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Market Updates

Tesla shares surge 3% in extended trade despite Q4 earnings miss

Investing.com – Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares traded more than 3% higher in after-hours trade, despite posting a loss per share of 69 cents compared to Wall Street estimates' of a 42 cents loss.

Tesla received a record number of orders for its Model S sedan and Model X sport utility and expects to deliver 47,000 - 50000 Model S and Model X vehicles in the first half of the year, the company said in a letter to shareholders.

Tesla quelled any lingering fears of production delays to the launch of its Model 3 vehicles. The electric car company noted in a letter to shareholders that its Model 3 sedan is on track to begin production in July and expects to ramp production to exceed 5000 Model 3 vehicles per week at "some point in the fourth quarter" of this year and reach 10,000 vehicles per week in 2018.

Tesla’s plan to launch Model 3 Sedan, which is priced at around $35,000, represents a significant opportunity to carve out a larger share of the automotive market, as its cars have traditionally served the luxury niche of the market.

Tesla shares closed at $273.51 down 1.4% but surged more than 3% in after-hours.

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Peru stocks higher at close of trade; S&P Lima General up 0.03%

Investing.com – Peru stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Food&Beverages, S&P Lima Juniors and Electricity sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General rose 0.03%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Sider (LM:SID), which rose 3.03% or 0.010 points to trade at 0.340 at the close. Meanwhile, Volcan Minera (LM:VOL_pb) added 2.35% or 0.020 points to end at 0.870 and Aceros Arequip (LM:AREi) was up 2.00% or 0.010 points to 0.510 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ferreyros (LM:FER), which fell 1.58% or 0.030 points to trade at 1.870 at the close. Grana Y Monter (LM:GRA) declined 1.47% or 0.050 points to end at 3.350 and Cem Pacasmayo (LM:CPA) was down 1.32% or 0.080 points to 5.960.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 13 to 9 and 12 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.90% or 0.49 to $53.84 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.95% or 0.54 to hit $56.12 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.00% or 0.05 to trade at $1238.95 a troy ounce.

USD/PEN was up 0.05% to 3.2452, while EUR/PEN fell 0.19% to 3.4204.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.21% at 101.24.

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U.S. equities close mixed; Dow posts 9th straight record close

Investing.com – U.S. equities closed mixed, after minutes released from the Federal Reserve’s previous meeting signalled that an interest rate hike is coming “fairly soon”.

U.S. equities dipped into negative territory, after the Fed minutes were released, and couldn't mount a meaningful recovery as a slump in the energy sector capped upside momentum.

The so-called ‘Trump rally’ – the rise in U.S. equities brought on by the promise of fiscal expansion and a reduction of corporate taxes from President Donald Trump – has been a major catalyst for the major U.S. indexes, which continue to trade near record highs.

On the economic data front, U.S. home resales surged to a 10-year in January, as buyers shrugged off an increase in home prices and mortgage rates.

On Wednesday, The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales jumped 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million units last month – the highest level since February 2007.

In corporate earnings news Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares traded more than 1% higher in after-hours trade, despite posting a loss per share of 69 cents compared to Wall Street estimates' of a 42 cents loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 31 points at 20,774.65 The S&P 500 shed 0.11% and the Nasdaq Composite ticked lower to close at 5,860 down 0.09%.

The top S&P 500 gainers included Garmin Ltd (NASDAQ:GRMN) up 7.3%, Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) up 4%; while Du pont (NYSE:DD) added 3.4. Despite the dip in U.S. equities the Dow posted its 9th straight record close.

First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) down 8.4%, Newfield Exploration Company (NYSE:NFX) down 8% and Concho Resources Inc (NYSE:CXO) slumped 6.8%, were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

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Canada stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite down 0.58%

Investing.com – Canada stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Energy, Materials and Consumer Discretionary sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite lost 0.58%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Waste Connections Inc (TO:WCN), which rose 3.12% or 3.46 points to trade at 114.25 at the close. Meanwhile, Finning International Inc . (TO:FTT) added 2.87% or 0.73 points to end at 26.20 and Cott Corporation (TO:BCB) was up 2.82% or 0.42 points to 15.31 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Encana Corporation (TO:ECA), which fell 5.80% or 0.93 points to trade at 15.10 at the close. Enerplus Corporation (TO:ERF) declined 5.80% or 0.73 points to end at 11.85 and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (TO:IVN) was down 5.17% or 0.260 points to 4.770.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 592 to 583 and 131 ended unchanged.

