to EU demands on the UK paying a financial settlement of €40 billion-€60 billion net and the rights of EU citizens in Britain.

EU leaders have cautioned May that today's meeting is a deadline for resolving outstanding issues if she hopes to guarantee a “sufficient progress” EU summit on December 14-15.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 5 2017, 03:29 AM
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China Services PMI Strengthens To 51.9 In November



The services sector in China continued to expand in November, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

That's up from 51.2 in October, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The bureau also said that its composite index climbed to 51.6 in November, up from 51.0 in the previous month.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 5 2017, 04:58 AM
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Australia Retail Sales Jump in October



Australian retail sale jumped in October following months of weak demand, which is a positive indication for spending in the upcoming holiday season.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, retail sales increased 0.5 percent in October from September, the highest since May. Sales in September only rose by a revised 0.1 percent.

Sales grew across every sector with clothing and eating out particularly strong.

The country's brick-and-mortar retailers have been struggling amid cutthroat competition and as fierce price discounts fail to attract customers facing meager wage growth and mountains of debt.

However, the ABS does not yet include online data in its headline retail series despite it accounting for over seven percent of overall sales.

Figures for gross domestic product, set to be released on Wednesday, are expected to show Australia's economy growing by 0.7 percent in the third quarter from the quarter earlier.

This would see annual expansion picking up to three percent, with a rare contraction from the third quarter of 2016 falling out of the calculation.

The acceleration is a major reason the Reserve Bank of Australia is considered certain to keep interest rates at 1.5 percent at its last policy meeting of the year on Tuesday.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 6 2017, 05:32 AM
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COLOMBIA: Colcap Trades Down As Tax Reform In The U.S. Weighs



Colcap, the main index of the Colombian Stock Exchange, traded down 0.42% at 1,440.31 points Tuesday, weighed by the perception that the tax reform in the United States would lure investors to the country, with a detrimental effect on emerging markets, according to Erika Baquero, an analyst at Alianza Valores.

Avianca shares ended stable after the company announced that it signed a code-share agreement with Air China. Grupo Energ?a Bogot? (GEB) (-0.72%) reported that the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia, authorized an External Loan Agreement with a group of banks of up to US$ 749 million.

The shares of Canacol (+0.40%), and ?xito (+0.24%) are rising, while Cemex (-2.55%), ISA (-1.43%), Sura (-1.21%), and Ecopetrol (-0.56%) are falling.

The locally traded U.S. dollar closed at 2,996.50 Colombian pesos, marking a 0.15% rise, due to the expectation of a rate hike by the United States Federal Reserve Bank in 2018. Daniel Escobar, an analyst at Alianza Valores, noted that the market expects three rate adjustments in 2018, from two, which would have favored the greenback rebound.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 6 2017, 06:11 AM
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Bitcoin Breaks Through $12, 000 Mark for the First Time



In early Asian trading, Bitcoin's value rose above the $12, 000 mark, as the digital currency continued its rally. The digital currency last traded at $12, 123.98, according to CoinDesk.

The digital currency started the year at less than $1, 000 per token, but in recent months has shown a stellar upward movement: it reached $5, 000 in October and rose above $11, 000 for the first time less than two months later, CoinDesk data showed.

The most recent surge brings the cryptocurrency's total market value to around $203 billion.

The digital token's rally comes amid widespread criticism from Wall Street analysts and financial institution personalities.

Despite this, many elements of the financial world have welcomed the new crypto asset class. Major exchanges such as CME and CBOE have legitimized the cryptocurrency's investment credentials by announcing their plans to introduce future contracts to their respective exchanges in the near future.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 7 2017, 05:11 AM
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ARGENTINA: Vehicle Production Rises 3.1% On Month In November



Vehicle production in Argentina hit 45,228 units in November, 3.1% more than in October, but 3.7% less than in the same month last year, said the country's Association of Automotive Manufacturers (ADEFA).

The sector exported 19,122 vehicles - 9.7% less than in the previous month, and 11.2% below the volume recorded in the same month of 2016.

In wholesale sales, the sector sold 78,631 units, a volume that was 5.7% over the previous month's record, and 26% higher compared to November last year.

Year-to-date, the automotive sector produced 438,878 units, 1.4% more than in the same period of the previous year.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 7 2017, 05:39 AM
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Australian Dollar Slides to Two-Week Low after Trade Data Miss Estimates



The Australian dollar declined to a two-week low on Thursday after published economic data showed its trade surplus contracted in October, clocking in below estimates as exports weakened.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the country's balance of goods and services was a surplus of A$105 million for October. The figure was down from A$1.6 billion in September and missed estimates of A$1.4 billion by economists

Exports declined 3 percent in October compared to the prior month's A$903 million, missing estimates of 3 percent growth. Outbound shipments of non-rural goods declined 5 percent while rural goods slid 2 percent.

Imports increased 2 percent month on month, defying expectations that inbound shipments would be flat.

