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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 2 2018, 03:35 AM
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European Markets Lower on Corporate Earnings



European stocks ended lower on Thursday, as investors reacted to a series of corporate earnings and monitored declines from Wall Street.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally down half a percent, with almost most sectors and major bourses in the red. Germany's DAX led national indexes lower, down 1.4 percent.

Telecommunications stocks were among the worst performers, dragged down by Danish telecoms operator TDC. Shares of TDC slumped toward the bottom of the pan-European benchmark after reports it had reached a deal to buy Swedish Modern Times Group's broadcasting and entertainment's business. The firm's stock fell eight percent.

Vodafone reported its latest figures. The world's second-largest mobile operator reported a 1.1 percent rise in organic revenue for its third quarter, citing intense competition in Spain and Italy. Its shares were down over four percent.

AFS analyst Arne Petimezas said declines by stocks were driven by expectations of tighter central bank policy and by a sell-off on the bond market.

Eurozone government bond yields rose across the board on Thursday. Germany's 10-year government bond yield, the benchmark for the euro zone, hit a two-year high.

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported that profits more than doubled in the fourth quarter of 2017 on Thursday, supported by a recent rally in oil and gas prices. Its shares were trading more than 2 percent lower, however.

Spain's second-largest bank, BBVA, reported a 90 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit when compared to the same period a year earlier. The lender cited a 1.1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) writedown on its Telefonica stake. Shares of BBVA were down more than 1 percent.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 5 2018, 04:58 AM
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Gold Eases on Stronger Dollar after Upbeat Jobs Data



Gold prices edged down early on Monday on a stronger dollar following a positive U.S. jobs data published late last week, but a decline in stocks cushioned the fall.

Spot gold has fallen 0.1 percent to $1,331.80 per ounce. Spot gold on Friday declined by 1.2 percent, marking its biggest one-day decline since December 7. In the previous week, the precious metal experienced its biggest weekly fall since the week ending December 8.

U.S. gold futures traded down 0.1 percent at $1,336 per ounce.

In January, non-farm payrolls increased by 200, 00 jobs, according to the Labor Department, surpassing the expected 180, 000 increase and their biggest annual gain in over eight and a half years.

Average hourly earnings increased and bolstered the annual gain to 2.9 percent, the biggest since June 2009.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 5 2018, 05:15 AM
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China Private Sector Growth At 7-Year High



China's private sector activity expanded at the quickest pace in seven years in January, survey data from IHS Markit showed Monday.

The Caixin composite output index, which covers both manufacturing and services, climbed to 53.7 in January from 53.0 in December.

Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Service sector activity grew at the fastest pace since May 2012. The seasonally adjusted General Services Business Activity Index rose to 54.7 in January from 53.9 in the preceding month.

At the same time, manufacturers signaled the quickest upturn in production levels since December 2016.

Composite employment rose slightly, after broadly stagnating between August and December last year.

"Caixin PMI readings in January showed that the Chinese economy had a good start to 2018," Dr. Zhengsheng Zhong, Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at CEBM Group said.

"Looking forward, we should watch for stability of demand in the manufacturing industry and the impact of growing costs on the profitability of service providers."

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 6 2018, 05:21 AM
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Australia Keeps Rates On Hold



Australia's central bank decided to leave its key interest rate unchanged at a record low, as widely expected, on Tuesday.

The board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, governed by Philip Lowe, maintained the cash rate at 1.50 percent. The bank had reduced the rate by 25-basis points each in August and May last year.

The bank noted that the low level of interest rates is continuing to support the Australian economy.

The Bank's central forecast for the Australian economy is for GDP growth to pick up, to average a bit above 3 percent over the next couple of years.

The central forecast is for CPI inflation to be a bit above 2 percent in 2018.

Taking account of the available information, the Board judged that holding the stance of monetary policy unchanged at this meeting would be consistent with sustainable growth in the economy and achieving the inflation target over time.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 6 2018, 05:45 AM
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Gold Prices Stable as Global Equity Markets Hit by Selloff



Gold prices were on steady footing on Tuesday, lifted by a slump in global stock markets but pressured by bets for additional rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve this year.

Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,338.62 an ounce, after ending up 0.5 percent on Monday. The precious metal on Friday edged up 0.5 percent on Monday.

Gold fell 1.2 percent on Friday in its biggest one-day drop since December 7. In the previous week, the metal saw its biggest weekly decline since the week ending December 8. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.4 percent at $1,342 per ounce.

Last week, the U.S. Federal REserve stood pat on interest rates, but lifted its inflation outlook and signaled more gradual interest rate increases.

Stock markets retreated around the world as a rebound in U.S. inflation raised the possibility that the FEd would tighten monetary policy at a more aggressive pace than priorly expected.

However, U.S. bond yields surged on Monday as traders eased expectations the Fed would accelerate its clip of interest rate increases in the aftermath of a dramatic sell-off in the U.S. stock market, with the Dow losing more than 1, 000 points.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 7 2018, 05:04 AM
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BRAZIL: Ibovespa Up 2.5% Rebound From Monday's Sharp Decline



The Ibovespa rose 2.48% Tuesday, closing at 83,894.03 points in a day of rebound after Monday's turmoil in the U.S. markets. On the domestic front, Ita? Unibanco's result fueled financial sector stocks.

"Yesterday was a test for the market as a whole. That signaled that if interest rates rise in the United States, the market could collapse. But the message given today is clear: raising with volume above R$ 16.9 billion means that the market is bought and which yesterday was just a scare," said the chief economist of Codepe brokerage, Jos? Costa.

For the chief economist of Gradual Investimentos, Andr? Perfeito,Tuesday's rise was led by the rebound from Monday's drop.

In the business segment, Ita? Unibanco's fourth-quarter results stimulated a 3.59% increase in the bank's shares and helped financial sector stocks such as Bradesco and Banco do Brasil to rise 2.38% and 4.38%, respectively.

For Wednesday, Perfeito foresees that the Brazilian market should continue to track foreign markets and that the result of the meeting of the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee (Copom) is already priced. Costa, however, sees room for the index to continue rising, without the external interference.

Meanwhile, in a day of volatility, with global assets reversing the stress of Monday's session in adjustments, the locally traded U.S. dollar closed down, but near to stability (-0.03%), quoted at R$ 3.247.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 7 2018, 05:32 AM
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U.S. Yields Pare Losses as Stocks Recover from Selloff



Treasury yields reversed some of their losses but still closed lower after stocks rallied from the prior day's rout that drove investors toward safe havens and pushed bond prices up.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury notes edged down 2.8 basis points to 2.766 percent, after having declined to as low as 2.648 percent. The benchmark yield had climbed to a four-year peak of 2.883 percent on Monday. Two-year note yield was mostly unchanged at 2.091 percent, while the 30-year rate was down 2.3 basis points to 3.043 percent.

Yields on the 10-year German bund shed 4.6 basis points to 0.691 percent, according to Factset data.

Appetite for safe-haven bonds eased after stocks jumped a day after a historic selloff in the U.S. equities markets when the Dow Jones Industrial Average observed its biggest one-day decline in history. Investors tend to shift towards bonds and other safe-haven assets whenever there is chaos in riskier assets, such as stocks.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 8 2018, 04:58 AM
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Japan Current Account Surplus Falls To Y797.2 Billion



Japan posted a current account surplus of 797.2 billion yen in December, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday - down 28.5 percent on year.

The headline figure was shy of expectations for a surplus of 1,056.9 billion yen following the 1,347.3 billion yen surplus in November.

The trade balance showed a surplus of 538.9 billion yen, exceeding expectations for 520.4 billion yen and up from 181.0 billion yen in the previous month.

Exports climbed 8.8 percent on year to 7.271 trillion yen, while imports jumped 14.6 percent to 6.732 trillion yen.

The capital account showed a deficit of 18.7 billion yen, while the financial account saw a surplus of 1.885 trillion yen.

The adjusted current account surplus was 1,479.6 billion yen - missing forecasts for 1,660.0 billion yen and down from 1,700.5 billion yen a month earlier.

For all of 2017, the current account surplus was 21.874 trillion yen.

