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Thread: Daily Market Reviews by MAYZUS.com

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    16 APRIL 2013: GOLD PRICES COLLAPSE

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


    Gold collapsed completely yesterday as precious metals plunged to the lowest levels seen in years. Gold trades at USD 1351 an ounce falling 250 dollar in two days. Silver fell from USD 28,25 ending yesterday at 22,50. Oil and other commodity prices sharply declined. Brent crude fell below the critical USD 100 a barrel level at USD 98,42. Stock market plunged as investors dumped risky assets and worries over slowing growth in China and US took hold. After a short spell of relief, Japanese yen, JPY, continued to slide against USD, before rebounding to 97,67 yen to a dollar.

    The dramatic development in financial markets follows a worldwide rally in stocks in the first months of 2013 where daily new records on Wall Street have outpaced fundamentals. The monetary easing in the US, Europe and lastly Japan have injected huge capital into stocks without succeeding to create new employment. Risk markets have been rallying at a pace not in line with a tepid global growth recovery. Investor’s sell off of precious metals, commodities and shares might be seen as a last ditch effort to take some profit while markets evert to levels more in line with fundamentals.

    Investors are reassessing their portfolio allocations for the second quarter of 2013 on that basis. In this perspective it seems likely that funds would be pulled out of the US stock market also taking European uncertainties into account. US debt might then back as a secure long term investment and reduce demands for an alternative safe-haven as gold. There are therefore valid question marks as to whether the deep plunge in gold will continue and that we are still far from a bottom.

    USD/PY recovered during Monday. The dollar fell to 95,67 yen. The Euro hit a low of 125 yen. Both USD and Euro have rebounded. Euro is trading at 126,75 yen. In a market dominated by steep falls and quick rebounds, EURO/USD has traded steady in an interval between 1.3050 and 1.31. In early Asian trading, the Asian-Pacific index, MSCI, has stabilized after a 2% drop in European and US markets yesterday. A bomb explosion killing two and injuring 130 people at the finish line of the Boston marathon added to the downward pressure on the New York exchanges.

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    17 APRIL 2013: WALL STREET LIFTED BY GOLD AND EARNINGS

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


    US-stocks jumped more than one percent on Tuesday recovering after the worst fall since November. Gold prices rebounded from bottom level on USD 1351 and trades at 1379, but selling levels still persist. The US stock indexes were lifted by good earnings from Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson. The bullish sentiment was also helped by inflation data which reinforced expectations that he Federal Reserve will keep the stimulus. After two falling days, Asian stock markets are back in positive territory.

    Gold prices jumped 30 dollar during yesterday’s session after falling 8,8% on record volume on Monday. Gold reached 1382, but is still under strong selling pressure as investors rushed to dump gold. Gold prices suffered their sharpest fall since the 1980’ies heightening fears among investors that precious metal’s decade long Bull Run has ended. Silver also fell 11% and trades at 23,42. Silver was trading above USD 35 just a few months ago, and reached the USD 50 mark just two years ago.

    The gold selling fever initiated in Cyprus where the government last week stated readiness to sell its gold reserves to help finance IMF and ECB demands for bail-out assets. Rumors indicated that other pressed Southern European countries would follow suit. Faltering European demand and weaker than expected Chinese economic data depressed oil prices. Brent crude fell to a nine-month low and reached USD 98 a barrel bottom. Brent has also recovered and trades again above USD 100.

    The Japanese yen (JPY) eased in Asian trading this morning as it succumbs to new pressure as gold recovered. The historic plunge in gold prices coupled with fresh concern about China’s economic growth, saw some investors plunge back in yen as a safe haven reversing the downward trend sparked by Bank of Japan’s aggressive stimulus program. USD/JPY trades at 98,19. The USD has lost ground against the euro which has gained momentum after breaking through the stiff technical resistance at 1.3110/20. Euro is at 1.3173 as Euro bulls shrugged off a report on sharp April-fall in German investor sentiment.

