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Asian Stocks Weighs Higher after Wall Street Equities Surged

Asian stocks weighs higher after Wall Street equities rose as investors weighed a U.S. deal that ensures the funding of its government through mid-December against persistent geopolitical tensions. The yen stayed lower after an overnight drop.

Most industry groups advanced, lifting the MSCI Asia Pacific Index by 0.4 percent. China trade figures are anticipated to show another month of solid export growth, while FX reserves probably continued to rise on stricter capital controls, robust growth and a stronger yuan.

Malaysia’s central bank will probably hold its benchmark rate at 3 percent at meeting. Australian retail sales were unchanged in July from June, while the nation’s trade surplus in July came in less than economists expected.

In stocks, the Topix index rose 0.6 percent as of 11:03 a.m. Tokyo time, while the Kospi index in South Korea was up 1 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 percent. 

Chinese indexes fluctuated. S&P 500 Index futures slipped less than 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge rose 0.3 percent.


On the other hand, Japanese yen was steady at 109.13 per dollar after falling 0.4 percent Wednesday, when it had earlier traded near its highs for the year.

The Aussie dollar was back below 80 U.S. cents after the retail sales and trade data.  Australia’s 10-year yield rose four basis points to 2.64 percent

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Shares in Asia Declined as North Korea Tensions Continue to Raves Up

Shares in Asia declined today as investors remained jittery about North Korea. Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.3 percent as the dollar remained soft. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi slipped 0.28 percent.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.24 percent, with the 1.07 percent fall in the financials sub-index weighing on the broader market. Gold mining and energy stocks made moderate gains. Greater China markets were also pressured. The Hang Seng Index was down 0.88 percent. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite shed 0.44 percent and the Shenzhen Composite slipped 0.223 percent.


In economic news, Australia second-quarter GDP rose 1.8 percent compared to the previous year. The Australian dollar fell to trade at $0.7998 from levels around $0.8017 after the release of GDP data. The Aussie dollar fetched $0.7993 at 9:53 a.m. HK/SIN.

Stocks in the U.S. fell as markets re-opened for trade after the Labor Day holiday, with the Dow Jones industrial average tumbling 1.07 percent, or 234.25 points, to close at 21,753.31.

Yields of the U.S. Treasurys were also lower. The yield of the 10-year Treasury note stood at 2.06 percent at the end of the U.S. trading day, around its lowest levels since Nov. 10. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.

The dollar fetched 108.75 yen at 9:54 a.m. HK/SIN after earlier falling as low as 108.49, close to its lowest levels since mid-April. The dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies, stood at 92.338, compared to the 92.2 handle seen on Tuesday.

Although risk aversion weighed on the dollar/yen, “an unabashedly dovish Brainard was unquestionably the reason” for the deeper move into the 108 level, Stephen Innes, APAC head of trading at OANDA, said in a note.


In corporate news, the sale of Toshiba’s memory chip business returned to the spotlight after Western Digital offered to leave a consortium in talks to buy the unit from Toshiba. Instead, Western Digital would strengthen its position in its existing joint venture with Toshiba. The company shares were up 3.21 percent despite most other Japanese tech stocks sliding in early trade.

Other market movers in the session included stocks affected in the annual review of the Nikkei Stock Average. Japan Post Holdings and Recruit Holdings rose 2.5 percent and 7.35 percent respectively after being added to the index, while Hokuetsu Kishu Paper and Meidenshatumbled 7.65 percent and 7.09 percent after being removed.

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DAX Slumps 0.17% as Sentix Investor Confidence climbed to 28.2 HIgher than Expected

The DAX index has started the week with small losses. In the Monday session, the DAX is currently trading at 12,123.50, down 0.17% on the day. On the release front, there are no major events on the schedule. 

Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence climbed to 28.2, above the forecast of 27.4 points. Eurozone PPI continues to improve, coming in at 0.0%, short of the estimate of 0.1%.


The eurozone economy continues accelerate, as economic indicators point upwards in the second half of 2017. The Sentix Investor Confidence rose in September, as investors and analysts like what they see from the euro-area economy. 

Germany, the largest economy in the bloc, continues to look very strong, but other countries such as France and Italy have also posted better numbers in 2017. In August, the German and eurozone manufacturing sectors continued to show strong expansion, buoyed by domestic demand as well as a stronger global economy which has increased demand for German and European exports. 

A stronger economy has raised questions as to what monetary moves the ECBhas planned will it finally taper its ultra-accommodative monetary policy? The bank’s asset purchases program is scheduled to end in December, and analysts expect the ECB to withdraw stimulus in early 2018. 

Still, the ECB has not provided much guidance as to its plans. ECB President Mario Draghi was mum on monetary policy at last week’s meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, following the lead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. 

However, the ECB head will not get another free pass this week, as the ECB holds its next policy meeting on Thursday. Any discussion about tapering the ECB’s asset purchase program could have a strong effect on the euro’s movement.


Global markets are keeping a close eye on key numbers in the US, as the guessing game continues with regard to a rate hike by the Federal Reserve. US employment numbers were unexpectedly soft on Friday, but the dollar shrugged off the weak numbers and managed to post gains against the euro. 

Nonfarm employment change slowed to 156 thousand, well below the estimate of 180 thousand. This marked a 3-month low. However, with the US labor market still close to capacity (the unemployment rate is just 4.4%), the markets can be forgiving over a softer nonfarm payroll report

Wage growth, or the lack of it, is a more pressing concern. Average Hourly Earnings posted a small gain of 0.1%, missing the estimate of 0.2%. This was down from 0.3% in the previous report, and matched the weakest gain seen in 2017. 

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Japanese Yen Climbed Up While Stocks Plummet

The dollar was marked down as deep as 109.22 yen at the opening, off a whole yen from late on Friday, but there was no follow-through selling and it was last at 109.84. 

Japan is the world’s largest creditor nation and traders tend to assume Japanese investors would repatriate funds at times of crisis, thus pushing up the yen. Many wonder, however, if Japanese assets would really remain in favor if an actual war broke out in Asia.


Japan’s Nikkei did not take the news well, losing 0.9 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan. South Korea’s main index .KS11 down 0.6 percent.

Futures on 10-year U.S. Treasuries climbed 5 ticks, while yields on Japanese 10-year government debt rallied to their lowest since last November. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dipped 0.3 percent, though U.S. markets will be closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

The dollar slipped to 0.9610 Swiss francs from 0.9646, and was off 0.15 percent against a basket of currencies at 92.674. Gold hit a 10-month high and was last up 0.6 percent at $1,332.20. 

The euro was a shade firmer at $1.1880 with investors wary ahead of a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday. There have been reports some at the ECB are unhappy with the euro’s strength and are in no rush to signal the start of a tapering in its massive balance sheet.


In the oil market, prices were mixed as shutdowns of U.S. production following Hurricane Harvey were balanced by an expected downturn in crude demand as the storm knocked out refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.

Brent crude eased 29 cents to $52.46, while U.S. crude gained 14 cents to $47.43 a barrel.

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Nuclear Test in North Korea Signifies Trouble for Stocks in September

September is a much dreaded month or much maligned, depending on what you believe, for investing in the stock market.

Those who indulge in crystal ball gazing based on historical data will point out that this month is the only one out of the 12 in a year in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been lower on average over the past 20, 50, and 100 years.


What is clear though is that this September has got off to a wobbly start, thanks to the bellicose of North Korea. The country conducted sixth nuclear test that generated tremors five to six times as powerful as its previous nuclear test. This came just hours after Pyongyang claimed it had developed a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded into a long-range missile.

With the Kim Jong Un regime escalating tensions with the United States, nervous investors are apt to sell risky investments and seek safe havens in US Treasuries or the Japanese yen. This is likely to trigger a global selloff in equities and bonds when market resumes today.

Last week, US equity markets rebounded fairly quickly after Mr Trump did not pronounce any radical action against North Korea following its launch of a missile that flew over Japan beyond saying that all options are on the table.

On the economic front, the investment temperature is rather more benign, judging by last Friday’s labour and manufacturing data in the US. While US non-farm payrolls have come in well below expectations - with 156,000 jobs added last in August after two straight months of strong gains - the pace of the increase is enough to prod the Federal Reserves to start trimming its bloated balance sheet.

Moreover, the key US manufacturing sector accelerated in August at its fastest pace in six years, driven by gains in output and employment. A rollback of the Fed balance sheet will drain the financial system of excessive liquidity that has kept interest rates artificially low since the 2008 global financial crisis.Higher interest rates are thought to be good for banks.

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Global Markets Surged Overnight

Global Markets climbed overnight, the last day of August, with all eyes on today’s US jobs numbers.

TD Securities on the pending US jobs report: “We expect August nonfarm payrolls to moderate to a 175k pace after registering a robust 209k gain in July, which left the six-month average little changed at 179,000.


