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451 (edited by KostiaForexMart 2022-04-19 15:41:18)

Re: ForexMart's Forex News

Covid-19 outbreak in China damages growth prospects of country's economy

China's economy is set to break growth records, but an unexpected outbreak of coronavirus, forced restrictive measures, and numerous problems abroad are limiting its surge.

In Q1 2022, the country's GDP showed fairly strong growth compared to the previous quarter. The GDP jumped by 4.8% on a yearly basis, according to the published data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China. According to Trading Economics, experts had forecasted China's economy to grow at a lower rate of 4.4%. Notably, in Q4 2021, China's GDP rose at an annualized rate of 4%. In the first three months from the beginning of this year, the Chinese economy grew by 1.3%.

China is trying to cope with the resulting domestic and external difficulties, compensating for the obvious dips in the economy in March with surprisingly strong growth of indicators in January and February. However, the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on China's economy cannot be avoided. Severe restrictive measures, which the Chinese government imposed on its population in March, undermined the production of goods and markedly reduced consumer spending within the country. Only the sharp growth of the economy in the first two months of 2022 formed quite optimistic overall figures for the entire first quarter.

Consequently, retail sales fell by 3.5% in March, showing a much worse-than-forecast reading, while in January-February they were estimated at 6.7%.

The Chinese labor market traditionally experienced a revival in March, as factories usually try to attract as many employees as possible to their shops after the Lunar New Year holiday. This March, however, the sector suffered a severe shock. According to surveys, the national unemployment rate in March was 5.8%, which was last seen only at the beginning of 2020. Moreover, unemployment in more than thirty major cities reached a record 6.0%.

The industrial sector in China showed more positive figures in March than the labor market. Given the widespread shutdowns, production managed to increase by 5.0% year-on-year and even beat forecasts of 4.5%. However, we should admit that compared to the unprecedented rise in January-February, when production increased by 7.5%, the figures for March were rather lackluster.

The investment into the fixed capital in the first quarter is following a similar scenario: investment increased, but there was some damage in March to the elated growth of the first two months of the year. Thus, investment in fixed capital in the first quarter grew by 9.3% year-on-year, but this growth is not so positive, as in the first two months alone it was as much as 12.2%. Notably, fixed-asset investment is the key growth driver of the Chinese economy. These are the indicators that the Chinese government is counting on.

The real estate market in China is increasingly slipping into recession. Home sales by value fell by a full 26.2% year-over-year in March, and new construction declined by 17.5%. According to Reuters, the drop was the largest since early 2020.

The unexpected outbreak of coronavirus in China derailed the enthusiastic growth of the economy and sent it into a sluggish state of moderate recovery. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the sanctions imposed on Russia have also hit key sectors of the Chinese economy, as they have shaped unprecedented increases in the prices of energy, metals, and wheat, and further undermined global supply chains.

Many economists are already highly doubtful that Beijing can achieve its goal of a 5.5% GDP increase this year. The Wall Street Journal notes that demand for Chinese exports in the US and Europe has been severely weakened due to record inflation last seen decades ago.

452 (edited by KostiaForexMart 2022-04-20 23:20:42)

Re: ForexMart's Forex News

Asian indices grow on hopes for support from government

Asia-Pacific stock indices showed mixed trading during Tuesday's session. The Chinese Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite indices increased by 0.12% and 0.06% respectively, while Hong Kong Hang Seng Index showed a rather significant decline of 1.88%. All other regional indicators rose. The Japanese Nikkei 225 index added 0.64%, the Korean KOSPI index gained 0.96%, and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 index increased by 0.52%.

The main reason for the growth of Asian indices was the message of the Central Bank of China about the creation and the soon involvement of a series of measures to state support of enterprises, which were most affected by restrictions related to the spread of coronavirus in the country.

There will also be an increase in lending in regions with a low rate of credit growth. It is suggested that more credit be given to firms engaged in transporting essential goods during the pandemic.

At the same time, there has been an increase in government regulation of companies involved in the technology sector.

The Chinese companies whose securities added in value are Link Real Estate Investment Trust gaining 1.55%, CNOOC, Ltd. increasing by 1.4%, and PetroChina Co. adding 1.2%.

The Nikkei 225 was boosted by the declining yen. This is more beneficial for exporting companies as it increases their potential income.

In February 2022, there was an increase in Japan's industrial production by 2%. In January, this indicator showed a decline of 2.4%. At the same time, the indicator exceeded the forecasts of experts, who assumed that the growth would be only 0.1%.

Meanwhile, investors remain concerned about rising energy and food costs. They lack confidence that central banks can combat inflation without undermining business activity in their states.

Among the companies on the Japanese index, Pacific Metals Co. added 8.4%, Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co. gained 5.2%, and Mazda Motor Corp. increased by 4.8%.

Other Japanese companies showed smaller increases. Toyota Motor Corp. added 1.3%, and Toshiba Corp. jumped by 1.5%. SoftBank Group Corp. dropped by 1.7%, and Fast Retailing Co. decreased by 1.5%.

Among the companies on the KOSPI index, Samsung Electronics Co. added 1.35%, and Hyundai Motor Co. increased by 1.1%. However, Kia Corp. grew only by 0.1%.