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    13 MAY 2013: FED WARNS AGAINST EXCESSIVE SPECULATION

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


    A stronger dollar weighed in on commodities across the board during Friday and Monday morning trades. USD has continued to strengthen towards the Japanese yen. After the break through of the critical 100 hurdle USD is trading at 101,90 yen a dollar. The weak yen is giving Japanese equities a strong boost while other Asian stocks are trading lower. Both oil and gold prices fluctuated wildly during Friday’s trade. Euro/USD trades at 1,2973.

    Brent crude was down to USD 101 a barrel on Friday, but has recovered to 103.10. Gold which dipped to USD 1415, trades at 1431. The drop in commodities prices weighed on the Australian dollar which eased to an 11 month low of 0,991. The G-7 finance ministers meeting on Friday cemented the firmness of the dollar when Japan avoided criticism for its bold reflationary policies. “Abenomics” has led to a steady decline in the Japanese yen which improves exporters earning prospects and underpins the export-reliant Japanese economy.

    Japan as for years been urged to revive its economy. When Japan takes action few countries are in a position to complain. Other federal banks as the US Federal Reserve (FED) and Bank of England have as other central banks printed money as the Bank of Japan is doing now. The steep 25% depreciation of the yen since last November is nevertheless creating nervousness about to the health of financial markets and the global economy. Retail data from US and China to be presented later this week, are therefore going to be studies cautiously.

    FED Chairman Ben Bernanke raised these concerns during a speech in Chicago late Friday. Bernanke warned against excessive risk-taking in financial markets in a hunt for profit. Bernanke saw the strong drive in the dollar as the latest manifestation of a desperate global hunt for yield. Bernanke expressed worry that banks due to low interest rates and fall in bond prices, are resorting to excessive speculation, highlighting the danger that easy monetary policy could create a new asset bubble with stock prices running ahead of market fundamentals.

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    14 MAY 2013: US RETAILS BOOST GLOBAL MARKETS

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


    The dollar took a breather this morning after reaching near a five week-high against a basket of major currencies, DXY, on Tuesday. The greenback was boosted by surprisingly strong US retail sales in April which saw a rise in in households buying of cars, building materials and a range of other goods. The data pointed to the underlying strength in the US economy and led to increased optimism about a recovery in the world’s largest economy.

    After rallying on Friday and Monday the USD took a pause and retracted 0.3% against the currency basket. Euro/USD trades at 1.3010 and USD/JPY stands at 1.0156. The slightly weaker dollar helped stabilizing commodity prices with gold gaining one percent to USD 1445 recouping losses from previous sessions. The stronger dollar is based on a recovery scenario for the US economy. A sluggish growth in emerging countries have kept commodity prices low.

    The prospects for a firmer US recovery are likely to have a positive effect on the demand for commodities. There are also small signs of stability inside the struggling Euro zone. During yesterday’s bond auction Italian bonds fell to its lowest level since January. Investors backstopped by guarantees from the European Central Bank (ECB) and brushed off concerns about Italy’s political and economic troubles, pointing towards a normalization in financial markets.

    After a two-day losing streak, Asian stocks again rose this morning. The Asian-Pacific MSCI-index is up 0,3% with Australian and South Korean stocks also climbing. The Japanese Nikkei continues to rise 0,2%. Australian stocks were helped by a weaker Aussie. Oil prices are slightly up from yesterday. US crude futures, NYMEX, trade at USD 95,41 a barrel. Brent crude is up 0,1% to 102,90. Wall Street ended flat yesterday after recent highs.

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    15 MAY 2013: BANKS LIFT WALL STREET TO NEW RECORD HIGHS

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


    Headed by Bank of America and Citigroup Wall Street was lifted to new record highs yesterday as the stock market rally continues for the ten consecutive days. Investors picked large-cap companies’ shares on the expectation that central bank stimulus will help the rally further. S&P index has so far in 2013 gained almost 16% in a rally driven by The Federal Reserve’s (FED) monetary easing. All Western banks are easing aggressively and money looking for yield ends up in the stock market.

