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Market Updates

New Zealand PPI Output 1.5% vs. 0.6% forecast

Produce price inflation output in New Zealand rose more-than-expected last month, official data showed on Sunday.

In a report, Statistics New Zealand said that New Zealand PPI Output rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.5%, from 1.0% in the preceding month.

Analysts had expected New Zealand PPI Output to rise 0.6% last month.
Read More

Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 0.54%

Investing.com – Israel stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Real Estate, Communication and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 rose 0.54% to hit a new 1-month high.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Tower Semiconductor Ltd (TA:TSEM), which rose 3.52% or 289 points to trade at 8495 at the close. Meanwhile, Partner (TA:PTNR) added 3.34% or 74 points to end at 2292 and Teva (TA:TEVA) was up 2.69% or 360 points to 13750 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Azrieli Group (TA:AZRG), which fell 0.69% or 120 points to trade at 17180 at the close. Leumi (TA:LUMI) declined 0.68% or 11 points to end at 1606 and Poalim (TA:POLI) was down 0.65% or 15 points to 2290.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 218 to 168 and 55 ended unchanged.

Shares in Partner (TA:PTNR) rose to 52-week highs; up 3.34% or 74 to 2292.

Crude oil for April delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $53.78 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 0.14% or 0.08 to hit $55.73 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.46% or 5.75 to trade at $1235.85 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was down 0.19% to 3.7034, while EUR/ILS fell 0.72% to 3.9320.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.44% at 100.89.

Read More

United Arab Emirates stocks lower at close of trade; DFM General down 0.13%

Investing.com – United Arab Emirates stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Consumer Staples, Real Estate&Construction and Banking sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Dubai, the DFM General declined 0.13%, while the ADX General index fell 0.48%.

The best performers of the session on the DFM General were SHUAA Capital PSC (DU:SHUA), which rose 6.71% or 0.110 points to trade at 1.750 at the close. Meanwhile, Takaful House (DU:DTKF) added 4.24% or 0.050 points to end at 1.230 and Takaful Emarat PSC (DU:TKFE) was up 3.28% or 0.080 points to 2.520 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Arabtec Holding PJSC (DU:ARTC), which fell 3.94% or 0.041 points to trade at 0.999 at the close. DXB Entertainments (P.J.S.C.) (DU:DXBE) declined 2.75% or 0.030 points to end at 1.060 and Drake&Scull International PJSC (DU:DSI) was down 2.60% or 0.013 points to 0.487.

The top performers on the ADX General were Eshraq Properties Co PJSC (AD:ESHR) which rose 9.52% to 1.1500, Rak Cmt&Cons (AD:RAKC) which was up 7.69% to settle at 1.260 and Gulf Cement Co (AD:GCEM) which gained 6.73% to close at 1.1100.

The worst performers were Abu Dhabi National Hotels Co (AD:ADNH) which was down 6.45% to 2.90 in late trade, Nat Bk Qaiwain (AD:NBQ) which lost 6.25% to settle at 3.00 and Agthia Group (AD:AGTH) which was down 2.65% to 6.60 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Dubai Stock Exchange by 15 to 13 and 8 ended unchanged; on the Abu Dhabi, 12 fell and 8 advanced, while 10 ended unchanged.

Shares in Arabtec Holding PJSC (DU:ARTC) fell to 52-week lows; falling 3.94% or 0.041 to 0.999. Shares in DXB Entertainments (P.J.S.C.) (DU:DXBE) fell to 52-week lows; down 2.75% or 0.030 to 1.060. Shares in Gulf Cement Co (AD:GCEM) rose to 52-week highs; up 6.73% or 0.0700 to 1.1100.

Crude oil for April delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $53.78 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 0.14% or 0.08 to hit $55.73 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.46% or 5.75 to trade at $1235.85 a troy ounce.

USD/AED was unchanged 0.00% to 3.6729, while EUR/AED fell 0.59% to 3.8973.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.44% at 100.89.

Read More

Weekly outlook: February 20 - 24

Investing.com - The dollar rose against most of the other major currencies on Friday, with the exception of the yen, as political turbulence in the U.S. continued to underpin safe haven demand.

USD/JPY was down 0.36% at 112.84 as concerns about the upcoming French presidential elections and the lack of clarity on President Donald Trump’s fiscal policies spurred safe haven demand.

The euro weakened broadly amid concerns that the French left could unite behind one candidate in the upcoming elections, possibly knocking centrist and right nominees out of the race in the first round.

This possible alliance could increase the chances of anti-European Union Marine Le Pen winning the presidency in the second-round runoff.

EUR/USD was down 0.55% to 1.0614, holding above the five-week lows of 1.0520 set on Wednesday.

The single currency was also weaker against the yen, with EUR/JPY dropping 0.94% to 119.74.

Weakness in the euro helped shore up the dollar which had drifted broadly lower on Thursday as political uncertainty in the U.S. prompted investors to take profits in the wake of recent gains in the currency, despite better-than-expected economic data and a brighter outlook for interest rate hikes.

Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. consumer price inflation jumped 0.6% in January, the biggest increase in almost four years.

Another report showed that U.S. retail sales also outstripped expectations, increasing 0.4% last month.

The upbeat data came a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in testimony to the U.S. Senate that the bank is on course to raise interest rates at one of its forthcoming meetings.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.44% to 100.89 late Friday, reversing Thursday’s 0.72% drop and leaving it up 0.16% for the week.

In the holiday shortened week ahead, the Fed is to publish the minutes of its February meeting on Wednesday, which will be scrutinized for clues on the timing of the next rate hike.

Investors will be looking to U.S. housing data in order to see whether the rise in consumer spending and inflation is translating into higher house prices and a pick-up in home sales.

Markets will also be watching survey data on private sector activity in the euro zone on Tuesday.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday February 20

Financial markets in the U.S. will be closed for the Presidents Day holiday.

Canada is to release data on wholesale sales.

Tuesday, February 21

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, giving investors insight into how officials view the economy and their policy options.

The euro zone is to release survey data on private sector business activity.

