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January 9th, 2015 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

The value and number of trades of blue-chip shares has increased this year based on the data presented by the London Stock Exchange.

Apprehensions of a flare-up of the Eurozone crisis, the cascading price of oil and the currency tumult in Russia drove a surge in FTSE 100 share dealing on the London Stock Exchange this year.

Nearly, 110 million trades in blue-chip shares had been carried out by mid-December, up from 90.4 million last year and the most since the financial crisis went in 2008, based on a data compiled by the LSE.

The total value of the FTSE 100 trades went up with £825.3 billion-worth of shares changing hands during the period. That was comparative with the £707.9 billion during the entire 2013 and places the 2014 on course to be the largest year for the value traded in the past four years.

Analysts have been referring that the ominous headlines from Greece wherein the elections have been threatening to cascade the Eurozone back into crisis and Russia, which has been thrown into economic turmoil by western sanctions along with this year’s plunge in crude had ignited increased market volatility and trading volume.

Since the FTSE 100 is not considered a domestic index, the companies on it are global companies affected by global trends. More than two-thirds of the merged revenues of blue-chip companies are generated overseas and so the benchmark index is greatly influenced by movements in sentiments towards the global economy.

The upheaval in commodity markets has assisted to encourage spur trading in the FTSE 100, which is bias towards international miners and oil companies that are together accountable for the 20pc of the benchmark index.

Iron ore declined into a bear market this year, a plunge that has resulted in investors’ attention to the blue chip mining giants such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Correspondingly, the oil disturbance casted a spotlight on shares in BG Group, Royal Dutch Shell and BP which were sold on the lower back of the crude oil’s decline.
As a consequence, the FTSE 100 has lasted a turbulent year, rising as high as 6, 904.86 and falling as low as 6,072.68 before closing at 6,633.51 last week.

The uptick in trading extended well beyond the FTSE 100, yet with the European exchanges experiencing an increase in volumes, several spread-betting companies that provide traders with access to foreign exchange and commodities similarly experienced an increase in client activity following the surge of volatility across the financial markets.




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January 7th, 2015 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

The U.S. dollar concluded 2014 with a gain or almost 13 % against a basket of major currencies last week which was its strongest year since the 1997 and based on most major banks, just a prelude to an even further increase next year.

Traders favoured the dollar as this year’s winning bet which headed into the New Year and pushed the euro to a fresh 29-month low against the greenback of $1.2098, just below a closely monitored $1.21 technical level. Moreover, the dollar was able to hit a new 29-month high against the Swiss franc of 0.9944 in a rather narrow trade.

The dollar index which basically measures the greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies was last seen 0.33 % at 90.288. The index was able to post its biggest yearly gain since in soared over 13 % back in 1997.

The winning trade has long been regarded in the dollar and traders are closing the year holding on to their respective dollar positions.

The stark contrast between the U.S. Federal Reserve’s path towards raising interest rates next year and looser monetary policies in the Eurozone and Japan will be the compelling force behind the dollar index’s rise to its highest in more than 8-1/2 years last week.

Still, it is not clear whether there will be additional gains in the first half of next year might pull the Fed off its plans to increase their rates. Furthermore, the turbulence might grow in developing markets, especially China. Political instability and upheaval might threaten Greece’s presence in the euro which added concerns over the global financial system.

Volatility is certainly more likely to go up and that the upward trend in the dollar would likely to persist. The euro last down 0.48 % against the dollar at $1.2098. The dollar was last up 0.52 % against the franc at 0.9939 franc. The dollar was likewise up 0.28 % against the yen at 119.79 yen.

Sterling was an exception and was last up 0.17 % against the dollar at $1.5585. On Wall Street, major indexes were on track to close out 2014 slight off record levels with the benchmark S&P 500 stock index last down at 0.86 %.




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January 2nd, 2015 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

As the bull market congregates and gathers its momentum, brokerage houses are making new approaches to draw clients in order to get a hefty share of their profit. WealthRays Securities and ICICdirect both having recently spearheaded their respective plans wherein customers will be paying only if they make a substantial profit on an intraday trade.

Should the trades result in considerable loss, they will no longer be paying any brokerage coverage. As per ICICdirect’s structure, investors can make various trades in Nifty contracts intraday and pay brokerage only if the trade is considered profitable.

ICICdirect made claims in using data analytics to better appreciate and understand customer/client behaviour and favourably believes that this structured approach will better secure the interest of investors who, more often than not, won’t be required to exit their derivative trades in fear of higher net losses due to additional brokerage expenditures and costs.

Paying more brokerage only when one profits will greatly assist investors exit positions that are purely based on their outlook regarding the market without bothering about any additional expenses that they are anticipating to incur. Furthermore, ICICdirect has commenced its offers to this scheme only among Nifty contracts which gives account to roughly 65 % of the total number of derivatives.




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December 31st, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Successful investing is basically about management risk and diversification. In much simpler terms, it means not having all of your cards laid down. Traders and investors are very much aware that the moment they are not diversified, the entire deck of cards can be wiped out.

Gold is an asset which is best known for its unique rarity and elemental near indestructibility and as a status of a universal currency. Individuals have used gold as a means to store wealth and as an insurance against the erratic depreciations and fluctuations of paper money and other similar macroeconomic and geopolitical risks.

In a globalised economy and increasingly incorporated economy investments in the precious element should be based on current macro-economic fundamentals. Despite the innovations in the financial markets which gave investors a variety of options to invest in this asset class, the same could not be predicted of the effects of an unstable economy.

The options available to the investment in terms of gold ranges from physical gold, bars, bullion coins, jewellery and even exchange traded funds. Investing in physical gold has its own perks and disadvantages. On one hand, physical gold ownership can involves several number of costs which includes storage and insurance costs along with transaction fees and mark-ups linked with purchases and selling the commodity.

Investors can also invest in gold by making use of financial products such as spread betting and futures. With these products, betting on the future movements in the price of gold price is much more convenient. Traders don’t physically own gold and they need not have the right to take possession of any gold for that matter.


