Posted on 28th March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair weekly Insights


Cur. Event        
Monday, March 30, 2015
  USD Pending Home Sales (MoM)
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
  EUR German Unemployment
  GBP GDP (QoQ) (Q4)
  EUR CPI (YoY) (Mar)
  USD CB Consumer Confidence
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
  JPY Tankan Large Manufacturers  
  CNY Manufacturing PMI (Mar)  
  CNY HSBC Manufacturing PMI  
  EUR German Manufacturing PM  
  GBP Manufacturing PMI (Mar)  
  USD ADP Nonfarm Employment  
  USD ISM Manufacturing PMI  
Thursday, April 2, 2015
  GBP Construction PMI (Mar)
Friday, April 3, 2015
    Holiday Good Friday
  USD Nonfarm Payrolls (Mar)

Global Exchanges

Wall Street moved to end slightly higher Friday, but still recorded sharp losses for the week. Investors assessed a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who said that she expects economic conditions may warrant gradual rate hikes this year.

Yellen, who spoke at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Conference just before the closing bell, said that despite the likely move upward for interest rates this year, the central bank will move cautiously. The Fed chief asserted that the Fed would keep rates on hold if there were further weakening in key inflation indicators.

At the closing bell in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 35 points at 17,713, while the NASDAQ gained 28 points to close at 4,891 and the S&P 500 rose 5 points to settle at 2,061. All three major indexes still recorded losses of over 2% for the week, after Wall Street dropped for a fourth straight session on Thursday.

European markets finished mixed today, with stocks ending their weekly win streak. Asian markets closed mostly lower, with Japan’s Nikkei settling down 0.95% as lower oil prices and subdued consumer demand have pushed the country to the brink of deflation.

In corporate activity, BlackBerry shares rose almost 2% after it swung to a surprise fourth quarter profit, but revenue was far below forecasts as sales from services exceeded hardware sales.

global markets

Currency Markets

The dollar edged lower against a basket of major currencies on Friday after traders were reluctant to buy the greenback ahead of U.S. jobs data next week and after comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

The bullish US dollar sentiment has been fading this week, after the March FOMC statement release and press conference gave a dovish impression. The recent US stock market uncertainty and risk adverse sentiment may boost Nikkei and USDJPY selling. The better US data may encourage USDJPY buying to touch near 120 USDJPY tentatively.

Ahead of Yellen’s speech, investors focused on Friday’s government data, which included the final reading of fourth quarter GDP figures. Fourth quarter GDP remained unchanged at a 2.2% annual growth rate. Economists had expected an upward revision to 2.4%. The report also revealed that quarterly corporate profits over the same period fell for the first time since 2008.

The final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March also came in at 93.0, higher than consensus expectations and up from the mid-month reading of 91.2, but a drop from February’s 95.4 reading. The euro was last up slightly against the dollar at $1.08910 . The dollar was last down slightly against the yen at 119.150 yen. The dollar was last down 0.12 percent against the franc at 0.96180 franc.

global currencys

Commodity Markets

Oil prices were lower Friday, reversing sharp gains from Thursday, even as the Yemen conflict escalated. West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May settled at $48.87 a barrel, down 5% on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract still gained about 5% for the week.

Gold f shed 0.4% to settle at $1,199.80 an ounce on the Comex, breaking a seven-session stretch of gains.


Posted on 26th March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair Daily Insight

stockpair-dailytips (2)

Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:

Cur. Event
  GBP BoE Gov. Carney Speaks
  USD GDP (QoQ) (Q4)
  USD Fed Chair Yellen Speaks

Markets End The Day On A Crazy Ride

March 27, 2015

Barry Norman


???????????Gold bounced between a new high at $1220 but ended the day at $1204.80 as traders ran for safety in the early session after news that Saudi and Gulf members had launched air strikes on the rebels in Yemen. Gold headed for its longest run of gains in more than two years as Saudi Arabia and its allies started bombing targets in Yemen, boosting demand for a haven.