The UK is to report on public sector borrowing.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is to speak at an event in Minnesota and Philadelphia Fed head Patrick Harker is to speak at an event in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, February 22

RBA Governor Philip Lowe is to speak at an event in Sydney.

Australia is to release data on completed construction work and the wage price index.

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

The UK is to release revised figures on fourth quarter growth.

Canada is to publish data on retail sales.

The U.S. is to release industry data on existing home sales and later the Fed is to publish the minutes of its February policy meeting.

Thursday, February 23

Australia is to report on private capital expenditure.

The U.S. is to release the weekly report in initial jobless claims.

Friday, February 24

RBA Governor Philip Lowe is to speak at an event in Sydney.

Canada is to publish figures on inflation.

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on new home sales and a revised report on consumer sentiment.

Read More

Crude Oil Futures - Weekly Outlook: February 20 - 24

Investing.com - Oil futures added a few pennies on Friday, but posted their first weekly decline in five weeks as concerns over rising production and swelling stockpiles in the U.S. offset efforts by major producers to cut enough output to reduce a global glut.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in March inched up 4 cents, or less than 0.1%, to end at $53.86 a barrel by close of trade Friday.

For the week, New York-traded oil futures slumped 46 cents, or nearly 0.9%. snapping a four-week win streak.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for April delivery tacked on 16 cents, or about 0.3%, to settle at $56.70 a barrel by close of trade.

London-traded Brent futures scored a loss of 89 cents, or around 1.6%, on the week, the second straight weekly decline.

Concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand pressured crude prices.

Data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes on Friday revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by six last week, the fifth weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 597, the most since November 2015.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that crude supplies rose by 9.5 million barrels last week to an all-time high of 518.0 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks rose 2.8 million barrels, pushing inventories of the fuel to a record at 259.0 million barrels.

Futures have been trading in a narrow range around the lower-to-mid-$50s over the past two months as sentiment in oil markets has been torn between expectations of a rebound in U.S. shale production and hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers.

OPEC and non-OPEC countries have made a strong start to lowering their oil output under the first such pact in more than a decade.

Latest data showed the group’s production in January declined by 890,000 barrels a day from the previous month to 32.14 million barrels a day. The drop indicates a 90% compliance level so far by producers who had agreed to curtail their output.

January 1 marked the official start of the deal agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC member countries such as Russia in November last year to reduce output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day to 32.5 million for the next six months.

OPEC could extend its oil supply-reduction pact with non-members or even apply deeper cuts from July if global crude inventories fail to drop to a targeted level, OPEC sources said on Thursday.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for March shed 0.8 cents, or about 0.5% to $1.516 on Friday, the lowest since February 8. It ended down about 4.6% for the week.

March heating oil added 0.7 cents, or 0.5%, to finish at $1.636 a gallon. For the week, the fuel lost almost 1.8%.

Natural gas futures for March delivery sank 2.0 cents, or almost 0.7%, to a three-month low of $2.834 per million British thermal units. It posted a weekly loss of around 7%.

In the week ahead, 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.

Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for further evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, February 20

Markets in the U.S. will remain closed for President’s Day.

Wednesday, February 22

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Thursday, February 23

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

The U.S. government is also to produce a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday, February 24

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

Read More

The Week Ahead: 5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar

Investing.com - Global financial markets will focus on Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting for further hints on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike.

Market players will also keep an eye out on U.S. housing data to gauge if a recent increase in consumer spending and inflation is translating into higher home prices and a pick-up in home sales.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., traders will be looking ahead to a second reading on British growth data for further indications on the continued effect that the Brexit decision is having on the economy.

In the euro zone, investors will await flash survey data on euro zone business activity for fresh clues on the health of the region’s manufacturing and services sector.

Elsewhere, traders will be looking to retail sales and inflation data from Canada to gauge the health of the economy.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. Fed FOMC Meeting Minutes

The Federal Reserve 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.

There are also a few Fed speakers this week, with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker due to speak Tuesday, while Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is scheduled for Thursday.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen raised market expectations for a near-term rate hike last week after saying it would be “unwise” to keep interest rates lower for longer.

Fed fund futures priced in a less than 20% chance of a rate hike in March, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. Odds of a June increase was seen at around 70%.

2. U.S. Housing Data for January

The National Association of Realtors is to release data on existing home sales for January at 10:00AM ET (15:00GMT) on Wednesday, amid forecasts for a gain of 1.0% to 5.55 million, following a decline of 2.8% a month earlier.

On Friday, the Commerce Department is to publish a report on January new home sales at 10AM ET (15:00GMT). The data is expected to show a jump of 7.2% to 575,000, following a drop of 10.4% in December.

Besides the housing-related data, this week's holiday-shortened calendar also features U.S. data on initial jobless claims and a revised reading on Michigan consumer sentiment.

Markets in the U.S. will remain closed on Monday for President’s Day.

Headlines from Washington will most likely remain in focus in the week ahead, as traders await further details on President Donald Trump's promises of tax reform, deregulation and infrastructure spending.

Earnings from retail heavyweights, including Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Macy's (NYSE:M), Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) are also on the radar this week, as are results from Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA).

3. U.K. Fourth Quarter GDP - Second Estimate

The Office for National Statistics is to produce a second estimate on U.K. fourth-quarter economic growth at 09:30GMT (4:30AM ET) on Wednesday.

The report is forecast to confirm the economy grew 0.6% in the final three months of last year, underlining the view that the British economy remains on a solid footing.

On a year-over-year basis, the economy is forecast to grow by 2.2%, also unchanged from an initial estimate.

The Bank of England raised its forecasts for growth and inflation earlier this month, but appeared in no rush to raise interest rates.

4. February Flash Euro Zone PMIs

The euro zone is to publish preliminary data on manufacturing and service sector activity for February at 09:00GMT (4:00AM ET) on Tuesday, amid expectations for a modest decline.

Ahead of the euro zone PMI's, France and Germany will release their own PMI reports at 08:00GMT and 08:30GMT respectively.

