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IFX Gertrude
post Apr 17 2018, 06:06 AM
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China Makes Biggest Treasury Purchase in Six Months in February



China increased its Treasury holdings in February by $5.8 billion, its biggest purchase in six months. On the other hand, Japan's Treasury holdings fell.

According to the Treasury, China's Treasury holdings increased to just under $1.18 trillion. Foreign net buying of Treasurys was $43.2 billion for the month.

As trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalates, so has rumors that the Chinese government could reduce purchases of Treasuries or even sell some of its holdings. The Trump administration on March 1 announced tariffs on aluminum and steel, which affect China. The U.S. also announced its intention to put tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, and Trump has since threatened to add tariffs to another $100 billion of goods.

In December, China's holdings of Treasuries stood at $1.18 trillion before falling to $1.17 trillion in January.

China is the biggest holder of U.S. Treasuries, with Japan coming in at second place. Japan's holdings declined by $3.6 billion, to a total of $1.06 trillion.

Buyers abroad also purchased $11.8 billion in agency debt and $4.1 billion of corporate debt. They reduced equity holdings by $1.2 billion

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IFX Gertrude
post Apr 18 2018, 03:04 AM
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Twitter Shares Jump After Morgan Stanley Upgrade



Shares of Twitter Inc. soared almost 11 percent on Tuesday and were bound for their best session in two months after Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley raised its recommendation on the social network company to “equal-weight” from “underweight”.

In a report, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak said that investors are likely to continue to pay a premium for the company's stock due to projections of accelerated revenue growth in 2018 and indications of progress in the firm's turnaround.

The analyst raised his target price for Twitter from $28 to $29. At midday trading, Twitter traded at $31.69 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Nowak cited the company's constructive advertiser conversations, improving user growth and positive revisions for the upgrade.

An unexpected swing to revenue growth caused the stock of the company to rise 12 percent following its last quarter report on February 8 and to date, the stock is up 32 percent.

Despite the increasing popularity of the social network, it has struggled to book a profit and consistently grow its revenue.

In general, analysts are cautions. Nine has a 'sell' recommendation on the stock, 21 have neutral ratings and seven recommend buying, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Overall, they anticipate Twitter's stock to fall to $27.58.

The stock is trading at 45 times projected ratings, against Facebook's valuation of 21 times earnings, Thomson Reuters data showed.

On average, Twitter is expected by analysts to report a 10 percent increase in revenue to $605 million and non-GAAP EPS of 12 cents when it reports its March quarter results on April 25.

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IFX Gertrude
post Apr 19 2018, 05:45 AM
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UK Inflation Drops to 2.5%, its Lowest in a Year



UK inflation dropped in March to its lowest level in a year, raising questions over whether the Bank of England will raise interest rates in May.

The consumer price index (CPI) dropped to 2.5 percent in March from 2.7 percent in February, according to the Office for National Statistics. Economists had expected the annual rate of growth in prices to remain unchanged at 2.7 percent.

A smaller increase than is usual in the price of women's clothing was mainly responsible for the sharp decline, as well as the abolition of the Spring Budget, which meant there was no increase in alcohol and tobacco duty.

The decline in the headline inflation rate came from a fall in the rate of goods inflation from three percent in February to 2.4 percent in March. Goods prices are thought to be more sensitive to the exchange rate.

The sudden drop in inflation will lead investors to question whether the BoE will hike interest rates at its May meeting. However, many economists still expect the Bank of England, which had been forecasting CPI to average 2.9 percent over the first three months of 2018, to raise rates in May.

According to the most recent figures, UK wages increased by 2.8 percent in February.

Inflation has dropped in recent months as the impact of the sudden fall in the value of the pound after the EU referendum begins to fade. Having pushed up the cost of imported goods, the slide for sterling damaged the economy as squeezed consumers reined in their spending.

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IFX Gertrude
post Apr 20 2018, 03:38 AM
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Australia Unemployment Rate Steady in March



Australian employment barely increased in March while a sharp downward revision to February stopped a record-breaking run of gains, a disappointing outcome that hurt the local dollar and reinforced the case against a rate hike.

The country's jobless rate stood at 5.5 percent in seasonally adjusted terms in March, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, from a revised figure of 5.5 percent for February (previously 5.6 percent).

Data showed only 4,900 net new jobs were added in March, short of forecasts for 21,000. February was revised to show a 6,300 drop instead of the initial 17,500 increase, ruining what had been 17 consecutive month of growth.

The Australian economy shed 19,900 full-time jobs in March, from 20,100 increase in February (previously 64,900) while 24,800 part time roles were added. March was significantly worse with full-time positions dropping 19,900.

The news was not all bad with annual job growth of 3.0 percent still twice the pace of U.S. job creation.

The participation rate fell to 65.5 percent, having peaked at 65.7 percent in January as more women entered the labour force.

The strength of employment has been one of the brightest parts of economy, so the recent report would likely cause some unease at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Growth in the resource-rich economy slowed in the fourth quarter of last year as bad weather hit exports.

The RBA noted in its April policy meeting minutes released that monthly increases in employment had moderated in the first few months of 2018. It said levels of underemployment remained “at relatively high levels”, adding that “leading indicators continued to point to above-average growth in employment in the period ahead”.

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