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Portugal, PM Socrates: government decided today to ask EU for help.
Hot stocks:

Symb     Last     Change     Chg %
AOB.N     1.73     +0.21     +13.82
CEU.N     1.39     +0.15     +12.10
LZB.N     10.81     +0.97     +9.86
TCI.N     4.19     +0.33     +8.55
GMR.N     2.31     +0.18     +8.45

Symb     Last     Change     Chg %
DL.N     3.28     -0.22     -6.29
NTE.N     6.07     -0.38     -5.89
PRM.N     4.55     -0.25     -5.21
UTA.N     3.65     -0.20     -5.19
MON.N     69.63     -3.69     -5.03

Dow +25.92 at 12419.82, Nasdaq +4.76 at 2795.95, S&P +1.39 at 1334.02

Small-cap stocks have slipped to a 0.2% loss, as measured by the Russell 2000. The Russell 2000 actually set a record intraday high in the early going.
Among the Russell 2000's sharpest movers, La-Z-Boy (LZB 10.78, +0.94) is a top performer following an analyst upgrade. American Superconductor (AMSC 14.63, -10.25) is the worst performer in the space after the company slashed its guidance and announced that a customer that has historically accounted for about three-quarters of business refused delivery of goods from AMSC.

Potuguese finmin reportedly tells local press that it is necessary to resort to European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF)
Dow +21.50 at 12415.40, Nasdaq +1.08 at 2792.27, S&P +0.16 at 1332.79

Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite have stabilized at the flat line after a recent dip into negative territory. Meanwhile, the Dow continues to cling to a narrow gain. Blue chips continue to be led by Cisco (CSCO 17.92, +0.70). Hewlett-Packard (HPQ 41.14, +0.85) has also provided support.
Outside of the most widely tracked averages, the Dow Jones Transportation Average is currently down 0.4%, but the Dow Jones Utility Average is up 0.6%. Meanwhile, both the S&P 100 and S&P 600 are up 0.1%.

Analysts do not see a BOE rate move, but near 50% say there is a chance of a May hike
American focus: dollar remains under pressure

The euro rallied to its highest level against the dollar in more than 14 months on speculation the European Central Bank will increase borrowing costs further after raising its target lending rate tomorrow.
“The assumption in the market is that the ECB will not only raise rates tomorrow, but is likely to engage in further tightening, and that’s really what’s boosting the euro,” said Boris Schlossberg, director of research at online currency trader GFT Forex in New York. “Japan will remain ultra accommodative for as far as the eye can see, and the rest of the world is slowly but surely moving back toward tightening.”
ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled on March 3 that policy makers may raise the benchmark rate at their next meeting to curb inflation, which reached a two-year high of 2.6 percent last month.
The ECB will raise its main rate by 25 basis points from a record low 1 percent tomorrow, according to economists.
Europe’s currency has gained 6.9 percent against the dollar this year as stronger economic growth in Germany and accelerating inflation boosted expectations that policy makers in the 17-member bloc will need to raise interest rates even as nations including Ireland and Portugal struggle to contain debt.
The yen tumbled against all of its major counterparts on bets the Bank of Japan will keep interest rates low as the nation recovers from the earthquake and tsunami while borrowing costs in other developed nations rise. The dollar slid against most of its peers while advancing to a six-month high versus the yen on the view that the Federal Reserve will trail other central banks in ending economic stimulus except the BOJ.
The Swiss franc gained versus most of its major counterparts, rising 0.8 percent to 91.77 centimes versus the dollar, as inflation unexpectedly accelerated in March.
Consumer prices increased 1 percent from a year earlier, the Federal Statistics Office reported. The median forecast of economists was for a 0.5 percent annual pace, the same as in the previous month.

Dow +30.73 at 12424.63, Nasdaq +6.12 at 2797.31, S&P +1.66 at 1334.32

Recent selling pressure took both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite back toward the neutral line, but they have started to retrace the move.
Tech had been a key source of leadership in recent trade, but the sector has since slipped a bit. It still trades with a 0.4% gain, though. Financials are now providing primary support. As a group, financials are up 0.6%. Investment banking issues and specialty finance names have been particularly strong players.

OIL: May WTI Nymex crude edged up towards Monday's high of $108.78, stalling at $108.68. Prices remains firm on MENA and African concerns.
GERMANY, Econmin: Germany will be able to meet EU deficit goal in 2011; 2011 GDP likely above f'cast +2.3%.
US: Apr 1 wk EIA oil data: crude stocks +2m to 357.7m bbl.
FX OPTIONS: London expiries for todays 1400GMT:

USD/JPY Y83.00, Y83.50, Y84.00, Y84.10, Y84.25, Y84.50
EUR/USD $1.4150, $1.4200, $1.4250, $1.4265, $1.4300 
EUR/AUD A$1.3900
AUD/USD  $1.0200, $1.0300
USD/CHF Chf0.9200
AUD/JPY Y84.50

Before the bell: Stocks poised for gains

U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open.
Some investors are shrugging off minutes from the Federal Reserve released Tuesday, which showed central bank officials in sharp disaggreement about rising prices.
Meanwhile, gold prices are rallying as other investors believe inflation will become an issue sooner than later. Gold futures for June delivery breached a new intraday trading record of $1,462.10 an ounce. Silver broke a 31-year high of $39.71 an ounce earlier in the morning.