Other data out of the euro zone this week include final inflation and consumer confidence figures.

In addition, market participants will be focusing on Wednesday's IFO survey data on German business confidence to gauge sentiment in the euro zone's largest economy.

5. Canadian Retail Sales & Inflation Figures

Canada is to release December retail sales figures at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT) Wednesday.

The consensus forecast is that the report will show retail sales rose 0.1%, after rising 0.2% in October. Core sales are forecast to climb 0.8% in December, after ticking up 0.1% a month earlier.

On Friday, Canada is to publish data on consumer price inflation for January at 8:30AM ET (13:30GMT). The data is expected to show that inflation increased 0.3% last month, after falling 0.2% a month earlier. On a yearly base, CPI is projected to climb 1.6%.

Stay up-to-date on all of this week's economic events by visiting: http://www.investing.com/economic-calendar/

Read More

Peru stocks lower at close of trade; S&P Lima General down 0.27%

Investing.com – Peru stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Food&Beverages, Mining and Banking&Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General fell 0.27%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Grana Y Monter (LM:GRA), which rose 2.44% or 0.080 points to trade at 3.360 at the close. Meanwhile, Sider (LM:SID) added 1.54% or 0.005 points to end at 0.330 and Intergroup (LM:IFS) was up 1.23% or 0.400 points to 33.000 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Buenaventura (LM:BVN), which fell 2.81% or 0.380 points to trade at 13.150 at the close. Trevali Mining (LM:TV) declined 2.78% or 0.030 points to end at 1.050 and Luz Del Sur (LM:LUZ) was down 2.39% or 0.300 points to 12.250.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 15 to 11 and 9 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for March delivery was up 0.04% or 0.02 to $53.38 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 0.16% or 0.09 to hit $55.74 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.41% or 5.15 to trade at $1236.45 a troy ounce.

USD/PEN was up 0.38% to 3.2610, while EUR/PEN rose 0.07% to 3.4638.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.44% at 100.89.

Read More

Canada stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite down 0.16%

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

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite lost 0.16%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Crescent Point Energy Corp . (TO:CPG), which rose 7.76% or 1.17 points to trade at 16.24 at the close. Meanwhile, Winpak Ltd. (TO:WPK) added 7.02% or 3.34 points to end at 50.90 and Sierra Wireless Inc . (TO:SW) was up 6.54% or 2.24 points to 36.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Yamana Gold Inc (TO:YRI), which fell 9.91% or 0.45 points to trade at 4.04 at the close. Air Canada (TO:AC) declined 8.47% or 1.220 points to end at 13.180 and Boardwalk REIT (TO:BEI_u) was down 6.69% or 3.27 points to 45.62.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 590 to 557 and 143 ended unchanged.

Shares in Winpak Ltd. (TO:WPK) rose to all time highs; rising 7.02% or 3.34 to 50.90. Shares in Sierra Wireless Inc. (TO:SW) rose to 52-week highs; up 6.54% or 2.24 to 36.50.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was up 21.25% to 10.84.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.40% or 4.95 to $1236.65 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March rose 0.11% or 0.06 to hit $53.42 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract rose 0.23% or 0.13 to trade at $55.78 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.18% to 0.7637, while CAD/EUR rose 0.39% to 0.7194.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.42% at 100.87.

Read More

S&P, Dow and Nasdaq post record closes as shares of Kraft Heinz surge

Investing.com – U.S. equities eked out gains to close at record highs on Friday, despite a slump in financials and energy stocks.

US equities started the day on the back foot, as all three major indexes opened lower after posting record closes in five of the previous 7 sessions. Thin trading volumes were observed throughout the session with investors seemingly reluctant to take large new positions ahead of the long weekend due to Presidents Day holiday on Monday.

Financials, mostly banks, which had led the recent rally on Wall Street, continued to pare gains as investors await an update from President Trump concerning his fiscal plans to boost the economy, which includes tax reform.

Donald Trump said Thursday in a press conference that his team would submit a health care proposal in March, with a tax reform plan to be submitted afterward.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC.N), Bank of America (NYSE:NYSE:BAC.N), JPMorgan (NYSE:NYSE:JPM.N) and Citigroup (NYSE:C.N) closed lower, as the major U.S. banks slumped to a second day of losses.

Meanwhile, a surge in Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC) was the highlight of the session, after the U.S. food company made a surprise $143 billion bid for Unilever (L:LON:ULVR) that was later rebuffed.

The move comes amid a slow-down in growth in the global packaged food industry as consumers opt for healthier alternatives.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 4 points to set a sixth straight record close at 20,624. The S&P 500 closed higher at 2347, up 0.1% while the Nasdaq Composite added 24 points to close at 5,838 up 0.46%.

The top S&P 500 gainers included Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC) up 10.6%, VF Corporation (NYSE:VFC) up 4.6%; and Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) added 4.3%.

Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) down 6.5%, Flowserve Corporation (NYSE:FLS) down 4.8% and General Mills (NYSE:GIS) slumped 3.8%, were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

Read More

CFTC: Speculative Crude Oil Net Longs at All-Time High

Investing.com - The Commodity Futures Trading Commission released its weekly Commitments of Traders report for the week ending February 14 on Friday.