The S&P 500 Index erased a monthly loss with its fifth straight advance. The S&P 500 added 0.6 per cent to 2471.41 at 4pm in New York. Its five-day winning streak is the longest since May.

"There’s no doubt that the market is still in an uptrend,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee. “We’ve been throwing all sorts of bricks into the wall of worry and it’s still reaching for the sky.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent to cap a fifth straight monthly advance. The Nasdaq 100 Index ended the month at an all-time high.

European shares rose for a second day on Thursday, with the pan-European STOXX 600 up 0.8 per cent, but posted a third straight month of decline. A profit warning from Carrefour sank the retail sector.


Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.4 per cent, to 27,970.30, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.7 per cent, to 11,295.44 points.

Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to two-week highs, after bright US economic data pushed up the greenback against the yen, which in turn lifted cyclical stocks such as auto makers and financial companies.


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U.S. Stocks Surged as Technology Climbed Higher

The S&P 500 surged 0.46 percent to close at 2,457.59 with information technology leading eight sectors higher. The S&P also posted a four day winning streak.

Nasdaq composite climbed 1.05 percent to 6,368.31, leading other major U.S. indexes, and notched a three-day winning streak. Lifting the index higher were shares of Netflix, which advanced more than 3 percent after analysts at Bernstein said that Disney pulling its content from the platform wouldn’t hinder Netflix’s stock performance.


Shares of Apple also contributed to the Nasdaq’s gains, rising 0.2 percent to hit a record high earlier in the session. Other major stocks in the sector also rose, including Facebook and Google-parent Alphabet. Tech is by far the best-performing sector this year, advancing more than 20 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average, meanwhile, rose 27.06 points to close at 21,892.43, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most to the gains.

The ADP report is often used by traders as a preview to the government’s monthly jobs report, which is set for release on Friday. Meanwhile, the second estimate for gross domestic product data in the second quarter showed the U.S. economy grew by 3.0 percent, more than the expected increase of 2.7 percent..

Market expectations for a rate hike in December were at 41 percent on Wednesday, up from 34 percent on Tuesday, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.


The two-year note yield, which is the most sensitive to changes in Fed monetary policy, climbed higher to about 1.33 percent. As of Wednesday afternoon, just over 13 billion shares had been traded for the week. At that rate, the weekly volume is on track for its lowest level since the week of last Christmas.

Equities closed higher after rebounding from the concern of further escalation in tension between the U.S. and North Korea. The Dow opened more than 130 points lower before closing 57 points higher

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Largest Private Hospital Operator in Australia Posted a 12.7% Increased Profit

Ramsay Health Care posted a net profit growth of 12.7 per cent to $542.7 million. Driving the result was growth in admissions and earnings in its Australian business, while its international divisions suffered amid tariff reductions.

The $14.5 billion company said that group revenue was virtually flat at $8.7 billion, or up 4.1 per cent in constant currency terms. Group EBIT was up 5.2 per cent to $943.4 million. Core EPS was up 13 per cent to $2.314.


In February Ramsay upgraded guidance tipping 12 per cent to 14 per cent core net profit and core earnings per share growth for 2016-17, up from 10 per cent to 12 per cent previously stated.

New chief executive Craig McNally - the former chief operating officer and a 29-year company veteran - said while the Australia remains the powerhouse of Ramsay’s operations posting strong earnings growth, its European businesses delivered on expectations.

The company declared a fully franked dividend of 81.5 cents, payable September 28 up from 72 cents a year ago. Total dividends for the 2017 year were $1.335. They is tipping core EPS growth this new 2018 fiscal yearof 8 per cent to 10 per cent, supported by strong growth in its Australian hospitals business.

Revenue at its French unit was nearly flat at €2.2 billion, and EBITDAR also was virtually flat per cent to €448.3 million, after two years of tariff reductions. Ramsay’s Générale de Santé is now France’s largest private hospital operator with 124 facilities after buying another nine hospitals in Lille in 2016.

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Global Market Sheds Lower

US crude shedding more than 3 per cent and Brent, the global benchmark, falling more than 1 per cent as the refinery sector in Texas was battered by Hurricane Harvey.

It remained unclear at this point how much damage has been done as the focus for authorities was on rescuing residents amid historic flooding. Numerous refiners shut operations, likely for weeks, in the nation’s refining and petrochemical hub.


The S&P 500 and Dow ended little changed on Monday as energy and bank shares traded lower, while tech and healthcare gave a light boost to the Nasdaq.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey insurers were among the biggest decliners Monday in the S&P 500 Index, with Travelers Cos dropping 2.6 per cent and Progressive Corp down 2.3 per cent.

Market analysts said despite the human drama and infrastructure devastation, the market may be able to take solace in the likelihood that a massive rebuilding effort would mostly offset the negative economic consequences of the flooding.

European shares fell on Monday after the euro strengthened. European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi held back from expressing concern about a strong currency in a closely watched speech on the weekend.

The STOXX index for euro zone stocks fell as much as 0.7 per cent to a two-week low before paring its losses to end 0.4 per cent lower on the day. London was closed for a holiday, reducing activity.


In Asia, several missiles were fired by North Korea, NHK cites Japan’s government as saying. Missile likely landed off eastern coast of Hokkaido, NHK says.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking to reporters in Tokyo after the launch, said the North Korea missile appeared to have passed over Japan’s airspace and that the government was urgently collecting intelligence on the incident and doing everything to ensure the safety of its citizens.

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Asian Stocks Fluctuate after Fed Failed to Provide Clues on Monetary Policy

Asian stocks fluctuated after Federal Reserve failed to provide clues on monetary-policy tightening. Benchmarks in Tokyo swung between gains and losses, while they dropped in Seoul and Sydney with S&P 500 Index futures. 

Gasoline futures jumped as the wider impact of the storm that shut more than 10 percent of U.S. fuel-making capacity was becoming more evident. The euro traded near the highest since 2015 after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi refrained from talking down the common currency at Jackson Hole.


With the much anticipated central bank meeting now behind them, investors this week will be eager for signs of constructive progress in U.S. politics after comments on Friday from Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, cut through much of the gloom that had been generated by recent White House scuffles. 

Treasury traders face a week headlined by Tuesday’s auction of bills that mature Sept. 29, the deadline Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has called critical for raising the debt ceiling. They will then look forward to inflation and payrolls data that will be key for determining the Fed’s next moves. 

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester urged her colleagues to look past recent weak inflation data and to stick to their gradual pace of lifting interest rates.

Also at the Jackson Hole symposium on Friday, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the recent pace of growth in the world’s third-largest economy is probably unsustainable and pledged to continue with very accommodative monetary policy “for some time” because the BOJ is far from its inflation target.


Japan reports jobs data on Tuesday and retail sales figures on Wednesday. Hong Kong reports on retail on Tuesday, while Australia is due to publish data on Wednesday detailing construction work done.

The main moves in markets, Japan’s Topix index was little changed as of 10:31 a.m. in Tokyo, while South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 500 Index declined 0.7 percent. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong opened up 0.3 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index was trading 0.6 percent higher.

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European Stocks Close Higher as Investors Awaited Monetary Policy Meeting

Europeans stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors awaited comments on monetary policy from the Jackson Hole meeting. The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the day up 0.3 percent, with all major bourses in positive territory. Markets in the U.S., meanwhile, turned negative ahead of central bank policy announcements.

Construction and material stocks were one of the better performing sectors Thursday after CRH sold its U.S. business for $2.63 billion in cash to Beacon Roofing. CRH shares closed the day up 3.8 percent. However, household goods stocks outperformed their peers as investors bet on cyclicals. Hugo Boss ended 2.4 percent higher, while BAT was up 2.3 percent and Persimmon was 1.9 percent higher.


Provident ended the day at the top of the European benchmark, up 13 percent, after suffering losses of more than 66 percent earlier in the week on the news of its chief executive Peter Crook’s departure. Sunrise, the Swiss telecom firm, was also up by more than 7 percent after reporting strong second-quarter results.

Retail stocks closed in negative territory after a difficult morning of trade. Dixons Carphone remained at the bottom of the European benchmark, down more than 23 percent, after lowering its full-year profit on tougher market conditions. The firm forecast its headline pretax profit for the current year to come between £360 million and £440 million ($460-562 million) - lower than the £495 million. Meanwhile, data from the Confederation of the British Industry showed U.K. retail sales declining in the year to August.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who is set to address the group on Friday, gave no indication on the future steps of the central bank in a speech in Germany on Wednesday. In terms of data, in the U.K., private consumption growth eased further than expected in the second quarter of this year. Nonetheless, the Office for National Statistics confirmed GDP at 0.3 percent for the second quarter of 2017.