Shares in Waste Connections Inc (TO:WCN) rose to all time highs; rising 3.12% or 3.46 to 114.25.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was down 8.32% to 10.25.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.02% or 0.25 to $1239.15 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 1.38% or 0.75 to hit $53.58 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 1.45% or 0.82 to trade at $55.84 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.07% to 0.7605, while CAD/EUR fell 0.35% to 0.7197.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.23% at 101.22.

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Colombia stocks lower at close of trade; COLCAP down 0.34%

Investing.com – Colombia stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Industrials, Investment and Public Services sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP declined 0.34%.

The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Avianca Holdings Pf (CN:AVT_p), which rose 1.08% or 30.0 points to trade at 2800.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Bancolombia Pf (CN:BIC_p1) added 1.10% or 300.0 points to end at 27500.0 and Celsia SA (CN:CEL) was up 0.92% or 40.0 points to 4380.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ecopetrol SA (CN:ECO), which fell 2.23% or 30.0 points to trade at 1315.0 at the close. Banco De Bogota SA (CN:BBO) declined 1.98% or 1180.0 points to end at 58500.0 and Pfgrupsura (CN:SIS_p) was down 1.81% or 680.0 points to 36800.0.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 19 to 7 and 5 ended unchanged.

US coffee C for May delivery was down 0.57% or 0.86 to $150.82 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in May fell 0.35% or 7.00 to hit $1996.50 , while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.09% or 1.15 to trade at $1237.75 a troy ounce.

USD/COP was down 0.19% to 2894.31, while BRL/COP rose 0.67% to 943.05.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.24% at 101.21.

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Dollar creeps lower ahead of Fed minutes; Rumble in the ruble

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar drifted lower against major currencies on Wednesday, ahead of the January 31 to February 1 Federal Reserve Open Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes, due to be released at 14:00 ET.

The U.S. dollar index , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 101.38, down 0.08%, after trading near its 1-week high during the session.

Despite a stronger U.S. existing home sales print for January of 5.69 million compared to expectations of 5.51 million, the dollar index failed to add to gains in the early morning U.S. session, as market participants await the minutes of the FOMC for direction.

Many expect a hawkish tone among policymakers, after several Fed members’, including Fed Chief Janet Yellen, indicated that the Fed should tighten interest rates sooner rather, should the U.S. economy continue to show robust growth.

Against the backdrop of optimistic comments from Fed members’ concerning a March rate hike, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said on Tuesday, the U.S. labor market has "more room to run”, indicating that the Fed may not hike in March.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD fell 0.21% to $1.244, after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said that gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2% year-on-year, compared to expectations for a 2.2% rise.

The euro recovered from session lows to trade at $1.055 up 0.13%, after the single currency shrugged off concerns over France’s presidential election campaign while EUR/GBP gained 0.34% to trade at 0.8478.

USD/JPY traded lower at $113.46, down 0.18%.

Meanwhile, the Russian USD/RUB tumbled more than 1% against the dollar to trade at 57.97, after a report revealed that Russia’s unemployment rate ticked up to 5.6% in January, up from 5.3% in December.

Read More

Denmark stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 down 0.16%

Investing.com – Denmark stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Financials, Chemicals and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 declined 0.16%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Dong Energy A/S (CO:DENERG), which rose 1.23% or 3.10 points to trade at 255.60 at the close. Meanwhile, Chr. Hansen Holding A/S (CO:CHRH) added 1.10% or 4.6 points to end at 424.4 and Lundbeck A/S (CO:LUN) was up 1.02% or 3.0 points to 296.1 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Jyske Bank A/S (CO:JYSK), which fell 2.58% or 9.6 points to trade at 363.2 at the close. Danske Bank A/S (CO:DANSKE) declined 1.07% or 2.6 points to end at 240.0 and AP Moeller - Maersk A/S A (CO:MAERSKa) was down 0.97% or 110 points to 11240.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 62 to 62 and 12 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 1.53% or 0.83 to $53.50 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 1.57% or 0.89 to hit $55.77 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.34% or 4.25 to trade at $1234.65 a troy ounce.

USD/DKK was down 0.17% to 7.0420, while EUR/DKK unchanged 0.00% to 7.4328.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.06% at 101.39.

Read More

France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.15%

Investing.com – France stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Consumer Goods, Technology and Utilities sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.15%, while the SBF 120 index climbed 0.13%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were Danone SA (PA:DANO), which rose 2.36% or 1.44 points to trade at 62.33 at the close. Meanwhile, Peugeot SA (PA:PEUP) added 1.85% or 0.34 points to end at 18.75 and L’Oreal SA (PA:OREP) was up 1.76% or 3.05 points to 176.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Accor SA (PA:ACCP), which fell 2.40% or 0.93 points to trade at 37.70 at the close. ArcelorMittal SA (AS:ISPA) declined 1.80% or 0.158 points to end at 8.607 and Legrand SA (PA:LEGD) was down 1.39% or 0.77 points to 54.56.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Metropole TV (PA:MMTP) which rose 5.40% to 19.82, Worldline SA (PA:WLN) which was up 4.08% to settle at 26.545 and SCOR SE (PA:SCOR) which gained 3.24% to close at 33.78.