Speculative positioning in the CME and ICE currency, commodity, energy and index futures:

LongShort
NetPriorChangeGrossChangeGrossChange
EUR-46.8k-45.0k-1.8k125.3k-1.4k172.1k0.4k
GBP-65.5k-64.5k-1.0k39.0k0.9k104.6k1.9k
JPY-51.3k-55.1k3.8k27.7k1.8k79.0k-1.9k
CHF-11.5k-14.6k3.1k6.6k-0.5k18.1k-3.6k
CAD19.3k8.6k10.8k53.2k7.0k33.8k-3.8k
AUD24.2k16.7k7.5k79.3k12.8k55.1k5.3k
NZD2.9k1.8k1.0k36.6k1.7k33.7k0.7k
MXN-60.2k-58.5k-1.7k30.3k-1.0k90.5k0.8k
S&P 50057.8k54.3k3.5k486.9k10.4k429.2k6.9k
Gold109.8k117.1k-7.4k212.3k-4.1k102.5k3.2k
Silver84.8k78.3k6.5k104.8k6.2k20.0k-0.3k
Copper45.2k51.6k-6.3k131.4k0.4k86.2k6.7k
RUB18.2k17.5k0.7k19.6k-0.3k1.4k-1.0k
Crude Oil508.5k477.0k31.5k683.3k21.3k174.8k-10.1k


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Brazil stocks lower at close of trade; Bovespa down 0.10%

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Industrials, Consumption and Public Utilities sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa fell 0.10%.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Estacio Participacoes SA (SA:ESTC3), which rose 5.72% or 0.85 points to trade at 15.70 at the close. Meanwhile, Smiles ON (SA:SMLE3) added 4.61% or 2.73 points to end at 61.98 and ALL America Latina Logistica SA (SA:RUMO3) was up 3.98% or 0.35 points to 9.15 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Marfrig Alimentos SA (SA:MRFG3), which fell 3.05% or 0.22 points to trade at 7.00 at the close. EcoRodovias SA (SA:ECOR3) declined 2.42% or 0.23 points to end at 9.26 and Localiza Rent a Car SA (SA:RENT3) was down 2.29% or 0.91 points to 38.85.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange by 206 to 157 and 35 ended unchanged.

Shares in Smiles ON (SA:SMLE3) rose to all time highs; rising 4.61% or 2.73 to 61.98. Shares in ALL America Latina Logistica SA (SA:RUMO3) rose to 52-week highs; up 3.98% or 0.35 to 9.15.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was down 0.18% to 27.21.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.38% or 4.75 to $1236.85 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March fell 0.02% or 0.01 to hit $53.35 a barrel, while the May US coffee C contract rose 0.57% or 0.85 to trade at $149.12 .

USD/BRL was up 0.47% to 3.1034, while EUR/BRL fell 0.16% to 3.2921.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.45% at 100.90.

Read More

Crude settles higher but suffers first weekly decline in five weeks

Investing.com – Crude oil prices continued to trade within a narrow range Friday but ultimately settled higher as traders weighed up OPEC’s effort to reduce supply against the rise in crude inventories to record high levels.

Crude futures struggled for direction, despite a spike in early morning trade, amid reports suggesting that The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could extend an output cut, which commence January, beyond the previously agreed six-month period.

Crude pared its gains in late afternoon trade, following a spike in the dollar and an increase in U.S. weekly rig counts, after oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported its weekly count of U.S. oil rigs in operation rose by 6 to a total of 597.

The rise in the number of U.S. oil rigs, added to fears that increased drilling activity from U.S. crude producers may severely hamper OPEC’s plan to drain the supply glut in order to support crude prices.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange Crude Oil Futures for March delivery settled at $53.40, up 4 cents, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent gained 8 cents to settle at $55.74 a barrel.

Oil’s turbulent end to the week, comes after The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russia, released a report on Monday, confirming its members were in high compliance with last year’s agreed production cut.

OPEC and other exporters including Russia trimmed output in January by 1.7 million barrels a day – close to the agreed cut of almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).

Energy traders shift attention to next week’s agenda, which includes a fresh round of crude inventory updates on Thursday, Feb 23.

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Gold loses its lustre as dollar spikes

Investing.com - Gold struggled to hold onto gains Friday, despite renewed political uncertainty in Europe and a dip in optimism surrounding a U.S. March rate hike.

Gold futures reached a session high of $1244.95 in European mid-day trade, buoyed by political uncertainty in France, after a report suggested that the two main left-leaning candidates in France’s presidential election, Benoit Hamon and Jean-Luc Melechon are considering the possibility of joining forces.

Gold pared gains soon after, as the US Dollar Index Futures snapped a two-day losing streak, hitting a session high 100.90 at 11:45 ET.

The yellow-metal had been under pressure throughout the week against the backdrop of a spike in optimism of a March rate hike, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen struck hawkish tone in a two-day testimony to congress.

Ms. Yellen said that it would be “unwise” to keep US interest rates lower for longer and suggested that the US economy was “coming closer to achieving Fed mandates”. However, optimism for a rate hike has since waned – According to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool less than 15% of traders expect the Fed to raise interest rates at its next meeting in March, compared to a 22% likelihood of a March rate hike a day earlier on Thursday.

Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange traded down 0.18% or $2.35 at $1238.45 a troy ounce.

A firmer U.S. dollar continued to weigh heavily on commodities across the board.

Silver Futures traded at $18.03 while copper slid 0.46% to trade at $2.71 per pound.

Both Crude Oil Futures and Brent futures bounced off session lows of $52.89 and $55.10, respectively. At 13:30 ET, Brent traded at $55.69 and crude futures traded at $53.24.

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Dollar gets its groove back; pound and euro take a tumble

Investing.com - The U.S. dollar reversed early morning losses against major currencies on Friday, and gained against both sterling and the euro amid renewed political tension in Europe and weaker-than-expected UK retail sales.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.41% at 100.87.

Despite lower optimism of a March rate hike, the dollar is on course to snap a two-day losing streak, benefiting from a slump in both the euro and sterling.

According to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool less than 15% of traders expect the Fed to raise interest rates at its next meeting in March, compared to a 22% likelihood of a March rate hike a day earlier on Thursday.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD traded down almost 0.5% at $1.2428, after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said retail sales decreased 0.3% in January, compared to expectation for a 0.9% rise.

GBP/EUR hit a 7-day low at 10am GMT, but pared losses in the U.S. session to trade at €1.1693.

EUR/USD slid 0.51% to $1.6021 as concerns that anti-EU-parties could succeed in upcoming European elections – a threat to the future of the EU.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.49% at 0.7658 and with NZD/USD shedding 0.39% to 0.7184.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD rose 0.31% to trade at 1.3110 while the yen spiked in trade amid political uncertainty in Europe and lack of movement in fiscal changes in the United States with USD/JPY down 0.4% at 112.85.