Gold gained 2 per cent to $1,220 an ounce, rising for a seventh day in the longest run since August 2012.  Silver for immediate delivery increased 1 per cent to $17.14 an ounce in London, after touching $17.40, the highest since February 16.

Platinum rose 1.2 per cent to $1,159.25 an ounce and palladium advanced 1.2 per cent to $774.50 an ounce.

The escalation of violence is driving up precious metals prices, along with speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay raising interest rates. Gold prices on Thursday surpassed the 100—day average for the first time since March 2.

The White House on Wednesday called on Yemen’s Shia Houthi rebels to “stop fomenting instability in Yemen” and to cooperate with UN envoy Jamal Benomar to resolve the crisis plaguing the country, Anadolu news agency reported.

gold stockpair

White House Spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on a daily briefing in Washington that: “We would call on them to stop that instability and that violence and cooperate with this UN-led process to resolve the difference among all the sides.”

The situation in Yemen recently escalated after Houthis seized control of Hota and the Al-Anad airbase, both in South Lahj province, and abducted Defense Minister Mahmoud Subaihi and another senior military official.

Oil rose to the highest in more than two weeks amid the violence in Yemen. Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbor in a part of the world that supplies a third of the world’s crude. Investors have historically turned to precious metals during times of escalating geopolitical tensions that threaten equity valuations.

Gold has advanced 4.9 percent in seven straight sessions of gains, the longest streak since August 2012.

currency stockpair

Posted on 25th March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair Daily Insight

stockpair-dailytips (2)

Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:

Cur. Event
  EUR GfK German Consumer Climate
  GBP Retail Sales (MoM) (Feb)
  USD Initial Jobless Claims
  USD Services PMI (Mar)

Lackluster US Data Weighs On Greenback

March 26, 2015

Barry Norman

The Goldman Sachs logo is displayed on a post above the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeAccording to sources, the ECB has raised the cap on emergency liquidity assistance for Greece banks to above €71 billion, from €69.8 billion previously, Reuter’s reports. Greece faced another setback today as Eurozone officials said they were not legally entitled to refund €1.2 billion linked to bank recapitalization that Athens is demanding.  The ECB’s move alleviates some near-term cash needs in the banking system while keeping pressure on Tsipras to find a longer-term solution. European officials have said that Greece could default on its obligations within weeks unless there’s a breakthrough.

Greece needs to act faster so its actions can be more effective, Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who heads the euro-area finance ministers’ group, said in Rotterdam on Wednesday. “The main problem is the same in every country in Europe: getting things done.”

After a pause in February, the German IFO business climate indicator resumed its uptrend in March. The headline index rose from 106.8 to 107.9, slightly stronger than the consensus, which was looking for an increase to 107.3. With all figures of the first quarter available, the German IFO institute said GDP growth in the first quarter is likely to be nearly as high as the 0.7% Q/Q growth rate seen in the fourth quarter of 2014. Both the IFO and yesterday’s PMI’s indicate that the German economy is back on track. After a strong fourth quarter, the recovery continued at the start of the year, supported by the weaker euro and lower oil prices.

durable goods

The US durable orders again missed the consensus by quite a big margin, reinforcing the idea of a soft spot in the US economy in the first quarter. USD bears tried to push the dollar lower upon the publication of the report. EUR/USD spiked briefly above 1.10, but the move stalled very soon. The damage for the dollar could have been much worse. EUR/USD even returned below the 1.10 barrier and is trading in the 1.0970 area. Is this an indication that the USD correction is slowing as important resistance.