Among the components of the S&P/ASX 200 index, BHP Group, Ltd. jumped by 1.3%, and Rio Tinto, Ltd. increased by 1.5%.

Gold quotes fell to more than a week's low

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard sees no need for the Fed to raise interest rates by more than 50 basis points. However, the central bank has previously raised interest rates more strongly, and therefore Bullard does not rule out a potential increase of 75 basis points.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said on Tuesday that federal funds rates could reach 2.5% by the end of the year.

June COMEX gold futures closed down $27.40, or 1.4%, at $1,959 an ounce, the lowest since April 11, while May silver futures fell 76 cents, or 2. 9%, to $25.391 an ounce.

As a result of Monday's session, gold reached the closing high for the most actively traded contracts since March 10. That day, trading ended at a 19-month high of $2,000.40, according to Dow Jones data.

Gold prices rose in six of the last seven sessions, despite rising Treasury yields and a stronger dollar. Rising bond yields increase the opportunity cost of owning gold, which does not generate coupon income. At the same time, the strengthening of the dollar makes commodities denominated in this currency more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The dollar continued to rise on Tuesday: the ICE dollar index, which tracks the dynamics of the US currency against a basket of six other currencies, reached a maximum since March 2020. The Japanese yen fell sharply against the dollar as the BOJ remains overly loose as the US Federal Reserve prepares to sharply raise interest rates and cut its asset balance in an attempt to contain rising inflation.

Meanwhile, gold is gaining support amid the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Gold is considered a safe-haven asset during times of geopolitical uncertainty.

Technical analysis shows the potential for growth in gold prices, Otunuga notes, but quotes, apparently, are forming a new range. Support is located around $1960 and resistance is at $2000. In the event of a fall below $1960, prices could drop to $1920. In the event of a break above $2,000, the quotes may test the strength of the resistance levels located at the levels in 2009, 2015 and 2050 dollars.

Meanwhile, May copper futures ended the day down 1.8% at $4.718 a pound. July platinum futures fell 3.1% to $988.70 an ounce, while June palladium contracts fell nearly 2.7% to $2,380.40 an ounce.

Re: ForexMart's Forex News

Oil market news: while prices falling, return to the old days remains impossible

Oil is declining sharply on Monday due to expectations of falling demand for energy resources in China. Thus, June futures on Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange is estimated at $101.37 per barrel today, down by 4.49% from the previous session's close. The price of WTI futures for June on NYMEX electronic trading is $97.42 per barrel, which is 4.42% lower than the result of the previous trading. According to last week's results, the price of benchmark Brent crude fell by 4.5% and WTI crude dropped by 4.1%.

China's largest city and financial center, Shanghai, reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases in the past two days - 39 deaths. The total number of deaths among those infected in this city with a population of 25 million people now stands at 87. The first deaths in Shanghai were reported on April 18. A lockdown was imposed in Shanghai on March 28, with most businesses shut down, markets and stores closed and residents locked in their homes and apartments. The population in Shanghai is daily tested for COVID-19 and those who test positive are sent to isolation centers.

Lockdown in Shanghai strongly affects global markets, as huge batches of Chinese components due to idling in factories and plants simply cannot reach production facilities in other countries.

The lockdowns fully affected the demand for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, which in China in April is likely to fall by 20% on a yearly basis. According to Bloomberg, the fuel price drop only for the current month has all chances to reach 1.2 million barrels per day. If this forecast comes true, the drop will be the most rapid since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Chinese city of Wuhan more than two years ago.

In the light of Russia's rapidly developing military action in Ukraine, the situation in the oil markets is getting much worse. However, the disrupted global supply chain system, skyrocketing inflation, and acute shortages of energy resources were observed in the world even before the Russian special military operation, which has only worsened the prospects and made it impossible to find a quick way out of the current situation.

However, according to some experts, the conflict in Ukraine will end sooner or later, after which the global commodity market will return to its normal pre-crisis state. For example, analyst Michael Lynch reported in Forbes magazine that Russia's military operation will definitely end. The oil market will no longer have reason to worry, and it is sure to return to normal, and fuel prices will fall to quite acceptable levels. Analysts believe that the situation will be normalized by the lifting of sanctions against Russia. The return to the normal operation of the energy market is probably the main condition for Western European countries to maintain their economies and their usual standards of living.

However, the lifting of sanctions is a forced measure for the political elites of the European Union, but not for the United States. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who has repeatedly stressed in his speeches that it did not matter to his country whether Russia ends its military operation or not, the sanctions against it would not be lifted by the United States anyway.

Oil Price reported that the long duration of today's stalemate increases the chance that there would be no return to the old pattern. For example, the fact that Europe is shifting from pipeline gas to liquefied natural gas and that Russian exports are shifting to Asian markets is irreversible. In this regard, the prognosis so far is disappointing for buyers: high oil prices promise to remain so for a long time.

Re: ForexMart's Forex News

May 6. Brent rose to $114 per barrel

The price of oil is rising on Friday on continuing concerns that the market will face a shortage of supply.