The worst performers were Alten (PA:LTEN) which was down 4.49% to 66.44 in late trade, Vallourec (PA:VLLP) which lost 2.78% to settle at 6.366 and Accor SA (PA:ACCP) which was down 2.40% to 37.70 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 317 to 263 and 116 ended unchanged.

Shares in Peugeot SA (PA:PEUP) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 1.85% or 0.34 to 18.75. Shares in L’Oreal SA (PA:OREP) rose to 52-week highs; up 1.76% or 3.05 to 176.50. Shares in Metropole TV (PA:MMTP) rose to 52-week highs; up 5.40% or 1.01 to 19.82. Shares in SCOR SE (PA:SCOR) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 3.24% or 1.06 to 33.78.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 0.85% to 14.81.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.33% or 4.05 to $1234.85 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 1.51% or 0.82 to hit $53.51 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 1.57% or 0.89 to trade at $55.77 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.17% to 1.0555, while EUR/GBP rose 0.39% to 0.8482.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.06% at 101.39.

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Finland stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 down 0.31%

Investing.com – Finland stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Utilities, Financials and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 lost 0.31%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Metsa Board Oyj B (HE:METSB), which rose 1.02% or 0.065 points to trade at 6.420 at the close. Meanwhile, Nokia Oyj (HE:NOKIA) added 0.29% or 0.014 points to end at 4.778 and KONE Oyj (HE:KNEBV) was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 points to 41.55 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Nordea Bank AB (publ) FDR (HE:NDA1V), which fell 1.91% or 0.220 points to trade at 11.300 at the close. Outotec Oyj (HE:OTE1V) declined 1.27% or 0.070 points to end at 5.450 and YIT Oyj (HE:YTY1V) was down 1.18% or 0.08 points to 6.70.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 81 to 53 and 20 ended unchanged.

Brent oil for April delivery was down 1.55% or 0.88 to $55.78 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 1.49% or 0.81 to hit $53.52 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.38% or 4.75 to trade at $1234.15 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.18% to 1.0556, while EUR/GBP rose 0.43% to 0.8485.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.06% at 101.39.

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Belgium stocks lower at close of trade; BEL 20 down 0.18%

Investing.com – Belgium stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Basic Materials, Technology and Industrials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 fell 0.18%.

The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were Ontex Group (BR:ONTEX), which rose 1.15% or 0.33 points to trade at 29.08 at the close. Meanwhile, bpost NV (BR:BPOST) added 1.10% or 0.26 points to end at 23.38 and Elia (BR:ELI) was up 0.65% or 0.315 points to 48.810 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were NV Bekaert SA (BR:BEKB), which fell 1.76% or 0.74 points to trade at 41.51 at the close. Solvay SA (BR:SOLB) declined 1.07% or 1.25 points to end at 115.10 and Umicore NV (BR:UMI) was down 0.59% or 0.30 points to 50.44.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Brussels Stock Exchange by 66 to 46 and 14 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.45% or 5.55 to $1233.35 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April fell 1.44% or 0.78 to hit $53.55 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 1.50% or 0.85 to trade at $55.81 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.23% to 1.0561, while EUR/GBP rose 0.46% to 0.8488.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.09% at 101.36.

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Nigeria stocks lower at close of trade; NSE 30 down 0.03%

Investing.com – Nigeria stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Insurance, Banking and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lagos, the NSE 30 lost 0.03%.

The best performers of the session on the NSE 30 were Guiness Nig (LAGOS:GUINNES), which rose 4.59% or 2.85 points to trade at 64.88 at the close. Meanwhile, Nig Brew (LAGOS:NB) added 3.99% or 4.99 points to end at 129.08 and Zenithbank (LAGOS:ZENITHB) was up 0.68% or 0.10 points to 14.80 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Unilever Nig (LAGOS:UNILEVE), which fell 4.98% or 1.61 points to trade at 30.69 at the close. Uacn Prop (LAGOS:UACN) declined 4.89% or 0.65 points to end at 12.64 and Nestle Nig (LAGOS:NESTLE) was down 4.00% or 23.99 points to 571.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lagos by 19 to 8 and 48 ended unchanged.