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Spain stocks lower at close of trade; IBEX 35 down 0.57%

Investing.com – Spain stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Financial Services&Real Estate, Chemical, Petroleum&Plastic and Building&Construction sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 fell 0.57%.

The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were Viscofan (MC:VIS), which rose 2.93% or 1.420 points to trade at 49.895 at the close. Meanwhile, Cellnex Telecom SA (MC:CLNX) added 2.14% or 0.30 points to end at 14.34 and International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (MC:ICAG) was up 1.11% or 0.066 points to 6.005 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Repsol (MC:REP), which fell 1.94% or 0.270 points to trade at 13.625 at the close. Mapfre (MC:MAP) declined 1.70% or 0.050 points to end at 2.886 and Bankinter (MC:BKT) was down 1.67% or 0.123 points to 7.249.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 107 to 52 and 24 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.15% or 1.85 to $1239.75 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March fell 0.51% or 0.27 to hit $53.09 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.18% or 0.10 to trade at $55.55 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.55% to 1.0615, while EUR/GBP fell 0.07% to 0.8541.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.42% at 100.87.

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Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 1.03%

Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Consumer Goods, Healthcare and Consumer Services sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX added 1.03% to hit a new 52-week high.

The best performers of the session on the AEX were Unilever NV (AS:UNc), which rose 13.22% or 5.23 points to trade at 44.80 at the close. Meanwhile, Heineken (AS:HEIN) added 1.12% or 0.85 points to end at 76.90 and Relx NV (AS:RELN) was up 0.52% or 0.085 points to 16.465 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Vopak (AS:VOPA), which fell 7.13% or 2.98 points to trade at 38.81 at the close. Aegon (AS:AEGN) declined 4.54% or 0.239 points to end at 5.026 and ABN AMRO Group NV (AS:ABNd) was down 2.78% or 0.62 points to 21.88.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 75 to 52 and 8 ended unchanged.

Shares in Unilever NV (AS:UNc) rose to all time highs; up 13.22% or 5.23 to 44.80.

The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 4.30% to 13.59.

Crude oil for March delivery was down 0.51% or 0.27 to $53.09 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.20% or 0.11 to hit $55.54 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.14% or 1.75 to trade at $1239.85 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.54% to 1.0616, while EUR/GBP fell 0.08% to 0.8540.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.42% at 100.87.

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Finland stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 down 0.45%

Investing.com – Finland stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Healthcare, Basic Materials and Utilities sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 fell 0.45%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Neste Oil Oyj (HE:NESTE), which rose 0.90% or 0.31 points to trade at 34.83 at the close. Meanwhile, Sampo Oyj A (HE:SAMPO) added 0.21% or 0.09 points to end at 43.35 and UPM-Kymmene Oyj (HE:UPM) was up 0.09% or 0.02 points to 22.74 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Outotec Oyj (HE:OTE1V), which fell 2.86% or 0.160 points to trade at 5.435 at the close. Outokumpu Oyj (HE:OUT1V) declined 2.83% or 0.2800 points to end at 9.6150 and Cargotec Oyj (HE:CGCBV) was down 2.34% or 1.10 points to 46.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 91 to 52 and 11 ended unchanged.

Brent oil for April delivery was down 0.20% or 0.11 to $55.54 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March fell 0.49% or 0.26 to hit $53.10 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.13% or 1.65 to trade at $1239.95 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.54% to 1.0616, while EUR/GBP fell 0.07% to 0.8541.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.42% at 100.87.

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Belgium stocks lower at close of trade; BEL 20 down 0.24%

Investing.com – Belgium stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Technology, Utilities and Financials sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 lost 0.24%.

The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were Solvay SA (BR:SOLB), which rose 1.76% or 2.00 points to trade at 115.90 at the close. Meanwhile, Ontex Group (BR:ONTEX) added 1.72% or 0.49 points to end at 29.05 and Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG) was up 0.43% or 0.280 points to 65.170 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were ING Groep NV (AS:INGA), which fell 1.57% or 0.215 points to trade at 13.455 at the close. NV Bekaert SA (BR:BEKB) declined 1.46% or 0.62 points to end at 41.74 and Engie SA (PA:ENGIE) was down 1.03% or 0.12 points to 11.08.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Brussels Stock Exchange by 61 to 50 and 8 ended unchanged.

Shares in Solvay SA (BR:SOLB) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 1.76% or 2.00 to 115.90.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.13% or 1.65 to $1239.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March fell 0.51% or 0.27 to hit $53.09 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.22% or 0.12 to trade at $55.53 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.53% to 1.0617, while EUR/GBP fell 0.07% to 0.8541.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.41% at 100.86.

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Nigeria stocks higher at close of trade; NSE 30 up 0.66%

Investing.com – Nigeria stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Food, Beverages&Tobacco, Banking and Insurance sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lagos, the NSE 30 rose 0.66%.

The best performers of the session on the NSE 30 were Pz Cussons LG (LAGOS:PZ), which unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 points to trade at 13.39 at the close. Meanwhile, Access Bank (LAGOS:ACCESS) added 2.87% or 0.19 points to end at 6.89 and Nig Brew (LAGOS:NB) was up 1.75% or 1.98 points to 117.96 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Diamond Bank (LAGOS:DIAMONB), which fell 3.53% or 0.030 points to trade at 0.820 at the close. Fidelitybk (LAGOS:FIDELIT) declined 1.23% or 0.010 points to end at 0.800 and Fbn Holdings (LAGOS:FBNH) was down 1.20% or 0.040 points to 3.300.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Lagos by 21 to 10 and 64 ended unchanged.

Shares in Diamond Bank (LAGOS:DIAMONB) fell to all time lows; falling 3.53% or 0.030 to 0.820.

Crude oil for March delivery was down 0.43% or 0.23 to $53.13 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.14% or 0.08 to hit $55.57 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.17% or 2.15 to trade at $1239.45 a troy ounce.