The Aussie declined 0.3 percent versus the greenback to its lowest since November at $0.7544 after the data publication.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 11 2017, 05:06 AM
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RBNZ’s Spencer Warns About Bitcoin’s Bubble Qualities, Instability



Reserve Bank of New Zealand Acting Governor Grant Spencer warned that Bitcoin's remarkable rally looks like a speculative bubble and its instability makes it unuseful in the future.

The New Zealand central banker said that the bitcoin is looking 'remarkably like a bubble forming'. He said that there have been bubbles over the centuries, but bitcoin looks like a classic case. He also warned that with such a bubble, there is no telling how far it will go before it drops.

So far this year, the cryptocurrency has surged more than 1,500 percent and around 85 percent in just the last two weeks, as people clamber to acquire the digital currency on hopes that it will be a widely-accepted and legitimate alternative to gold or traditional cash. Trading in bitcoin futures starts this week.

Spencer said that in his view, bitcoin is highly similar to gold, which also has to be mined, has a fixed quality and the price is very volatile.

RBNZ is currently doing research on the demand for the kiwi or the New Zealand dollar and whether it would be possible at some point in the future to replace the currency with a digital alternative, however, Spencer said that bitcoin should not a basis for this scenario. He said that given bitcoin's lack of stability, it would not be useful.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 11 2017, 06:07 AM
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New Zealand Govt Appoints Adrian Orr As Central Bank Governor



The New Zealand government appointed Adrian Orr as Reserve Bank Governor for a five year term.

"Following the Reserve Bank Board's unanimous recommendation to me, I have appointed Adrian Orr for a five-year term at the completion of Acting Governor Grant Spencer's term," Finance Minister Grant Robertson, said.

The appointment will take effect on March 27, 2018.

Robertson said Orr has the technical and leadership qualities required to be Governor and CEO of the Reserve Bank.

He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, a position he has held since 2007.

Orr is set to oversee the bank through the government's planned review of the Reserve Bank Act.

Orr has the standing and ability to manage this process of change as Governor of the Bank, Robertson said.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 12 2017, 03:33 AM
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Australia Q3 House Prices Ease 0.2% On Quarter



Residential property prices in Australia fell 0.2 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

That missed forecasts for a gain of 0.5 percent following the 1.9 percent jump in the previous three months.

On a yearly basis, house prices were up 8.3 percent - again missing forecasts for 8.8 percent and down from 10.2 percent in the three months prior. The capital city residential property price indexes fell in Sydney (-1.4 percent), Perth (-1.0 percent), Darwin (-2.6 percent) and Canberra (-0.2 percent) and rose in Melbourne (+1.1 percent), Brisbane (+0.7 percent), Adelaide (+0.7 percent) and Hobart (+3.4 percent).

Annually, residential property prices rose in Hobart (+13.8 percent), Melbourne (+13.2 percent), Sydney (+9.4 percent), Canberra (+6.9 percent), Adelaide (+4.8 percent) and Brisbane (+3.5 percent) and fell in Darwin (-6.3 percent) and Perth (-2.4 percent).

"The fall in Sydney property prices this quarter was consistent with market indicators," said ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman.

The total value of residential dwellings in Australia was A$6.779 trillion at the end of the September quarter, rising A$14.843 billion over the quarter.

The mean price of residential dwellings fell A$1,200 to A$681,100 and the number of residential dwellings rose by 40,200 to 9,954,100 in Q3.

Also on Tuesday, the latest survey from National Australia Bank showed that consumer confidence in Australia slowed in November with an index score of +6.

That's down from the upwardly revised +9 in October (originally +8).

Business conditions also slowed in November with index coming in at a score of +12, down sharply from +21 in the previous month.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 12 2017, 05:02 AM
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Canadian Dollar Little Changed Ahead of Fed Meeting, Poloz Speech



The Canadian dollar was nearly flat versus the US currency as investors turned their focus on this week's Federal Reserve interest rate hike decision as well as a speech by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.

The loonie fell 1.3 percent the previous week after the central bank delivered a more dovish tone than investors had anticipated. The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate at one percent.

The Canadian central bank is concerned about a number of uncertainties that could impact the nation's economy, which includes renegotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

NAFTA talks convene in Washington next week for a limited round of negotiations aimed at demonstrating progress toward closing easier chapters.

The U.S. central bank is widely expected to hike interest rates at its two-day policy meeting, and is seen possibly tightening rates two or three times next year.

The Canadian dollar traded in a narrow range of C$1.2832 to C$1.2868. On Friday, it reached its weakest level in a week, at C$1.2880.

According to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data and Reuters calculations, speculators reduced bullish wagers on the Canadian currency.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across much of a flatter yield curve, with the two-year off by 1.5 Canadian cents to yield 1.512 percent and the 10-year dropping 1 Canadian cent to yield 1.862 percent.

The gap between Canada's two-year yield and its U.S. equivalent widened by 1.5 basis points to a spread of -31.1 basis points.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 13 2017, 05:20 AM
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Bitcoin Scales New Record High in Rally Towards $20, 000



The digital currency Bitcoin reached another record peak on Tuesday, two days after the debut of the bitcoin futures on a U.S. exchange and before the launch of another futures contract next week, raising investors' hope that the Bitcoin is nearing the $20, 000 mark.

