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Retail Sales Little Changed as Americans Reluctant to Splurge

Posted by Forexsq 77 days ago (
img Sales at U.S. retailers were little changed in April, starting the second quarter on a weak note as Americans remained reluctant to splurge.

The reading followed a revised 1.1 percent gain in March that was the biggest in a year and larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday in Washington. The median forecast of 88 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent gain in April.

Consumers have been using the windfall from cheap gasoline to boost savings as wages have been slow to pick up, which may temper the projected rebound in U.S. growth this quarter. At the same time, steady hiring and low borrowing costs will help underpin household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

“Consumers are still spending quite selectively,” Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp., said before the report. “It definitely gets the quarter off on the wrong foot as far as the rebound goes. Wages are stuck in a t

Dollar dips in Easter holiday trade, jobs data overhang

Posted by Forexsq 114 days ago (
img The dollar cut early losses on Monday but continued to feel the carry-over effects of a disappointing U.S. jobs report from Friday that throws into question the timing for a U.S. interest rate increase.

Expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sometime later this year has fuelled the dollar's rally since mid-2014. Higher U.S. interest rates will put dollar-denominated assets at a yield advantage versus other currencies such as the euro and yen where interest rates are being kept low.

Friday's closely watched employment data showed U.S. non-farm payrolls rose by 126,000 in March, the smallest gain since December 2013 and well under the 245,000 economists had forecast. On the brighter side, average hourly earnings increased 0.3 percent.

European markets remained closed on Monday for the Easter holiday, limiting trading volumes.

"The market is underweight dollars and looking for opportunities to buy dollars because even with the weak NFP number last mon

Oil glut worsens as OPEC market-share battle just beginning: IEA

Posted by Forexsq 77 days ago (
img A global oil glut is building as OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia pumps near record highs in an attempt to win a market-share battle against stubbornly resistant U.S. shale production, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday.

The West's energy watchdog said in a monthly report that although higher-than-expected oil demand was helping to ease the glut, growth in global oil consumption was far from spectacular.

As a result, signs are emerging that the crude oil glut is shifting into refined products markets, which could make a recent rally in oil prices unsustainable.

"Despite tentatively bullish signals in the United States, and barring any unforeseen disruption elsewhere, the market's short-term fundamentals still look relatively loose," said the IEA, which coordinates energy policies of industrial nations.

Global oil production exceeds demand by around 2 million barrels per day, or over 2 percent, following spectacular growth in U.S. shale production and OPEC's d

Oil by Rail Exploded in Just the Last 5 Years

Posted by Forexsq 114 days ago (
img America's oil boom has unearthed new supplies of crude so fast that the nation's system of pipelines hasn't been able to keep up. And so an industry is born: Crude by rail.

The animated map below shows the remarkable rise of trains that ship oil to refineries across the country. There was a 50-fold increase in crude by rail between January 2010 and January 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration, which started to comprehensively track the industry for the first time last week. In 2014, more than a million barrels of crude a day traveled by rail.

The sudden rise of new horizontal-drilling techniques, and fracking, has pushed U.S. oil production to the highest since 1972. The new boom towns aren't adequately served by pipelines, so oil companies started loading the output into tanker cars. Rail shipping costs more than traditional pipelines, but it provides a a new level of flexibility and scalability to American oil.

Rail is now the primary mode of shippin

Euro-Area Bonds Climb as Coeure Says ECB to Expedite Purchases

Posted by Forexsq 72 days ago (
img Euro-area government bonds advanced as European Central Bank policy makers reasserted their commitment to the asset-purchase program that pushed yields across the region to record lows earlier this year.

Benchmark German 10-year yields dropped to the lowest level in a week after Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Monday the ECB will increase the pace of purchases under its quantitative-easing program in May and June. The central bank is ready to extend its bond-buying plan if needed, Governing Council member Christian Noyer said separately in Paris on Tuesday.