In France, business sentiment hit a 10-year high in August, the country’s statistic office said Thursday. Industrial morale increased to 111 points the highest figure seen since before the financial crisis.

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Dow Jones Closed Higher Amid U.S. tax reform Renewal

The Dow Jones industrial averagerose 196.14 points to 21,899.89, with Boeing contributing the most to the gains. The Dow also posted its biggest one-day pop since April.

A big chunk of the gains are related to speculation that the White House and Republicans are making progress on tax legislation or on at least a repatriation plan that would involve infrastructure spending.


They were looking for a rebound rally to begin with. Markets are extraordinarily thin. The buying is light. A little bit of buying has a disproportional affect. 

The Trump administration and key lawmakers had found common ground on how to approach tax reform. The prospects of tax reform were one of the major catalysts for the market after Trump’s win in November.


Equities have had a stellar year, but have lost some of their appeal this month. The S&P is up about 9 percent year to date, but has fallen 0.7 percent in August. Stocks closed well off session lows on Tuesday.

Boeing’s stock rose 1.7 percent after the company received a government contract for intercontinental ballistic missile system replacements. The stock also followed other defense companies higher after President Donald Trump’s speech on the Afghanistan war.


Defense stocks rose broadly following Trump’s remarks, with the iShares U.S. Aerospace and Defense ETF (ITA) rising 1.2 percent.

The Nasdaq composite outperformed, rising 1.4 percent to close at 6,297.48. The index also snapped a three-day losing streak, along with the Technology Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund (XLK).

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield rose more than 2 basis points to 2.2 percent, while the two-year yield advanced to trade at 1.329 percent. Investors have been following the bond market as they prepare for a key meeting between central bank officials later in the week.

Federal Reserve officials are expected to be joined by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Haruhiko Kuroda, the Bank of Japan governor. Investors will be on the lookout for any commentary related to global monetary policy.


Central bankers will begin gathering on Thursday night in one of the most highly anticipated Jackson Hole symposiums in recent memory. However, most analysts do not expect Janet Yellen or Mario Draghi to break any new ground with monetary policy when speaking at the conference. 

Shares should therefore regain their footing as we close out August and head into September albeit neither the Fed nor the ECB has enough sugar in the cupboard to make the medicine each will soon administer go down easily.

The Fed is expected to start rolling off its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet next month, but investors are split on when the next rate hike will arrive. 

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Nasdaq Extends its Losing Streak

The Nasdaq composite lagged, slipping 0.05 percent to close at 6,213.13. The index also posted a three-day losing streak. Technology has been the best-performing sector this year, advancing more than 20 percent in that time period. Financials, meanwhile, have spiked nearly 5 percent over the past three months after a slow start to 2017.

The S&P and the Dow notched their longest weekly losing streak since May on Friday, as Wall Street navigates a part of the calendar that’s typically bearish for stocks.


According to data from Bespoke Investment Group, the S&P 500 has posted a median return of 0.04 percent in the two weeks between Aug. 21 and Sept. 9 over the past 10 years. During the past two years, however, the S&P has declined 0.2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Stocks have pulled back from record highs this month, with the three major indexes falling at least 1 percent in the period. And while the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq are still at least 2.3 percent off their all-time highs, the market is showing other signs of cracking.


Investors also paid attention to geopolitics on Monday. President Donald Trump is set to lay out a U.S. strategy for the war in Afghanistan and engagement in the South Asia region. The U.S. and South Korea are also set to kick off war games on Monday.

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea escalated earlier this month after a war of words between Trump and the North Korean government raised concerns of a nuclear attack in Guam, a U.S. territory.


In economic news, there were no data released and no Federal Reserve officials were scheduled to speak. However, investors looked ahead to Friday, when key Fed Chair Janet Yellen is set to speak on monetary policy.

Expectations for tighter monetary policy in the U.S. have been dampened recently by lackluster inflation data. Market expectations for a rate hike in December are just 41 percent.


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Asian Stocks Set to Open Higher as Investors Prepare for Global Central Bankers Meeting

Asian stocks look set to open higher today as investors prepare for a key meeting of global central bankers and recover from a tumultuous week in Washington that culminated in the departure of a controversial Donald Trump adviser.

Japan and Hong Kong equity-index futures were higher during early trades, while those in Australia and South Korea declined. Oil extended gains and the yen fell.


Investors pulled $1.3 billion from equity funds in the week ending Aug. 16 as tensions over the Korean peninsula escalated, according to EPFR Global data. Outflows from U.S. stock funds were triple that, suggesting doubts about Trump’s stimulus plans are an additional worry. Heightened terror fears added to the malaise after at least 13 people died when a van plowed into pedestrians in Barcelona Thursday. 

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are among central bankers gathering at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this week for their annual meeting where investors are looking for any significant policy statements. The theme this year is “Foster a Dynamic Global Economy,” with discussions likely to touch on growth, inflation and prospect for the Trump trade.

Economic releases this week include Thailand second-quarter GDP, sales of new U.S. homes in July, Taiwan July industrial production, Malaysia July CPI, U.K. second-quarter GDP, New Zealand July trade data and Japan July CPI.

Indonesia is among central banks to hold monetary-policy meetings. U.S.-South Korea military drills are scheduled to begin. 


Philippines markets are closed for a holiday today. The main moves in markets Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures rose 0.2 percent, while contracts on the Kospi index declined 0.2 percent and those on Australia’s main gauge fell 0.1 percent. Contracts on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 were 0.2 percent higher as of 7:19 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge ended down 0.2 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 76 points and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.1 percent.

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H1 Profit of QBE Insurance Surged 30%

QBE Insurance has posted a 30% increase in net profit to $435 million, despite poor performance in its emerging market business. QBE confirmed it plans to activate its previously announced $1 billion buyback during the second half, but plans to split ts poorly performing emerging markets unit into two separate divisions focused on Latin America and the Asia Pacific.

Adjusted net profit after tax increased by 76% to $464 million on a one-off pretax charge. The insurance company reported an adjusted results due to the UK government’s controversial change to the Ogden discount rate which is used in determining personal injury damages awards.

On the same adjusted basis the group’s combined operating ratio increased slightly to 95.3%, from 94.5% in the prior year, consistent with revised guidance provided to the market in June.

Cash profit for the half year to June 30 was also up by 30 per cent to $374 million from $287 million for the 2016 half. Shares in QBE dropped more than 10 per cent when it flagged that there would be a claims blow out in its emerging markets division in June, declared a partially franked interim dividend of 22 cents, compared to a fully franked 21 cents a year ago.

The insurer, which generates almost three-quarters of its premiums abroad, said in February it expected the market to remain challenging in 2017 though there were indications of a modest improvement.

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Stocks Closed Higher as Feds Release Future Monetary Policy

U.S. equities closed higher. The S&P 500 gained just 0.1 percent to close at 2,468.11, with materials outperforming. The index rose as much as 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average closed 25.88 points higher at 22,024.87, with Home Depot and United Technologies contributing the most gains. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.2 percent to 6,345.11 as shares of Apple hit a record high.

Stocks briefly popped after the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its July 26 meeting at 2 p.m. in New York. The minutes showed Fed officials were split over the path of future monetary policy. Some officials preached caution while another raised concern over delaying the normalization process.


Investors largely expect the central bank to start unwinding its massive $4.5 trillion bonds portfolio which it accrued trying to stem the economic downturnfrom the financial crisis in September.

But the market is also split as to whether the Fed will raise rates once more this year. According to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool, the market expectations for a December rate hike were about 43 percent.

U.S. Treasury yields traded lower after the minutes’ release, with the benchmark 10-year yield trading at 2.234 percent and the two-year yield at 1.33 percent. Equities have risen sharply this year, with the S&P 500 advancing about 10 percent year to date and hitting record highs. But stocks suffered their second-worst week of the year last week as geopolitical tensions rose.

Investors also digested weaker-than-expected housing data, as housing starts and permits fell unexpectedly last month. Stocks ended flat in the previous session, as a drop in retail stocks capped gains. The SPDR S&P Retail exchange-traded fund fell 2.7 percent as shares from major retailers dropped following the release of their quarterly results.

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Europe Markets Close Higher amid Easing Geopolitical Concerns

European stocks  closed higher after senior U.S. officials sought to play down risks of a military conflict with North Korea. The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 1.08 percent higher with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Europe’s banking index was among the top performers, up by more than 1.4 percent, with every firm in the sector trading higher. Standard Life Aberdeen rose 1.7 percent after the completion of the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management. 

Looking at individual stocks, shares of French food group Danone were over 1.5 percent higher after the New York Post reported that the firm could be a takeover target. A spokesperson from Danone said they had no comment to make in regards to the article.

Fiat took over the top of the European benchmark up by 8.15 percent after reports that a Chinese automaker has made at least one bid to buy the firm. 

