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Since plummeting to 13 year lows in February oil prices have seen a big bull market with prices nearly doubling to its level of 50.70 for Brent & 50.30 for WTI Crude. This has been aided by either production declines or supply glitches in many oil producing countries. Nigeria for one have been experiencing big problems with a militant group calling themselves Niger Delta Avengers. For the last 4 months they have been prowling the swamps of Nigeria’s petroleum-rich…

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Volatility in the markets is very likely to continue and even increase in the coming months. This could provide many profitable opportunities to the savvy trader. Geo-political risk is moving to the forefront of investors’ minds at present and is guaranteed to be increasingly influential in decision making for the remainder of 2016. We have the imminent Brexit referendum taking place on 23rd June; since its announcement on 20th Feb we have seen high volatility in Cable with…

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Bank of England Governor Mark Carney dampened expectations on the timing of the first UK rate hike innearly a decade yesterday, predominantly citing the recent slowdown in China and other emerging market economies as the main reason. "The outlook for global growth has weakened since the August inflation report," the BOE's Monetary Policy Committee said in a statement. The BOE highlighted that it is, by no means, in any rush to raise its benchmark interest rate and v…

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As predicted, the Federal Reserve kept short-term interest rates unchanged at near zero yesterday but signalled that a rate hike before the turn of the year remains a possibility. As was the case in September, the central bank’s accompanying statement did not explicitly mention concerns over the Chinese economy as a reason not to raise rates for the first time in a decade. Last month they cited turbulent financial markets and uncertain economic developments overseas as reasons fo…

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Chinese shares were up overnight as GDP and retail figures beat expectations, helping to hide the fact that economic growth levels fell below 7% for the first time since 2009. China’s economy expanded quicker than economists forecast in the 3rd quarter as the services sector propped up the world’s second-largest economy. This suggests that monetary and fiscal stimulus is keeping Premier Li Keqiang’s 2015 expansion target within reach ahead of his historic UK visit tod…

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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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The Federal left short-term interest rates unchanged ending weeks of debate whether it was the right time to end an era of near-zero rates in acknowledgment of the ever improving US economy and job market. A majority of Fed officials still believe the central bank will raise rates before the end of 2015, but the central bank showed a little less conviction with the number of officials in favour slipping to 13 from 15 back in June. Janet Yellen noted in a press conference after th…

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The US Dow Jones Index dropped over 1000 points on the open today amid extreme volatility in the markets as the Shanghai Composite Index finished it's trading session down 8.5% at 3209.91. The slowdown in the Chinese economy is having huge repurcussions not only in equities which have seen a massive correction across the board in commodities too. Both Europe and the US are feeling the heat; FTSE100 is currently down 4.5%; CAC down 7% & Dax off 6%. US Crude Oil has extende…

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The PBoC’s overnight move to weaken its national currency, the RMB (Chinese Yuan), shows a significant shift in policy. They confirm they are to play a greater role going forward in the management of the exchange rate, sending ripples through the foreign exchange market. The move certainly comes at an opportune time for them following a series of weak macro trade data out of the country recently; exports have tumbled 8.3% in July from a year earlier and there has been a severe sl…

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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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At the end of last week the Yuan weakened to the lowest level in 2 years. On Saturday the Peoples Bank of China surprised markets and cut the lending and deposits rates, for the second time in 4 months. The move is an attempt to ease monetary policy to fuel further growth. Following the move, miners got a lift as traders expect Chinas expansion to increase their demand. The Australian dollar also was buoyed, as a major trading partner of China, and a key exporter of commodities.…

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Over the last few decades Chinese growth figures have been the envy of central banks around the globe. The back-to-back years of double digit GDP have now slowed to “only” around 7%. Recent macro data from China has disappointed markets, with the indicators pointing to a further slowdown in economic growth. The expansion has been coupled with inflation, however data released in January reported a 5 year low. On the 4 February the PBOC attempted to stave off a further slowdo…

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The Peoples Bank of China, made an unscheduled announcement to cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 50bps to 19.5%. The announcement follows a wave of central banks cuts in January, in an attempt to fuel growth. The PBoC cut reduces the amount of cash banks are required to hold in reserve, in an attempt to stimulate the economy, or at least keep the economy stable. Concerns from analysts that the Chinese growth levels fuelled by credit were unsustainable have been noted continuou…

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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 Chinese Central bank, The PBOC has cut interest rates for the first time since 2012. The surprise move of lowering borrowing costs to counteract a cooling economy, which is on track for its lowest annual growth in 24 years (CNBC). The move to reduce rates by 25bps, to 2.75% comes into effect from the 22nd of November Following the announcement commodity currencies, specifically the Aussie Dollar strengthened from 0.8630 to trade a session high of 0.8721. Yen The move fo…

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