Shares in Uacn Prop (LAGOS:UACN) fell to 3-years lows; falling 4.89% or 0.65 to 12.64.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 1.45% or 0.79 to $53.54 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 1.52% or 0.86 to hit $55.80 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.46% or 5.75 to trade at $1233.15 a troy ounce.

EUR/NGN was down 0.49% to 330.720, while USD/NGN rose 0.16% to 317.500.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.09% at 101.36.

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Sweden stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 down 0.50%

Investing.com – Sweden stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Basic Materials and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 lost 0.50%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson B (ST:ERICb), which rose 3.47% or 1.93 points to trade at 57.48 at the close. Meanwhile, Electrolux, AB ser. B (ST:ELUXb) added 0.92% or 2.2 points to end at 241.9 and Svenska Cellulosa SCA AB B (ST:SCAb) was up 0.69% or 1.9 points to 275.5 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Lundin Petroleum AB (ST:LUPE), which fell 2.00% or 3.90 points to trade at 191.10 at the close. Nordea Bank AB (ST:NDA) declined 1.74% or 1.90 points to end at 107.20 and Svenska Handelsbanken AB A (ST:SHBa) was down 1.45% or 1.9 points to 129.2.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 392 to 281 and 84 ended unchanged.

Shares in Electrolux, AB ser. B (ST:ELUXb) rose to 52-week highs; up 0.92% or 2.2 to 241.9. Shares in Svenska Cellulosa SCA AB B (ST:SCAb) rose to all time highs; rising 0.69% or 1.9 to 275.5.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 1.58% or 0.86 to $53.47 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 1.66% or 0.94 to hit $55.72 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.43% or 5.35 to trade at $1233.55 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was up 0.26% to 9.4827, while USD/SEK rose 0.13% to 8.9876.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.04% at 101.41.

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Morocco stocks lower at close of trade; Moroccan All Shares down 2.07%

Investing.com – Morocco stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Chemicals, Telecoms and Distributors sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Casablanca, the Moroccan All Shares fell 2.07% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the Moroccan All Shares were Risma (CS:RIS), which rose 7.70% or 9.65 points to trade at 134.95 at the close. Meanwhile, Saham Assurance (CS:SAH) added 3.36% or 39 points to end at 1200 and Wafa Assurance (CS:WASS) was up 3.04% or 140 points to 4740 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Fenie Brossette (CS:FBR), which fell 6.86% or 11.85 points to trade at 161.00 at the close. Dari Couspate SA (CS:DRI) declined 6.00% or 155 points to end at 2430 and Snep (CS:SNP) was down 4.94% or 20.00 points to 385.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Casablanca Stock Exchange by 32 to 7 and 10 ended unchanged.

Shares in Risma (CS:RIS) rose to 52-week highs; up 7.70% or 9.65 to 134.95.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 1.56% or 0.85 to $53.48 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 1.64% or 0.93 to hit $55.73 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.44% or 5.45 to trade at $1233.45 a troy ounce.

EUR/MAD was up 0.09% to 10.6780, while USD/MAD fell 0.06% to 10.1204.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.04% at 101.41.

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Italy stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com Italy 40 down 0.71%

Investing.com – Italy stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Financials and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Milan, the Investing.com Italy 40 declined 0.71%.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com Italy 40 were STMicroelectronics (MI:STM), which rose 2.84% or 0.390 points to trade at 14.140 at the close. Meanwhile, Salvatore Ferragamo (MI:SFER) added 1.13% or 0.30 points to end at 26.82 and CNH Industrial NV (MI:CNHI) was up 0.73% or 0.065 points to 8.955 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Banco Bpm (MI:BAMI), which fell 4.24% or 0.102 points to trade at 2.302 at the close. Banca Pop Emilia Romagna (MI:EMII) declined 3.82% or 0.170 points to end at 4.276 and Saipem (MI:SPMI) was down 3.46% or 0.0161 points to 0.4495.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Milan Stock Exchange by 196 to 144 and 15 ended unchanged.

Shares in STMicroelectronics (MI:STM) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 2.84% or 0.390 to 14.140. Shares in Salvatore Ferragamo (MI:SFER) rose to 52-week highs; up 1.13% or 0.30 to 26.82.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 1.49% or 0.81 to $53.52 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 1.64% or 0.93 to hit $55.73 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.50% or 6.15 to trade at $1232.75 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.19% to 1.0557, while EUR/GBP rose 0.33% to 0.8477.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.09% at 101.36.

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Euro off day’s lows as French election fears ease

Investing.com - The euro backed away from six-week lows against the dollar on Wednesday as fears over the outcome of France’s presidential election eased after French centrist politician Francois Bayrou said he would not run.

