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IFX Gertrude
post May 30 2017, 03:20 AM
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Euro Weighed Down by Greece Bailout as Stocks Retreat



The euro slipped on Tuesday following a media report that revealed prospects of Greece relinquishing its next bailout payment if creditors fail to meet a debt relief deal. Asian stocks continue to trade in thin volume due to holidays in some regional markets, the United States and the U.K.

The common currency fell 0.2 percent to $1.1136 in its third session in a row of declines following a German press report which stated that Athens might forego its next bailout payment.

Eurozone finance ministers have yet to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund regarding Greek debt relief to release fresh loans to Athens however, it did come close enough to do both at their meeting next month.

"The bailout payments are necessary to meet existing debt repayments due in July, so if Greece were to forgo this bailout payment the probability of a default would spike, reopening the discussion around a Grexit from the Euro-zone," according to James Woods, global investment analyst at Rivkin in Sydney.

Other factors that added pressure on the euro were European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterating the need to extend stimulus as well as the possibility of an early elections in Italy.

European blue-chip stocks dropped 0.2 percent the previous day, as Italy's banking index tumbled 3.4 percent, its largest loss in almost four months, after two banks sought help to cover a capital deficit.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan was little changed early on Tuesday.

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IFX Gertrude
post May 31 2017, 01:48 AM
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Japan Industrial Output Rises 4.0% In April



Industrial output in Japan advanced 4.0 percent on month in April, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Wednesday's preliminary reading.

That was shy of expectations for an increase of 4.2 percent following the 1.9 percent decline in March.

On a yearly basis, industrial production climbed 5.7 percent - again missing forecasts for a gain of 6.1 percent following the 3.5 percent increase in the previous month.

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IFX Gertrude
post May 31 2017, 03:02 AM
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Wall Street Retreats as S&P, Nasdaq Ends 7-Day Winning Streak



U.S. stocks finished lower on Tuesday, as tech's gains were not enough to keep the S&P and Nasdaq from breaking a seven-day winning streak. Investors priced in key economic data while weakness in the energy and financial sectors added pressure.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 0.24 percent to end at 21,029.47, with Goldman Sachs leading losses and Verizon was the best performer. The S&P 500 fell 0.12 percent to 2,412.91, as energy led seven sectors down while telecommunications was the largest gainer. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.11 percent to finish at 6,203.19.

The energy sector's 1.31 percent decline made it the worst performer among the major S&P 500 sectors. Shares of Exxon fell 0.6 percent.

Financial stocks, which slipped 0.8 percent, also weighed on the S&P 500. JPMorgan dropped 1.7 percent while Bank of America fell 1.4 percent.

Telecoms rose 1.4 percent following an upgrade from MoffettNathanson to “neutral” from “underweight”, citing a lack of negative near-term catalysts.

The technology sector climbed 0.31 percent, lifted by advances in Apple and Microsoft, both rising 0.6 percent.

Amazon gained 0.1 percent at $996.70, after briefly hitting the $1,000 mark. Alphabet's Class A followed suit by touching a record of $997.62 before closing the session 0.3 percent higher at $996.17.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 1 2017, 01:53 AM
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Japan Capex Jumps 4.5% In Q1



Capital spending in Japan was up 4.5 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.

That beat forecasts for an increase of 4.0 percent following the 3.8 percent gain in the previous three months.

Excluding software, capex climbed 5.2 percent - again exceeding expectations for 4.1 percent and up from 3.3 percent in Q4.

Company profits surged 26.6 percent after jumping 16.9 percent three months earlier, while company sales climbed 5.6 percent - up from 2.0 percent in Q4.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 1 2017, 02:59 AM
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Wall Street Flat as Defensive Stocks Rise, Financials Slip



Wall Street was flat on the final trading day of May, as a decline in the financials sector counterbalanced gains in defensive plays. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 2.5 percent in May and touched a seven-month winning streak, its longest since 2013.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1 percent to end at 21,008.65, as Goldman Sachs led losses while Pfizer was the best performer. The S&P 500 fell 0.05 percent to close at 2,411.80, as financials led four sectors down while utilities outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.08 percent to 6,198.52.

Financials rallied over 20 percent in the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election on prospects of fiscal stimulus and deregulation under President Donald Trump. However it is currently struggling. The sector is 0.3 percent lower on the year.

JPMorgan blamed lower volatility for the 15 percent loss in trading revenue in the second quarter compared to 2016. Bank of America said trading revenue in the current quarter is poised to be 10 to 12 percent off than the previous year.