All of these products provide traders the opportunity to leverage their investments. In other words, they can loan and augment the size of their respective bets. This in turn would bolster profit if the gold price goes in the right direction. However, it can also increase your losses should things go south. They could end up losing all of their preliminary investments and even possibly a sum much greater than their original investment.

Individuals who are considered “high-net worth” should all the more take extreme precaution in their exposure to gold futures instead than just the physical gold since it can be held in a dematerialised form. Since futures trade bolsters the leverage of the bet, it stretches the returns from the investment. In addition, benefits such as easier transactions and extended trading hours in commodity markets is the benefit that HNI investors can fully enjoy.

It is easy to jump start a short position or even a long position which provided participants a great amount of flexibility. This benefit would not have been possible with physical gold unless the investors owns physical gold and then later liquidate it.

All the records on investments in terms of futures of gold are presently electronically maintained with the broker whereas physical gold is either stored in the banks or in the home. This results in a higher holding costs and security risk. A note of caution is that there can be substantial profits for those who get involved in trading futures on both silver and gold. Futures trading is best left to traders who have the proficiency needed to succeed in these types of markets.




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December 26th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

The U.S. dollar was elevated at its lowest level against the safe-haven yen in an estimated one month last week while the Russian ruble continued its dive against the greenback following an extended decline in oil prices sparked concerns over the global economy.

The dollar likewise hit more than three-week lows against the Swiss franc and the euro following the fall of Brent crude below $59 a barrel for the first time in more than five years which significantly extended a six-month sell-off resulting in traders to take profit from recent dollar strength.

The continued oil plunge is causing volatility in currencies which causes people to take profit in the dollar. The threat that the cascading oil prices pose to the Russian economy as well as the central bank’s failure to curb the currency’s plunge through an emergency rate hike, resulted to the Russian currency to fall further to record lows of more than 70 per dollar. The sale of gas and oil are considered Russia’s primary source of export revenue.

The dollar was last up 9.61 % against the ruble which was traded at 72.37 rubles. When there is a deeply mono-export culture which is connected to oil, then the consequences of much lower prices are generally considered quite unlucky.

Experts likewise said that the drop in oil prices might give the Fed all the more reason to maintain an accommodative position towards monetary policy at the end of the two-day meeting last week which prompted the U.S. central bank to keep near-zero benchmark interest rates on hold for much longer. That suspicion impacted the dollar which resulted to traders preferring the yen.

A Fed rate hike is expected to augment the dollar by attracting investment flows into the United States. The euro was last up 0.6 % against the dollar at the rate of $1.2512, which was not far from the three-week high of $1.2569. The dollar was then last seen below 0.61 % against the Swiss franc at 0.9596 franc, just short over the three-week low of 0.9555.

The dollar was last down 0.97 % against the yen at 116.68 yen, holding near the session low of 115.58 which was considered its lowest since the 17th of November. Furthermore, on Wall Street, the benchmark of S&P 500 stock index was last up 0.45 % respectively.




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December 24th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Just recently, the Russian Duma (the lower parliament) has proceeded with the second reading of the Russian FX bill which sets forth the full measure in which the FX industry in Russia will be controlled on a federal and official basis. Russian lawmakers indicated their acquiescence for a third reading which has just recently been concluded.

With regards to a third reading, this procedure extends the manner albeit its acceptance by the official government. But according to the Russian legal, the third reading which if duly accepted, the bill will only require the signature of the Russian chief executive in order for it to become a law.

This will invoke, an encompassing and binding set of legal parameters in which the entire FX companies must abide thrusting Russia into the territories of nations along with FX industries namely; the U.S, Britain, Cyprus and Australia.

The reports clarifies the pertinent issues which included a ban on CFD trading in one of the largest jurisdictions in the world. Such move is the very least surprising given that the imposition of such hefty restrictions on the scope of instruments provided for trading clients of FX brokers in Russia were not mentioned. This marked the direction to which it counters that of many industry participants that are presently flocking to issue CFD trading facilities and taking Britain’s well established CFD model to a global perspective.

One plausible reason for doing this is the plan of the Russian government to align the novel regulations with those of the U.S.. This has been reflective in the requirement to Russian FX brokers to become members of a self-regulatory organisation. Like their counterpart rivals in the U.S., which requires registration with the National Futures Association (NFA), Russian authorities basically copied the structure of their longtime rival.
It can be concluded clearly that Russia’s authorities are not that well equipped to allow any platform for that matter to be used other than those which aims to facilitate spot FX.

Truly, if there should be any ruckus as volatile as in the recent times, this ensures that market participants conduct spot FX to ensure stability compared with those wishing to make purchases of futures contracts involving major currency and volatile ruble.

The aligning of Forex regulations had something to do with Russia’s ambitions to augment the role of its national currency despite its present struggle under the pressure of falling oil prices. Bolstering the role of Russia as a marketplace, aligning it with the U.S. and further bulking up the role of the Ruble on the international stage which is regarded as a worthwhile goal.

Strict rules regarding trading software and infrastructure is very vital to achieve all of the aforementioned plans. Supposedly, this involves the requirement in the FX bill that demands Forex brokers to include in their trading software systems (including back-up systems) that are predominantly found in Russia.

Russia’s FX brokers will also be facing one of the highest capital demands of at least RUB 100 million and with this leverage that will be tightly limited to 1:50 with the Bank of Russia to be allowed to extend this 1:100 in most cases, still many still considers it to be within acceptable the range.




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December 19th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

U.K. stocks were able to edge higher last week following the sinking of a five-week low, although gains were only modes ahead of a heavy data session. The FTSE 100 was up 0.3 % at 6,520 in the early deals assisted by a small rebound in the energy sector.

A three-day sell-off eradicated 3.5 % off the value of the Footsie which hurled the index to its lowest level since November 4 which closed Wednesday’s session at 6,500.04.