U.K. mid-cap Ladbrokes Coral was among a handful of fallers after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to under-perform from neutral. Its shares slipped 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. stocks moved higher too as traders saw geopolitical tensions easing. The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 130 points at the open, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most gains.


Geopolitical concerns appeared to fade on Monday as U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote that the Trump administration would continue to seek diplomatic resolutions with Pyongyang. 

On the data front, industrial production in the euro zone dipped by 0.6 percent in June, slightly worse than the 0.5 percent fall analysts had forecast. It did rise 2.6 percent on an annual basis, according to statistics office Eurostat.

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Global Stocks Plummet Sharply Overnight

Stocks around the world fell sharply overnight and investors moved into the yen, gold and other safe-haven assets amid an escalation of verbal barbs between the United States and North Korea.

The S&P 500 dropped the most since May and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe lost 1.1 per cent in its third straight day of declines, as it pulled further back from all-time highs.


The Japanese yen hit an eight-week high against the US dollar, and US-traded Nikkei stock futures dropped 2 percent to their lowest since mid May. Spot gold reached a two-month high.

Rising geopolitical tensions were heightened further when US President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang it should be “very, very nervous” if it even thinks about attacking the US or its allies, after Pyongyang said it was making plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the US Pacific territory of Guam.

“We’re not very oversold yet so the market still has more downside left to it. What we’re seeing today is political tensions over North Korea and the United States … making people nervous,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

“We’re still close to the all-time high so that makes people a little nervous too, so they might say now might be the time to take a little bit of money off the table.”


The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 204.69 points, or 0.93 per cent, to close at 21,844.01, the S&P 500 lost 35.81 points, or 1.45 per cent, to 2,438.21 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 135.46 points, or 2.13 per cent, to 6,216.87.

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Asian Markets Edge Higher, Mild Recovery from Previous Session

Asian stock markets are mostly edging higher today, recovering from the previous session’s losses after investors fled to safe haven assets amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

The Australian market is modestly higher, extending gains from the previous session despite the weak cues from Wall Street. Oil and mining stocks are mostly advancing. In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 26.20 points or 0.45% to 5,791.90, off a high of 5,795.50. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 23.60 points or 0.41% to 5,840.00.


In the mining industry, BHP Billiton is rising 0.4% and Fortescue Metals is edging up less than 0.1%, while Rio Tinto is losing almost 2%. Gold miner Newcrest Mining is rising more than 2%, while Evolution Mining is down 0.4% after gold prices rose on safe-haven appeal.

Commonwealth Bank is rising 0.4% and Westpac is edging higher by less than 0.1%, while ANZ Banking is declining 0.1% and National Australia Bank is edging down less than 0.1%.


AGL Energy reported a turnaround to profit for the year to June 30 and said its underlying profit could cross A$1 billion in the current financial year. The energy retailer’s shares are advancing more than 1%. Aristocrat Leisure said it will buy Israel-based social gaming company Plarium Global for $500 million. The gaming machine maker’s shares are gaining almost 5%.

Virgin Australia reported a loss for the year to June 30, while revenues rose 0.5%. However, the airline’s shares are rising almost 3%. AMP’s first-half statutory profit declined 15%, while its underlying profit rose 4%. The financial services provider’s shares are losing more than 3%.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is slightly lower today against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was trading at $0.7882, down from $0.7887 on Wednesday. 

The Japanese market pared gains and is flat following the weak cues from Wall Street and as investors digested data showing a fall in core machinery orders for the month of June. In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 5.35 points or 0.03 percent to 19,744.06, off a high of 19,829.88 earlier.


Among the major exporters, Sony is losing more than 1%, Mitsubishi Electric is down 0.6% and Panasonic is lower by 0.4 percent, while Canon is adding 0.2%. Among automakers, Toyota is rising 0.6% and Honda is up 0.2%. 

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are losing more than 1%. Oil industry, Inpex is adding 0.4% and Japan Petroleum Exploration is advancing almost 1%. Among the other major gainers, Shiseido is gaining 14%, Mitsui Mining & Smelting is rising almost 13% and Taiheiyo Cement is higher by more than 6%.


On the flip side, Chiyoda is losing almost 11 percent, Dowa Holdings is down 8 percent and Dentsu is lower by 5 percent.

On the economic front, the Cabinet Office said that core machine orders in Japan skidded a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent on month in June, standing at 790.0 billion yen. That was well shy of forecasts for an increase of 3.6 percent following the 3.6 percent decline in May.


The Bank of Japan said that producer prices were up 0.3 percent on month in July. That exceeded expectations for an increase of 0.2 percent following the upwardly revised 0.1 percent gain in June.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, Singapore, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia are modestly higher. Taiwan and Hong Kong are lower by more than 1 percent each, while South Korea is down 0.7 percent.

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Wall Street Closed Lower After a Late Afternoon Selling Spree

Wall Street closed lower after a late afternoon selling spree as investors fled for safety after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to respond aggressively to any threats from North Korea.

After scaling back from record highs earlier in the session, Wall Street’s three major indexes dipped after Trump said North Korea will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen if it threatens the United States.


Japan said it was possible that North Korea had already developed nuclear warheads and warned of an acute threat posed by its weapons programs as Pyongyang’s continues missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

Investors, who took the North Korea report from Japan in their stride earlier in the day, lost their appetite for risk after Trump’s comments to reporters during his vacation at his golf club in New Jersey.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 33.08 points, or 0.15% at 22,085.34, snapping a 9 day streak of closing records.

The S&P 500 lost 5.99 points, or 0.24% to close at 2,474.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 13.31 points, or 0.21% to 6,370.46.

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX, better known as the VIX and the most widely-followed barometer of expected near term stock market volatility.

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Dow Jones Industrial Average Closed to a New Record High

The Dow Jones Industrial hit a record closing high, helped by Boeing, while selling in Facebook, Alphabet and other technology companies checked the S&P 500 and pulled the Nasdaq lower.

The S&P 500 information technology .SPLRCT dipped 0.53 percent, with Facebook falling 1.86 percent and Alphabet Google’s parent company, down 1.34 percent.


Boeing rose 0.49 percent and hit a record high of $242.46 after JPMorgan raised its price target on the world’s biggest plane maker to $280 per share.

In July, the S&P 500 rose 1.9 percent, the Dow added 2.5 percent and the Nasdaq gained 3.4 percent. Apple Inc  which is expected to report quarterly results after the market close on Tuesday, dipped 0.51 percent.

Investors have been counting on earnings to support high valuations for equities. S&P 500 earnings are expected on average to have grown 10.8 percent in the second quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.28 percent to end at 21,891.12 points and the S&P 500 lost 0.07 percent to 2,470.3. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.42 percent to 6,348.12.

Just four of the 11 major S&P sectors rose, with the financial index’s .SPSY 0.62 percent rise leading the gainers.


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Amazon Profit Plunged 77% in Quarterly Income

Amazon profit plunged 77% in quarterly income and forecast a potential operating loss in the current quarter. The company’s shares, already up nearly 41% this year, were down 3% at $1,014.75 in after hours trading.

The world’s largest online retailer forecast an operating income of $300 million to a loss of $400 million for the current quarter. Analysts had expected operating income in the third quarter of $931 million.


While Amazon consistently posts blockbuster sales growth, its profit has often not kept pace due to thin retail margins and high investment to expand the company’s already vast reach in the U.S. economy.

From its origins as an online bookseller, Amazon has jumped into areas that historically had barriers to e-commerce, from apparel to appliances. The specter of Amazon’s disruption now hangs over a dizzying array of industries.

Yet this has come at a cost. Amazon said operating expenses rose 28.2% to $37.33 billion in the second quarter ended June 30.

The video content spend will continue to grow, both sequentially and quarter over quarter as it would help encourage shoppers to sign up for Amazon’s shopping club Prime.


The club, which offers fast shipping and video streaming for $99 per year in the United States, encourages shoppers to buy more goods, more often.

Amazon said net income fell to $197 million, or 40 cents per share, from $857 million, or $1.78 per share, a year earlier. Net sales rose 24.8% to $37.96 billion.



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Revenue of Alphabet Inc. Increase up to $26.01 Billion in Q2

Alphabet Inc revenue increases up to 21%, reporting its higher advertising sales across its platforms.

Earnings per share was $5.01, beating an average estimate of $4.49, and would have been $8.90 if not for the EU antitrust fine announced last month. Earnings per share was $7 in the second quarter of 2016.


But the company's shares, which closed up in regular trading on Monday, fell about 3%

Shares of Alphabet, the owner of the Google search engine and the YouTube video service, had gained nearly 26% this year.


One potential blemish in the earnings report was aggregate cost-per-click, which fell 23 percent year-over-year, but the impact on Google's ad business was not immediately clear.