Companies: Dish Network (DISH, Fortune 500) announced Wednesday that it won ownership of Blockbuster for $320 million in a bankruptcy court auction. Blockbuster put itself up for sale in February, after the movie rental chain filed for bankruptcy last fall.
Monsanto (MON, Fortune 500) shares were little changed in pre-market trading, after the agricultural product giant reported quarterly earnings of $1.87 a share, slightly higher than analysts were expecting.
After the bell, investors get results from home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY, Fortune 500), which is expected to earn 97 cents a share.
Economy: No major economic reports are on the agenda for Wednesday, but investors will continue to keep an eye on budget negotiations in Congress and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.
Congress risks a federal government shutdown if it fails to approve a spending bill by Friday.

USD/JPY gets higher

USD/JPY slowly gets higher with possibly some AUD/JPY buying. AUD/JPY on course for a retest of the day's high of Y88.71. USD/JPY at $85.28/30.

EUR/USD below $1.4300

EUR/USD holds around $1.4300 area amid light flows. Rate trades lower overnight highs at $1.4317 with barrier strikes at $1.4325/30. After the break higher, momentum has faded, one trader says, but pair remains a buy on dips.

GBP/USD weakens again

GBP/USD easing back to $1.6283 as euro-sterling gets a lift back towards the earlier high of stg0.8785 printed after the UK Industrial production data.

EU session review: Euro appreciates before ECB rates meeting

Data released:
08:30     UK     Industrial production (February)    -1.2%    0.4%    0.5%
08:30     UK     Industrial production (February) Y/Y    2.4%    4.3%    4.4%
08:30     UK     Manufacturing output (February)    0.0%    0.6%    1.0%
08:30     UK     Manufacturing output (Ferbuary) Y/Y    4.9%    5.8%    6.8%
09:00     EU(16)     GDP (Q4) final         0.3%    0.3%
09:00     EU(16)     GDP (Q4) final Y/Y         2.0%    2.0%
10:00     Germany     Manufacturing orders (February) seasonally adjusted    2.4%    1.3%    3.1 (2.9)%
10:00     Germany     Manufacturing orders (February) not seasonally adjusted, workday adjusted Y/Y    20.1%         16.5 (16.0)%

The euro rallied to a more than 14- month high versus the dollar before the European Central Bank meets tomorrow to decide on interest rates. The ECB will raise its main rate by 25 basis points from a record low 1% tomorrow, according to surveyed economists.
“The rise we’re seeing in the euro is very much interest- rate driven,” said Sarah Hewin, a senior economist at Standard Chartered Plc. “Markets are increasingly shifting from the view of a one-and-done rate hike at the next meeting, to one that sees more rate hikes further out.”
Europe’s currency has gained 6.9% against the dollar this year as stronger economic growth in Germany and accelerating inflation boosted expectations that policy makers in the 17-member bloc will need to raise interest rates. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled on March 3 that policy makers may raise the benchmark rate at their next meeting to curb consumer-price inflation, which reached a two-year high of 2.6% in March.
“The ECB will likely hike rates tomorrow,” said Tsutomu Soma at Okasan Securities Co.. “The bias is for the euro” to strengthen.
Gross domestic product in the euro area expanded 0.3% in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, a report today showed. The reading was in line with the median estimate of economists. German factory orders jumped a more-than-forecast 2.4% in February from a month earlier when they increased 3.1%. Economists had forecast a 0.5% gain.
The yen slumped against the dollar on speculation Japan will hold its current monetary policy to support the economy. Japan’s central bank will keep its target rate at zero to 0.1% at the end of its meeting tomorrow.

EUR/USD slowly rose from $1.4270 in EU to highs on $1.4315. But rate failed to hold above and back under $1.4300.

GBP/USD fell from $1.6364 to the session lows around $1.6262 following the poor UK IP data. Later rate recovered to $1.6315.

USD/JPY recovered from Y84.80 to Y83.20.

There is no major data left for today.


Gold prices continue to hold higher amid MENA concerns, EU debt and the Japanese nuclear crisis. Today gold posted a new all time spot high of $1460.95. Chinese inflation concerns adding to the drive. The price of Gold having risen by over 28% in the last year. Gold currently trades around $1458.


JPM's analysts reviews FOMC mins and say they are consistent with recent statements. "In short, there are hawks who want tightening and doves who prefer continued easy policy. These minutes don't really change our view."

AUD/USD holds higher

AUD/USD holds higher around $1.0380, a bit lower Asian high on $1.0398. Monday's post float high of $1.0422 beckons ahead of an option barrier at $1.0450. Aussie trades $1.0385.

EUR/JPY retreats

EUR/JPY retreats after testing earlier highs on Y121.97. A break here likely to fuel a further stampede through Y122.30 (May 10 high) towards Y123.38 (May05 high). Cross trades Y121.70.