Concerns regarding a diminishing oil price, political disparity in Greece and a steeper-than-expected slowdown in China tolled heavily on global stock markets last week.

Sentiment was regained when China told banks to issue more loans in the final months of 2014 in order to augment lending. The People’s Bank of China allegedly reported a lacklustre limits on banks’ loan-to-deposit ratios which allowed lenders to give out a record worth £1.03 trillion worth of loans over 2014 as a whole.

Oil prices slightly became stable, but were still close to the fresh five-year lows that reached last week following the cutback by OPEC of its demand forecast for the succeeding year and the U.S. reported a revelation of an increase in crude stockpiles. For now, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister questioned OPEC’s requirement to ease output albeit an excess in supply.

Investors were apt in keeping a close observation on economic data last week, with inflation figures out in Germany and retail sales, business inventories and jobless claims in the State. The European Central Bank will be publishing its monthly bulletin within the week.

Energy shares recoil, Whitbread and Bunzl plummets

Stocks in the oil services and oil producing sectors were making gains on as investors pursue bargains in the repercussions of the recently concluded sell-off.
Petrofac, Shell, BP, Tullow Oil were all making tough efforts to maintain their respective spot.
Moving past the other way was outsourcing group Bunzl following a full-year underlying revenue growth would be approximately 2.5 % as compared with a 3 % increase reported in the third quarter.

Whitbread, the proprietor of Costa coffee, along with Beefeater and Premier Inn were underpinned with a slight slowdown in like-for-like sales growth during the third quarter to 6 % from a previous 7 % in the first half.
Sports Direct was able to creep higher following its announcement that the fundamental profits that arose during the first half as decent top-line growth was received with a strong improvement in terms of margins which was later described as being solid.

Finally, a number of stocks were being traded following a going ex-dividend last week among which Associate British Foods, Babcock, Aberdeen Asset Management and 31 Group were all included.




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December 17th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

It has since been a turbulent year for the industry with the first eight months of 2014 bringing a number of challenges for clients and providers alike of CFD and forex trading services. The lack of volatility across a diverse asset classes has been censured for a protracted period of consolidation for a number of businesses

Singapore, which is one of the richest countries in the world was not been exempted to this trend as a massive survey by Australian research organisation Investment Trends reveal. While the survey was conducted, before the increase in FX volatility came to the marketplace, the results are revealed diminishing appetite of Singaporean traders towards FX in past recent years.

Based on the survey, which was reviewed by Forex Magnates, there were 20,200 investors that have traded FX and/or CFDs in the region throughout the 12 months up to September of 2014. While this represents a yearly decline of 8 % when scaled down 17,000 (flat year-on-year) of those traded CFDs while 13,000 traded forex were down 13 % year-on-year respectively.

While the CFDs markets in the country have finally since gained control following years of steady declines, peaking out at 23,000 traders in three years ago, the same cannot be accounted about forex trading. The trend there is a continuing decline from 29,000 in 2010 during the first year the survey commenced.

Philip Futures Leading Forex OANDA and CFD Brokers Market Share Charts

Based on the survey of 10,000 respondents, Phillip Futures is regarded as the most popular choice for CFD traders at just below 25 %, with IIG Markets tailing behind the second spot at around 17 % followed by City Index and CMC Markets close behind third and fourth (just below 14 % each) respectively.

The recently acquired GAIN capital by City Index has been at the vanguard of the growing and steady business activity throughout the past four years while a relative newcomer to the CFD market OANDA commenced from zero in 2012 and has achieved 5 % market share in the CFDs trading arena correspondingly.

On the forex trading front, the control position of IG Markets last year has been heavily challenged by OANDA which has grown its market share by close to 6 % over the past year and is now being provided with its foreign exchange trading services to just unde18 % of traders in Singapore.

Although IG consolidated its position when compared to last year, which held just above 15 % of the market, it was CMC Markets that expanded its position this year surpassing Phillip Futures for the third spot.

IG, OANDA and CMC Markets are leading the way in customer satisfaction rates with customer providing them positive ratings with OANDA at 92 % while IG and CMC Markets get the consent of 86 % of their clients.

Commendable Mobile Trading Statistics in Singapore

Singapore still remains an advance hub and its population is quite perceptive in participating in accelerating technology adoption trends. Based on the data gathered by Investment Trends, 88 % of present traders are utilising mobile platforms in relation to their CFDs or forex trading activities which is 6 % higher than that of last year and 24 % higher as compared in 2012.

Inquisitively, while Android platform-based devises have overtaken iOS in the country for the first time, it could only be a short term development only as the sales rate of the sixth-gen Apple iPhone has thrust Apple’s stock to all time highs.

Traders from Singapore are paving the way in global charts representing mobile device usage for trading leveraged financial products with the U.K. and the U.S. for the third and second spot.

Singapore remains a challenging marketplace with the tough regulatory framework in the country handled by the Monetary Authority of Singapore has been demanding on brokers who are apt in settling in the country. Moreover, with the solid financial focal point in the region, it can serve as a regional hub for brokers targeting the rewarding Far East market.




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November 13th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Continental Resources Incorporated, the biggest oil producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation, posted a quarterly profit last week which met Wall Street’s expectations, aided by higher oil production and exceeding decision to prevent hedging the price of oil.

The move to sell all crude oil hedge positions for the next three years profited Continental a hefty $433 million one-time gain during the quarter.

The recent downdraft in oil prices as indefensible given the needed fundamental change in supply and demand. Moreover, the chief executive of prompted to monetise almost all of the outstanding oil hedges which allows for traders to fully participate in what is anticipated to be an oil price recovery.

Hedging provides commodity producers security from the steep price drops, though it can also set limits to profits should prices jump too high by exiting hedging. The betting dropped more than 25 % in terms of oil prices but a short -term fluke bounded the same to reverse the course.

The move was not extraordinary as Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp went to do some little hedging for their respective own production.