EUR/USD was at 1.0530 at 10.55 ET after falling to lows of 1.0494 earlier, the weakest level since January 11.

Bayrou said in a press conference that he would not run for election and instead pledged to support independent candidate Emmanuel Macron.

If Bayrou had run he would likely have reduced support for Macron and increased the chances of anti-European Union Marine Le Pen winning the presidency.

Investors’ fears that a victory for far-right Le Pen, who is the front runner to win the first round vote, could potentially trigger the country’s exit from the euro area.

The euro also pared back losses against the yen and the pound, with EUR/JPY last at 119.43, off earlier lows of 118.63, the weakest level since November 29.

EUR/GBP was up 0.12% to 0.8459 after falling to a low of 0.8403 earlier, the lowest level since December 21.

Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned as investors awaited the minutes of this month’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, due to be published later Wednesday, for fresh signals on the expected pace of rate hikes.

The Fed last raised interest rates in December and has indicated that it could hike rates three times this year.

According to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool around 22% of traders expect the Fed to raise interest rates at its next meeting in March. The chance of a May increase was seen at around 50%, while June odds were at 73%.

Meanwhile, U.S. data on Wednesday showed that existing home sales jumped to a 10-year high in January.

The National Association of Realtors said home resales climbed 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million units last month. That was the highest level since February 2007.

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Wall St edges lower as Fed minutes await

Investing.com - U.S. stocks edged lower Wednesday ahead of the minutes of the Fed's February meeting.
The DJI was off 0.01% at 10:15 ET after Wall Street hit new record highs overnight.
The S&P 500 shed 0.14%.The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite lost 0.09%.
The dollar was higher as Fed members indicated a rate hike in March was not off the table.
Oil was down over 1% ahead of industry stockpile data.
Existing home sales were at their highest level in close to a decade.
(NASDAQ:Tesla) shares were off 0.01% at $277.35 ahead of its earnings report after the closing bell.

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U.S. January existing home sales rise more than expected

Investing.com - U.S. existing home sales rose more than expected in January.
Existing home sales rose 3.3% in January from December to 5.69 mn units, the National Association of Realtors said.
Analysts had expected a 1.1% rise to 5.54 mn from December's initial reading of 5.49 mn units.
The initial December figure was revised upward to 5.51 mn units.
The pace of sales at the start of the year was the highest in close to a decade.

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USD/CAD at 2-week highs after weak Canadian data

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar climbed to two-week highs against its Canadian counterpart on Wednesday, after weak Canadian retail sales data and as investors eyed the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting amid growing hopes for a U.S. rate hike as soon as next month.

USD/CAD hit 1.3202 during early U.S. trade, the pair’s highest since February 8; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.3186, advancing 0.33%.

The pair was likely to find support at 1.3097, Tuesday’s low and resistance at 1.3215, the high of February 7.

Statistics Canada reported that retail sales fell 0.5% in December, compared to expectations for a 0.1% rise. Retail sales increased 0.3% in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.2% uptick.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, slipped 0.3% in December, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.6%.

Meanwhile, the greenback remained supported after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said late Monday that she would be “comfortable” raising interest rates at this point as inflation pressures pick up.

However, Minneapolis Fed head Neel Kashkari on Tuesday said the U.S. labor market has "more room to run," indicating that he does not believe the central bank should raise rates quickly.

The comments came after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that a rate increase would be appropriate at one of the Fed’s forthcoming meetings.

Investors were eyeing the minutes from the Fed’s January meeting, due later Wednesday, for further indications on the pace of rate hikes.

The loonie was lower against the euro, with EUR/CAD rising 0.20% to 1.3874.

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Gold trades just shy of 3-month highs ahead of FOMC minutes

Investing.com - Gold prices inched up during North American morning hours on Wednesday, reversing overnight losses as investors focused on the latest minutes from the Federal Reserve for further hints on the timing and pace of future rate hikes.

U.S. gold futures tacked on $2.00, or about 0.2%, to $1,240.95 a troy ounce by 8:50AM ET (13:50GMT), after ending Tuesday's session little changed. Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,239.97 per ounce.

Prices of the yellow metal reached a three-month peak of $1,243.90 on February 8.

The Fed will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting on Wednesday at 2:00PM ET (19:00GMT). The U.S. central bank held interest rates steady following its meeting on February 1 and painted a relatively upbeat picture of the economy, although it gave no firm signal on the timing of its next rate move.

Besides the Fed minutes, there are two Fed speakers Wednesday. Central bank Governor Jerome Powell speaks at 1:00PM ET (18:00GMT) in New York at the Forecasters Club of New York on the economic outlook and policy. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan discusses issues facing the global economy at a Dallas Fed event at 7:05PM ET.

