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European equities initially chased their US and Asian counterparts higher but have pared back some gains. The FTSE is leading its German counterpart, benefiting from the strong performance in the materials sector after China’s strong January trade report overnight. Elsewhere, oil prices have rallied in the wake of the IEA monthly report, in which they raised their global oil demand and highlighted that OPEC made production cuts in January equal to 90% of the agreed volumes. In fixed, c…

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It appears OPEC has finally agreed to cut production in a drive to end global surplus Bloomberg News has reported that OPEC clinched a deal to curtail the global oil supply today, surprising many, in a bid to clear a record global crude glut thus going a long way to prove the group’s credibility; this will be its first cut in 8 years, . OPEC will reduce production by 1.2m barrels a day to 32.5m a day, a delegate said this afternoon in Vienna, however he has asked not to be…

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Oil prices have plummeted again (below $40 for WTI Crude & $43 for Brent) despite an initial surge of 3% late Thursday last week on the news that OPEC would increase output. The outlook, however, grew more confusing as the seven hour Friday OPEC meeting progressed; it eventually resulted in OPEC delaying its scheduled news conference and then ultimately failing to confirm the news reports of a production increase. WTI closed the Friday session 2.7% lower and was actually 3.8% down…

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While there is little doubt the BoE vote will result in an unchanged verdict on rates this afternoon, economists will be looking for signs in the minutes as to when the gradual policy tightening might begin. There are a few experts predicting another BoE rate setter is set to join Ian McCafferty to vote for a 25 basis-point hike this time around, however most will be looking for stronger indicators regarding the UK economy in the coming months before doing so. Inflation remains t…

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Oil prices have flattened over the last couple of days, halting a huge sell-off from Monday; investors are still cautious as fears remain over China's economic slowdown and hefty global supplies. The sell-off on Monday came after news that Chinese industrial profits slumped in August, with the biggest drops concentrated in producers of coal, oil and metals. Commodity and equity traders will get more evidence about China's economic performance tomorrow when final manufactu…

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After sliding on Friday Gold took massive dive overnight, plunging as much as 5.5% in morning trading, hitting a low of around 1072. This dragged a majority of commodities the same way as the dollar strengthened across the board as investors focus on the timings of a US rate rise. It was the first time Gold traded below $1,100 since early 2010 and its lowest mark since November 2009. Other precious metals subsequently followed suit; platinum down 3.8%, silver 1.8% and palladium trading…

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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 final trading session of 2014 is upon us; the year finishes with record highs for US indices, and a bear market in Oil. As the year ends, there has been resurgence in instability in Libya, a near collapse of the Russian Ruble and heightened tensions from North Korea. These are individual views, and shouldn’t be taken as investment advice; Abshire-Smith provides execution only trading. Trading leveraged products such as FX and CFDs, is a high risk and you may lose more than yo…

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The Russian Ruble’s recent moves have hit the financial headlines, after wild swings, interest rate increases and market intervention. The value of the Ruble has moved dramatically this week, being deemed “untradeable” by some analysts. USDRUB trade to 80 Rubles to the US Dollar on Tuesday, currently the pair is trading around 62 Rubles to the USD. The rapid depreciation was meant to be curbed by a bold move by the central bank, a 650bps increase in interest rates, ho…

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The price of Oil has collapsed since the start of the year, with concerns of the global recovery being derailed. Oil producing nations, who rely on the black gold for revenue, are in risk of having to cut expenditure following the commodity rollercoaster. US Oil (WTI Crude) has traded below $60 for the first time in 5 years on Thursday and there is a concern that there could be further to fall. Countries that are expected to suffer are net exporters of Oil, and rely primarily on govern…

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The yellow metal, black gold, call them what you want; commodities have seen significant moves of over 6% in a single trading session in the last few days. The steep declines, and rallies in both Gold and Oil have seen significant volumes traded over the US public holiday, Thanksgiving. Crude Oil US (WTI) and UK (Brent) crude have been trending lower since the start of 2014, down over 30% YTD, trading at a four year low. The move is a gift for airlines and Oil purchasers, but is…

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GBPUSD The USD has been strong across the board in recent months, as it has reasserted itself as the world’s reserve currency, with the USD Index up over 7% since the summer. Cable has trended lower since the beginning of July, trading from 1.7190 to print a new 12 month low of 1.5652 today. Is a 1.50 handle on the cards in the not too distant future, as Carney seems intent of pushing back the markets expectations of an interest rise, and the Federal Reserve looks to tighte…

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As Thursday, the day of reckoning for Scotland and its possible split from the United Kingdom draws ever closer, the debate reaches fever pitch with political, economic, celebrity and even Royal personnel voicing their views in the hope of swaying public opinion. This week, alone, we have heard from several obscure sources, ranging from the likes of David Beckham, Billy Brag to even the Queen herself who accidentally went against her previous better judgement of keeping quiet on the subject…

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Guest Blog, Abshire-Smith Iraq Country Manager 12/06/2014 14:30 (London) Iraqi forces sought to check the rapid advance of Islamist militants who had seized major cities, including Iraq’s second largest city, and Saddam’s hometown of the Tikrit. What has concerned energy markets is the control of one of Iraq’s largest refinery Beiji which produces 310,000 BPD. However State media has just reported that Iraq’s Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said that the…

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