Also on Thursday, the Bank of Japan said that overall bank lending in Japan was up 2.4 percent on year in January, coming in at 523.068 trillion yen.

That follows the 2.5 percent increase in December.

Excluding trusts, bank lending was up an annual 2.3 percent to 454.911 trillion yen following the 2.4 percent gain in the previous month.

Lending from trusts climbed 2.5 percent to 68.157 trillion yen, while lending from foreign banks surged 14.0 percent to 2.433 trillion yen.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 8 2018, 05:36 AM
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Bitcoin Posts Sharp Gains after Recent Slump



Bitcoin rallied along with solid gains in other cryptocurrencies on Wednesday.

According to CoinDesk, the biggest digital currency based on market capitalization traded 9.5 percent higher above $8, 400. The rally marked an increase of over $2, 000 in just over a day.

The gains came after a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday on cryptocurrencies in with the chairmen of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission underlined consumer protection without a heavy-handed prohibition on the development of virtual assets. The agency heads also said Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is gathering several federal agencies to draft out the regulation on the fast-expanding industry.

Before the hearing, bitcoin slid below $6, 000 to $5, 947.40, its lowest level since November 13 amid a slump in U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 edged up late Tuesday to end 1.7 percent up, but stock index futures indicated a lower open on Wednesday.

Other cryptocurrencies traded up. Ethereum advanced 5.6 percent to $838, ripple climbed 2.3 percent and bitcoin cash rose almost 4.8 percent, according to COinMarketCap.

On a 24-hour basis, the biggest cryptocurrencies by market cap posted double-digit gains. Bitcoin continues to be almost 17 percent lower for the month and down 39 percent down for 2018 so far.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 8 2018, 05:37 AM
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Bitcoin Posts Sharp Gains after Recent Slump



Bitcoin rallied along with solid gains in other cryptocurrencies on Wednesday.

According to CoinDesk, the biggest digital currency based on market capitalization traded 9.5 percent higher above $8, 400. The rally marked an increase of over $2, 000 in just over a day.

The gains came after a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday on cryptocurrencies in with the chairmen of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission underlined consumer protection without a heavy-handed prohibition on the development of virtual assets. The agency heads also said Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is gathering several federal agencies to draft out the regulation on the fast-expanding industry.

Before the hearing, bitcoin slid below $6, 000 to $5, 947.40, its lowest level since November 13 amid a slump in U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 edged up late Tuesday to end 1.7 percent up, but stock index futures indicated a lower open on Wednesday.

Other cryptocurrencies traded up. Ethereum advanced 5.6 percent to $838, ripple climbed 2.3 percent and bitcoin cash rose almost 4.8 percent, according to COinMarketCap.

On a 24-hour basis, the biggest cryptocurrencies by market cap posted double-digit gains. Bitcoin continues to be almost 17 percent lower for the month and down 39 percent down for 2018 so far.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 9 2018, 05:03 AM
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China Consumer Prices Rise 1.5% On Year In January



Consumer prices in China were up 1.5 percent on year in January, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

That was in line with expectations and down from 1.8 percent in December.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices advanced 0.6 percent - up from 0.3 percent in the previous month.

The bureau also said that producer prices were up 4.3 percent on year - exceeding expectations for 4.2 percent but down from 4.9 percent a month earlier.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 9 2018, 05:24 AM
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Benchmark U.S. Yield Remain on Upward Path even as Stocks Plunge



Treasury Yields rebounded on Thursday as edgy investors drove down stock benchmarks significantly lower in another dramatic and volatile session on Wall Street driven by inflation concerns, but the benchmark 10-year note clung to an upward movement.

The yield for the 10-year Treasury note stood at 2.848 percent, rising 0.8 percent, after recording an intraday high of 2.875 percent. The two-year note yield fell 0.4 basis point to 2.130 percent, while the 30-year bond rate edged up 1.8 basis point to 3.134 percent.

After a short-lived flight to safe haven assets drove yields lower on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing over 800 points at its lowest, government paper saw a resumption in selling, pushing yields up again.