In a strategic hedge, Continental’s 2015 capital spending was slashed by well over $600 million indicating that they are not drilling any more rigs in the fields while prices are still down.

Given the circumstances, Continental doesn’t expect its production to jump as it did as previously forecasted next year.

Continental’s finance chief strategist asserted that they are not choosing to accelerate development by next year and will instead bse just maintaining its present pace.

The company was able to post its third-quarter net income of $533.5 million or $1.44 per share as compared with $167.5 million or 54 cents per share last year.

Including the hedging gain and other similar one-time items, the company posted profit of 81 cents per share which met analysts’ prediction according to a study by Thompson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quarterly production went up 29 % to an average of 182, 335 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Furthermore, Continental will be foregoing the title of the largest North Dakota oil producer in the coming months when rival Whiting Petroleum is expected to close on its buyout of Kodiak Oil Gas Corporation.




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November 11th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Whilst the republican Party will not be assuming its Senate Majority until January of next year, U.S. stock investors are now betting the new congressional makeup which could lead to a quicker action on pipelines and trade agreements which sent energy shares skyrocketing last week.

Wall Street was able to rise broadly in its first session following midterm elections, yet energy and medical device companies (two sectors that effect a more direct impact from legislative measures) had been outsized in their moves.

Part of the broader market’s move was based on relief that the Senate majority was not in hesitation; investors had been concerned in some close races which forced into run-offs, an outcome that could have delayed knowing who would control Congress’s upper chamber in the coming weeks.

It appeared like some of the races would be very close and that there is an apparent control of the Senate. Still in the end, the results were more or less decisive. The good news for the industries is that the same was subject to regulatory issues.

The S&P Energy sector went up 1.5 % on optimism that the Republican control of the Senate will result in reforms in crude and natural gas export laws which motivated the Obama administration to include those energy exports in new or broader, trade agreements.

TransCanada Corp had one of the largest election-related bounces, extending 2.4 % to $49.51 on the New York Stock Exchange. The keystone XL pipeline project could find its way with an easier approval with a Republican-led Senate.

The jump in energy was in part sparked by its recent weakness. The group is the only existing industry in the S&P 500 with a negative year-to-date returns, which was pressured by a massive drop in the price of crude oil.

Similar issues may also find traction under Republicans including a possible repeal of the medical-device tax which included in the ‘Affordable Care Act’, which could benefit the healthcare technology sector.

Medtronic Inc. was able to add 1.3 % to $68.87 whereas medical device maker Stryker rose 0.3 % to $87.91, roughly in line with the broader market.

On the downside, casino stocks were sharply weaker and MGM Resorts sank 3.8 % to 21.48, while Las Vegas Sands was down 2.7 % at 58.07 %. A certain few predicted that Republicans might try to slow adoption of online gaming which was seen as augmenting the group.

With the Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and a Democrat in the White House, political experts anticipate a stalemate which can be characterised as most of the six years of President Obama’s tenure.

Republicans also were able to bolster their hold on the U.S. House of Representatives and when the new Congress to take place over January, Republicans will be in charge of both upper and lower chambers for the first time since 2006.

Although the Republicans basically don’t have a large enough majority in either the House of Senate to supersede a veto or filibuster, it is quite possible an emboldened party will endeavour in forcing budget cuts and consider yet another battle over the debt ceiling expected next year.

Such actions could drain market confidence, as occurred in recent such battles, most notably back in 2011, when a budget fight resulted to the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit training.

Republicans who are actively seeking a run for control of the executive department by 2016 will likely to beat a tone of compromise, but those on the fringe will more likely be looking to turn the showdown into a shutdown.

According to Barclays, history reveals a bullish partiality in terms of stocks following the midterm elections. Since 1928, the S&P 500 has posted a median return of 7 % in the past 90 days following a midterm, with returns having positive 86 % at a given time.




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November 6th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index edged lower last week along with British American Tobacco knocking most of the points off the benchmark following its recent trade update.
According to the manufacturers of Pall Mall and Dunhill cigarettes, the trading environment still remains very challenging mainly because of pressure on global consumer disposable income and currency issues along with a slow economic recovery in western Europe.

Just about any company that has been operating from a global perspective specifically in emerging markets has been facing currency turbulence.

BAT represents premium products and people will often pay for that premium. When people themselves are the ones paying one thing one day and another the other way, hence in order to maintain revenues they have to reduce prices which is going to affect their profit later on.

BAT stock was down 4 % which made it the largest faller on a FTSE 100 down 0.2 % at 6,462.99 points by nearly 1017 GMT. It’s peer Imperial Tobacco was down by 0.7 % correspondingly.

Some analysts were vigilantly positive on the FTSE 100’s outlook following its decline of more than 10 % in the past 4 weeks before marginal recovery was due last week.
Many traders are presently discussing about the prospect of a year-end rally. That is possible although there are still some obstacles to beat. The index is still trading below the bottom of the pattern that has been positioned in place since the summer of 2012.

The near-term upside still appears to be realistic with its expectations at this point, yet the FTSE no longer appears oversold beyond the 6,400 level, hence the gains are more likely to be more hard-won.

The mid-cap FTSE 250, however, went up 0.5 % which was bolstered by a bullish update by gambling technology business Playtech and bid speculation surrounding specialty chemical maker Croda International.

Playtech soared 6.8 % following its confident remarks that it would exceed the present market expectations after a strong start to its fourth quarter which followed a 29 % rise in revenue in the earlier period.

Shares in Croda went up 4.2 % which added an 1.8 % gain last week which the Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers attributed to discussions of an alleged 4 billion pound ($6.45 billion) standing offer for the said company.

On the downside, SuperGroup, the British company behind the Superdry fashion brand went down 4.3 % following the recent move to name the former Co-operative Group chairperson Euan Sutherlands as its new chief executive who later replaced the original founder Julian Dunkerton.




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November 5th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Tesco is still flooded by news regarding its investigation into its £250 million black hole, yet punters are still at it in their shopping list wherein some are still optimistic that the supermarket giant had hit the bottom of the charts.

