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Thread: Daily Market Reviews by MAYZUS.com

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    01 AUGUST 2013: FED COMMENTS HALT DOLLAR RALLY

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    A Dollar rally across the board followed news that the US added 200 000 new jobs in the private sector in July. Last quarter’s economic growth was also stronger than expected, topping economists’ expectations. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 1.7 % annual rate. 1 % was forecast. The rally quickly terminated on FED’s statement that the economy continues to recover, but still needs further support, giving no indication when to terminate monetary easing.

    The published data marked the third straight quarter of GDP growth below 2 %, a pace normally too soft to bring unemployment down. Growth is, however, expected to move faster in the second half of 2013 as the fiscal burden brought on by Washington belt-tightening eases.

    Investors first reactions on the data seemed to indicate that they increased the likelihood for an early autumn tapering. Traders betted initially on a stronger Dollar and the green back rose across the board. EUR/USD fell to 1.3218 to bounce back at 1.3278. USD/JPY is also initially stronger at 92.29. Oil and precious metal prices posted immediate losses on the predictions of a stronger Dollar. Brent crude fell below USD 106 a barrel and Gold to 1.317.

    This turned on FED’s latest statement which kept investors guessing. An end to monetary easing would have weakened the stock markets, which have been given strong capital injections due to the bond buying program. Instead the data and FEDs lack of commitment boosted US stock markets as indexes inside the Euro area ended in red. USD/GBP, fell to 1.5133 following the data after trading above 1.53 for the last few days.

    Chinese authorities, mindful of the risk of a sharp economic slowdown that could derail their reform efforts, sent their clearest signal yet that they will do what it takes to safeguard growth. China’s main planning agency followed Tuesday up on the Politburo assurances, stating that this year’s growth goal of 7.5 % was safe. Authorities will, if necessary, supply markets with ample funding. The official growth target represents already a 23-year low.

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    05 AUGUST 2013: US-JOBS WEAKER THAN EXPECTED

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    The most important US job report for July was released on Friday. The US established 162 000 new jobs in July, much weaker than expected. Growth for May and June was simultaneously adjusted down with 7000 and 19 000 respectively. 185 000 non-farm payrolls were expected. The unemployment rate decreased from 7.5 to 7.4 %. Employment in the private sector increased with 161 000, 34 000 lower than expected.

    The unemployment figures are far from the 6.5 % target set from the US Federal Reserve (FED) as benchmark for terminating the bond buying program of USD 85 billion monthly. It also helps to explain why FED, in its policy forecast last Wednesday, was careful not give any clear indication on a deadline for monetary easing. While the US economy has slowly picked up in 2013, there is no fundamental turnaround.

    The postponement of any firm deadline for the termination of monetary easing is seen as positive for the stock markets, which reached new record highs. S&P reached a new peak of 1700. The stock futures have fluctuated following employment data. Stock markets in Europe ended the week in red, while the Japanese Nikkei climbed 2.82 percent on a weaker Yen.

    The Dollar extended gains prior to the unemployment report on expectations that an upbeat job report will prompt FED to withdraw stimulus soon. The disappointing employment data turned markets around. The Euro gained 50 points immediately against the Dollar trading at 1.3253. Gold which dropped to 1282 bounced back 30 Dollars in a few minutes. Oil prices are still high.

    EUR/USD started trading in Asia at 1.3283. USD/JPY stands at 99.00. Gold dropped down to USD 1311 an ounce. Brent crude started the week down trading at USD 108.95 a barrel.

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    06 AUGUST 2013: USD LOSES AGAINST YEN

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    The Dollar lost ground for the second consecutive day against the Japanese Yen trading at 98.313. The Green back also fell against the Euro. EUR/USD stood at 1.3258 at the end of a turbulent New York stock session, which saw major indices falling from record highs into negative territory. Dow Jones ended at 15 615 . Stock exchanges in Europe traded flat.

    Statements from the head of US Federal Reserve (FED) in Dallas, gave rise to a new guessing game as to when FED will start tapering its monetary easing. FED is, at present, buying

    USD 85 billion in bonds monthly. Dallas Head Fischer claimed that tapering might start next month already based on unemployment figures. Better services numbers presented yesterday, pushed bond prices to its highest in 2 years.