Shares of JPMorgan fell 2.1 percent and Bank of America slipped 1.9 percent, as both weighed on the S&P 500 the most. Goldman Sachs tumbled 3.3 percent, adding the most pressure on the Dow.

Defensive plays like utilities rose 0.46 percent while telecoms gained 0.35 percent. Energy stocks dropped 0.4 percent as oil prices notched a three-week low.

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IFX Yvonne
post Jun 2 2017, 09:23 AM
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China Imposes Tighter Cybersecurity Law



China has started enforcing its new cybersecurity law overseeing data gathering, amid backlash and concerns from the global community.

Essentially, the new law is requiring companies to maintain collated client information within China. Entities need to secure approval before transmitting these details outside the Asian country.

The decree, ratified in November by the country's legislative body, intends to strengthen the security of the Internet and data in response to the increasing number of firms which collect and review such details to either render services or create business plans.

Foreign entities requested for delaying the implementation of this legislation, but it did not push through. Chinese officials and non-Chinese companies are awaited to discuss the new law soon.



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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 5 2017, 03:05 AM
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Australia Q1 Inventories Jump 1.2% On Quarter



Inventories in Australia were up a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

That beat forecasts for a rise of 0.5 percent following the 0.3 percent gain in the previous three months.

Inventories were up 2.5 percent on year. Company operating profits advanced 6.0 percent on quarter - also exceeding expectations for 5.0 percent but down from 20.1 percent in the three months prior.

Profits were up 39.7 percent on year.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 5 2017, 04:44 AM
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Dollar Nurses Losses after Weak U.S. Data, Pound Slips after London Attacks



The dollar came close near a seven-month low touched after latest U.S. jobs growth in May fell short of expectations while terror attacks in London which left nearly seven people dead and 48 injured ahead of the national election dented the sterling.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies touched its lowest level since the November election. It last stood little changed in early Asian trading at 96.736, but not far from Friday's low of 96.654, its weakest since Nov. 9.

The sterling inched down, under pressure after the third terrorist attack in Britain. It fell as much as 0.3 percent against the dollar. Sterling trimmed losses to trade 0.2 percent lower at $1.2871 early on Monday.

The pound was battered over the past two weeks with polls showing a tightening race, which raises the possibility of a hung parliament. Leveraged clients await the results of new polls taken after the incident, according to a trader.

The greenback was stable at 110.40 yen, after slipping 0.8 percent on Friday.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.1547 on Monday, having dropped from Thursday's close of 2.217 before the jobs data was released.

The euro was down 0.1 percent to $1.12745 on Monday, holding on to most of Friday's 0.6 percent gain.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 5 2017, 04:44 AM
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Dollar Nurses Losses after Weak U.S. Data, Pound Slips after London Attacks



The dollar came close near a seven-month low touched after latest U.S. jobs growth in May fell short of expectations while terror attacks in London which left nearly seven people dead and 48 injured ahead of the national election dented the sterling.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies touched its lowest level since the November election. It last stood little changed in early Asian trading at 96.736, but not far from Friday's low of 96.654, its weakest since Nov. 9.

The sterling inched down, under pressure after the third terrorist attack in Britain. It fell as much as 0.3 percent against the dollar. Sterling trimmed losses to trade 0.2 percent lower at $1.2871 early on Monday.

The pound was battered over the past two weeks with polls showing a tightening race, which raises the possibility of a hung parliament. Leveraged clients await the results of new polls taken after the incident, according to a trader.

The greenback was stable at 110.40 yen, after slipping 0.8 percent on Friday.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.1547 on Monday, having dropped from Thursday's close of 2.217 before the jobs data was released.

The euro was down 0.1 percent to $1.12745 on Monday, holding on to most of Friday's 0.6 percent gain.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 6 2017, 01:42 AM
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New Zealand Building Volume Slides 3.5% In Q1



The total volume of building in New Zealand was down a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2017, Statistics New Zealand said on Tuesday.

That misses forecasts for a gain of 0.3 percent following the downwardly revised 1.3 percent increase in the previous three months (originally 1.9 percent).

Residential building activity shed 0.8 percent on quarter, while non-residential building activity skidded 7.2 percent.

The value of building work on new homes was NZ$2.7 billion in Q1.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 6 2017, 02:54 AM
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Treasury Yields Jumps Amid Mixed Economic Data



U.S. government bond yields rallied amid a string of data that did not help clarify U.S. economic prospects after a disappointing jobs report helped trim growth expectations.