Goldman Sachs economist Kris Dawson said on Wednesday he scaled back his view of U.S. growth in the first quarter, following an unexpectedly weak report on domestic durable goods orders in February. Dawson wrote in a research note that he reduced the tracking estimate on the U.S. gross domestic product in the first quarter to 1.8 percent from 2.0 percent.

currencies forexwords



Posted on 24th March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair Daily Insight

stockpair-dailytips (2)

Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:

Cur. Event  
  NZD Trade Balance (MoM) (Feb)  
  AUD RBA Financial Stability Review  
  EUR German Ifo Business Climate Index  
  GBP BBA Mortgage Approvals  
  USD Core Durable Goods Orders (MoM)  


Strong US Data Reverses The Dollar’s Fall

March 25, 2015

Barry Norman

bigstock-American-Economy-Growth-4407565-232x300According to the preliminary estimate, the Eurozone composite PMI improved further in March to reach its highest level in almost 4 years. The composite PMI rose from 53.3 to 54.1, while a more limited pick‐up to 53.6 was expected. Strength was based in both the manufacturing and services sector. The manufacturing PMI resumed its uptrend, rising from 51 to 51.9, following stabilization in February. The services PMI rose for a third consecutive month, from 53.7 to 54.3, its highest level since May 2011.

Both were above the market consensus too. Within in the services sector, business activity and new business hit their highest levels since May 2011. In the manufacturing sector, output and new orders grew at their strongest pace since May last year and new export orders showed their biggest increase in eight months. Overall, employment growth picked up to the fastest pace since August 2011 and deflationary pressures eased during the month. Available national data show broad‐based strength in Germany with the manufacturing PMI increasing from 51.1 to 52.4 and the services PMI rising from 54.7 to 55.3. French data remained mixed as the services PMI dropped from 53.4 to 52.8, while the manufacturing index picked up from 47.6 to 48.2. Markit added that elsewhere in the region, business activity rose at the fastest rate since July last year, but even more encouraging, new orders accelerated to the strongest level since July 2007. The PMI’s indicate that the euro area extended its recovery in March and the outlook for the second quarter remains encouraging with strong improvements in new orders.

new home sales March

The euro gained steadily on Tuesday to trade at above the 1.09 levels but lost ground after US data showed a jump in core inflation, a strong manufacturing PMI followed by exceptionally positive new home sales. There were upward revisions to the previous month giving a bump to the overall housing markets. The US dollar reversed course to reach 97.50 after falling below the 97 price earlier in the day.

manufacturing PMI march

Posted on 23rd March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair Daily Insight

stockpair-dailytips (2)

Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:

Cur. Event
  CNY HSBC Manufacturing PMI
  EUR German Manufacturing
  GBP CPI (YoY) (Feb)
  USD Core CPI (MoM) (Feb)
  USD New Home Sales (Feb)


Greece Keeps Markets On Edge

March 24, 2015

Barry Norman

dominos falling forexwordsEquities in Europe closed lower on Monday, with Greece in the spotlight as Greek and German leaders meet amid tensions over Athens’ bailout program. Ahead of the meeting, Tsipras said it would be “impossible” for Greece to service its debt in the next few weeks without short-term financial aid from the European Union, the Financial Times reported (subscription required).

But overall, European stocks remained in the red as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told a European Parliamentary committee during afternoon trade that there’s been a pickup in momentum in Eurozone growth, aided by lower oil prices and a decline in the euro.

The Eurodollar was steady at $1.0934 as Draghi spoke in Brussels. The euro has been driven closer to parity with the dollar this year, largely because of the launch of the European Central Bank’s asset-purchase program, which, in turn, has pushed European equities into record territory this year.

currency stockpair Monday


Wall Street traded mostly higher on Monday as investors looked ahead to a light week of economic reports, amid some consolidation in currency and oil movements. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 indexes advanced towards all-time highs; the NASDAQ struggled to stay positive but held above 5,000. The US dollar fell further on Monday, adding to its steepest weekly drop in 3-1/2 years after the Federal Reserve indicated last week that a rate hike is likely to come later rather than sooner, a view that helped drive up oil prices and U.S. stocks. The dollar index fell 0.74 percent to 97.189. Crude oil rose to almost $56 a barrel as a weaker dollar offset concerns over the global oversupply after Saudi Arabia indicated it was pumping near a record high of 10 million barrels per day.

