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Monday, 27 August 2018 11:41

The S&P, and Where It Is Heading…

Predictions for the US index in 2017

In 2016 we witnessed the worst start to a year, ever.No, we aren’t talking about losing Ziggy Stardust and Professor Snape within the space of four days. Rather we are referring to the 6% drop experienced by the S&P 500 over the first five trading days of 2016. This was, and remains, the worst ever start to the index’s year (eclipsing 2011’s shoddy start).

Since the awful start we’ve seen a steady climb in the S&P, from the lows of 1,829 in February to the historic highs of around 2,400 recently.But where is the market going next? And how high could it climb in the process?

Sunday, 25 November 2018 10:22

The Next Step for OPEC

What’s in store for the price of oil…

The price of oil has been languishing for some time, and we all know why. A global supply glut and a record high for production meant that we were oversupplied. In simple terms, nothing was going to get that supply down unless market conditions changed. We could have seen a sudden growth in global demand, but that was highly unlikely given that the largest consumers of oil (China and the US) were continuing to cut their demand. That meant that in reality the only way we could see a lift in the price of oil was if OPEC came together and agreed to stop pumping so vigorously… less oil would, by default, lift the price of the black stuff.

But we’ve been watching continued meetings between the OPEC member states, and nothing has changed. Back in July there was a chance of a decision, but that was never agreed upon. Saudi Arabia and Iran seemed at logger heads, with the former desperate to retain market share and the latter enjoying the benefits which came with the lifting their international sanctions.

Saturday, 04 August 2018 11:41

Grain Projections for 2017

What wheat, corn and soybeans will do next year….

It’s that time of the year again, the nights are drawing in, and we begin to wrap things up for 2016. And what a year it has been. We’ve lost a raft of middle-age musicians, gained a new President, and made a tidy profit will our investments along the way. But now, as the year comes to a close, it is wise to looks at what our market projections are for 2017 and beyond. First stop… Grains.

The wheat prices have had a tough year this year, in comparison with recent years. Way back in the middle of 2012 a bushel of the stuff would have set you back over $9, but this year we saw prices entirely in the sub $5 area, with lows tumbling to the lowest price in over a decade in September, way below $4 a bushel.

The problem this year was that we saw an awful lot of wheat… record amounts in fact. Great weather meant that we saw a great harvest, which already put the grain on the back foot. But other factors were conspiring against wheat, and the main culprit was the super strong dollar.

When the dollar is strong it pushes up the price of US grown wheat when compared to other suppliers. This year we saw the Black Sea Region also produce a bumper crop, but that was arguably easier to offload because the currencies in the region were weaker (compared to the dollar) making the price per bushel lower, comparatively.

Friday, 13 July 2018 11:41

Dollar in General

Why currency pairings aren’t always USD first…

Here’s an interesting fact for you; 89% of the currency trades around the world involve the US dollar. As the leading currency in a number of world markets, and as the premier currency trading unit, it is interesting to note it isn’t always the first in a forex pairing.
The GBPUSD and the EURUSD are two of the pairings that we provide alerts on, and ones which put the world’s most popular currency in second place. There is a simple reason for this, but before we get to it let’s just be a little clearer about what you are looking at when you see a currency pairing.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018 11:41

Out With The Oil, In With The New

Russia’s Switch From Oil to Wheat

This time of the year is key for the winter wheat markets. By now, almost all of the winter wheat should be sown across the US, EU and Black Sea Regions, and the date that it went into the ground has a huge affect on yields. Wheat that was seeded earlier will use more soil water by the time Autumn rolls around. That leaves less water available during the Winter and early Spring, which in turn keeps the yield lower. But by waiting longer, you risk outside sources of pests and invasive weeds getting to that soil moisture, which in turn will affect yields. Consequently decisions on when to plant are seriously considered.

And once that crop is in the ground all eyes are on the weather forecast, where unseasonal weather can significantly affect germination rates. Recently, periods of dry weather were already lifting US wheat prices, as investors saw the lack of rain as a potential for lower yields going forward.

Sunday, 19 August 2018 11:41

Bonds, Junk Bonds?

How government bonds will be affected by the Presidential Election

In less than two weeks the United States go to the polls to vote for the 45th President of the USA. It will either be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, with recent polls indicating that we are most likely going to see the first female president.

But enough has been written on the process and the election. Very little, however, has been written on the impact the election will have on the bond markets, an area covered by our alerts.

But enough has been written on the process and the election. Very little, however, has been written on the impact the election will have on the bond markets, an area covered by our alerts.

Thursday, 23 August 2018 11:41

The Only Way Is Up?

Will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates in December

It seems like we’ve been talking about the possibility of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates forever. In reality we’ve only been discussing it since last December, when the Fed made the decision to hike rates for the first time since 2006.

At the time the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) made the decision to lift rates by 0.25%, and on the day that it rolled out the markets reacted favorably. Arguably, since that decision has been made the US economy has been getting stronger, but we’ve not seen the suggested rise in rates that was discussed way back in December 2015.

Thursday, 09 August 2018 11:41

Exiting the EU

Theresa May’s insight into Brexit leaves things
more uncertain than ever…

Last week we finally got some more direction on Brexit. The British Prime Minister, Theresa May announced at the Conservative Party conference, that she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty no later than March 2017. That means, given the two-year limit for talks, the UK will have left the European Union by 2019.

One reason this isn’t happening sooner is because there are several cases in front of the Supreme Court at the moment. These argue that Article 50 cannot be triggered without the support of Parliament, something that may not happen given the closeness of the original vote.

Either way, the announcement from May hit the currency markets hard, with the GBP falling against all of the major currency pairings. In fact, the Pound was down to fresh yearly lows against the Euro and the Dollar, with little hope of a let up in the near future.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018 11:41

The Slowing Dragon

How economic slowdown in China is going to affect Metals, Oil and More…

If you receive our alerts, you’ll know that we’ve been talking a lot about China recently. In fact, the constant threat of an economic slowdown in China is now a regular talking point, given that the consequences of such a slowdown will be felt globally.

But the situation could be much worse than figures suggest.

The former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund has gone on the record in regards to the slowdown in China. Ken Rogoff thinks that one of the major drives of the slowdown is credit fuelled growth (“these things” he points out “don’t go on forever”).

When speaking to the BBC Rogoff stated that "China is going through a big political revolution, [a]nd I think the economy is slowing down much more than the official figures show”. Last week the latest GDP “gap” figures – these show the amount of debt in relation to annual growth – stood China at 30.1%, which is fuelling fears that China’s economic boom years where built on a foundation on credit bubble.

Sunday, 08 July 2018 11:41

A Look Ahead to Q4

What’s in store for the S&P, Oil and Gold…

The summer lull in the markets seems so long ago, and now we are almost at the end of the third quarter of 2016. And at this time its good to take stock of the year so far, as well as laying out some predictions for Q4.

We’ll be focusing on the gold, crude and S&P, arguably the most influential markets in the world. These will help form an insight into the wider market trends in the fourth quarter.

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