The 10-year Treasury note yield advanced 2.2 basis points to 2.182 percent. Despite its rally, the benchmark yield's closing was still its lowest close this year. Yield on the two-year note rose 1.8 basis point to 1.308 percent, while the yield on the 30-year bond or the long bond advanced 3.1 basis point to 2.840 percent.

The movement in yields came after the ISM services index for May slid to 56.9 percent against the 57.5 percent seen in the previous month. However, April's reading marked a 12-year high and the index continued to be above the adjusted annual average of 55.9 percent.

Another report showed that U.S. productivity growth during the first quarter of the year was revised upward from 0.6 percent, indicating that economic data in Q1 was not as soft as initially reported.

In the last few weeks, muted economic data, underlined by a dismal May nonfarm payrolls report, has barely discouraged investors from betting a June rate hike. Traders are now wagering in a 95.8 percent odds of a rate increase during the Fed's next policy meeting, based on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's FedWatch tool.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 7 2017, 02:11 AM
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Australia Manufacturing Sector Picks Up Steam In May - AIG



The construction sector in Australia continued to expand in May, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed on Wednesday with a Performance of Construction Index score of 56.7.

That's up sharply from 51.9 in April, and it moves farther above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

It also marks the fastest rate of expansion in more than two and a half years.

Individually, apartment building saw the biggest jump, although house building fell back into contraction.

Engineering construction and commercial construction were firmly in expansion territory.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 7 2017, 02:58 AM
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Macy’s Warning Triggers Retail Sector Selloff



Macy's finance chief Karen Hoguet cautioned analysts that the department store's gross margin might continue to erode in February, triggering renewed panic in the already struggling retail sector.

Hoguet warned that gross margins of the retailer would decline by around 1 percent in its current quarter compared to the same period a year prior. She added that it will drop less than 1 percent for the full fiscal year.

In February, the firm said it expected margin declines but did not specify the level of the drop. It assured that it is not downgrading its sales and profit targets and looks to make up the difference via cost-cutting and efforts to enhance the performance of its stores.

The executive said margins are under pressure because Macy's is taking a longer time than expected to get rid of surplus inventory. She also noted that Macy's was experiencing the impact of increased promotions of beauty products and stagnant watch sales.

The comments caused Macy's shares to tumble 8.2 percent to trade at $21.90, the company's lowest close in over six years. The remarks also triggered a selloff in the sector, underlining the sector's fragility. Other retailers were dragged down by the dim guidance, as J.C. Penney Co., Kohl's Group, Nordstrom Inc., Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. all experienced declines during the session.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 8 2017, 01:49 AM
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Japan Overall Bank Lending Climbs 3.2% In May



Overall bank lending in Japan was up 3.2 percent on year in May, the Bank of Japan said on Thursday - coming in at 513.269 trillion yen.

That topped expectations for an increase of 3.0 percent, which would have been unchanged from the April reading.

Excluding trusts, bank lending was up an annual 3.3 percent to 446.592 trillion yen. That also beat forecasts for 3.0 percent, which would have been unchanged.

Lending from foreign banks gained 2.9 percent on year to 66.676 trillion yen after rising 2.8 percent in the previous month.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 8 2017, 04:02 AM
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Wall Street Higher Supported by Comey Relief



U.S. equities finished higher on Wednesday after written testimony from former FBI director James Comey did not provide major revelations regarding the probe into Russian meddling with 2016's presidential election.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.18 percent to end at 21,173.69, with Nike leading gains while Coca-Cola lagged behind. The S&P 500 added 0.16 percent to close at 2,433.14, as financials led eight sectors up and energy declined the most. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.36 percent to finish at 6,297.38.

The stock market mostly fluctuated this week as investors held off from making large wagers ahead of Comey's testimony.

Equities were pressured by the near two percent decline in the S&P 500's energy sector. All but two of the 34 components of the sector dropped as U.S. crude futures plunged five percent because of the sudden increase in U.S. inventories.

Signet Jewelers was the biggest percentage advancer on the S&P 500, which climbed four percent. Newfield Exploration was the biggest decliner by tumbling seven percent.

Investors are currently focused on Britain's general election and the European Central Bank's policy meeting, both on Thursday.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 9 2017, 02:52 AM
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Uk Election: Odds are in Decline for Conservatives



After exit polls somewhat shocked the market and pointing to YouGov model prediction just weeks ago that forecasted a hung parliament weeks ago, betting odds are in decline, except for the odds for most seats.

The betting market is pricing 93 percent probability that the Conservative will win most of the seats in 650 members’ parliament.

The market is pricing less than 62 percent probability that Theresa may be the next Prime Minister. The odds for Jeremy Corbyn has moved higher from 20 percent to 33 percent.