A rally in bonds helped to reverse the selloff after the Bank of England said that strong inflation could accelerate the schedule of rate hikes, putting pressure on British government bonds. BoE's Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to retain interest rates at 0.5 percent. The central bank has received criticism from analysts arguing that the country's borrowing rates are too low as the weak pound has stoked inflationary pressures.

The 10-year UK bond yield surged 7.9 basis points to 1.617 percent, according to Tradeweb. Meanwhile, the sterling rallied to $1.3914, rising from $1.3882 before the BoE report.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 12 2018, 02:55 AM
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UK Consumer Spending Remains in Second Gear in January: Visa



British consumers spend less in January compared to the same period a year ago, causing spending last month to mark its first decline since 2013, according to a survey.

Visa, whose debit and credit cards are utilized for a third of payments in the UK, reported on Monday that consumers had a stronger control on spending for the traditional post-Christmas sales in the previous month.

Household spending declined by 1.2 percent in January against the same month in 2017, with spending in shops falling by 4 percent, Visa reported.

A decline in car sales affected the overall sales numbers too. But things were more upbeat for hotels and restaurants, as well as for hair salons and beauty product sellers, as consumers looked for little luxuries for themselves.

Britain's economic growth has fallen behind the more solid expansion in other affluent countries in 2017 as higher inflation since the Brexit vote and weak growth squeezed consumers' spending power.

Annabel Fiddes of IHS Markit said worries regarding Brexit were affecting consumer confidence. However, spending could gain momentum later this year as inflation is anticipated to retreat will wages increase more quickly, she added.

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IFX Yvonne
post Feb 12 2018, 08:00 AM
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Ireland Consumer Sentiment At 17-Year High



Ireland's consumer confidence reached a 17-year high in January reflecting robust economy, survey results from KBC Bank and the Economic and Social Research Institute showed Monday.

The consumer sentiment index rose to 110.4 in January from 103.2 in December. This was the highest score since February 2001.

However, the survey suggested that the improvement was largely driven by bargain hunting in post-Christmas sales. This strong 'seasonal' element to jump in January may be reversed in coming months, the survey cautioned.

An improvement in all five main components of the survey points to a distinct improvement in the mood of Irish consumers at the start of 2018.

The index of current conditions improved to 129.6 from 122.9 a month ago. Likewise, the index of consumer expectations came in at 97.5, up from 90 in December.

The general economic outlook index climbed to 73.4 from 65.3. Similarly, the outlook for employment index rose to 98.0 from 94.3 in the previous month.

The indicator measuring past personal financial situation improved to 108 and that for coming twelve months gained to 125.6.

Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland, said, "The sharp rise in sentiment in January partly reflects the continuing improvement in the Irish economy that now seems to be reaching more broadly across Irish consumers."



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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 13 2018, 02:34 AM
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U.S. Yields Rally as Investors Eye Inflation Report



U.S. government bond prices continued their decline, driving yields up, as investors looked forward to the coming inflation report that could reaffirm the bearish sentiment on Treasury bonds.

The 10-year Treasury note yield advanced 2.7 basis points to 2.857 percent, but retreated from a four-year peak of 2.891 percent hit earlier in the day.

The 30-year bond rate was almost unchanged at 3.138 percent but reached its highest level since March 2017, according to WSJ Market Data Group. Meanwhile, the two-year note yield recorded a gain of 1.7 basis points to 2.077 percent.

Bond markets experienced selling pressure as a mixture of inflation worries, increasing budget deficits and the Federal Reserve's move to unwind its balance sheet have affected the demand for U.S. government bonds. Treasury issuance is expected to increase at the same time the U.S. government can no longer depend on a price-insensitive Fed to absorb the coming supply.

Higher rates were said to be the cause of a deep correction that sent stocks plunging. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite Index traded down over 5 percent in the previous week. Stocks look less attractive on several valuation indicators if the benchmark 10-year yield rises to high.

However, stocks rallied on Monday to record back-to-back increases, with the Dow rising over 400 points.