The current Brent quote is $112.57 (the daily maximum is at $114 per barrel). WTI oil is trading at $109.56 (the daily maximum is $110.84 per barrel). Analysts note that since the beginning of the week, oil quotes have increased by more than 5% and may end with a strong increase for the third week in a row.

OPEC+ countries yesterday agreed to maintain the plan to increase the production quota in June by 432 thousand barrels per day. However, despite a systematic increase in quotas since August 2021, OPEC+ cannot reach the permitted production level. It is noted that by the end of March, producers lagged behind by 1.45 million b/s.

Meanwhile, European states are preparing to restrict oil imports from Russia. Earlier this week, the European Commission proposed to impose an embargo on Russian oil supplies to EU countries as part of the upcoming sixth package of sanctions. An additional impact on the dynamics of oil prices is the concern about demand due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China, as well as about the increasingly narrowing supply.

Moreover, the US has announced its intention to start buying oil on the market to replenish the strategic reserve (SPR). It is expected that the Ministry of Energy will begin accepting applications from sellers this fall, although real deliveries will begin later.

May 5. Bank of England hikes interest rates to 13-year high

The Bank of England has raised interest rates to the highest level since 2009 to counter inflation, which could exceed 10% this year.

The regulator raised the rate from 0.75% to 1%. Some representatives of the central bank called for an even greater increase – up to 1.25%, in order to eliminate the risk of inflation entering the economy.

Today's Bank of England move represents the fourth consecutive rate hike since December – and the fastest increase in borrowing costs in 25 years.

The regulator also did not rule out further tightening of monetary policy in the coming months.

In addition, the Bank of England said that it is also concerned about the impact of China's policy to block Covid-19, which threatens to hit supply chains again and increase inflationary pressures.

Re: ForexMart's Forex News

May 13. Oil market shows signs of recovery

The price of oil continues to rise on Friday amid uncertainty about the imposition of a European embargo on oil supplies from Russia. Some EU countries believe that it is necessary to postpone the embargo on Russian imports if Hungary still does not support this ban.

An additional influence on price dynamics is exerted by the situation in China, where the incidence of Covid-19 has declined.

The current Brent oil quote is $108.87 per barrel. The daily high was marked at $109.72. The cost of North American WTI oil is located near $107.30 (the daily maximum is $108.12 per barrel).

Investors also drew attention to the forecast of the International Energy Agency (IEA), according to which the decline in the supply of Russian oil on the world market in the second half of the year may reach 3 million barrels per day. In April, Russia had already reduced production by almost 1 million b/d, which led to a reduction in global supplies by 710 thousand b/d (to 98.1 million b/d).

At the same time, pressure on the oil market is exerted by fears that a rapid tightening of monetary policy by world central banks will provoke an economic downturn and a subsequent decline in demand for energy resources.

May 12. Bitcoin has broken through the level of $26 thousand

The bitcoin exchange rate continues its decline, which began yesterday. The current quote of the most popular cryptocurrency is $27.775.40, the daily minimum was marked at $25.845. The market capitalization of the asset decreased to $515 billion with daily trading volumes of $ 71 billion.

The crypto market began to decline after the publication of inflation data in the United States. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose by 8.3% in April. This indicator turned out to be 0.2% higher than forecasts (8.1%) and approached the highs for 40 years.

Such statistics somewhat scared investors who hurried to get rid of high-risk assets, including cryptocurrencies. According to experts, both stocks and crypto assets fell in price, which caused panic in the market.

It is worth noting that bitcoin has already fallen below the level of $29 thousand twice in a week. Experts call the $30 thousand level a landmark reference point for bitcoin – until recently, the cryptocurrency rose above $40 thousand, but quickly returned back.

Another event that had an impact on the cryptocurrency market was the news about the Terra project. Unexpectedly, the popular TerraUS stablecoin rapidly collapsed, its exchange price was much less than the declared $ 1. At the same time, it is known that the stablecoin was provided by other digital assets, including bitcoin.

In addition to bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies have also fallen in price. The Ethereum exchange rate today is located at $1909.35 (the daily minimum is $1720.58). The cost of Binance Coin has lost 26%, XRP and Solana have become cheaper by 28% and 35%, respectively. The overall valuation of the cryptocurrency market decreased by 18.5% to $1.2 trillion.

Re: ForexMart's Forex News

May 16. Gold fell below $1,800 for the first time since the beginning of February

Today, the price of gold fell below the psychological level of $1,800 for the first time since the beginning of February. The daily low was fixed at $1,785.40 per troy ounce. The current quote for the precious metal is $1,815.87.

Analysts note that at the end of the past week, the price of gold fell by 3.9%, a record pace since June 2021.

Experts say that the main reason for the decline in quotes is the strong dollar and the growing yield of bonds, because against this background, gold, which does not bring interest income, loses its attractiveness in the eyes of investors.

The ICE currency index, which shows the dynamics of the dollar against six major world currencies, is down about 0.15% on Monday after rising to a 20-year high last Friday.

July futures for silver, meanwhile, are growing in price – up to $ 21.465 per ounce. Moreover, last week silver finished falling by 6.2%, the maximum since the end of January.

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