EUR/NGN was up 3.12% to 335.270, while USD/NGN fell 0.71% to 314.750.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.42% at 100.87.

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Poland stocks lower at close of trade; WIG30 down 1.24%

Investing.com – Poland stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Chemicals, Information Technology and Oil&Gas sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Warsaw, the WIG30 lost 1.24%.

The best performers of the session on the WIG30 were Bank Zachodni WBK SA (WA:BZW), which rose 0.40% or 1.40 points to trade at 354.85 at the close. Meanwhile, mBank SA (WA:MBK) added 0.04% or 0.15 points to end at 408.00 and LPP SA (WA:LPPP) was down 0.07% or 3.65 points to 5440.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Synthos SA (WA:SNS), which fell 4.37% or 0.260 points to trade at 5.690 at the close. Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (WA:PGN) declined 4.15% or 0.25 points to end at 5.78 and Asseco Poland SA (WA:ACPP) was down 3.17% or 1.80 points to 55.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by 329 to 237 and 165 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for March delivery was down 0.37% or 0.20 to $53.16 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.13% or 0.07 to hit $55.58 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.20% or 2.45 to trade at $1239.15 a troy ounce.

EUR/PLN was up 0.33% to 4.3337, while USD/PLN rose 0.89% to 4.0825.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.44% at 100.89.

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Norway stocks lower at close of trade; Oslo OBX down 0.80%

Investing.com – Norway stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Transport, Banking and Energy sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX fell 0.80% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Orkla ASA (OL:ORK), which rose 1.48% or 1.10 points to trade at 75.35 at the close. Meanwhile, P/f Bakkafrost (OL:BAKKA) added 0.79% or 2.50 points to end at 319.30 and Lerøy Seafood Group ASA (OL:LSG) was up 0.75% or 3.3 points to 443.9 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were REC Silicon ASA (OL:REC), which fell 7.46% or 0.10 points to trade at 1.24 at the close. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC) declined 6.53% or 17.2 points to end at 253.7 and Seadrill Limited (OL:SDRL) was down 5.58% or 0.9 points to 16.1.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 131 to 55 and 18 ended unchanged.

Shares in Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC) fell to 52-week lows; losing 6.53% or 17.2 to 253.7.

Crude oil for March delivery was down 0.37% or 0.20 to $53.16 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.14% or 0.08 to hit $55.57 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.17% or 2.05 to trade at $1239.55 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was up 0.10% to 8.8553, while USD/NOK rose 0.65% to 8.3422.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.44% at 100.89.

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Russia stocks lower at close of trade; MICEX down 0.94%

Investing.com – Russia stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Mining and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Moscow, the MICEX declined 0.94% to hit a new 1-month low.

The best performers of the session on the MICEX were Polymetal International PLC (MCX:POLY), which rose 2.73% or 19.00 points to trade at 715.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Ros Agro PLC (MCX:AGRODR) added 1.76% or 14 points to end at 809 and Yandex NV (MCX:YNDX) was up 1.71% or 24.00 points to 1425.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Tatneft-3 (MCX:TATN), which fell 3.52% or 13.40 points to trade at 367.10 at the close. MMC Norilsk Nickel (MCX:GMKN) declined 2.38% or 237.0 points to end at 9720.0 and ALROSA ao (MCX:ALRS) was down 2.37% or 2.400 points to 99.000.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 123 to 98 and 24 ended unchanged.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MICEX options, was up 0.72% to 25.060.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.16% or 1.95 to $1239.65 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March fell 0.37% or 0.20 to hit $53.16 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.14% or 0.08 to trade at $55.57 a barrel.

USD/RUB was up 1.52% to 58.4737, while EUR/RUB rose 1.48% to 62.097.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.44% at 100.89.

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Italy stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com Italy 40 down 0.39%

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

At the close in Milan, the Investing.com Italy 40 fell 0.39%.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com Italy 40 were Mediaset (MI:MS), which rose 2.33% or 0.090 points to trade at 3.948 at the close. Meanwhile, UniCredit SpA (MI:CRDI) added 2.14% or 0.2700 points to end at 12.9000 and Poste Italiane SpA (MI:PST) was up 0.75% or 0.045 points to 6.055 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Banca Pop Emilia Romagna (MI:EMII), which fell 3.10% or 0.144 points to trade at 4.500 at the close. UBI Banca (MI:UBI) declined 2.05% or 0.0640 points to end at 3.0600 and Saipem (MI:SPMI) was down 1.99% or 0.0094 points to 0.4625.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Milan Stock Exchange by 218 to 123 and 12 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for March delivery was down 0.47% or 0.25 to $53.11 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.23% or 0.13 to hit $55.52 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.14% or 1.75 to trade at $1239.85 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was down 0.50% to 1.0621, while EUR/GBP rose 0.01% to 0.8548.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.38% at 100.83.

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U.S. stocks lower with Kraft Heinz and UnitedHealth in spotlight

Investing.com – Wall Street traded lower on Friday as a recent rally ran out of steam and investors focused on company headlines.

At 11:10AM ET (16:10GMT), the Dow Jones fell 58 points, or 0.28%, the S&P 500 lost 5 points, or 0.22%, while the Nasdaq Composite traded down 3 points, or 0.05%.

Losses in the Dow were attributed mainly to the fact that while Donald Trump gave his first solo press conference as President late on Thursday, he concentrated his remarks on defense of his administration and attacks on journalistic coverage.

The appearance offered no further details of his planned fiscal policies and tax cuts, leaving investors concerned about the fact that the President will still need to get approval from the U.S. Congress for any action he plans to take to spur the economy.

In a session with no macro data ahead of a long weekend with markets closed next Monday for Washington’s Birthday, investors found few excuses to continue pushing U.S. stocks higher.

In company news, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) led the Dow lower with losses of more than 4% as the U.S. Justice Department joined a lawsuit against the country's largest health insurer claiming that the firm and its units and affiliates overcharged Medicare hundreds of millions of dollars.