On Sunday, Cboe Global Markets introduced bitcoin futures, allowing investors to experience trading with the cryptocurrency through a large, regulated exchange. On December 17, CME Group is expected to launch its own futures contract.

The biggest cryptocurrency in the world was priced at $17, 310 on Bitstamp exchange, up 5.1 percent on the day. Early on Tuesday, bitcoin rose to a record high of $17, 428.42, recording an almost 20-fold rise in its value for the year as it attracted millions of new investors.

However, as bitcoin hit a new record, digital currency exchange operators Coinbase and Bitfinex reported issues with service via their website, causing problems for traders looking to lock in their profits on the latest gains in the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, the one-month bitcoin futures on Cboe Futures Exchange traded slightly tepid, with prices generally stead and volumes around a third of those seen on Monday. Bitcoin futures due on January traded at $18, 450 with around 1,416 contracts traded.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 13 2017, 06:06 AM
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South Korea Money Supply Growth Accelerates Slightly



South Korea's money supply growth accelerated marginally in October after remaining stable in the previous month, preliminary figures from Bank of Korea showed Wednesday.

M2, a broad measure of money supply climbed 4.7 percent year-over-year in October, just above the 4.6 percent rise in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, M2 money supply rose 0.8 percent in October, following a 0.2 percent increase in September.

The annual growth in liquidity moderated to 6.0 percent in October from 6.7 percent a month ago.

Liquidity of financial institutions grew at a stable rate of 5.9 percent yearly in October.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 14 2017, 04:55 AM
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China Retail Sales Rise 10.2% In November



Retail sales in China were up 10.2 percent on year in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

That missed forecasts for 10.3 percent but was still up from 10.0 percent in October.

The bureau also noted that industrial production advanced an annual 6.1 percent - matching forecasts and down from 6.2 percent in the previous month.

Fixed asset investment was up 7.2 percent, again in line with expectations and slowing from 7.3 percent a month earlier.

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IFX Gertrude
post Dec 14 2017, 05:10 AM
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Australian Dollar at 1-Month Peak as Jobless Rate Near 5-Year Lows



The Australian dollar rose to a one-month peak on Thursday after the jobless rate remained steady for the third straight month in November while number of full time roles increased.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the jobless rate stood at 5.4 percent for the third month in a row and is also at its lowest level since 2013. The participation rate jumped to 65.5 percent, highs not seen since early 2011.

Australian employment grew the most in over two years and is extending a run of 14 consecutive month of gains.

According to figures from the ABS, 61,600 net new jobs were added in November, compared with forecasts for an 18,000 rise and above an upwardly revised 7,800 gain in October. The number of full-time jobs rose in November with 41,000 jobs added. October's figures were revised upwards to 31,000 full-time roles from 24,300.

Following the publication of the data, the aussie increased by 0.4 percent against the greenback to $0.7668, a one-month peak. The data will be welcomed by the Reserve Bank of Australia which is hoping the strong run in employment would ultimately lead to higher wages growth and inflation.

However, it appears that companies are not so keen on paying workers more, which left wage growth near record lows. Wage growth is moving at 2.0 percent, only slightly above inflation of 1.8 percent. This weighs on the spending power of Australian consumers who are already facing a mountain of debt.

Latest figures showed that Australia's economy picked up at an annual 2.8 percent pace in the third quarter.

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IFX Gertrude
post Yesterday, 05:08 AM
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U.S. Yield Curve Further Flattens on Rising Fed Hike Expectations



Yields on long-dated bonds declined, while short-dated yields rallied after the publication of strong economic data, however, weak expectations for future inflation increased the possibility that the Federal Reserve would tighten monetary policy at a more aggressive rate in 2018.

The 10-year Treasury yield edged up 0.7 basis point to 2.346 percent. Meanwhile, the two-year note yield advanced 2.4 basis points to 1.811 percent. The yield on the long bond or the 30-year note rose 2.8 basis points to 2.710 percent.

The yield curve flattened after the U.S. central bank's estimates and economic projections on Wednesday underlined the Fed's willingness to normalize monetary policy despite the weakness in inflation. Investors said expectations of more hikes have accelerated the curve's flattening as it showed that the Fed would not wait for inflation to pick up before making a move.

Long-dated yields were also limited after ECB President Mario Draghi echoed his traditional dovish comments, stating that an “ample” level of stimulus was required to bolster inflation. This dashed expectations that the central bank would make changes to its language from easing to tightening in anticipation of a sure exit to its bond purchasing program in September 2018.

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IFX Gertrude
post Yesterday, 06:14 AM
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Indonesia Exports Rise More Than Expected In November



Indonesia's exports and imports grew more than expected in November, data from statistics bureau revealed Friday.

Exports rose 13.18 percent year-over-year in November, faster than the 12.63 percent growth economists had forecast.

Imports surged 19.62 percent in November from a year ago, well above the expected spike of 13.0 percent.

As result, the trade surplus shrank notably to around $130 million in November from $833 million in the corresponding month of 2016.

The expected surplus was $844 million. In October, the surplus totaled $1.0 billion.

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