The shares are now down to more than 20 % in the recent month since the unveilings emerged, yet its delayed first-half results that were due last week provided investors with the more reason to consider that things are going to improve.

The promise is that the chairman, Richard Broadbent and the new chief executive Dave Lewis will be meeting in order to plan out and sort out the problem. The blame points to the regime under the former chief executive Phil Clarke with regards on how he apparently was dropped as some of David Cameron’s business advisers.

Things are not normally very simple to comprehend but Tesco shares are spending most of the day at the top of the table, only to plunge a little forward toward the end of the afternoon session which finished 4.75p at 1,793.

Hospitality mogul Intercontinental Hotels Group took the top spot ahead of its third-quarter figures which was up 93.p at 2,249p.

Traders remained predominantly unconvinced of any positive news for the markets albeit Asian shares making the recovery. Investors in the Square mile are still distressed regarding the slowing growth and a reemerging crisis in the Eurozone brought about the spread of Ebola.

Last week’s rally sputtered out and the FTSE 100 cascaded 43.22 points to 6,267.07. It is now down more than 5 % this month after it hit a 15-month low last week.

Oil shares were not out of favour once more as the oil prices slumped lingered; oil and gas giant BG group was at the bottom of the blue-chip table which was down 40.5 % to 1,024.5p and oil services engineer Petrofac which slid down 30p to 1030p when a trio of experts cut their individual price target for the group.

Tech stocks were on top on the sell list after disappointing updates from IBM and SAP. Smartphone microchip designer ARM Holdings lost 23.5p to 851p ahead of the results of Apple.

Small-cap explorer President Energy surged almost 80 % up 13p to 30p on news that it allegedly was able to find oil in Paraguay.

Finally, according to AIM Tanzania-based Shanta Gold, its third quarter production was up 4 % when it gained 0.5p to 9.38p.




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October 29th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index levelled lower by midday last week, with British American Tobacco knocking majority of the points off the benchmark following its most trading update.

According to the manufacturer of Dunhill and Pall Mall cigarettes, the trading environment still remains very challenging due to the constant pressure on global consumer disposable income along with currency issues and a much slower economic recovery particularly in western Europe.

BAT is representing world class products and people are more than willing to pay for premiums. However, it becomes apparent that investors will personally be paying one thing one day after the other, which later becomes critical to maintain revenues in order to reduce prices which is probably very difficult to affect the income probability that is presently experienced by the economy.

The same stock was not performing well and was down 4 %, making it the largest faller on a FTSE 100 down which was reduce to 0.2 % at 6,362.99 points last week. Imperial Tobacco was likewise down 0.7 % respectively.

Analysts were somewhat apprehensive at the same time optimistic on the FTSE 100’s outlook following its decline of more than 10 % in the past four weeks prior to a marginal recovery late last week.

The index is still being traded below the bottom of the continuum which has been positioned in place since summer two over years ago. Traders are presently talking about the possibility of a year-end-rally, which is possible although these are some obstacles than still need to be addressed.

The near-term upside still appears to have a more than realistic probability at this point, but the FTSE is no longer looking oversold way past the 6,400 or so wherein the gains are more likely to be much more hard-won.
The mid-cap FTSE 250, still despite the boost by a bullish update by bid speculation surrounding specialist chemicals maker Croda International and gamble business Playtech surprisingly was able to rise by 0.5 %.

Shares in Croda increased by 4.2 % which was able to add a 1.8 % gain last week in which the Daily Express and Daily Mail newspaper attributed to the current talks and discussions of a 4 billion pound ($6.45 billion) investment for the said company.

Playtech was able to rise 6.8 % following its renewed confidence that it needed in order to exceed the present market expectations after a strong start to the final quarter which followed a 29 % increase in revenue in the previous period.

On the negative aspect, SuperGroup, the British based firm behind the fashion brand plunged 4.3 % following the naming of its former co-operative group’s new chief executive Euan Sutherland as its new boss by replacing its founder, Julian Dunkerton.




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October 24th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Gold fell last week as the U.S. dollar gained for a second day a week prior which was supported by a weak euro while the four-week high prices resulted in limited demand. Silver, palladium and platinum metals likewise fell.

Comex gold for settlement in December went down by 0.87 % to $1223.5 per troy ounce, which ranged between $1 233.3 and $1 222.1 during the said trading day. The precious metal rose for a second day last week and settled 0.35 % higher at $1,234.3 which rose to an intraday high of $1,238 per ounce, its highest since September.

Gold retreated after two days of gains as prices peaked in four weeks deterring purchases while a strong dollar also helped in pushing the prices lower.

The U.S. dollar index which is a gauge of the greenback’s performance against a basket of six counterparts, rose for a second day which bolstered by a weaker euro. Major U.S. economies reported an overall downbeat inflation data, while the Eurozone’s industrial production contracted in August both on monthly and a year-on-year basis. A test of investor confidence for the single currency bloc fell for a tenth month, while both present conditions assessment and economic sentiment in Germany were the worst on record.

The U.S. dollar index for settlement in December traded at 86.030, up 0.10 % on the day. Prices ranged between a daily high of 86.130 and 85.965. The contract settled to 0.25 % higher this week at 85.965.

Although the downbeat data bolstered the U.S. dollar, it also placed a floor under gold as growing economic uncertainties tend to spur safe-haven demand.

The weaker than expected global growth could possibly result in the Fed to remove accommodation slower than otherwise. The central bank will not be raising interest rates until the U.S. economic growth has advanced sufficiently and emerging markets could comprehend the interest rate hike. An extended period of rock-bottom interest rates would benefit gold as non-interest-bearing asset which at the same time will move the dollar down.

It remains to be seen on how the U.S. will be affected by the slowdown in major economies and as a result the Fed will be less than willing to loosen monetary policy. There is an expectations that prices will be volatile as higher U.S. rates will weigh on gold prices whilst worries regarding a global slowdown will bolster haven demand.