EU antitrust enforcers last month hit Google with a record EUR2.4 billion fine for favoring its own shopping service, taking a tough line in the first of three probes of its dominance in searches and smartphone operating systems.

Revenue was boosted by robust demand for advertising on mobile and on YouTube.

Google's ad revenue, which accounts for a lion's share of its business, rose 18.4 percent to $22.67 billion.


The company faces intensifying competition from social media giant Facebook Inc for advertising dollars. The companies together dominate the online ad market.

According to eMarketer, this year Google is expected to generate about $73.75 billion in net digital ad revenue worldwide, a 17.8 percent jump from a year earlier.




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U.S. Stock Market Indexes Surge at Record High

U.S. stocks market indexes surge at record high, led by modest gains in banks and technology companies.The latest gains were enough to nudge the Dow Jones industrial average to its second all time closing high in two days. 

The S&P 500 Index closed within five points of its record. The financial index was the best performer among the 11 major S&P sectors, ending up 0.61%. Quarterly earnings kick off later today with three of the biggest U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup reporting results.

Analysts estimate Q2 earnings for S&P 500 companies rose 7.8% from a year ago, with financials projected to have had the third best profit growth among sectors.

Investors have more than doubled the amount of cash invested in a key financial sector fund in the last few days, betting that Q2 bank earnings will be strong.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 21,553.09, the S&P 500 gained 0.19% to 2,447.86 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.21% to 6,274.44.

About 5.8 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.8 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days



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Asian Shares Rally Amid Fed Raise Rates

Asian shares scaled a two year top today as investors wagered that policy tightening in the United States would be glacial at best, lifting Wall Street to record peaks and lowering bond yields almost everywhere.

The star performer was the Canadian dollar, which rocketed to 1 -month highs after the country's central bank hiked rates for the first time in seven years and left the door wide open to further moves.


MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.45% to its highest since mid 2015. Japan's Nikkei firmed 0.4% and Australia's ASX index jumped 1%.

Stocks were underpinned by a drop in bond yields as Dr Yellen sounded cautious on inflation and noted the Fed would not need to raise rates, all that much further to reach current low estimates of the neutral funds rate.

Indeed, markets doubt even that modest tightening will ensue and imply only a 50-50 chance of a rise by December. Treasuries rallied in reaction, with yields on two year notes falling to three week lows, as did bonds in Europe.

The odd man out was Canada, where yields hit their highest since late 2013 after the Bank of Canada raised rates a quarter point, saying the economy no longer needed as much stimulus.


Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was holding just above nine month lows at 95.793. The drop in US yields benefited gold, which pays no interest, and nudged the precious metal up to US$1,218.35 and away from its recent trough of US$1,204.45.

Oil prices faded as a report showing hefty draw downs in US crude inventories was offset by data pointing to lackluster gasoline demand.



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Temasek Holdings Surged $275 billion SGD in Portfolio Value

Temasek Holdings reported that its portfolio value increased to $275 billion SGD. Its one year total shareholder return was 13%, reflecting the strong performance in equity markets around the world over the period from April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017.

This measure includes dividends paid to its shareholder, the Finance Ministry, but not capital injections from the ministry. Temasek's shareholder did not make any capital injections in the last financial year. 


The boost in portfolio comes from a recovering global economy and strong stock markets which helped Temasek Holdings net portfolio value to a new all-time high. But the investment company warned in its annual review that the global economic recovery is still in its early stages and a host of uncertainties remain, both in the medium and long term.

It is also facing stiffer competition amid a difficult investing environment, yield hungry investors are driving up asset prices and making it tougher to find good deals.

Temasek invested $16 billion and divested $18 billion in the portfolio during the fiscal year, marking the first net divestment position since the end of March, 2009.

The report marks a sharp turnaround from the previous year, when Temasek reported its net portfolio value tumbled by around S$24 billion, or around 9 percent, to around S$242 billion as of March 31, 2016. It was the first time the portfolio had declined since 2009, which was during the global financial crisis.


The investment company has now continued to focus on new, long-term opportunities in areas including technology, life sciences, agribusiness, non-bank financial services, consumer and energy and resources.

While the company had previously looked to publicly listed investments, Temasek was focusing on private and negotiated opportunities such as equity market valuations.



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Snap Inc. Shares Crashes, Falls Below its IPO Price

Snap Inc. shares falls below its initial public offering price (IPO) of $17 down 1.1% to $16.99 marking a new post IPO low for the social media upstart. The stock has fallen more than 30% so far this year, as concerns about Snap's future growth, profitability and rivalry with other social media. 

In May, Snap reported its first earnings as a public company and missed on all three of its most important metrics - earnings, revenue and user growth which did little to reassure nervous investors.


Credit Suisse analysts cut their price target for Snap to $25 from $30, although they kept their outperform rating. The analysts said they expect Snap to be volatile in the near term as more than 700 million shares potentially come out of their lock up period later this month.

However, advertisers still appear to be flocking to Snap Inc. as they were drawn to the platform's access to younger users and improving return on investment. This signify well for Snap, as advertising is the main revenue source for the company. 

In its most recent quarter, about $129 million of Snap's total $149.6 million in revenue came from advertising. Other deals, such as Snap's purchase of Zenly for $200 million in late March, could have indirect benefits for advertisers. 

Snap likely used the Zenly acquisition to build out its Snap Map product, which was released in late June and lets users share their location with friends inside an interactive map. Snap Maps could become a crucial part of the online to offline integrated advertising ecosystem.


Snap's recent declined was 42.4% below the record high of $29.44 reached in its second day of trading. The IPO breach came in Snap's 90th trading day on the public market. The stock had previously dipped to $17 in mid June.

Dipping below an IPO price is seen on Wall Street as a setback to be avoided by chief executives and their underwriters, but it is not uncommon for Silicon Valley companies.


The Snapchat messaging app is popular among people under 30 who enjoy applying bunny faces and vomiting rainbows onto their pictures. But many on Wall Street have been critical of Snap's high valuation and slowing user growth and the company has warned it may never become profitable. 



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China Hedge Funds Bounces after 5 Years Low

Greater China hedge funds added more than 13% on average in the first half of 2017 to rank among the top performing strategies in the world. Hedge funds from Greenwoods Asset Management, Springs Capital and SPQ Asia Capital were among standout performers with gains of 20% or more.

Hedge funds worldwide are struggling with investor redemption after central bank intervention suppressed volatility and sapped returns. China funds were a rare pocket of out performance as global hedge funds on average gained about 2.4% in the first half. 


China hedge funds bounced back after five years of worst performance.  Investors are taking notice that the majority of hedge funds in China saw inflows in May for the first time since 2015.

While Greater China equity funds overall benefited from surging Hong Kong listed shares and large cap stocks on the mainland, mainly bets on technology, Internet and consumer companies drove returns at some of the top performers. 


The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong touched post October 2015 highs in the first half. The MSCI China Index added about 24% through June 30. China’s initiation into MSCI Inc.’s indexes has further boosted the outlook for the nation’s largest stocks.

Greenwoods’ $1.6 billion Golden China Fund made nearly 27% in the first half. Performance was boosted by bullish bets on consumer stocks listed in Hong Kong and China.

Other managers found opportunities in overlooked areas. Springs Capital’s China Opportunities Fund added more than 7.5% in June, with 2017 gains topping 24%.

Profit at the fund, one of the rare offshore stock hedge funds that focuses on yuan-denominated shares traded in China, was driven by gains in chemical materials, high-end manufacturing and healthcare stocks. It avoided large cap stocks most popular with foreign investors in the yuan shares market.


Large companies, including blue-chips and leaders of small industries, may outperform small and mid-cap stocks over the next three years as large companies gain share when China’s slowing economy spurs industry consolidation.



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MMG Sold its Nickel Mine in Tasminia for $25 Million to Dundas Mining

MMG has completed the sale of its Avebury nickel mine in Tasmanian to Dundas Mining for $25 million.

The Avebury mine, located 8km west of Zeehan in Tasmania’s West Coast has been in care and maintenance since 2009. MMG is confident that the sale will reinvigorate the Zeehan area, by providing new jobs and economic benefit to the region. 


The Tasmanian Government welcomed the sale and the resources minister Guy Barnett said it showed a positive sign of growing confidence in the state’s resource sector. 

MMG remains committed to Tasmania through its Rosebery operation and will continue to make social and economic contributions to the state and West Coast region. 

Dundas Mining is a privately owned exploration and mining development company based in Tasmania and their commitment to bringing the Avebury operation back into production as soon as possible is.

He added that jobs are the state government’s main priority and looks forward to the restart of the mine to create more employment.




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U.S Market Data Glitch Causing Stock Prices Crashing

The prices of several big name Nasdaq listed stocks appeared on some websites to either spike or plummet, seemingly due to a glitch related to the market data that runs the largely automated markets.