    In spite of some nervousness that the bond-purchase program may be reined in, investors are for now betting that central banks will be careful not to remove its support to soon to disrupt the economic recovery. Dow Jones was lifted 0,82% to a new record high of 15 215. Nasdaq, the technology stock index, reached a one year high of 2 462. Western European markets were also strong. In Tokyo stocks surged to a 5-and-half-year high as the Yen continues to fall against other currencies. USD/Yen trades at 102,15.

    The positive sentiment in the US propels the dollar which gained new 50 points against the Euro. Euro/USD trades at 1.2932. British sterling, GBP, is also losing ground. USD/GDP is down from last week’s high 1.5575 to 1.5227. The dollar index, DXY, is steady after reaching an overnight high of 83,687. Commodity prices, listed in USD, are decreasing steadily. Gold trade at 1425 in Asia recovering 10 dollar from yesterday’s new onslaught. Oil prices are also under pressure. The fracking technology has made the US sufficient on energy with the biggest crude storages seen in 50 years. This put a strong downward pressure on oil.

    Two major US banks have downgraded Chinese GDP growth to 7,6% for 2013 and 2014 stating that the time for double digit growth in China has gone. Their original forecast was 8%. The Chinese government has put 7,5% as its target. In a separate development the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, said that China has limited room to use government spending and policy stimulus to boost its economy. The statement dashed hopes among some investors that Beijing may take steps to foster growth.

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    16 MAY 2013: DISAPPOINTING DATA STOPS RAISE OF USD

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


    Data on the US industrial production fell more than expected in April. The industrial data shows that in spite of a string of good news pointing towards a recovery in the US economy, the overall picture is not uniformly strong. The industrial data, the weakest in ten months, immediately had a negative effect on the dollar index, DXY, which dropped 0,1%. The dollar is nevertheless extremely strong. Euro/USD trades at 1.2867 near a 6 week low. USD/JPY is steady at 1.0224.

    The disappointing industrial production added to the buzzing debate on when the Federal Reserve (FED) will eventually start winding down its asset purchasing program tantamount to printing money. Positive news, as increased employment and retail sales have pointed towards an end to quantitative easing within the year. However, the industrial data fuels arguments for continued easing. Citing this, FED chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech over the coming weekend will certainly be watched intently.

    The industrial data represented a limited setback for the dollar which, this month alone, has gained 3,8% against “safe haven” currencies such as the Swiss Franc and the Yen. The Australian dollar has lost 4,5%. Since the beginning of the year the USD has jumped 17,8 percent towards the Yen. Most analysts believe that the dollar shall continue to be strong, with the yen subsequently weakening. Some forecasts indicate USD/JPY at 124 at the year’s end.

    The Euro/USD fell as deep as 1.2642 on Wednesday following presentation of the French GDP numbers, clearly indicating that France has slipped into recession. The rate of Germany’s robust economic growth is not sufficient to prevent the euro zone from contracting for the sixth quarter in a row. If the ECB follows up indications to lower its interest below zero (if the economy slows further), then the euro will probably suffer a broad sell-off. With the Cyprus crisis still fresh in mind, investors will, most likely, park their deposits outside of Europe.

    Japan’s GDP rose 0,9% in the first quarter of 2013, expanding at its quickest pace in a year. Increased private consumption, and a steady rise in exports are seen as the first results of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s aggressive stimulus policies. The economy is also picking up in India where forecasts point to an increase in GDP on 5,5 – 6%.

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    17 MAY 2013: USD STRENGTHENED BY FED STATEMENT

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


    The dollar strengthened Friday morning and held firm against a basket of currencies, DXY, after a Federal Reserve (FED) official had indicated that FED may begin to taper its bond buying known as monetary easing already this summer. In a statement on Thursday the President of FED, in San Francisco, indicated that the Central Bank might ease back on the monetary gas pedal and end bond buying by the end of the year. His indications immediately led to a rise in the dollar with DXY up 0,4 % and nervousness in equity markets.