european shares


Posted on 22nd March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair Daily Insight

stockpair-dailytips (2)

Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:

Cur. Event
  NZD Westpac Consumer Sentiment
  GBP CBI Industrial Trends
  USD Existing Home Sales
  USD Existing Home Sales (Feb)

Markets Continue To Ride The Wild Bull

March 23, 2015

Barry Norman

bull marketThis week was explosive for FX traders, as the volatility over the FOMC didn’t disappoint. The market was kind of expecting a drop of the ‘patient’ wording, which should have given the USD bulls what they wanted to hear, but not today with a dovish tone still prevalent and a ‘wait and see’ approach to the jobs market and inflation. The dollar went into a serve sell mode. Late in the day on Friday the US dollar plunged over 140 points to close the session at 98.05 after topping 100.6 ahead of the Fed.

Monday should once again see market corrections.  The euro closed the week at 108.20 climbing 162 points in the last hours of trading. After the Fed announcement and press conference the euro briefly hit 1.10 but returned to its monthly trading range at the 1.06 level.

The US dollar had surged to a 12-year high ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting this week where the US central bank was expected to remove the word ‘patient’ from its statement, paving the way for interest rate hikes at future meetings. However the greenback suffered a broad-based decline after the Fed also lowered its outlook for growth, inflation and interest rates, and said it wasn’t ‘impatient’.

currency stockpair

Everyone had it penciled in that we were going to raise rates between June and September and the Fed have thrown a massive element of doubt that there is such a specific timetable to that. Market expectations have been blown out of the water and we are left now very much with a market that just doesn’t know what’s going to happen and that uncertainty has created major moves and major volatility.

The pound soared 201 points on Friday to 1.4954 while the USDCAD tumbled 16 points to 125.52. The Aussie gaining 124 points to 0.7774 and the kiwi added 151 points reach 0.7566. It was a day of remarkable volatility as dollar based.

The US dollar suffered its biggest weekly decline since November 2011, with the US dollar index tumbling 2.5% and EURUSD rallying 3.8% on the week, showing the largest advance since October 2011.

Posted on 21st March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair weekly Insights

 Major Economic Events for the week that you should be watching:

Time Cur. Event
Monday, March 23, 2015
  USD Existing Home Sales (Feb)
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
  CNY HSBC Manufacturing PMI
  EUR German Manufacturing PMI
  GBP CPI (YoY) (Feb)
  USD Core CPI (MoM) (Feb)
  USD New Home Sales (Feb)
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
  EUR German Ifo Business Climate
  USD Core Durable Goods Orders
Thursday, March 26, 2015
  GBP Retail Sales (MoM) (Feb)
Friday, March 27, 2015
  USD GDP (QoQ) (Q4)


Global Exchanges

Wall Street finished higher Friday, rebounding from the prior session’s drop and scoring big gains for the week. The S&P 500 rose 18.66 points, or 0.9%, to close at 2,107.93. The benchmark climbed 2.7% for the week, helped by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen saying Wednesday that the central bank will raise interest rates more slowly than planned just a few months ago.

Meanwhile, the NASDAQ advanced 0.7% on Friday and 3.2% for the week, finishing at 5,026.42. The tech-heavy index hit a 15-year intraday record and neared its all-time closing high of 5,048.62 that was achieved in March 2000. The Dow Jones was up 168.36 points, or 0.9%, on Friday and 2.1% for the week, closing at 18,127.39.

European stocks jump Friday, strengthening on the prospect that U.S. interest-rates will stay low for a longer period of time, and finding support as Greece said it’s drawing up another plan for economic reforms.

Germany’s DAX jumped 1.2% to 12,039.37, its first win after three sessions of declines. The DAX logged a weekly rise of 1.2%, marking its 10th consecutive weekly gain. Analysts at Societe Generale analysts on Friday suggested now is the time to take profit on the DAX.