The prices of Amazon Inc and Microsoft Corp stocks appeared to have lost more than half their value, while Apple Inc shares appeared to more than double. 

Google parent Alphabet Inc and eBay Inc shares were among others that all appeared to be priced at $123.47 on some financial news websites on Monday evening.

According to Nasdaq,  the actual prices of the stocks were not affected and no trades were completed at that price.

They were now investigating the improper use of test data distributed by third parties. Prices on Nasdaq's website were not affected.


Nasdaq and other U.S. stock exchanges closed early on Monday ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Tuesday.

Testing of stock exchange software is mandated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and happens on a regular basis to help prevent electronic glitches, often using test symbols and historical data.



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Emmerson and Evolution Mining will Begin its Gold Production in Northern Territory AU

Emmerson Resources will open its new gold mine with the Australian gold producer Evolution Mining in Northern Territory. The company announced that the local government in NT granted the final approvals for Edna Beryl gold mine to begin its production.

According to the managing director of Emmerson, the commencement of production at Edna Beryl is a pivotal step since Emmerson began its exploration in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field back in 2008.


In the said agreement, Evolution is funding $15 million in exploration by the end of the year in order to earn a 65% interest in the project with an option to earn an additional 10% over the next two years through a $10 million commitment.

The mine is being developed in cooperation with the NT government, which is conducting a feasibility study into establishing a mill at Tennant Creek which could lead to the mine's expansion. The first 600 tonnes of development ore averaged grades of 40 grams per tonne, which would make the mine high grade. 

Mining at Edna Beryl East will be undertaken by the Edna Beryl Mining Company under a tribute agreement. It says the underground mine will start small but has exploration upside. The agreement relates to a 3D envelope around the shallow mineralisation. 

Drilling last year extended the mineralisation beyond this 3D envelope, opening up the possibility of either expanding the current mining area or if the next round of drilling is successful, contemplating a larger scale of development.


Emmerson's stock price has risen 7.53% in the last 5 trading days since the announcement, compared to a year to date loss of 23.08% on the ASX.

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Australian Shares Edges Lower Amid Mixed Economic Data

The Australian stock market is edging lower today with investors treading cautiously ahead of the release of a raft of local and international economic data today.

In late morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is dropping 0.10%. The broader All Ordinaries Index is down 0.08% to 5,759.30. Among the major miners, BHP Billiton is plunged almost 1%, while Rio Tinto is up 0.2% and Fortescue Metals is adding 0.6%.


Oil stocks are also mostly higher after crude oil prices rose on Friday for a seventh straight session. Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.2% and Santos is advancing more than 1 percent, while Oil Search is lower by almost 1%.

Gold miners are mixed after gold futures extended monthly losses. Newcrest Mining is rising almost 1%, while Evolution Mining is down 0.6%.

The big four banks are also advancing. Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac are up in a range of 0.2% to 0.9%. ANZ Banking is edging down less than 0.1%. 

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is higher against the U.S. dollar. In early trades, the local unit was trading at $0.7691, up from $0.7678 on Friday.


In economic news, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed that the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in June and at a faster rate with a Performance of Manufacturing Index score of 55. That's up from 54.8 in May and it moves farther above the boom or bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Australia will also see the inflation forecast from TD Securities, job ads from ANZ and the commodity price index from the Reserve Bank of Australia plus May figures for building approvals today.




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Nasdaq Indexes Plunged Sharply

Nasdaq indexes plunged sharply causing Wall Street a massive declined overnight of 1.61%. The benchmark S&P 500 posted its biggest one day drop in about six weeks and closed at its lowest point since last month of 0.81%, Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.46% and  The Russell 2000 of small company stocks dropped 0.9%.

Technology stocks led a broad slide in U.S. stocks after a day of mostly choppy trading. Phone and utilities companies were among the big decliners after a sell off in bonds sent yields sharply higher. 

Computer memory maker Seagate Technology gave up 6.8%, while semiconductor manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices slid 4.8%, Netflix also fell, losing 4.1%.

Alphabet, Google's parent company, slid 2.5% after the European Union mandate the online search giant with a $2.7 billion fine. The EU alleges that the company breached antitrust rules with its online shopping service. Alphabet said it is considering an appeal. 


Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.20 percent from 2.13 percent late Monday. The bond sell off was triggered early Tuesday as investors reacted to remarks from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who expressed optimism over the future of the economy of the 19 country eurozone. 

And while Draghi did not say the ECB was ready to rein back its stimulus measures, investors took his remarks as a hint that a change of policy could be coming in the next few months.



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DAX Lifted as IFO Business Climate Index in Germany Hits New Record

DAX climbed as IFO business climate index in Germany hits new record high. Currently trading at 12,837.25 points, up 0.83%. Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank have posted strong gains of 2.35% and 1.24% respectively. German Ifo Business Climate improved to 115.1, above the estimate of 114.6. 

The robust German economy has earned an approval from the business sector. The indicator has improved for five consecutive months, pointing to stronger optimism among German businesses. 


Ifo's two sub indices both beat forecasts, with the measure of current economic conditions rising to 124.1 in June from a revised 123.3 and the gauge of expectations improving to 106.8 from 106.5.

The Business Climate Index is based on ca. 7,000 monthly survey responses from firms in manufacturing, construction, wholesaling and retailing. In June, the index of manufacturing rose slightly. In wholesaling the business climate improved for the third month in succession to reach its highest level since December 2010. 

The index in retailing also improved notably. Retailers' optimism about the short-term business outlook reached its highest level since September 2015.But the index in construction fell.

Contractors marginally scaled back their assessments of the current business situation and business expectations, which nevertheless remain at a high level.


Major economic institutes and the German central bank have revised upwards their forecast for German growth in 2017 and 2018. German GDP grew 0.6% in the first quarter and has been the locomotive which has boosted growth in the eurozone. 

Analysts are closely monitoring how the ECB plans to respond to stronger economic conditions in the euro zone. The central bank has dismissed calls to tighten monetary policy, saying that it will not make any moves until inflation moves closer to the ECB's target of 2.0%. 




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Australian Stocks Jumped 0.6% Higher in Early Trade

Australian stocks, ASX 200 index climb 0.6% higher in early trade. With more than three quarters of the top 200 names are on rally, the uplift is spread across all sectors. 

Notable is a 6.4% jump in Metcash after the independent grocery wholesaler reported upbeat annual profits. Wesfarmers and Woolies, which are both up around 0.8%.

Major banks are up a uniform 0.5% and miners are also enjoying support, ticking off two major components of the market. CSL and Telstra are also higher.

The Australian dollar launched a spirited recovery after four days of losses. Prices moved inversely of front end US Treasury yields and alongside an advance in gold, hinting that soft US PMIs weighed against Fed rate hike bets that bolstered the relative appeal of the higher-yielding Aussie. 

More of the same may be on tap this week as data flow continues to undermine the case for further tightening but external political jitters remain a potent downside risk. 




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Banking Stocks Traded Lower as State Gov. Announced New Tax on Big Banks

Australian Markets traded sideways today. The S&P/ASX 200 edged higher by 0.06%, buoyed by gains in its health care and telecommunications sub indexes which were up 1.03% and 1.25% respectively. Australian financials remained under pressure, with the sub-index edging lower by 0.58%.

Banking stocks traded mostly lower after the South Australia government announced a new tax on the nations big banks. Shares of ANZ declined 0.93% and NAB fell 0.95%. Westpac gave up earlier gains to trade 0.05% lower.


Losses in the banks were higher in the first minutes of trade, showing that the reaction may be overdone. The overall impact of the tax on the banks earnings is likely to be negligible but investors are worried about the possibility of other states introducing similar taxes.

In general terms this serves as a reminder that Australian shareholders generally and bank shareholders in particular, are in a period of heightened political risk that needs to be factored into investment decisions.  

The Australian dollar is hovering near more than a week lows at 75.53 cents in four straight sessions. It has also been pressured by an interest rate hike in the United States this month, while the RBA has made it clear it is in nor rush to tighten monetary policy. 

Also narrowed the rate differential between the two to plus 25 basis points, with some traders speculating the spread might turn negative if the US Federal Reserve continues to tighten further. 




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Domestic Equities in China will Join MSCI's Global Benchmark Indices

Domestic equities in China will join MSCI’s benchmark indices. The decision, announced by the New York based index compiler. A move that should help the capital market of the world’s second largest economy edge towards becoming more globally integrated. 

After three failed attempts, it has finally succeeded and it will give China’s $6.9 trillion stock market a bigger role in everything. The Emerging Markets Index previously excluded mainland traded stocks due to concerns about restrictions on purchases by overseas investors and flawed rules in listed companies trading suspension. The gauge currently only includes shares of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong or the US.


According to the index compiler, China’s A shares will initially represent a 0.73% weighting in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the weighting could increase further over time if China implements more changes in its market reform. 