On the data front, Wednesday's calendar features existing home sales for January at 10AM ET (15:00GMT).

Fed fund futures priced in about a 22% chance of a rate hike in March, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a May increase was seen at around 50%, while June odds were at 73%.

The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1% to 101.58 in New York morning trade, within sight of last week's more than one-month high of 101.75.

Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year U.S. government bond dipped to 2.395%.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery shed 1.4 cents, or 0.1%, to $17.98 a troy ounce.

Meanwhile, platinum was down 0.2% to $1,004.50, while palladium dropped 0.3%, to $776.75 an ounce.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper futures shed 2.1 cents, or about 0.8%, to $2.724 a pound, despite concerns over supply disruptions in Chile and Indonesia supported prices.

Prices of the red metal rallied to a 20-month peak of $2.822 last week after strikes at BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)'s Chilean Escondida and Freeport McMoran (NYSE:FCX)'s Indonesian Grasberg mine.

Combined, the mines produce roughly 10% of the world's total copper supply.

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Dollar index remains higher in subdued trade

Investing.com - The dollar remained higher against other major currencies in subdued trade on Wednesday, hovering at a one-week high as investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting amid growing expectations for a March rate hike.

EUR/USD fell 0.24% to 1.0512, the lowest since January 11.

The greenback had strengthened after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said late Monday that she would be “comfortable” raising interest rates at this point as inflation pressures pick up.

However, Minneapolis Fed head Neel Kashkari on Tuesday said the U.S. labor market has "more room to run," indicating that he does not believe the central bank should raise rates quickly.

The comments came after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that a rate increase would be appropriate at one of the Fed’s forthcoming meetings.

Investors were eyeing the minutes from the Fed’s January meeting, due later Wednesday, for further indications on the pace of rate hikes.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD slipped 0.20% to 1.2445 after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said that gross domestic product expanded by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, compared to expectations for an unrevised of 0.6%.

Year-over-year however, the U.K. economy grew 2.0% in the three months ended December 31, missing expectations for it to remain unrevised at 2.2%.

USD/JPY declined 0.55% to 113.05, while USD/CHF gained 0.30% to trade at 1.0125.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were steady, with AUD/USD at 0.7679 and with NZD/USD at 0.7162.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier reported that construction work done fell 0.2% in the fourth quarter, compared to expectations for a 0.3% rise.

Data also showed that the wage price index increased by 0.5% in the last quarter, in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD rose 0.39% to trade at 1.3193, the highest since February 8.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.15% at 101.60, the highest since February 15.

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Canadian core retail sales -0.3% vs. 0.6% forecast

Core retail sales in Canada fell unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Wednesday.

In a report, Statistics Canada said that Canadian core retail sales fell to a seasonally adjusted -0.3%, from -0.1% in the preceding month whose figure was revised down from 0.1%.

Analysts had expected Canadian core retail sales to rise 0.6% last month.
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Canadian retail sales -0.5% vs. 0.1% forecast

Canadian retail sales fell unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Wednesday.

In a report, Statistics Canada said that retail sales fell to -0.5%, from 0.3% in the preceding month whose figure was revised up from 0.2%.

Analysts had expected retail sales to rise 0.1% last month.
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Oil lower but upbeat sentiment on output cuts remains

Investing.com - Oil Wednesday was off seven-week highs amid upbeat sentiment on output cuts.
Brent crude was off 35 cents, or 0.62%, at $56.31 at 08:00 ET. U.S. crude shed 36 cents, or 0.66%, to $53.97.
OPEC estimates high compliance with cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day at the start of this year for six months.
Non-OPEC members led by Russia have also agreed to cut output by 558,000 barrels a day.
However, a pick-up in North American shale activity could cancel out the potential impact of the agreed cuts.
American Petroleum Institute stockpile data are due out later in the session.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports official inventories Thursday.
The EIA is expected to report a build-up of 3.325 million barrels in U.S. crude stocks in the latest week.

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Tesla reports as share price soars higher

Investing.com - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is set to report Q4 2016 earnings today after US markets close.
Wall Street is expecting the company to post a net loss of -$0.13 per share, on $2.2 billion in revenue.
Tesla shares gained more than 50% in just three months on minimal stimulus, and the company now has a market cap of over $44 billion.
Tesla is currently worth almost as much as General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford, whose market caps stand at $56 and $50 billion, respectively.
Tesla is still relatively new and not yet a well-established company so much about its actual capabilities remains unknown.
However, a few factors are pushing Tesla's valuation higher, such as its charismatic CEO – Elon Musk; Tesla's futuristic and innovative branding which creates a buzz around the company's cars; and the company’s mission of an energy revolution, on which Tesla hopes to capitalize.
Though these factors are appreciated, we recommend making investing decisions based on tangible numbers, not promises down the road.
Tesla has missed important deadlines in multiple occasions, and at this time and valuation, it is best to stay on the sidelines.
Potential investors should wait till more information emerges about true production time lines for the Model 3.