Physical demand from the metal’s top purchasers likewise lent some support. India’s gold imports nearly doubled in September to $3.75 billion from a month earlier ahead of the nation’s festival and wedding season.

In China, the leading global consumer in physical gold was trading on the Shanghai Gold Exchange remained very active with premiums hovering at around $4 per troy ounce.
Market players are now eyeing the upcoming date from the U.S. including producer inflation and retail sales to effectively gauge the U.S. economy’s momentum and gain possible hints for the Fed’s interest rate timing which is still undisclosed.

Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust , which is considered the largest bullion-backed ETF and a major gauge of investor sentiment towards the metal, remained unaffected at 761.23 tons last week even after they rose the week prior for the first time since September.

Pivots on a daily basis

Based on recent daily analysis, December gold’s present pivot point presently stands at $1 234.7. If the precious metal breaks its first resistance at $1,238,2 its next barrier will be at the $1 242.1 level. Should the second key resistance is shattered, the precious yellow metal might try to advance to $1,245.6. Gold was able to breach the trade’s S1, S2 and S3 support levels, which primarily stood at $1 230.8, $1 227.3 and $1 223.4 correspondingly.




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October 22nd, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Global shares have been on the falling end as growing concerns regarding weak economic global economic growth beat investor confidence.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones plunged by 2.5 %, before gaining back to 16,141.74, a 1 % drop as evidenced by European markets performing apparently lower.

The Dow is now down more than 1,000 points totaling 6 % from the previous month. Oil prices likewise continued to slide, with Brent crude falling to $83.78 per barrel and the U.S. light crude cascading to $81.78 correspondingly.

Brent crude fell by 20 %since the summer regarding concerns of oversupply, as output increases and forecasts for future demand fell due to concerns regarding sluggish global growth.

On the stock markets, the primary Cac 40 index in France was able to close down 3.6 %, whilst the U.K.’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s Dax index correspondingly ended the day with 2.8 %.

On other news, government bond prices were able to rise on a high note as investors sold equities along with the prospective search for relative safety of fixed-income investments.

Long-term U.S. Treasury prices were able to leap to a two-year high as yields fell sharply while bond yields fell when prices rose which is indicative of an increasing demand for the said instruments.

It basically takes several weeks for a 10-year Treasury to move 29 basis points which reportedly moved 25 basis points last week in less than five minutes during the most recent trade.

The recent economic figures were able heightened fears that the global economic recovery might be running out of steam according to recent performance based surveys.
Last week, Germany cutback its growth estimates for this year whilst the IMF similarly did the same with its forecasts for global economic growth which warned the market that the recovery was relatively frail and uneven.

Figures that were released earlier last week showed inflation falling to five-year lows in China, India and the U.K. signaling some commentators to sit down and talk about the possibility of deflation.

U.S. retail sales fell inadequately by a worse-than-expected 0.3 % in September. The Commerce Department reported having prices as low as 0.1 % on the first drop in more than a year according to reports from the labour Department.

The incoming economic data is compelling many investors to caution their apprehensions in the belief that central bankers can change the economic dynamic with a much better transparent monetary policy. Moreover, macroeconomic weakness and the apparent inability of monetary policy to thwart the problem has resulted in a market-selling trance which diminished the economic growth of the market.

Central banks have been keeping a firm hold on interest rates by limiting the borrowing costs within minimum levels in order to stimulate spending and general economic growth some of which included those in the U.S. and the U.K. in which both having bought assets with newly created money in a more unconventional bid to bolster lending and growth in a larger scale.




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October 17th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

A second day of bleak German data and expectations for a cut in the IMF’s fund growth forecasts scared European assets last week as the recent spell of global financial market still persists.

Wall Street futures prices resulted to a fifth day of meagre falls in six for U.S. markets well ahead of this week’s official start of the third quarter, likely to be dominated by the possible impact of the recent surge in the dollar.

A day following German industrial orders saw its largest monthly drop since the peak of the economic global financial crisis five years ago, its industrial output figures for the month of August plummeted by 4 % which was the worst decline since 2009.

Industrial production is presently going through a frail phase, wherein one should expect weaker production for the third quarter for its entirety.

The worrying outlook saw European bourses shake lower led by a 0.8 % drop on Germany’s Dax which was heavily depicted to global growth via firms such as Volkswagen and Siemens wherein both lost 7.5 % in the last three weeks.

Madrid, London, Milan and Paris all took very sharp tumbles while the French, Italian and Spanish government bonds yields rose despite doubts regarding what a slowing Germany would mean for their more delicate economies.

It likewise fits with global apprehensions apart from the U.S. indicators of global growth all have slid sharply over the past few months as political upheaval in the Middle East, Ukraine and parts of Asia all have taken its toll.

This can be likely inferred that over the summer, there has been quite an apparent divergence in the global growth story and what is being experienced is uneven economic recovery.

Growth in the Eurozone has been put to halt while in the U.S., the labour market continues to tighten much faster than what the Fed had earlier predicted.

Merging Commodities

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares that were outside Japan landed 0.4 % following a quiver between the negative and positive territory, although the higher yen meant that Tokyo’s Nikkei ended the day within the red.

The dollar’s halt also boosted in minimising the effect of weaker global growth indications on recently slumping prices of commodity.
Brent oil was at the verge of a fraction in London at $92.50 a barrel alongside growth-attuned copper whereas gold was able to hold above $1,200 per ounce after sinking to a 15-month low last week.

The Reserve Bank of Australia had earlier held on to its cash rate at a steady pace at 2.5 % at its regular policy review with its remains high in terms of its historical standards.

The Australian dollar eradicated recent gains and slid approximately 0.3 % to $0.8738 moving back towards last week’s low of 0.86.42 which was its weakest level in more than four years.

Effects on the Yen
The IMF was so close in publishing its recent growth forecast with the last set in April predicted that a global growth would strengthen by 3.6 % this year and 3.9 % by 2015 but would still be reduced back again by the end of this year.