“The ECB is signaling its determination to maintain the bond-purchase program and accelerate the process before the summer due to liquidity concerns,” said Nick Stamenkovic, a fixed-income strategist at broker RIA Capital Markets Ltd. in Edinburgh. “This is supportive for European government bonds.”

Germany’s 10-year bund yield fell nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 0.56 percent at 9:32 a.m. Lond

Bitcoin and Market Crashes

Posted by Forexsq 114 days ago (
img Predicting big market crashes is a difficult business, many would say impossible. If enough investors believe a cataclysm is coming, their selling will simply make it happen sooner -- a dynamic that would quickly render any convincing forecasting method obsolete.

Nonetheless, a pair of physicists -- drawing inspiration from the market for bitcoin, no less -- might be on to something.

Jonathan Donier and Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, both of whom work at Paris-based hedge fund Capital Fund Management, started from an obvious idea: It would be easy to foresee big crashes if you could monitor the actual thoughts and expectations of all investors. With that kind of superhuman knowledge, you could get an early warning of emerging imbalances between pessimists and optimists, between likely sellers and buyers. Such imbalances set the groundwork for a crash -- specifically, when the number of potential buyers gets very small.

Of course, no one has access to such mental information. Yet Don

U.S. Index Futures Fall as Consumer Prices Show Inflation Pickup

Posted by Forexsq 68 days ago (
img U.S. stock-index futures fell, after data showing the fastest rise in consumer prices in two years bolstered speculation the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise interest rates soon.

E-mini futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June slipped 0.2 to 2,124.25 at 9:06 a.m. in New York, after the underlying index Thursday reached its fourth all-time high in six sessions. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 23 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,235. Markets are closed Monday for the holiday.

“Any time you do get a little bit stronger data, people kind of flinch,” said Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. in Newton, Massachusetts. “Their first reaction is that the Fed is getting what it wants to raise rates. The stock market is at new highs and a little overbought on a near-term basis, and people are taking some chips off the table ahead of the long weekend.”

A report Friday showed the cost of living excluding food and fuel rose at a faster pace than

Dollar Drop Signals World’s Best Forecaster to Start Buying

Posted by Forexsq 114 days ago (
img It’s time for investors who bailed on the dollar in the past few weeks to get back in, says the most-accurate currencies forecaster.

The greenback has tumbled 4.3 percent versus the euro since touching a 12-year high last month amid speculation the Federal Reserve will delay raising interest rates, in part because the dollar’s strength is hurting U.S. economic growth. That concern is overblown, according to ING Groep NV, which topped Bloomberg’s rankings of foreign-exchange analysts for the second quarter in a row.

“The market is now pricing in a very subdued pace of the tightening cycle -- we disagree,” Petr Krpata, a foreign-exchange strategist at ING in London, said on April 1 by phone. “We just see the latest correction as a perfect opportunity to get into the trade again.”

Even with the recent reversal, the dollar has rallied between 3.7 percent and 29 percent against all of its major peers since mid-2014 as the Fed’s plans to raise interest rates attracted cash to the U

U.S. private sector adds 237,000 jobs in June: ADP

Posted by Forexsq 28 days ago (
img U.S. private employers added 237,000 jobs in June, the biggest gain since December, suggesting further improvement in the jobs market which may allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP NationalEmployment Report would show a gain of 218,000 jobs.

May private payroll gains were revised up to 203,000 from an originally reported 201,000 increase, which was the smallest rise since January 2014.

The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.

The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Thursday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.

Economists polled by Reuters are looking for total U.S. employment to have grown by 230,000 jobs in June, down from May's 280,000 increase. The unemployment rate was forecast to slip to a seven-year low of 5.4 percent from 5.5 per

U.K. Services Growth Hits Seven-Month High as Economy Picks Up

Posted by Forexsq 114 days ago (
img U.K. services growth accelerated to a seven-month high in March as the broader economy gained momentum in the first three months of 2015.