Also catching headlines, eyes were on Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) as Unilever (LON:ULVR) rejected its $143billion merger offer.

In big moves on earnings, Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE:NUS) tumbled nearly 12% as the beauty and nutritional care products maker missed estimates and released a lower-than-expected guidance.

On the upside, Truecar (NASDAQ:TRUE) jumped nearly 9% as the car-buying website operator beat consensus and gave an upbeat forecast for the current quarter.

Meanwhile, oil prices traded lower on Friday, extending losses in what looked to be its first weekly decline in five weeks.

Crude chalked up losses this week as the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that U.S. stockpiles of crude and gasoline hit record highs.

Oil prices have been stuck in a narrow range around the lower-to-mid-$50s over the past two months as investors weigh the impact of cuts in supply from the historic OPEC/non-OPEC agreement against record stockpiles of crude and increased drilling activity in the United States.

On that last note, investors also looked ahead to the Baker Hughes U.S. rig count data for the latest week that will be released later on Friday.

The number of rigs operating in the U.S. in the prior week increased by 8 last week, the 14th gain in 15 weeks. At 591 active rigs, the count was at its highest since October 2015 and nearly double the figure seen seven months ago.

U.S. crude futures lost 0.64% to $53.02 by 11:11AM ET (16:11GMT), while Brent oil traded down 0.25% to $55.51.

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Dollar index pushes higher in quiet trade

Investing.com - The dollar pushed higher against other major currencies in quiet trade on Friday, as optimism over the strength of the U.S. economy and hopes for a March rate hike by the Federal Reserve continued to support demand for the greenback.

EUR/USD slid 0.43% to 1.0627, off Thursday’s one-week peak of 1.0682.

The greenback remained supported after Fed Chair Janet Yellen told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that the central bank will likely need to raise interest rates at one of its upcoming meetings.

Ms. Yellen said that waiting too long to raise interest rates would be "unwise," given the rise in inflation and economic growth.

The dollar was also underpinned by Thursday’s upbeat U.S. jobless claims and building permits data.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD declined 0.54% to 1.2423 after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said retail sales decreased 0.3% in January, compared to expectations for a 0.9% rise.

Year-on-year, retail sales increased by 1.5% last month, compared to forecasts for a 3.4% gain.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales and fuel, fell 0.2% in January, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.7%.

USD/JPY fell 0.34% to 112.87, while USD/CHF gained 0.42% to trade at 1.0012.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.36% at 0.7668 and with NZD/USD shedding 0.37% to 0.7185.

Statistics New Zealand earlier reported that retail sales rose 0.8% in the fourth quarter, confounding expectations for an increase of 1.0%.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD rose 0.29% to trade at 1.3109.

Also Friday, Statistics Canada reported that foreign securities purchases increased by C$10.23 billion in December after a rise of C$7.26 billion in November, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated C$7.24 gain.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.36% at 100.81, pulling further away from the previous session’s one-week low of 100.40.

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Oil heads for first weekly decline in 5 weeks

Investing.com – Oil was lower Friday, extending losses in what looked to be its first weekly decline in five weeks.
U.S. crude was down 27 cents, or 0.51%, at $53.09 at 8:18 ET, while Brent crude slipped 34 cents, or 0.61%, to $55.31.
Oil chalked up losses this week as the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that U.S. stockpiles of crude and gasoline hit record highs.
Oil prices have been stuck in a narrow range around the lower-to-mid-$50s over the past two months as investors weigh the impact of cuts in supply from the historic OPEC/non-OPEC agreement against record stockpiles of crude and increased drilling activity in the United States.
On that last note, investors also looked ahead to the Baker Hughes U.S. rig count data for the latest week.
The number of rigs operating in the U.S. in the prior week increased by 8 last week, the 14th gain in 15 weeks

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Dollar higher vs. other majors, U.S. optimism resurfaces

Investing.com - The dollar moved higher against other major currencies on Friday, recovering from the previous session’s drop to a one-week trough as optimism over the strength of the U.S. economy and hopes for a March rate hike by the Federal Reserve retook center stage.

EUR/USD fell 0.22% to 1.0650, off Thursday’s one-week peak of 1.0682.

The greenback remained supported after Fed Chair Janet Yellen told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that the central bank will likely need to raise interest rates at one of its upcoming meetings.

Ms. Yellen said that waiting too long to raise interest rates would be "unwise," given the rise in inflation and economic growth.

The dollar was also underpinned by Thursday’s upbeat U.S. jobless claims and building permits data.

Elsewhere, GBP/USD declined 0.52% to 1.2425 after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said retail sales decreased 0.3% in January, compared to expectations for a 0.9% rise.

Year-on-year, retail sales increased by 1.5% last month, compared to forecasts for a 3.4% gain.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales and fuel, fell 0.2% in January, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.7%.

USD/JPY slid 0.43% to 112.75, while USD/CHF added 0.13% to trade at 0.9984.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.38% at 0.7668 and with NZD/USD shedding 0.26% to 0.7192.

Statistics New Zealand earlier reported that retail sales rose 0.8% in the fourth quarter, confounding expectations for an increase of 1.0%.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD held steady at 1.3078.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.14% at 100.58, pulling away from the previous session’s one-week low of 100.40.

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Top 5 Things to Know In the Market on Friday

Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Friday, February 17:

1. Trump offers no policy details in first news conference

Donald Trump gave his first solo press conference as President late on Thursday but concentrated his remarks on defense of his administration and attacks on journalistic coverage.

"The press is out of control," he said. "The level of dishonesty is out of control."

The appearance offered no further details of his planned fiscal policies and tax cuts, leaving investors concerned about the fact that the President will still need to get approval from the U.S. Congress for any action he plans to take to spur the economy.

2. Global stocks move lower as Trump disappoints

Global stocks traded broadly lower on Friday as Trump’s press conference failed to fuel further buying in equities and a sparse economic calendar left traders with little options other than to lock in profits after recent record highs.