In contrast with the much broader weakness in stocks, the mining sector got a surprising boost as Rio Tinto shares were able to jump following a rejected merger approach from its rival, Glencore to manufacture a $160 billion industry tycoon.

The European FTSE Eurofirst was down nearly 1 % after it yielded insufficient German data, while the euro dipped back below $1,26 against the dollar.

It was once thought that it was not a one-way traffic for the U.S. currency which struggles against the yen after Japan’s prime minister flagged the positives and negatives status of a weaker yen.

The Bank of Japan was boosted by the government in order to hit its 2 % inflation goal without the need of additional stimulus which resulted in an irregular session after going as high as 109.25 yen in Asia, in which the dollar was cut back at 108.56 yen ahead of U.S. trading.




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October 16th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

The dollar maintained a steady position against a basket of other major currencies last week which was largely supported as concerns regarding the outlook for the global growth weighed heavily on sentiment ahead of the recently released of the Federal Reserve meeting minutes later that trading day.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which basically follows the performance of the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched up 0.05 % to 85.81 which was not very far from a four-year peak of 86.87 hit last week.

Market sentiment was badly hit last week following the International Monetary Fund cutting back its prediction for global growth may possibly not reach its pre-crisis level any time soon.

According to the IMF, it expects global economic growth of 3.3 % this year, down from 3.4 % last July and the added growth of 3.8 % in 2015, as compared to an earlier prediction of 4.0 %.

The demand for the safe haven yen was bolstered and USD/JPY lingered near three week lows of 107.75 hit overnight before retreating back slightly to trade at 108.19 which remained unchanged for that period.

The yen was boosted in its strength following the Japanese Prime Minister aired out its apprehensions regarding the effect of a weaker yen on the economy.

The Bank of England left monetary policy relatively unchanged at its policy meeting last week, however the institution acknowledged that the diminishing domestic demand as a result of sales tax increase during the second quarter, was leading to weakness from an economic point of view.

Investors were focusing their attention to the minutes of the Fed’s September conference for new indications of the possible future direction of the U.S. monetary policy.

The dollar rallied against the yen and the euro in recent months albeit growing expectations that the Fed is ever growing closer to increasing interest rates at the same time the central banks in Europe and Japan are most likely to remain with a much looser monetary policy outlook.

The EUR/USD reached session lows of 1.2623 and prior to the repeat of some of the previous losses of trade at the 1.2667 level.
The single currency still remained under pressure following the data released last week revealed a steep decline in German factory orders last August which added further concerns that the euro’s largest economy was being drawn back into the downturn.

The frail economic data added expectations that the ECB will soon be implementing fresh stimulus measures to help boost the needed growth.

According to the IMF Europe was experiencing a multispeed recovery which revised down its expansion and growth forecasts for the Eurozone three largest leading economies namely Italy, Germany, and France.

The Swiss franc and the pound dipped lower with the GBP/USD easing to 0.09 % to trade at 1.6083 and USD/CHF which likewise edged 0.13 % to 0.9578 correspondingly.

Moreover, the commodity connected dollars were roughly weaker, with the AUD/USD down 0.4 % to 0.8779, the NZD/USD eased down 0.26 % to trade at 0.7810 and the USD/CAD added 0.16 to 1.1181 respectively.

In Canada, data showed that the housing began to increase its figures by 197, 300 in September which beat expectations for an increase of 196, 000. Furthermore, August figures were adjusted to 196, 300 gain following a previously approximate 192, 400.




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October 9th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

The euro suffered a near two-year trough early last week which came under fire as further slowdown in the Eurozone inflation deepen pressure for additional stimulus from the ECB.
The common currency fell as low as $1.2571 per Euro before even managing a bounce to $1.2629 which ended in a dreary month which it skidded 3.82 %, its biggest decline in well over two years.

Data on last week’s annual inflation cooled as compared to 0.3 % last September from 0.4 % well below the ECB’s target of fewer than 2 %.

Persistently, the weaker price growth highlighted the difficulty of hitting the predicted target while the euro zone economy persists to stagnate.

The EUR/USD breached lower by a large figure, falling toward 1.2570 before positioning its support and moderately rebounding to 1.2630 last week according to a senior economist at National Australia Bank.

Eurozone equities closed at 1.2 % most probably assisted by the possibility of continued simulative policy from the ECB. The Euro shortly dipped below 138.00 yen EURJPY=R for the first time in more than three weeks but still managed to maintain its 138.45 level respectively.

Renewed pressure on the common currency assisted pushing the dollar index. DXY to a four-year high of 86.218. The index since then edged back down 85.928. As against the yen, the greenback was traded at 109.64 JPY, scaling a six-year high of 109.86.
The dollar motioned off a decline in U.S. consumer confidence last month along with a home price report that fell short of its expectations.

Many are still optimistic that the U.S. economy is on a recuperative path that will let the Federal Reserve hike its interest rates well before the Bank of Japan and the ECB.

Truly, the dollar index hiked almost 8 % in the past three month and its quarterly performance in the past six years was truly remarkable.

Trading in Asia is once again going to be restrained because of the National Day and the ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong which results to a negative effect on traders’ confidence in general.

In spite of the holiday, China will be releasing a new survey on its immense manufacturing sector and any disappointments will in no doubt prevent worries regarding the perceived slower Chinese economy.

Last week, China announced its cutbacks in downpayment and mortgage rates for some home buyers for the first time in six years, treading up further efforts to bolster a wavering economy.

Finally, Australia’s retail sales were closely monitored by the Australian bears, who have by far failed to push the Australian dollar through its 2014 low of $0.8660 AUD=D4. ECONAU. Furthermore, the AUD was last seen at $0.8747, dropping 6.3 % last month.




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October 7th, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Just recently, the U.S. dollar remained within range against major currencies, registering considerable gains against the AUD and JPY while spotting a minor weakness against the EUR and GBP.