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Wall St. points to lower open as investors eye Fed minutes

Investing.com - U.S. stock markets pointed to a lower open on Wednesday morning, after reaching fresh record highs in the previous session, as investors looked ahead to the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting for further hints on the timing and pace of future rate hikes.

The blue-chip Dow futures shed 41 points, or about 0.2%, at 6:55AM ET (11:55GMT), the S&P 500 futures dipped 7 points, or 0.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 12 points, or 0.2%.

U.S. stocks rose to fresh record highs on Tuesday, boosted by strong earnings reports.

The Fed will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting on Wednesday at 2:00PM ET (19:00GMT). The U.S. central bank held interest rates steady following its meeting on February 1 and painted a relatively upbeat picture of the economy, although it gave no firm signal on the timing of its next rate move.

Besides the Fed minutes, there are two Fed speakers Wednesday. Central bank Governor Jerome Powell speaks at 1:00PM ET (18:00GMT) in New York at the Forecasters Club of New York on the economic outlook and policy. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan discusses issues facing the global economy at a Dallas Fed event at 7:05PM ET.

On the data front, Wednesday's calendar features existing home sales for January at 10AM ET (15:00GMT).

Fed fund futures priced in about a 22% chance of a rate hike in March, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a May increase was seen at around 50%, while June odds were at 73%.

In earnings news, Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL), DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) and TJX (NYSE:TJX) are among the major companies scheduled to report before the bell. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Square (NYSE:SQ), HP (NYSE:HPQ) and L Brands (NYSE:LB) are all due to report after the market close.

Elsewhere, European stock markets were mixed during mid-morning trade, after hitting a 14-month high earlier in the session as investors digested key earnings reports and monitored political risk in France.

Earlier, in Asia, markets ended the day slightly higher, with the Shanghai Composite in China closing up around 0.2%, while Japan's Nikkei edged up less than 0.1%.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.2% to 101.66 in New York morning trade, within sight of last week's more than one-month high of 101.75.

Meanwhile, oil prices pulled back but held near the prior session's seven-week high, amid optimism that OPEC and its allies have been following through on their commitment to cut production.

U.S. crude was down 19 cents, or around 0.4%, to $54.14, while Brent shed 19 cents to $56.47 a barrel.

Market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Wednesday and Thursday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.

The reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday's President's Day holiday.

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Top 5 things to watch today

Investing.com - Federal Reserve minutes in focus.
Global stocks follow Wall Street’s lead to record highs.
Oil holds near 7-week highs.
Dollar falls vs.yen}} as BoJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda says further easing unlikely.
Euro fights to hold $1.05 amid political uncertainty.

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Euro hits 6-week lows as political woes weigh

Investing.com - The euro fell to six-week lows against the dollar on Wednesday, falling below the $1.05 level, pressured lower by a combination of fears over European political worries and expectations for higher U.S. interest rates.

EUR/USD hit lows of 1.0494, the weakest level since January 11 and was down 0.31% at 1.0503 at 10.40 GMT.

The single currency has come under heavy selling pressure amid fears over the possibility of a Brexit or Trump-style shock result in France’s upcoming presidential election.

Investors’ fears that a victory for far-right candidate Marine le Pen, who is the front runner to win the first round vote, could potentially trigger the country’s exit from the euro area.

The euro showed little reaction to data showing the annual rate of inflation in the euro area was confirmed at 1.8% in January.

Another report on Wednesday showed that German business confidence improved unexpectedly in February as the euro zone’s largest economy got back on track after a cautious start to the year.

The euro was sharply lower against the safe haven yen, with EUR/JPY down 0.99% at 118.63, the lowest level since November 29.

The single currency retraced some losses against the pound after data showing that while the UK posted its fastest rate of growth in a year in the fourth quarter, growth for the full year was revised lower.

EUR/GBP last at 0.8429, off 0.24% for the day after falling as low as 0.8403 earlier, the lowest level since December 21.

Demand for the dollar continued to be underpinned as investors awaited the minutes of this month’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, due to be published later Wednesday, for fresh signals on the expected pace of rate hikes.

The Fed last raised interest rates in December and has indicated that it could hike rates three times this year.