    The DXY index, a basket of six major currencies against the Dollar, stood steady. The Dollar has lost 3 % against major currencies after reaching a peak on July 7th. The British pound, GBP, jumped 0.4 % against the Dollar yesterday and ended 0.4 % up. The New Zealand Kiwi, lost substantial ground after a bacteria was discovered in products from its leading dairy industry. China immediately stopped import of dairy products from New Zealand.

    Oil prices exemplified by Brent crude staying at steady high levels trading close to USD 109 a barrel. Gold prices took a new dip at USD 1301 an ounce. Silver tipped down to USD 19.80 after climbing as high as USD 20.40 yesterday.

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    07 AUGUST 2013: WALL STREET DIPS

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    Wall street dipped in trading yesterday evening after consecutive record highs by Dow Jones and S&P over the last seven weeks. IBM fell on bearish analyst commentary. Trading was muted with investors holding pat to stocks close to historic levels. The fading down of the earnings season weighed in on trading volumes. Continuous speculation on when US Federal Reserve (FED) will start tapering its bond buying program of monthly USD 85 Billion, keeps investors on the side line as well.

    The US Commerce Department announced yesterday that the trading gap between export and imports in June fell 22.4 % to USD 34 Billion. This is the lowest level in 3-1/2 years. Exports touched a record high, suggesting an upward revision to second-quarter growth. Adjusted for inflation, the gap narrowed 17 % to USD 43.2 Billion. The June deficit is far smaller than the government had estimated. These are all arguments for starting to taper in September.

    Export numbers showed a steep increase in trade with the Euro zone countries, which rose 1.5 % in June. Export to the Euro area fell by 5 % in the first half of 2013. Export to China, which has been stagnating for some time, saw an increase of 4.5 % in June and is up 4.5 % since January 2013. The better trading balance reflected hefty declines in import of petroleum, industrial supplies and materials. The drop in the petroleum imports show that the US is sharply reducing its dependence on foreign oil.

    In spite of the better balance of trade figures, the Dollar dropped against the Euro trading at 1.3309. The Japanese Yen continues to gain ground. USD/JPY trades at 77.723. British pound is stronger. USD/GBP stands at 1.5371. Oil prices have climbed and Brent crude trades above USD 109 a barrel. Precious metals started the week in negative territory. Gold has dipped substantially below the USD 1300 level at 1287 falling as low as 1278. Silver is following a similar down turn trend.

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    08 AUGUST 2013: GBP JUMPS AGAINST USD

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    USD/GBP jumped above 1.55, the highest level seen in weeks, after Bank of England (BOE) yesterday linked unemployment to rate hikes. BOE stated that before unemployment is reduced to 7 %, there would be no hikes in interest rate. Even if most analysts see such a level unlikely before 3 years time, traders interpreted the move as strengthening the Pound.

    BOE follows the US Federal Reserve (FED) suit. FED has decided to keep the interest rate steady as long as unemployment stays above 6.5 %. This level has also been seen as a crucial benchmark for any substantial changes in monetary easing. Speculations on when FED will start tapering are fueling the markets with fear. Stock markets both in Europe and the United States fell for the fourth consecutive session. Dow Jones dropped more than 80 points (0.5 %) during the session.

    The Dollar, which lost momentum on the presentation of unemployment figures last week, continues to lose ground against most currencies. The Japanese Yen rose to a seven week high, trading at 96.62 Yen against the green back. The DXY index, which weighs the Dollar against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.4 %. The stronger Yen impacted Nikkei and other stock markets, which suffered heavy losses during the week. Oil prices also fell yesterday with Brent crude dropping below USD 108 a barrel.

    President Obama cancelled his upcoming meeting yesterday with President Vladimir Putin, in a display of anger with Russia’s decision to grant the whistle-blower, Edward Snowden, the man the US sees as traitor, permission to stay in Russia. Obama accused Russia for cold war tendencies and repeated grievances over Syria. Saudi Arabia , seen as a close US ally, recently offered Russia to buy USD 15 billion in military aircrafts if Moscow would trade giving up its support for president Assad.

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    12 AUGUST 2013: METAL PRICES RISE ON CHINA

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    Metals bounced higher on Friday as stronger than expected data came from China, with a copper rally not seen in one year. China reported a pick-up in factory production, investment, and real estate for construction in July, beating expectations. Data and import and export also rose indicating to investors that the Chinese economy is in the process of stabilizing after decelerating in nine of the last ten months.