U.S. futures showed average losses of about 0.3%, pointing to lower open on Friday after a mixed close the prior day. Trade volume was expected to be muted given the lack of major economic reports stateside and the fact that many traders may opt to close shop early given the three-day weekend with markets closed the following Monday for Washington’s Birthday.

European stocks moved lower on Friday, as markets paused following sharp gains earlier in the week and as investors focused on a fresh batch of corporate earnings reports.

Earlier, Asia closed lower as investors appeared disappointed by the lack of details at Trump’s press conference and kept eyes on Samsung (KS:005930) and Toshiba.

Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea, dealing a fresh blow to the technology giant and standard-bearer for Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Meanwhile, shares of Toshiba Corp. (T:6502) sank 9% as Standard & Poor’s said in a report on Friday that it could cut its credit rating by several notches should the Japanese firm receive financial support that includes debt restructuring,

3. Oil heads for first weekly decline in 5 weeks

Oil was slightly lower Friday, extending losses in what looked to be its first weekly decline in five weeks.

Crude chalked up losses this week as the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that U.S. stockpiles of crude and gasoline hit record highs.

Oil prices have been stuck in a narrow range around the lower-to-mid-$50s over the past two months as investors weigh the impact of cuts in supply from the historic OPEC/non-OPEC agreement against record stockpiles of crude and increased drilling activity in the United States.

On that last note, investors also looked ahead to the Baker Hughes U.S. rig count data for the latest week.

The number of rigs operating in the U.S. in the prior week increased by 8 last week, the 14th gain in 15 weeks. At 591 active rigs, the count was at its highest since October 2015 and nearly double the figure seen seven months ago.

U.S. crude oil futures fell 0.71% to $52.98 at 6:10AM ET (11:10GMT), while Brent oil traded down 0.92% to $55.14.

4. Gold heads for seventh weekly gain in eight weeks

Gold Futures managed to edge forward on Friday in early morning U.S. hours, recovering from earlier losses.

The precious metal remained trading not far from a three-month high and was set for its seventh weekly gain in eight weeks.

Some analysts have cautioned that the safe haven asset may be vulnerable as U.S. stocks remained near record highs amid optimism for the Trump administration’s plan to deliver tax reforms.

5. Dollar recovers from biggest drop this month

The dollar edged higher against other major currencies on Friday, recovering from what had, a day earlier, been its biggest drop since January 31.

The greenback eased off a one-week low as optimism over recent comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and upbeat U.S. economic reports resurfaced mildly and supported the currency.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.24% to 100.69 by 6:11AM ET (11:11GMT).

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India stocks higher at close of trade; Nifty 50 up 0.50%

Investing.com – India stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Healthcare, Oil&Gas and Banking sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 added 0.50% to hit a new 3-months high, while the BSE Sensex 30 index gained 0.59%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NS:SUN), which rose 3.67% or 23.80 points to trade at 673.10 at the close. Meanwhile, HDFC Bank Ltd . (NS:HDBK) added 3.55% or 47.10 points to end at 1375.00 and ICICI Bank Ltd . (NS:ICBK) was up 2.08% or 5.80 points to 284.60 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Bharti Infratel Limited (NS:BHRI), which fell 3.68% or 11.750 points to trade at 307.500 at the close. Hindalco Industries Ltd. (NS:HALC) declined 2.32% or 4.35 points to end at 183.40 and Idea Cellular Ltd (NS:IDEA) was down 1.81% or 1.95 points to 105.90.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (BO:SUN) which rose 4.03% to 675.45, HDFC Bank Ltd. (BO:HDBK) which was up 3.75% to settle at 1377.15 and Cipla Ltd. (BO:CIPL) which gained 1.58% to close at 592.60.

The worst performers were Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (BO:TCS) which was down 1.58% to 2408.15 in late trade, Hero MotoCorp Limited (BO:HROM) which lost 1.29% to settle at 3085.65 and Infosys Ltd (BO:INFY) which was down 1.21% to 999.70 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 788 to 706 and 68 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1384 rose and 1362 declined, while 190 ended unchanged.

Shares in HDFC Bank Ltd. (NS:HDBK) rose to all time highs; up 3.55% or 47.10 to 1375.00. Shares in HDFC Bank Ltd. (BO:HDBK) rose to all time highs; rising 3.75% or 49.80 to 1377.15.

The India Vix, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was down 2.17% to 13.4325.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.12% or 1.55 to $1243.15 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March fell 0.39% or 0.21 to hit $53.15 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract fell 0.54% or 0.30 to trade at $55.35 a barrel.

USD/INR was down 0.10% to 67.105, while EUR/INR fell 0.26% to 71.4183.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.19% at 100.64.

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Indonesia stocks lower at close of trade; IDX Composite Index down 0.50%

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Miscellaneous Industry, Agriculture and Manufacturing sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index declined 0.50%.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Roda Vivatex Tbk (JK:RDTX), which rose 20.00% or 1800.000 points to trade at 10800.000 at the close. Meanwhile, Destinasi Tirta Nusantara Tbk (JK:PDES) added 16.22% or 60 points to end at 430 and Island Concepts Indonesia Tbk (JK:ICON) was up 15.81% or 68 points to 498 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pelat Timah Nusantara Tbk (JK:NIKL), which fell 24.35% or 940 points to trade at 2920 at the close. Tira Austenite Tbk (JK:TIRA) declined 17.86% or 50.000 points to end at 230.000 and Apac Citra Centertex Tbk (JK:MYTX) was down 14.61% or 13 points to 76.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 194 to 124 and 106 ended unchanged.

Shares in Roda Vivatex Tbk (JK:RDTX) rose to all time highs; up 20.00% or 1800.000 to 10800.000. Shares in Destinasi Tirta Nusantara Tbk (JK:PDES) rose to all time highs; up 16.22% or 60 to 430.

Crude oil for March delivery was down 0.36% or 0.19 to $53.17 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April fell 0.41% or 0.23 to hit $55.42 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.07% or 0.90 to trade at $1242.50 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was up 0.12% to 13343.0, while AUD/IDR fell 0.14% to 10197.00.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.25% at 100.70.

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