The U.K.’s FTSE which is heavily weighted by energy and mining shares surged 0.9% to 7,022.51. That marked its first-ever close above the 7,000 level. France’s CAC ended 1% higher at 5,087.49.

global markets stockpair

Currency Markets

The dollar finished the week about 1.5% lower against the euro Friday, snapping three weeks of gains. The bulk of the dollar’s losses occurred after Federal Reserve policy makers said that they expect to begin raising interest rates later in the year—and more gradually—than the market expected.

The surprise announcement sparked a massive short-covering rally in the euro, forcing investors who had shorted the currency to buy back the single currency and cover their positions. The euro traded at $1.0821, compared with $1.0668 Thursday.

In other currencies, the Canadian dollar traded higher against the buck, despite abysmal February Canadian retail-sales figures, which showed a sharp decline in consumption. A gauge of core inflation released Friday met analyst expectations. The loonie traded at 79.72 cents.

global currencies stockpair

Commodity Markets

Gold prices hit two-week highs on Friday and were poised for their biggest weekly jump since mid-January, after the US Federal Reserve’s cautious note on interest rates arrested a dollar rally and sparked broad-based buying of commodities.

Oil prices jumped on Friday, with US crude up about 4 percent, after the dollar fell on interest-rate uncertainty, lifting demand for dollar-denominated commodities from holders of other currencies. Benchmark Brent oil was on track to end two straight weeks of losses while US crude was headed for its first positive week in five.


Posted on 19th March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair Daily Insight

Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:

Cur. Event
  JPY Monetary Minutes
  AUD RBA Gov. Stevens
  EUR German PPI (MoM)
  CAD Core CPI (YoY) (Feb)
  CAD Core CPI (MoM)
  CAD Core Retail Sales
  CAD CPI (MoM) (Feb)
  CAD Retail Sales (MoM)

US Dollar Volatility Continues

March 20, 2015

Barry Norman

eur usd stockpairGerman Chancellor Merkel said today there will be no solution to Greece’s bailout stand-off at the EU Summit as the leftist government still has to prove its commitment to reforming its economy. At the same time, the FT reports that the ECB is considering banning Greek lenders from adding to holdings of Greek government debt, a move that would cut off a key source of funding for the Greek government. Greek yields jumped to new highs today.

The ECB announced it allotted €97.8 billion in its third TLTRO, more than markets had expected, but in line with the amounts asked in the first two operations. The money needs to be used for new lending to the private sector.

At this writing the US dollar is trading at 99.59 up by 222 points in a remarkable recovery. The euro dropped 233 points to 1.0635 while the pound fell 248 points to 1.4734 as markets returned to their trading level before the FOMC decision on Wednesday.  Gold is the only asset keeping gains to trade at 1168.70 adding $17.30 on Thursday.

eurusd dollar index

Investors clearly think that chances of a Grexit or Grexident are increasing. News flow from Greece has been downbeat the past days. First, the Greek government pushed through a “humanitarian bill” without consulting the Troika. Second, the ECB raised the ELA ceiling for Greek lenders by €400 million instead of the €900 million requested by Greece. The FT also reports that the ECB weighs banning Greek banks from adding to current government debt holds. Third, after national pension funds, the Greek government now also asked utilities to lend them cash through short‐term repo transactions to avoid running out of cash. Fourth, Greek banks deposit outflows were rumored to be between €300 million and €400 million yesterday as Eurogroup’s Dijsselbloem said that Greek capital controls are a ‘thinkable scenario’. Fifth, talks between Europe and Greece hit rock bottom on continuous provocations back and forth. Discussions on releasing €7.2B bailout cash are halted. Creditors still ask Greece to start implementing agreed economic reforms first.