According to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool around 22% of traders expect the Fed to raise interest rates at its next meeting in March. The chance of a May increase was seen at around 50%, while June odds were at 73%.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said late on Tuesday he expects the Fed to raise interest rates three times this year.

The comments came after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said Monday she would be “comfortable” raising interest rates as inflation pressures pick up.

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Sri Lanka stocks higher at close of trade; CSE All-Share up 0.04%

Investing.com – Sri Lanka stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Healthcare, Construction&Engineering and Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share rose 0.04%.

The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were PCH Holdings PLC (CM:PCHH), which rose 27.27% or 0.300 points to trade at 1.400 at the close. Meanwhile, Harischandra Mills PLC (CM:HARI) added 24.99% or 599.80 points to end at 3000.00 and SMB Leasing PLC (CM:SEMB) was up 20.00% or 0.1000 points to 0.6000 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ceylon Printers PLC (CM:CPRT), which fell 22.72% or 14.70 points to trade at 50.00 at the close. Office Equipment PLC (CM:OFEQ) declined 13.10% or 7.60 points to end at 50.40 and Lankem Developments PLC (CM:LDEV) was down 12.50% or 0.400 points to 2.800.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 96 to 83 and 45 ended unchanged.

Shares in Harischandra Mills PLC (CM:HARI) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 24.99% or 599.80 to 3000.00. Shares in Office Equipment PLC (CM:OFEQ) fell to 3-years lows; falling 13.10% or 7.60 to 50.40. Shares in Lankem Developments PLC (CM:LDEV) fell to 5-year lows; falling 12.50% or 0.400 to 2.800.

Crude oil for April delivery was down 0.57% or 0.31 to $54.02 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.64% or 0.36 to hit $56.30 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.00% or 0.05 to trade at $1238.95 a troy ounce.

GBP/LKR was down 0.28% to 188.705, while USD/LKR fell 0.23% to 151.470.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.19% at 101.64.

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Dollar holds onto gains with Fed minutes in focus

Investing.com - The dollar held onto gains against other major currencies on Wednesday, hovering at a one-week high as investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting amid growing expectations for a March rate hike.

EUR/USD fell 0.28% to 1.0508, the lowest since January 11.

The greenback had strengthened after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said late Monday that she would be “comfortable” raising interest rates at this point as inflation pressures pick up.

However, Minneapolis Fed head Neel Kashkari on Tuesday said the U.S. labor market has "more room to run," indicating that he does not believe the central bank should raise rates quickly.

The comments came after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week that a rate increase would be appropriate at one of the Fed’s forthcoming meetings.

Investors were eyeing the minutes from the Fed’s January meeting, due later Wednesday, for further indications on the pace of rate hikes.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD slipped 0.24% to 1.2441 after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said that gross domestic product expanded by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, compared to expectations for an unrevised of 0.6%.

Year-over-year however, the U.K. economy grew 2.0% in the three months ended December 31, missing expectations for it to remain unrevised at 2.2%.

USD/JPY declined 0.43% to 113.17, while USD/CHF gained 0.35% to trade at 1.0130.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.20% at 0.7690 and with NZD/USD adding 0.13% to 0.7168.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier reported that construction work done fell 0.2% in the fourth quarter, compared to expectations for a 0.3% rise.

Data also showed that the wage price index increased by 0.5% in the last quarter, in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD rose 0.25% to trade at 1.3174, the highest since February 8.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.17% at 101.62, the highest since February 15.

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Sterling retraces gains after UK GDP data

Investing.com - Sterling retraced gains against the dollar and the euro on Wednesday after data showing that while the UK posted its fastest rate of growth in a year in the fourth quarter, growth for the full year was revised lower.

GBP/USD was down 0.21% at 1.2441 at 10.10 GMT, from around 1.0514 ahead of the release of the data.

The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product rose by 0.7% in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months, up from an initial estimate of 0.6%.

Economists had expected an unchanged reading.

The upward revision was due to stronger than expected industrial output, which grew by 0.3%.

The figures also showed that the service sector drove the recovery, expanding by 0.8%, in line with initial forecasts.

But the estimate for economic growth in 2016 as a whole was revised down to 1.8% from 2.0%, the ONS said.

The report also pointed to a marked slowdown in business investment, which fell by 1.0% in the last three months of 2016.

The pound retreated from its highest levels of the year so far against the euro, with EUR/GBP last at 0.8438, off 0.13% for the day after falling as low as 0.8403 earlier.

The single currency has come under selling pressure this week amid fears over the possibility of a Brexit or Trump-style shock result in France’s upcoming presidential election.

Investors’ fears that a victory for far-right candidate Marine le Pen, who is the front runner to win the first round vote, could potentially trigger the country’s exit from the euro area.

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