Last week, the U.S. Dollar was able to resume with its upward course against most major currencies, as investors prepared for a slew top-tier economic release which would include the closely watched U.S. NFP data and ECB monetary policy decision later during the recently concluded week. Below are the technical updates on some vital major currency pairs namely; GBPUSD, EURUSD, USDJPY and AUDUSD.

GBPUSD

Following the rise above the 1.6500 level, the pair reversed and dropped back below the 1.6200 mark, confirming the emergence of a strong resistance near the 1.6270-80 area which represents 38.2 % Fib. retracement level of July 2013 to July 2014’s massive move. This level now appears to act as a short-term cap for the pair and only a decisive move above this strong resistance level could apparently negate the short-term bearish outlook for the said pair.

EURUSD

After the release of the Euro-zone flash CPI reading, the pair significantly dropped, breaking below the 1.2600 mark hitting a fresh 2-year low. The pair, however, appears to find some support near the 1.2600-1.2580 area, which coincided with the lower trend-line support of a descending trend-channel formation on a four-hourly chart. The failure to hold this pressing support area would appear to accelerate the downfall immediately towards 1.2550 horizontal support zone which could possibly extend until 1.2500 round figure mark support.

USDJPY

The pair has been very consistent over its fresh 6-year high and is now aspiring for 110.00 psychological mark resistance, representing 61.8 % Fib. expansion level considering that the pair’s strong drive would likely break pass the 110.00 resistance which could reached 111.00 mark corresponding with 100 % Fib. expansion level.

On the negative aspect, 109.00 mark is regarded as a critical level to watch out for, which if broken could possibly trigger some profit taking move initially towards 108.40-30 horizontal support and back towards the 107.40-30 support area respectively. Moreover, only an influential move below the 107.40-30 support area could possibly halt the continuation of the forward movement for the said pair.

AUDUSD

The pair has fallen relentlessly during the month of September and has dropped to its lowest level since February of 2014. However, in the start of the short-term the pair might find itself being supported near 0.8650-40 area which will mark the lower trend-line support of a descending trend-channel formation on a 4-hourly chart.

Nevertheless, a closing below 0.8750 area last week, marked the lowest monthly closing in 2014, which would indicate continuation of the weakening trend towards 0.8500 mark in the near-future. On the positive aspect, 0.8770-80 zone was represented by the upper trend-line resistance of the short-term descending channel appears to provide some sort of relief for the pair. Furthermore, a critical move above this immediate resistance might give some relief rally for the said pair, even beyond 0.8800 mark towards the stronger resistance zone.




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October 3rd, 2014 | By trader | Published in LUNCH IS FOR WIMPS | Comments on this postComments Off

Gold and Silver futures soared during the midday trade in Europe last week, bouncing off multi-month lows. In the meantime, copper futures added on the back of the better-than-expected China factory figures.

With the gold futures for December delivery on the Comex in New York being traded at $1,232.5 per troy ounce which was up 1.20 %, prices ranged from $1,214.7 to $1,237.0 per troy ounce. The contract was able to put in 0.1 % last week, although it also reached a nine-month low at $1,208.8.

Silver for December delivery maintained a 0.4 % daily gain at $17.845 per troy ounce. The contract logged four and a half year low at $17.325 last week.

The U.S. reported fairly disappointing housing data last week. Existing home sales logged a 1.8 % drop in the annualised rate in August to 5.05 million. Moreover, the homes sales were the primary gauge of the retail sector, which was the largest single market in the U.S. which accounts for ~13 % of US GDP.

Additional U.S. gauges are due this week, with durable goods orders to be set for a rebound following last month’s all time-high increases. Orders were able to hit a high of 22.6 % on a monthly basis back in July on support of massive orders for Boeing. Presently, orders are looking at a ~18 % decrease on a monthly basis, still losing substantially less than the jump a month ago.

GDP figures last week were projected to validate a bullish story for the dollar and U.S. stocks, with the groundwork reading on quarterly growth for Q2014 was set to be plotted at 4.6 %, beating the earlier flash figure of 4.2 %.

Betting heavily on an improving recovery in the U.S., the Fed announced an abrupt rate increase in 2015 last week, in support of the U.S. dollar and weighing on the dollar-denominated commodities, specifically gold.

The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) September meeting was able to produce another $10 billion savings in monthly government spending on quantitative easing. Meanwhile, the central lending rate was likewise kept at 0.25 %, however, the targeted rate by the end of 2015 was increased from 1.125 % to 1.375 %, bolstering the greenback to a new four-year peak.

It was said that the strength of the dollar continues to put additional weight on all precious metals, with gold looking likely to make a play for $1,200 in the coming sessions. With the reflective diminishing appeal of gold, assets at the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded-gold-backed fund, plummeted 774.65 last week, the lowest level in the course of six years.

Copper in General

Copper contracts for the month of December, the most-traded contract in New York, was positioned at $3,0405 per pound, up 0.07 % for the day.

The red metal plummeted 1.7 % last week. Moreover, the red metal was boosted by a better-than-expected reading on Chinese factories by Markit and HSBC. Also, the companies which are putting their manufacturing PMI at 50.5, signaling an expansion in the sector, which accounts for a substantial piece of Chinese copper consumption.

China on its account was able to produce 40 % of global copper demand. The property and construction sectors in China are still not presenting any signs of recuperation. That, along with signs that copper mine supplies are ramping up, have resulted in speculations that prices will soon fall by the end of this year.

A Reuters poll indicates that a 226, 000 ton surplus copper by the end of this year 2014 and another 285,000 next year.

With the downbeat U.S. housing data stressed regarding the red metal to a multi-month low last month, the typical home has more or less 300-500 pounds of copper, making the real estate sector among the top performing markets and housing which gauges copper demand.

Finally, now that investors are eyeing on new home sales figures from the U.S., experts are predicting that there will be a bumper reading for 4.2 % growth of the yearly rate of new home sales.