The market is also pricing 66 percent probability that the Conservatives will be able to hold on to their majority in the election. The odds of a Labour Party majority is currently at less than 7 percent.

The odds of a hung parliament has moved up from less than 20 percent before the election to 33 percent as of now.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is the favorite with 30 percent odds to become the next Conservative Party leader if Theresa May is replaced.

Results so far:
So far, the Labour Party has won 10 seats, while the Conservatives have secured wins in five. Still, a very long way to reach the magic figure (326).

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 9 2017, 03:24 AM
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Dow Touches Record High but Ends Flat After Comey Testimony



U.S. equities finished mostly higher on Thursday as Wall Street priced in former FBI Director James Comey's testimony. The “Trump trade” made a comeback but the S&P and Dow industrials eventually ended little changed.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.04 percent to finish at 21,182.53, as Caterpillar led gains while Walt Disney lagged behind. The S&P 500 added 0.03 percent to 2,433.79, with financials leading five sectors up and utilities was the largest decliner. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.39 percent to end at 6,321.76.

The Trump 'reflation trade' was back for the day with the S&P 500 financial sector gaining 1.1 percent.

The S&P 1500 construction and engineering index climbed 1.4 percent while the measure of construction materials stocks rose 1.5 percent. The S&P 1500 steel sector index advanced 4.1 percent, the most since April 20.

The announcement of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that a national security review of the U.S. steel industry will be made to protect interests of domestic steel producers and consumers had bolstered infrastructure stocks.

Utilities stocks dropped the most on the S&P 500 as Treasury yields rose. The S&P utilities sector fell 0.88 percent, the most since mid March.

Among stocks active in corporate news, Alibaba jumped 13.3 percent to $142.34 after the company said it sees revenue growth of 45 to 49 percent in the 2018 fiscal year. Yahoo, which has a 15.5 percent stake in Alibaba, advanced 10.2 percent to $55.71.

Chipmaker Nvidia bounced 7.3 percent to $159.94 after Citigroup cited its bullish outlook on the stock and said in the long term it could reach $300.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 13 2017, 03:43 AM
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Australian Economy Likely to have added 10,000 Jobs in May



The data released last week indicated that the Australian economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in the first quarter. Even with subdued growth, the labor market added 37,400 jobs in April. Most of the employment gains in the month was driven by part time employment, rising 49,000. This more than countered the 11,000 drop in full-time employment.

The participation rate remained stable at 64.8 percent as the unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percentage point to 5.7 percent, approaching a low not seen since 2013, noted Wells Fargo. Even if employment growth has been solid, wage growth has been more stagnant.

However, the economy is likely to have added 10,000 jobs in May, according to consensus forecast. The forward momentum of labor market permitted the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep rates on hold at 1.5 percent during its latest meeting.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 13 2017, 03:43 AM
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Australian Economy Likely to have added 10,000 Jobs in May



The data released last week indicated that the Australian economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in the first quarter. Even with subdued growth, the labor market added 37,400 jobs in April. Most of the employment gains in the month was driven by part time employment, rising 49,000. This more than countered the 11,000 drop in full-time employment.

The participation rate remained stable at 64.8 percent as the unemployment rate dropped two tenths of a percentage point to 5.7 percent, approaching a low not seen since 2013, noted Wells Fargo. Even if employment growth has been solid, wage growth has been more stagnant.

However, the economy is likely to have added 10,000 jobs in May, according to consensus forecast. The forward momentum of labor market permitted the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep rates on hold at 1.5 percent during its latest meeting.

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IFX Gertrude
post Jun 13 2017, 05:48 AM
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Treasury Yields Continue to Rally Ahead of Fed Meeting



U.S. government bond yields edged up as prices retreated ahead of the closely monitored two-day U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting scheduled to start on Tuesday.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note, which is particularly sensitive to shifts in Fed policy, advanced 2.1 basis points to 1.359 percent. Meanwhile the yield on the 10-year note advanced 1.4 basis points to 2.215 percent. The yield on the long bond or the 30-year bond advanced 1.5 basis points to 2.867 percent.

Treasury yields rallied due to expectations of a quarter-point rate increase by the Fed by the end of the June policy meeting. Aside from this, investors will also be looking for clues on the pace of the rate increases after the latest one, with odds of a fifth rate hike since December 2015 falling below 50 percent.

Market participants are also expected to look forward to consumer price data slated to be released on Wednesday as Fed policymakers called the weak consumer price data in March and April as temporary to build up a June rate hike.

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