Investors are now expected to focus on the consumer-price index report on Wednesday, a possible turning point as investors faulted the strong reading on the wage index of the January jobs report as the main reason for the market turmoil.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 13 2018, 03:07 AM
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Australia Business Confidence Index Rises To +12 - NAB



Business confidence in Australia ticked higher in January, the latest survey from the National Australia Bank revealed on Tuesday with an index score of +12.

That's up from the downwardly revised +10 in December.

The NAB also said that its index for business conditions jumped to +19 from +13 in the previous month.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 15 2018, 04:06 AM
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Australia Jobless Rate Eases To 5.5% In January



The unemployment rate in Australia came in at a seasonally adjusted 5.5 percent in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

That was in line with expectations following the upwardly revised 5.6 percent reading in December (originally 5.5 percent).

The Australian economy added 16,000 jobs last month - beating forecasts for 15,000 following the downwardly revised 33,500 increase in the previous month (originally 34,700).

The participation rate came in at 65.6 percent - matching expectations and down from 65.7 percent a month earlier.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 15 2018, 04:23 AM
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Wall Street Gains as Dow Jumps 253 Points



U.S. stocks increased sharply on Wednesday, hitting a four-day winning streak as banks and tech lifted major indexes higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 253.04 points higher at 24,893.49 after dropping as much as 150 points. Goldman Sachs contributed the most to the gains, climbing 2.8 percent. The 30-stock index also pared all of its 2018 losses and reported its longest winning streak since Jan. 5.

The S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent to 2,698.63, with financials and tech each gaining over 1.5 percent. Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley all traded higher. The financials sector had its best day since Nov. 28. The index also turned positive for 2018.

The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.9 percent to end at 7,143.62, as shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet increased.

U.S. equities opened lower on the back of stronger-than-expected inflation data.

Seven of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher. The decliners included the typically defensive sectors: consumer staples, utilities and real estate.

The CBOE Volatility index was down at 21.10 points, slipping below 20 for the first time since Feb. 5 and well off the 50-point mark it hit during last week's sell-off.

The SPDR S&P Bank exchange-traded fund (KBE), rose 2.9 percent and posted its best day since Nov. 29.

Concerns of rising inflation have recently weighed down Wall Street. Last week, all three major U.S. indexes finished the five-day trading period more than five percent down each, with the Dow delivering its worst performance since January 2016.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 19 2018, 05:01 AM
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Japan Export Growth Accelerates in January



Japanese exports increased for the fourth straight month in January as shipments to Asian and western Europe grew.

Exports climbed 12.2 percent year on year in January, figures according to the Ministry of Finance. Exports increased 9.3 percent in December.

Outbound shipments to Asia were up 16 percent while those to western Europe rose 20.8 percent. Imports also increased in January, climbing 7.9 percent year on year, short of the 8.3 increase percent forecast by economists.

U.S.-bound shipments were 1.2 percent higher in the year to January, led by steel, batteries and medicines, while car shipments declined 3.9 percent. The small rise in U.S.-bound exports followed a 3.0 percent gain in the previous month.

Those numbers resulted in a trade deficit of ¥943.4 billion ($8.9 billion). Economists expect exports will continue to expand in the coming months, led by demand for the semiconductor-related products that lifted exports in 2017.

Analysts are also wary about a rising yen as well as the U.S. stance towards protectionism ahead of the mid-term elections later this year, and potential effects on Japan's exports of cars and other products.

A strong yen erodes profits at Japanese manufacturers and could hurt the otherwise buoyant economy, which posted an eighth consecutive quarter of growth in October-December.

The yen was flat against the dollar at ¥106.31 following the publication of the trade figures.

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IFX Gertrude
post Feb 19 2018, 06:00 AM
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New Zealand Services Growth Robust In January



New Zealand's service sector activity continued to expand strongly in January, survey figures from Business NZ showed Monday.

The performance of services index, or PSI, dropped to 55.8 in January from 56.0 in December. However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The sub-index for new orders fell below the 60.0 point mark for the first time since April last year. It declined to 57.6 from 60.1.

"While the PSI is relatively robust, combined with the Performance of Manufacturing Index it nonetheless signals something of a slowing in GDP growth for the near term," Craig Ebert, senior economist at Business NZ, said.

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