The full inclusion of domestic Chinese stocks in the widely tracked MSCI Emerging Markets Index could pull more than $400 billion of funds from asset managers, pension funds and insurers into mainland China’s equity markets over the next decade.

MSCI made its decision after the Chinese regulators made it easier for foreign investors to access mainland equities through the two Stock Connect trading links between Hong Kong and Shanghai/Shenzhen and restricted the number of trading suspensions by listed companies. 

It had ejected inclusions over the past three years, citing concerns including capital controls and listed company abuse of the trading halt rules. 


However, months ago the MSCI moved to relax its investment criteria by cutting the number of stocks to 169 from 448 in a bid to address curbs on repatriating capital from China and concerns over the country’s high number of suspended stocks.

The revised proposal helped address these issues because the 169 stocks can be easily accessed by foreigners through the “Stock Connect” link launched in 2014 and significantly expanded in December.

MSCI said it planned to add the 222 stocks and will begin a review of the A-shares and include them in provisional indices beginning in August.



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Asian Stocks Gain Higher, Set for a Strong Week

Asian markets gain higher during opening, the dollar climbed above 111 yen Monday after Japan posted a surprise trade deficit for May.

The Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.6% in early trade, with a softer yen aiding a move back above 20,000 points. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.5%, Korea’s Kospi SEU 0.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1%.



In Japan, economists had expected a modest trade surplus for May. Instead, the country reported its first deficit since January. Still, local stocks shrugged off the report as the exports data in Japan continue to reinforce the growth story for Japan’s economy.

Japan’s exports increased 14.9% for May from a year earlier, the biggest rise since January 2015, marking the sixth consecutive month of increases. But the figure came in lower than an 18.2% increase expected by economists.

Asian market could find index provider MSCI's annual market classification review a key event to follow. MSCI will decide tomorrow whether to include a group of China A-shares in its main emerging market index.

If approved, it would give investors easier access to the China markets, create more liquidity for the shares and prompt funds all over the world to pour billions into the country's stocks. For China, acceptance by MSCI would mark a key step for Beijing as it seeks to open up its financial markets and attract foreign capital. 


While, oil prices pulled back in Asia after ending in positive territory last week. July Nymex was down 0.3% at $44.60 a barrel, while August Brent fell 0.2% to $47.25.



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Tech Stocks in U.S have Tumbled Sharply

US tech stocks slid again overnight as investors continued a recent move away from the year’s best performing sector. Bearish analyst reports on the two tech titans contributed to the latest bout of selling. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell, though tech shares pared some of their early losses into the close.

The declined follows the worst two day drop for the sector in nearly a year. But tech remains up 17% this year, almost twice the 8.7% rise for the overall S&P 500.

Shares of Google’s parent Alphabet closed down 0.8% as Canaccord Genuity downgraded its rating of the stock to hold from buy. Eventually, the downgrade triggered a broader tech selloff.

Apple shares ended 0.6% lower, paring earlier sharper losses. Microsoft declined 0.5% overnight, Facebook dropped 0.3% each also pared sharper early losses. 

Snap Inc who held its initial public offering earlier this year has dropped 4.9%. While the tech sector has fallen 4% in the past week, the overall S&P is only off about 0.2 percent.




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Stock Market in Australia Extends Rally

Australian stock market is higher today, extending gains from the previous session, following the positive lead overnight from Wall Street. In mid-day trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 24.90 points or 0.43% to 5,797.70, off a high of 5,804.80. The broader All Ordinaries Index is rising 25.20 points or 0.43% to 5,827.00.

The AUD is lower against the U.S. dollar today after iron ore prices fell sharply. In early trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7537, down from US$0.7550 on Tuesday. 

Gold miners are also advancing. Newcrest Mining is adding 0.4 percent and Evolution Mining is rising more than 1 percent. The major miners are mostly lower amid the sharp fall in iron ore prices. 

BHP Billiton is adding 0.7 percent, while Rio Tinto is losing 1 percent and Fortescue Metals is lower by more than 1 percent.

Among oil stocks, Oil Search is up 0.6 percent and Woodside Petroleum is rising 0.3 percent, while Santos is declining almost 1 percent. 


Westpac Bank revealed that consumer confidence in Australia ebbed again in June, as its index slipped 1.8 percent to a score of 96.2. That follows the 1.1 percent decline in May to 98.0. 

The index has declined in three straight months and continues to rest beneath the break-even line of 100 that separates optimists from pessimists.


Nevertheless, investors are cautious ahead of the release of Chinese economic data and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision later in the day. 

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DAX Index Closes Trade at 0.59% Higher

DAX index has closes trade at 0.59% higher. The index is currently at 12,757.75 points. On the release front, German ZEW Economic Sentiment dipped to 18.6, missing the forecast of 21.6 points. Eurozone ZEW Economic Sentiment improved to 37.7, beating the estimate of 37.2 points. In the US, the Federal Reserve is expected to increase interest rates by a quarter-point.

European stock markets were slightly lower on yesterday, as a result of sharp losses on the Nasdaq, which dropped 1.8% on last week session. Major technology stocks were all down by more than 3 percent. Key German financial stocks responded with losses, notably Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were Lufthansa which rose 3.00% or 0.550 points to trade at 18.875 at the close. 

The worst performers of the session were Beiersdorf which fell 0.69% or 0.660 points to trade at 94.780 at the close. Deutsche Telekom declined 0.44% or 0.075 points to end at 16.880 and Henkel & Co was down 0.36% or 0.45 points to 124.65. 

DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was down 6.39% to 12.60.

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Latest in Stocks

ASX 200 (5741, 1.1%) is up 63 points as it continues to push higher into late arvo trade. 

Its going from strength to strength today after defying the early pointer from futures trading that suggested the recent sell-off in tech stocks on Wall Street would send the local index lower.


Dow (21235.67, -0.17%) is slowly inching up towards 21600 and could possibly test 21400 on the upside this week. Support remains at 21000 and while the index is trading above 21000, the trend remains bullish.


Dax (12690.44, -0.98%) fell sharply yesterday instead of breaking above 12850. We could possibly see some trade within the 12650-12850 region in the near term before testing 13000.

Shanghai (3138.67, -0.04%) has enough scope on the upside towards 3160-3170 for the next couple of sessions.


Nikkei (19885.72, -0.11%) is holding above 19825 and could move up towards 20000 in the coming sessions. Near term looks bullish.


Nifty (9616.40, -0.54%) has been fluctuating within the 9700-96500 region and could possibly continue to do so for some more sessions. 

Immediate support is seen near 9600 which could extend to 9550 on the downside. Overall the index could be ranged sideways before rallying to higher levels.




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Global Stocks Update

Dow (21136.23, -0.23%) came off from resistance near 21230 and may test 21000 on the downside before bouncing back towards 21300 and higher in the medium term. Near term could see some consolidation or a corrective dip but overall long term looks bullish.


Dax (12690.12, -1.04%) is also in a short correction mode and could rise back soon towards 13000.Downside could be limited to 12600 just now.


Shanghai (3127.91, +0.83%) has risen sharply breaking the immediate resistance near 3120 instead of testing lower levels of 3050 as mentioned yesterday. 

While the index sustains levels above 3120, it could move higher towards 3170 else a re-test of 3070 is possible.

ASX (5644.7, -0.4%) on track for a fourth straight session in the red and a fall of more than 5 per cent since its recent high at the start of May.


Nikkei (19936.42, -0.22%) Resistance near 20200 has held well for which fell sharply in the last 2-sessions. 

It could test 19820 in the next 2-sessions before again bouncing back from there.


Nifty (9637.15, -0.39%) is in a corrective mode now and could extend losses to an extent of 9600-9550 levels. 

Thereafter a rise back towards 9700-9800 is possible in the near term.

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Berkshire Hathaway Acquired 200 Million Stakes in Lanxess AG

Berkshire Hathaway acquired a $200 million stakes in Lanxess AG. Lanxess shares jumped 2.9 percent to 65.06 euros by 0936 GMT after the news, even though the stock was trading without the rights to a 0.70 euro/share dividend for the first time.

In a regulatory filing, Lanxess said that Berkshire Hathaway’s General Reinsurance subsidiary took a stake that reached just over 3 percent on May 19. The shares held by General Re  whose total financial investments excluding cash holdings stood at about $22 billion at the end of last year, were worth about 180 million euros ($200 million) at that time.

General Re’s stake in Lanxess crossed the 3 percent threshold after Lanxess on May 11 beat consensus estimates for first-quarter earnings on strong sales of engineering plastics and synthetic rubber, but the company warned at the time that demand would soften later this year. 

Shares in Lanxess, a former unit of Bayer whose products include pesticide ingredients, construction pigments and leather chemicals, earlier this month reached four-year highs. The company has said that after recent acquisitions worth a combined 2.6 billion euros more strategic steps could be in the offing in the second half of the year.