    A series of Chinese policy measures seem to have had a positive effect and reversed an economic slowdown and the fear of hard landing for the Chinese economy. Chinese analysts expect stable growth in the third quarter with a possible acceleration in the fourth quarter. The unexpectedly strong performance is driven mainly by a rebound in the production of steel, cement, power and non-ferrous metals. This underscores that China’s growth remains disproportionately reliant on credit fuelled infrastructure and property construction.

    Global stocks remained close to five-year records as a possible Chinese turn around in the second half of 2013 fueled investors optimism, in spite of a week of mixed activity across the world’s biggest financial centers. This optimism fuelled markets in Europe, but failed to translate for long in the US, as investors took profits after continuous records on Wall Street over the last few weeks. The benchmark S&P index fell for the second week after a rise in stocks on 19% since the beginning of 2013.

    In Europe the FTSE All World equity index hovered close to its best level since 2006 after especially large global mining companies climbed on the back of the Chinese data. Shanghai and the Australian stock exchanges jumped as well on the data. In currencies, the US Dollar index continued to lose ground on Friday, but gained against the Euro which eased 24 points to USD 1.3354. USD/JPY descended 0.3 % to 96.38. The Dollar is expected to be under downward pressure until the US Federal Reserve (FED) decides on when to start to taper monetary easing.

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    13 AUGUST 2013: GOLD SHINES ON STIMULUS WORRIES

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    Stocks headed for the fifth fall in six sessions on Monday, as signs of economic recovery pointed towards a cut in economic stimulus and monetary easing tapering. Safe-haven assets such as precious metals and the Swiss Franc, gained. Gold jumped to USD 1342 an ounce, the highest level seen in months, while Silver gained 3 % since the end of last week, trading at USD 21.31 an ounce. EUR/USD continues to descend at 1.3288. USD/JPY is steady at 86.87.

    Global stock markets have been tiptoeing in August fearing that economic stimulus, the USD 85 billion monthly bond buying program, may come to a halt in September. Signs that China’s slowdown may run its course and expectations that data this week will prove that the Euro zone is pulling out of its longest recession on record, are bolstering hopes that the global economy is back on track. This most probably means an end to monetary easing.

    European stocks quickly lost the momentum created by Monday’s better than expected Chinese data, which gave the Asian markets a boost during the night. The major European indices were down as the futures for the US were down. Both Dow Jones and Nasdaq lost 0.36 % in the opening of Monday’s session. Walt Disney, Boeing and JP Morgan were among the biggest losers. Intel and Alcoa were marginally up.

    Nikkei in Japan shed 0.7 % and traded at the lowest level seen since June 28th, after data showed that Japan’s economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in April-June. This prompted investors to cut their risk exposure. The Japanese Yen has gained 5 % against the Dollar since USD/JPY reached a high of 103 Yen to a Dollar in early spring. The Japanese economy grew 2.6 % in the second quarter, compared with 3.8 % in the first quarter of 2013.

    Copper was 0.3 % down after gaining 1.3 %, a three month high, on Friday. Oil prices, which headed up on the presentation of the Chinese data, dipped 0.5 %. Brent crude is trading below USD 108 a barrel. Gold gained for the fourth day in a row when holdings in the world’s biggest Gold exchange-traded fund rose for the first time in two months. The increased volume helped prices, but the fundamentals for Gold are still negative.

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    14 AUGUST 2013: GERMAN OPTIMISM FUELS EURO ZONE

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    US Consumer spending rose at its fastest pace in seven months according to figures presented yesterday. The gauge in consumer spending indicates quicker economic growth, and would strengthen the case for the US Federal Reserve (FED) winding down it's USD 85 billion bond monthly bond buying program. Retail sales outside cars, gasoline and building materials rose 0.5 percent in July, in line with expectations. Consumer spending is the biggest driver in the US economy.

    A jump in Germany’s economic sentiment survey, dovetailed with a rise in the industrial output in the Euro zone, and the fastest rise in house prices in England in seven years, bolstered renewed optimism also in the European region yesterday. London’s FTSE, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 indexes all climbed from 0.3 to 0.8 %, to lift the broad FTSE Eurofirst 300 index to its highest level since mid May. US exchanges were rising on the retail figures yesterday after four losing sessions.