Posted on 18th March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair Daily Insight

Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:

Cur. Event
  NZD GDP (QoQ) (Q4)
  EUR ECB Economic Bulletin
  USD Current Account (Q4)
  USD Initial Jobless Claims
  USD Philadelphia Fed
  USD Philly Fed Employment


Greek Leaders Making Deal Difficult

March 19, 2015

Barry Norman

While Greek Leaders Tsipras and Varoufakis are grandstanding in Parliament, or sounding off on Twitter, Greece is sliding deeper into trouble. Tax collection has collapsed. Prices are falling even further. Reform has stalled, and the best the government can come up with are plans such as getting tourists at resorts to double up as tax inspectors to catch bar tenders avoiding their payments to the government.

Prime Minister Tsipras moved from student politics to working for far-left political groups. He has never had a real job, nor worked for a mainstream political party. Varoufakis has been an academic economist, specializing in game theory, who has also worked as a political adviser. He knows plenty about supply and demand charts, but as anyone who has studied economics will know, you wouldn’t necessarily want to put your old professor in charge of anything more complex than a seminar room full of students.

True, many politicians these days — such as Angela Merkel, David Cameron or Francois Hollande — have spent their entire careers in politics or PR. But at least they have been working in mainstream, major parties, with long histories of exercising power. They have learned responsibility.

International Monetary Fund officials told their euro-area colleagues that Greece is the most unhelpful country the organization has dealt with in its 70-year history, according to two people familiar with the talks.

The Greek Clowns

In a short and bad-tempered conference call on Tuesday, officials from the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission complained that Greek officials aren’t adhering to a bailout extension deal reached in February or cooperating with creditors, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the call was private. The IMF’s press office had no immediate comment on the discussions.


Posted on 17th March 2015 by barry norman in Stockpair Daily Insight

stockpair-dailytips (2)

Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:

Cur.      Event

NZD    Current Account (QoQ)

JPY      Trade Balance (Feb)

JPY      BoJ Monthly Report

GBP    BoE MPC Meeting

GBP    Unemployment Rate

EUR    Trade Balance (Jan)

CAD    Wholesale Sales (MoM)

USD    FOMC Statement

USD    Fed Chair Yellen Speaks


The FOMC Decision Will Overshadow Wednesday’s Trading

March 18, 2015

Barry Norman

fomc forexwordsToday, even the euro decline shifted into a lower gear. The EUR/USD returned to the 1.06 area. The trade‐weighted dollar is still close to the recent highs, but the rally slows as currency investors’ shift into a wait‐and‐see modus ahead of the FOMC policy decision.

Investors are taking a more cautious approach on the dollar ahead of the Fed policy meeting and decision due on Wednesday. The EUR/USD hovered up and down roughly in the 1.0500/50 area going into the start of European trade. The USD/JPY lost also a few ticks, drifting a bit further south in the 121 big figure.

There was little news to guide the EUR/USD trading in Europe. Long‐term European yields are rising a few basis points and interest rate differentials with the US are slightly declining. Interest rate differentials for longer maturities are usually not that important for the currency. However, maybe it helped to finally create some breathing space for the battered single currency. Whatever, the EUR/USD stayed away from the overnight lows and hovered directionless up and down in the lower half of the 1.05 big figure this morning in Europe. The USD/JPY developed a similar pattern in the 121.15/50 area.

us dollar jpy stockpair

In line with recent evidence, the US Empire State manufacturing survey and the February production data were again slightly weaker than expected. The EUR/USD tries to regain the 1.06 big figure. The pause in the USD rally also helps US equities with the major indices rebounding around 1%. A few minutes ago, the ECB announced it bought €9.751 bln under its QE program as of March 13. The euro trades marginally lower upon the announcement.

U.S. stocks moved sharply lower on Tuesday, with the Dow industrials suffering a triple-digit loss. Investors were nervous as the Federal Open Market Committee two-day meeting begins on Tuesday, with many expecting the central bank to pave the way to an interest-rate hike this summer by removing the word “patient” from its statement.

eurusd stockpair