    Analysts see a stronger dollar being prominent over the next months’ currency developments. The Euro/USD fell to 1.2860 and depreciation of the Japanese Yen continued. USD/JPY trades at 102,31. The dollar is likely to gain, particularly against low-yielding currencies such as Euro, Yen, GBP and Swiss Franc. In spite of conflicting macroeconomic signals from the US over the last few days, consensus among analysts seems to be that the US economy is holding up much better than that of the rest of the world. A strong US recovery strengthens the dollar lower yield currencies and gold.

    There are, however, mixed signals. Numbers presented on Wednesday showed the US industrial production at its lowest level in 10 months. Data on Americans filing new jobless claims climbed last week at its fastest pace in six months, up 32,000 to a seasonal adjusted 360,000. The highest jump since November. The increased jobless claims came amidst signs of slower last quarter US-growth, due to the Federal government’s austerity drive with a hike in taxes in January and sweeping budget cuts in March.

    The number of jobless claims stand in stark contradiction to last month’s 165 000 newly added jobs, and the drop in the unemployment rate to a four year low at 7,5 %. Stock markets were nervous yesterday. Wal-Mart, the world wide hypermarket store, presented quarterly earnings below Wall Street expectations. Stock prices fell 2 %. Good quarterly results from the technology sector and especially CISCO counterbalanced. The Asian Pacific MSCI-index fell 0,3 %.

    Gold at USD 1379 is striving to keep above the four-week low on 1369 reached on Thursday. A Credit Suisse forecast predicts a 20 % fall in the price of gold during the next twelve months. Oil prices are steady with Bren trading at USD 103,64 a barrel.

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    20 MAY 2013: PRECIOUS METALS TUMBLE IN ASIA

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


    Gold and Silver tumbled in early Asian trade. Silver dropped to the lowest level seen in years falling 4,31 % since Friday, Gold is trading at 1344 down 50 dollar an ounce since Friday. Precious metals have been under continuous pressure over the last few months. Gold fell 5,5 % during last week and the free fall accelerated this morning. Silver was, however, hit the hardest. Silver is trading at USD 21.35 an ounce, down one-and-a-half dollars since its high on Friday.


    There is confusion in the precious metals markets. Gold bulls are claiming that some big bank and financial institutions are deliberately manipulating gold prices down, to buy back at lower levels when central banks aggressive money printing are going to hit the market with inflationary pressure. In such a situation, investors will again start buying gold and silver as a hedge and traditional safe haven.


    The main reason for the fall in prices seem, however, to be that financial investors are liquidating,or strongly scaling down on their precious metals positions and turned into equities. The latest numbers from the US Securities and Exchange Commission demonstrate this development on the US SPDR GLD exchange. This statistics also shows that John Paulson,the billionaire hedge fund manager and the largest owner of shares in the GLD fund, maintains his positions.


    Institutional selling of precious metals have been counter weighted by strong Asian buying of jewellery and coins, which have provided support for gold amid consistent selling by institutional investors. Precious metals in kind are selling USD 10 higher than “paper” gold. It is, however, a question of how long the physical buying of gold can last. Chinese demand rose 20 % in the first quarter boosted by an increase of 19 in jewellery and 22 percent in bar and coins. Indian demand increased similarly. Barclays Banks forecast is that gold shall average USD 1350 in the second quarter of 2013. Credit Suisse predicts a fall in gold prices to USD 1100 in a year’s time.


    The USD clawed back and closed last week on its strongest level in three years against other currencies. Euro/USD trades at 1,2843 and USD/JPY 102,64. Australian and New Zealand dollars suffered heavier losses against the USD than their counterparts. The Australian dollar hit its lowest level in a year on Friday. Euro and GBP are also under strong downward pressure. Oil prices are steady with Brent trading at USD 104,50 a barrel.