    EUR/USD stood at 1.3290 before the release of the US retail figures added to the case for a cut in the Federal Reserve’s (FED) stimulus already in September. The American Dollar is trading higher also in relation to Japanese Yen. USD/JPY is 98.01. Oil prices are up with Brent crude at USD 109.88 a barrel. Gold and Silver stay steady at the last few days higher levels.

    A renewed optimism in the Euro zone was yesterday reflected in the debt market. Yields on safe-haven German 10 year government bonds hit their highest level in six weeks. Risk premiums on Italian and Spanish bonds continued to ease. A general improvement In the EU economy seems to have taken place. The question is when positive signs of improvement will eventually take the Euro zone countries out recession and into sustainable economic growth. Gross Domestic (GDP) growth number expected to grow 0.2 % when the last quarterly report is published later on Wednesday.

    The Asian market opened Tuesday in strong positive territory, helped by the Chinese data presented on Monday morning. The weaker Yen caused the Nikkei stock exchange to jump 2.6 %. The other Asian bourses were also up. The positive momentum is expected to continue this morning.

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    15 AUGUST 2013: US STOCKS DECLINE ON MACY’S SALES

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    The US stock indices fell last night after retailer 'Macy's Inc' quarterly results disappointed. This gave new urgency to investors debates on the timing and pace of reductions in the Federal Reserve’s (FED) bond purchases. The department store operator Macy’s shares fell 4.4 % leading to a loss in S&P. Also Dow Jones and Nasdaq ended in red territory after Macy’s disappointing sales.

    In Europe, both France and German economies grew faster than the United States in the second quarter of 2013, pulling the Euro zone out of its longest recession seen in years. The increased pace was primarily driven by renewed business and consumer spending in the two largest economies inside the Euro zone. The Euro zones economy continues, however, to be fragile with countries such as Spain and Italy struggling. The figures published on Wednesday show a 0.3 % growth.

    Austria and Finland also presented positive growth figures while the Cyprus economy contracted 1.4 % in the second quarter, after the international bailout in March. Laiki, the second biggest bank, was forced to close and the Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank suffered heavy losses on big deposits. In spite of some positive signs inside the Euro zone, the economic and fiscal problems seen in the periphery and especially in Southern Europe indicate that the Euro zone is in for a bumpy and uneven recovery.

    The positive news from France and Germany had little impact on the currencies. EUR/USD traded at 1.3258 after an earlier high of 1.3278. Traders put stop/loss orders on 1.3230. A break could see a slip to 1.3155. The DXY Dollar basket was marginally down after climbing one percent since its low on August 8th. Oil prices fell during yesterday's session, but precious metals, Gold and Silver, demonstrate a clear, positive upward trend.

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    16 AUGUST 2013: OIL JUMPS ON EGYPT UNREST

    DAILY MARKET REVIEWS
    by Arne Treholt Vice-President of Business Development and Investments


    Oil prices jumped on the tense situation in the Middle East where at least 535 people were killed in a security crackdown in Egypt. Brent and NYMEX, New York crude, climbed to a four-month high on Thursday with Brent reaching USD 111 a barrel. The escalating violence in Egypt might affect the Suez Canal and spread all over a middle East already torn by a two year civil war in Syria, disturbing death tolls and unrest in Oil producing Iraq and Libya.

    Egypt has declared a state of emergency. Supporters of the deposed President Mursi have, nevertheless, announced new major demonstrations. Oil storages in the US are shrinking faster than expected. Egypt is a minor crude producer, but home of the strategically important Suez Canal and the Sumed pipeline. The deadly violence threatens to choke Oil supply routes and have serious consequences for steady Oil supplies from the Middle East.

    The Libyan Deputy Oil Minister stated on Thursday that Libya’s Oil production has been reduced by 600 000 barrels a day. Iraq expects to slash supplies with 600 000 barrels a day in September. US crude inventories fell 2.8 million barrels with stocks at the lowest level seen since 2012. As long as the situation in the Middle Eastern area is kept under some control, Brent doesn’t seem to have a potential to climb higher than to USD 113 – 114. Europe’s top Oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, has temporarily closed its offices in Egypt.

    The USD has come under new pressure on continued uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve (FED) might start to taper its bond buying program. Retailer Macy’s department store, delivered disappointing results on Wednesday, leading to new question marks regarding the healthiness and growth of the US economy. EUR/USD is at 1.3299 and USD/JPY trades at 98.15. Precious metals, Gold and Silver, have regained some of their safe-haven status and have steadied on levels not seen in months.

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