Markit Economics said Tuesday its Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 58.9 from 56.7 in February. Economists had forecast 57, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The report, taken together with data last week on manufacturing and construction, suggests the economy will grow 0.7 percent this quarter after a 0.6 percent increase at the end of 2014, Markit said. Britain’s political parties are battling over claims to economic competency with less than five weeks to go before the general election.

“The U.K. economy moved up a gear in March,” Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said in a statement. “Faster growth of new business and improved expectations of prospects for the year ahead also bode well for the upturn to retain strong momentum as we move through the spring.”

Jobs Report Disappoints, Participation Rate Falls to Lowest Since 1977

Posted by Forexsq 27 days ago (
img Households are feeling upbeat about employment prospects as more respondents than at any time since early 2008 said jobs were plentiful, a Conference Board report showed on Tuesday.

A separate report Friday from the Labor Department showed applications for unemployment benefits held below 300,000 for a 17th straight week. Jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 281,000 in the week ended June 27. The median forecast called for 270,000 applications.

The figures indicate corporate managers are keeping headcounts in line with stronger consumer demand while overseas markets remain feeble. At the same time, more moderate job gains may still be enough to reduce the unemployment rate, consistent with the Federal Reserve’s perceived timetable to raise borrowing costs by year-end.

“This is a softer report than people expected but it’s certainly not a game changer,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, who projected a 225,000 gain.

Aussie jumps more than 1 percent as RBA keeps rates unchanged

Posted by Forexsq 114 days ago (
img The Australian dollar gained more than 1 percent against the U.S. dollar, on track for its biggest daily rise in more than two weeks, after the Reserve Bank of Australia surprised many investors by refraining from cutting interest rates.

The Aussie rose to $0.7711, its highest in a week, from around $0.76 before the decision and extending its recovery from a six-year trough of $0.7534 set on Thursday.

A fall in iron ore prices, Australia's single biggest export earner, and a currency that is still seen to be above fair value had left many convinced that the RBA would cut rates either this month or next.

The RBA policy board noted that while the Aussie had fallen against a strong greenback, the decline against a basket of currencies had been less and a lower exchange rate was needed to help the economy.

"Should the Aussie appreciate notably today or over the next few days we would have to come to the conclusion that the market has misunderstood the RBA's intention (in refra

Greek 'No' effect on Stocks and Forex market

Posted by Forexsq 23 days ago (
img Shares fell, the euro stumbled and yields on weaker euro zone economies' bonds rose after Greece overwhelmingly voted against conditions for a rescue package, but there was no rout and contagion was limited.

U.S. stock index futures ESc1 SPc1 indicated Wall Street would follow European and Asian share markets lower but there have been several worse days this year for markets vulnerable to events in Greece.

Analysts attributed the relatively muted reaction to expectations the European Central Bank would act to limit any damage. The ECB's governing council is holding a conference call on Monday to decide how long to keep Greek banks afloat.

"The market is, rightly or wrongly, taking a great deal of credence of the fact that the ECB has many more defense mechanisms in place than it did in 2011-12," said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life Investments.

"Some of the measures we've seen already could be seen as a subtle signal by the ECB that it is ready to

Here Are the Suspicious Moves in the Australian Dollar That Set Off an Investigation

Posted by Forexsq 113 days ago (
img The Australian dollar is up today after the Reserve Bank of Australia announced interest rates would remain unchanged, surprising most traders who were expecting a cut. However, regulators noticed that the spike actually began before the announcement was officially released. Even more bizarre, it's the third month in a row that the aussie has made a sharp move just moments before a monetary policy decision was made public.

As you can see of this chart of the minute before and after the 2:30 p.m. local release (22:30 U.S. Eastern Time) on February 3, the Australian Dollar Spot fell about 0.6 percent in the final seconds before the announcement was made.

Securities regulators in Australia say they will investigate the situation to see why this keeps happening. However, the fact that the moves happened right before the announcement doesn't necessarily mean someone is getting the information early. Sean Keane, an Auckland-based analyst at Triple T Consulting, told Bloomberg News tha

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