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    21 MAY 2013: GOLD REBOUNDS AS USD WEAKENS

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


    Gold and Silver rebounded strongly yesterday after the onslaught at the end of last week, and in Asia on Monday morning. Both the precious metals fell nearly 5 %. Gold trades at USD 1387 an ounce in Asia, 35 dollars up from the lows 24 hours ago. Silver trades at USD 22,70 rebounding from a low of 21.00 and reached USD 23, at the start of the Asian trading session. The cautious comments from representatives from the US Federal Reserve (FED) regarding the bond-buying stimulus, have weakened the USD.


    In a statement on Monday, the President of the Federal Reserve in Chicago followed up last week’s comments from another regional FED president, that the bond-buying program might end abruptly in the autumn if, by then, the FED was sure that the labour market was on solid footing. Earlier, the FED put a 6,5 % unemployment statistic as the critical mark. The last published data showed a 7,6 % unemployment statistic. The aggressive monetary easing policies now also followed by Japan, has given global stock markets a strong boost.


    US-stocks ended flat on Monday with indexes hovering near record levels. Concerns about a stop in bond-buying and a correction are influencing markets. Energy stocks and primarily solar companies soared. Dow Jones saw an intraday high at 15 391. S&P reached 1 672. Both indexes are up 17 % since January 1st. Investors are split between nervousness for a strong correction due to the sharpness and length of the rally, and those who are afraid to miss a continued rally.


    European shares set a new five-year high for the fourth straight session on Monday, after positive indicators from The United States and Japan pointed to an improving global economic outlook. European blue chip stocks (Financial Times Eurofirst 300 index) was up one percent, which is the highest level seen since mid 2008. The positive US consumer sentiment data from Friday, the highest level seen in almost six years, is seen as especially encouraging. EasyJet and Ryan Air were among the biggest gainers.


    The Japanese Yen tumbled yesterday after comments from its Minister of Economy, warning that the currency might have weakened enough. USD/JPY fell to 102 after Friday’s high on 103,22, but has rebounded to 102,22. Oil prices are keeping steady. Brent crude trades at USD 104,83 a barrel. FED Chairman Ben Bernanke’s statement to Congress on Wednesday will be crucial for the further development in currencies and global equity markets.

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    22 MAY 2013: BERNANKE HOLDS THE KEY TO THE STRENGTH OF THE USD

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


    Global markets traded steadily yesterday building up to the publishing of the Federal Reserve’s minutes from the last BOD meeting in April/May, and Ben Bernanke’s statement to Congress later today. After a small correction on Tuesday, the USD continues to strengthen and is up close to record high against a basket of currencies, DXY.


    As proven over the last few weeks, the overall trend in the USD is pointing up towards all currency pairs in spite of a day or two of declines. This trend is supported by three main factors; the forecast for the US is better than for any other economy, Europe is ridden with recession and Japan is concentrating its efforts on increasing the inflation to the 2 % target.


    The upswing in the US economy is mainly due to its monetary easing and FED's loose monetary policies. FED representatives have, over the last few days, indicated that the bond buying program will soon come to an end. If Bernanke “sneezes” today and states the same as his local FED representatives have done, it would mean a further strengthening of the USD.


    A weaker Euro and Yen over the last few hours seem to indicate that this is what markets expect. After the Japanese Economy minister talked the Yen up earlier in the week, he seems to have been reprimanded by superiors, and the Yen continues its free fall. The International Monetary Fund, IMF, in a report today, urged Swiss authorities to weaken the Franc by unwinding its currency reserve funds. The Franc has already depreciated 3,7 % towards the Euro in 2013.


    Precious metals continue to fluctuate, wildly searching for direction. The large increases in gold and silver throughout Asia and early European trade was quickly eaten by new steep falls. Oil prices keep steady. Smaller than expected English inflation strengthened GBP and gave the markets hopes for loser monetary policies, meaning more money printed by the Bank of England.

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