Analysis

Sterling has traded to a 5 year low in the currency markets against the US dollar on the back of poor construction and production data released by the ONS. On Thursday the Bank of England’s MPC announced their decision to leave interest rates and quantitative easing unchanged as expected, with the pound weakening following disappointing trade deficit figures. Thursdays close was the lowest level for Cable since June 2010, in part due to a strong dollar combined with the weak UK d…

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released their figures for February showed that the trade deficit widen to £2.9 billion from £1.5 billion in January. The release highlighted that the trade in oil, the monthly deficit on oil was virtually unchanged at £0.7 billion in February 2015. Weak Pound The release from the ONS said that exports to the European Union were at the lowest on record (since 1998) in part driven by the strengthening pound versus the Euro…

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The UK is headed towards its closest general election in modern history, with voters going to the polls on Thursday 7 May 2015. The first past the post political system didn’t produce the expected majority government in 2010, with the same outcome expected next month. Parliament has been dissolved by the current PM, David Cameron, and the official campaigning period has begun. In reality the preparations for the election started 18 months ago, with the leaking of policies and pol…

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It is a public holiday in the majority of markets today for Good Friday. There some adjustments to trading hours with liquidity expected to the long holiday weekend. The pivotal US jobs report (Non-Farm Payrolls) will still be released today, in the unusual circumstances that the equity markets will have to wait till after the weekend to react. It is only the third time that the jobs report has been released on Good Friday. The US Department of Labor releases the monthly employment nu…

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Guest Blog, Abshire-Smith Iraq Country Manager The oil price surged nearly 4% as crunch talks aimed at settling a dispute over a nuclear weapons programme for Iran appeared to stall and official figures showed that stockpiles of U.S. crude had risen by less than had been feared by 4.8 Million Barrels. This is a day after crude prices slid for a third day on fears of a nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers that would allow the Islamic Republic to release more than 1 mil…

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The above trading hours are for the Straticator trading platforms, for details on MetaTrader 4 and VertexFX 10. The trading hours are derived from counterparties and exchanges, they are correct as to the best of our knowledge, however they are subject to change without prior notice. If you have any questions regarding your account or trading hours please contact the dealing desk.…

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The March Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI reading was an 8 month high, as growth of production and new orders accelerated. The seasonally adjusted reading increased from February’s 54.0 to 54.4, matching analysts’ estimates. The report from Markit highlighted that the input costs and selling prices had both, which is to be expected with zero inflation, and oil prices significantly. The 54.4 figure is well above the 50.0, which signifies expansion, carrying on from yesterda…

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The latest data from the Office for National Statistics estimates that in 2014, the UK economy grew 2.8% across the year, up 0.2% from previous estimates. In Q3 and Q4 of 2014 the economy expanded by 0.6%. Growing at a faster pace than previously estimated, has been boosted by strong export performance. There had been concerns that the weakening of the Euro, could harm exports as the Eurozone is the UK’s major trading partner. GBP In the FX markets EURGBP traded lowe…

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The official starting gun for the UK general election has begun, as the current Prime Minister David Cameron ceremonially visits the Queen to dissolve parliament. The coming UK election is likely to have no overall majority and is one of the closest modern elections. What does this mean for Sterling? The uncertainty of the electoral outcome is a risk to the UK’s currency. The two main parties (Conservative and Labour) will need to create a coalition to form a government but…

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The crisis in Yemen has escalated towards an all-out civil war. The president of Yemen, Abdrabbuj Mansour Hadi is reported to have fled the country as forces attempt to fight back against Shia rebels known as Houthis. The Houthis are reportedly backed by Iran and been extending their control over the country since September. On Wednesday Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Houthis in support of the “legitimate government,” which has subsequently been condemned by…

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The ONS has released the inflation data (CPI) for February, which has fallen to zero. Governor of the BoE Mark Carney had warned markets that in the near term inflation would fall, but in 12 months pick up quickly. The latest release from the ONS is the lowest level for CPI since inflation estimates began in 1988. The ONS release highlighted the slowdown in inflation to price movements in recreational goods, food and furnishings. This reading was key for policy makers as the primary impact f…

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The fear of Greece leaving the single currency (Grexit) has been a recurring theme since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The country has only remained within the Eurozone via multiple bailouts from the IMF, otherwise the country would have defaulted on its commitments and been forced from the currency union. At the latest election, the citizens of Greece voted for the anti-austerity Syriza Party which are playing hard ball with Brussels as the country verges on bankruptcy. The leader…

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Bank of England Minutes 9:30am At 9:30am London the Bank of England minutes for the MPC meeting held on the 4 and 5 March will be released. The expectation is that the members voted unanimously (9 - 0) to leave interest rates and asset purchases unchanged. Traders will be checking through the minutes of the meeting for any signals of the timing of the tightening of policy. This month is six years that the base interest rate has been held at the record low of 0.50%. Employment da…

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The German index the DAX 30, has traded to a new all-time intra-day high this morning, trading above 12,000 for the first time. The German economy is seen as the powerhouse of Europe, with a robust economy and major exporter. The weakening of the Euro couple with record low borrowing costs, and lower energy costs are ideal circumstances for further expansion of the German economy. The stimulus announced by Draghi has led to traders bidding the index record high on the belief that the s…

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