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Stocks in USA Dropped Further

U.S. stocks dropped after JP Morgan and Bank of America warned of revenue weakness, offsetting gains in defensive plays.

JPMorgan blamed lower volatility for a 15 percent decline in trading revenue in the current quarter compared with last year, while Bank of America said trading revenue in the second quarter was on track to be 10 to 12 percent lower than last year.


Financials .SPSY rallied more than 20 percent in the wake of the U.S. presidential election on hopes of fiscal stimulus and deregulation under President Donald Trump, but they have struggled in recent weeks. The sector is now down 0.3 percent on the year.

Measures of market volatility are at rock-bottom, hitting trading desks at big banks. The U.S. stock market's main gauge of investor anxiety .VIX closed at its lowest level in over two decades on May 8 and has not topped its long-term average of 20 since November. It did, however, hit a seven-day high of 11.30 on Wednesday.

JPMorgan shares lost 2.1 percent while Bank of America was down 1.9 percent as the two biggest weights on the S&P 500. Goldman Sachs fell 3.3 percent, the biggest drag on the Dow. 

Energy stocks down 0.4 percent, also lost ground. Oil prices touched a three-week low as rising output from Nigeria and Libya fueled concerns that OPEC-led output cuts are being undermined. U.S. crude settled down 2.7 percent at $48.32 a barrel and Brent settled 3 percent lower at $50.1.


Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20.82 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,008.65, the S&P 500 lost 1.1 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,411.81 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.67 points, or 0.08 percent, to 6,198.52.

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Global Stocks Update

Dow (21080.28, -0.01%) was closed yesterday. As mentioned yesterday, 21200 is an important resistance for the near term. 

In case it breaks on the upside, the index could rally towards 21400-21600 else a fall back towards 21100 is possible in the coming sessions.


Dax (12628.95, +0.21%) is stable and may continues to remain sideways within 12800-12400 (broad region of trade for at least this week.

Shanghai (3110.06, +0.07%) looks bullish in the near term towards 3170. A small dip to 3070 is also possible before the index starts to rise higher.


Nikkei (19576.19, -0.54%) seems to be confused on which direction to take. Immediate movement within 19500-20000 is possible but only if it breaks on either side, can we confirm on further direction. 

For now, some sideways consolidation is possible.


Nifty (9604.90, +1%) has been rising in line with our expectation. 9700-9800 is on the cards for medium term.

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Global Market Review

Asian equity futures open to a mixed start today. Hong Kong is on holiday and markets in China are shut for a second day after the U.K. and U.S. were closed Monday, depressing volumes and limiting price movements

South Africa’s rand declined for a second day after President Jacob Zuma survived a bid by some members of his party to oust him.  Italian assets fell as former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi raised the prospect of an early election.

The key challenge for investors remains gauging the ability of the world’s economy to withstand rising borrowing costs. Despite the record highs posted by global equities, the rally in bond markets suggests traders are cautious. 

Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams reaffirmed his view that a total of three interest-rate increases makes sense for the world’s biggest economy this year.


Main Market  Movers:

  • The euro fell 0.2 percent to $1.1138 as of 7:41 a.m. in Tokyo. The yen was flat at 111.25 per dollar.
  • Gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,267.36 an ounce.
  • Treasury 10-year futures were at 126 1/4, up 2/32, after the market was closed Monday. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was 2.25 percent at the end of last week.
  • The rand fell 0.2 percent to 12.9959 per dollar, adding to the previous session’s 0.6 percent decline.
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Crude Oil Plummeted Sharply


Crude oil prices plummeted to below $50 a barrel after an extension to a global output agreement disappointed investors looking for more.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reportedly have agreed on a nine-month extension to a production cut agreement, which was set to expire at the end of June.


Stocks in Tokyo and Sydney opened lower, with energy producers dropping the most. Oil held losses after falling the most in three weeks as OPEC stuck to the most predictable outcome in its plans to limit production.

Commodity currencies maintained losses against the dollar. The S&P 500 Index reached a fresh record on Thursday while the U.S. currency strengthened as retailer results boosted confidence in the American consumers’ ability to buoy economic growth.


Global equities are on course for the best week since April, trading at a record high after six weeks of gains, as investors bet global economic growth can withstand higher U.S. interest rates as soon as next month.

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Markets And You explains What are Stock Indices?

What are Stock Indices?
A stock index is a statistical indicator measuring the combined value of underlying stocks within a particular index. Simply put, stock indices worldwide will move either low or high depending of the financial situation acted upon by investors in reaction to a serious of factors. Factors may include an important company announcement about a new product launch, financial results, political situations, internal company structure changes or economic announcements. A significant change in any one stock within a particular index group will reflect in the overall value of that index.
Australian Index Trading analysis company Markets And You Pty Ltd track these important announcements and directions of individual stocks. That information provides us with the bigger picture to the direction the group of stock indices will move as a whole. This direction is then provided in real time to our clients.
Types of Indices
Stock market indices may be classed in many ways, a global or world stock market index includes companies within the location they are traded or located. A national index signifies the performance of the stock market of a given country and reflects investor attitude of the performance of its economy. The most represented market indices and nation indices are composed of stocks of giant companies listed on the nation’s big stock exchanges such as the American S&P 500, the Japanese Nikkei 225, the British FTSE 100, and our own ASX 200. Markets And You for like to point out that sometimes the most popular Indices are not the best ones to trade upon for most profitable results.
Markets And You Preferred Indices
Through years of research Markets And You have developed best trading systems that have indicated which are the most reliable markets to trade. These markets include the
• XJO (Australian Stock Exchange) – ASX 200. Otherwise known as the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is the primary stock exchange in Australia.
• IBEX (Spanish Stock Index) – IBEX 35. This is the IBEX 35 (an acronym of Iberia Index) it’s the benchmark stock market index of the Bolsa de Madrid, Spain's principal stock exchange.
• BEL20 - Belgian Stock Index. The BEL20 is the major stock market index of Euronext Brussels.
• CAC – (Paris - French Stock Exchange – CAC40). The CAC 40, is a French stock market index.
You can view all Markets And You other preferred markets on their website

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Stock Market Indices explained by Markets And You

Stock Market Indices explained by Markets And You - A typical successful FALLS trade.

Before getting started with Index Trading, you need to understand the basics of "what are Stock Market Indices?"

If you don’t know this terminology or understand how to define a Trade Index, then starting to trade the market will become like flipping a coin or even worse like choosing the red or black on the roulette table at the casino after you have had a few to many drinks. Chances are not good.

To help you get started with trading the market, specifically Index Trading, it is best to understand the terminology and how it fits into the big picture of the stock market.

Below are 5 short descriptions to help understand ‘what are Stock Market Indices explained by Markets And You.

1. Indices is the plural for an Index. An Index is the term used for a group of stock market publicly listed uppermost businesses within a region.
2. There are numerous Stock Market Indices within the world. Index Trading company, Markets And YOU focuses on analysing the following leading Indices: The Australian Index (ASX 200); The UK Index (FTSE100); The French Index (CAC40); The Dutch Index (AEX); The German Index (DAX), The Spanish Index (IBEX), The Euro 100 Index (EURO100), The Swiss Index (SMI), The Euro 50 Index (EURO50) and The Belgian Index (BEL20) just too name a few.
3. An Index will rise or fall as the average of all shares within this group change in value. This is called an Index indicator.
4. You never actually own an Index (as you would a stock), you can only ever take a ‘position’ on a particular Index, whether it will either RISE or FALL.
5. Taking a position on a Stock Market Index is a form of Binary Options trading.

Traditionally, the investors purchase the asset they invest in and the value of the profit and loss is determined upon the changing value of the purchased asset.


$10 10% $11

  Trade Amount      Direction        Percentage Gain                  Total Return on investment


In comparison - Index Trading allows you to profit from any Country’s stock market movement no matter if that market RISES or FALLS in value over any specific time period. This unique type of trading enables you to trade and profit in ALL market conditions. In addition to this, the ROI (Return on Investment) per trade is much higher and achieved much faster (usually over a 1-hour period) when compared to traditional Stock Market trading methods.


$10 88% $18

  Trade Amount          Direction          Percentage Gain                    Total Return on investment


If you intend to start Trading Stock Market Indices, do it with the assistance of an experienced trader and start learning how to trade an Index that is easy to follow. This may include a choosing a popular Index that is common to your own time period and will fit into your own schedule.
This way, whether you are working or retired you can still find the time to listen to your trainer and better understand how to place the trade. Never make an uneducated prediction based off old or non-interactive charts.
Trading Stock Market Indices needn’t be a tedious task.

Taking small steps will help you see positive results and your trading account rise. Limit the stress and risk by learning from an expert trading team such as Markets And YOU.

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