EU focus: Yen falls as BOJ meets

The yen fell as the Bank of Japan began a meeting on Wednesday that may signal its readiness to further loosen monetary policy to support the economy.
The yen has been on a downward trend since a rare joint intervention by leading central banks to weaken the currency.
"The yen is weakening due to expectations for interest rates to rise abroad," said Tsutomu Soma, senior manager at Okasan Securities. "In countries other than Japan, there are moves towards raising interest rates or exiting from extreme monetary easing... But in Japan, a massive amount of funds have been pumped into the money market as an emergency measure."

Japan's Nikkei share average closed down
0.3 percent. A weaker yen ought to be positive for Japan's heavyweight exporters, but investors remain concerned about production capacity knocked out by the devastating March 11 earthquake.
"The dollar going above 85 yen is a significant breakthrough," said Hiroaki Osakabe, a fund manager at Chibagin Asset Management. "But carmakers and other manufacturers have to be able to produce at full capacity first to really feel positive impact. That's why they're not surging on the news."
The Bank of Japan is expected to keep policy on hold at its two-day meeting that started on Wednesday. In contrast, there are strong expectations the European Central Bank will bump its key policy rate up 25 basis points from a record low 1 percent on Thursday to curb inflationary pressures, with markets already pricing in more tightening later in the year.
Minutes of last month's Federal Reserve policy-setting meeting, released on Tuesday, showed the U.S. central bank appeared intent to complete a $600 billion bond-buying plan and to keep rates at exceptionally low levels for an extended period.

GBP/JPY above lows

GBP/JPY earlier fell from highs on Y139.67 to the lows around Y138.07 following the very disappointing UK Industrial output data. Later rate recovered to Y138.67.

GERMANY: Industrial new +2.4% m/m, +20,1% y/y
GBP/USD above lows

GBP/USD tries to recover after it fell to the lows around $1.6266 following the poor UK data. Cable has now recovered to the Asian opening levels trading $1.6285.

FTSE +0.30% 6,025, CAC -0.50% 4,022, DAX +0.04% 7,178
OPTIONS: London expiries for todays 1400GMT cut:

USD/JPY Y83.00, Y83.50, Y84.00, Y84.10, Y84.25, Y84.50
EUR/USD $1.4150, $1.4200, $1.4250, $1.4265, $1.4300 
EUR/AUD A$1.3900
AUD/USD  $1.0200, $1.0300
USD/CHF Chf0.9200
AUD/JPY Y84.50

EMU GDP +0.3% q/q, +2.0% y/y
UK DATA: Feb manufacturing output unch. m/m; +4.9% y/y; Feb industrial production -1.2% m/m; +2.4% y/y
Asian stocks close

Hang Seng +0.56% 24,285.05

Shanghai Composite +1.14% 3001.36

Nikkei -0.32% 9584.37


Asian session: The yen dropped

05:00 Japan Coincident Index (Feb) 106.3
05:00 Japan Leading Economic Index (Feb) 104.2

The yen dropped to a six-month low against the dollar on speculation Japan will trail behind other developed nations in ending stimulus measures as it rebuilds after its biggest earthquake.
Japan’s currency fell against all its major counterparts on expectations the central bank will decide on new fund-providing measures at a two-day policy meeting starting today.
The euro rose to a 10-month high against the yen before a report forecast to confirm Europe’s economy expanded for a sixth quarter.
The Australian dollar strengthened to the highest level in 30 months against the yen as the extra yield offered by bonds in the South Pacific nation attracted investors.

EUR/USD: the pair become stronger in around $1.4270. 

GBP/USD: the pair become stronger in around $1.6340.

USD/JPY: the pair shown high in the field of Y85.50.

UK data:  at 0830GMT with UK industrial production and manufacturing output data. IP is expected to come slow slightly to +0.4% m/m, 4.3% y/y with manufacturing at 0.6% m/m, 5.8% y/y. 
EMU data sees the third release of Q4 GDP at 0900GMT, which is followed at 1000GMT by German manufacturing orders data.

Forex: Tusday's review


Sterling was the biggest winner versus the dollar among the most-traded currencies as the U.K.’s service industries accelerated at the fastest pace in more than a year last month. 
Markit Economics Ltd. and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said a gauge of U.K. services based on a survey of companies rose to 57.1, the highest level in 13 months and above the median forecast of 52.6.
The dollar rose against the yen after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said yesterday inflation must be watched “extremely closely,” spurring bets interest rates may be raised sooner than forecast.
Australia’s dollar dropped from almost a record after the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens held the overnight cash target rate at 4.75 percent for a fourth straight meeting as floods disrupted coal mining in the nation’s northeast and a rising currency tempered inflation. 
FOMC said: "To mitigate (infl) risks... agreed that FOMC would continue its planning for the eventual exit from the current, exceptionally accommodative stance of monetary policy. In light of uncertainty about the economic outlook, it was seen as prudent to consider possible exit strategies for a range of potential economic outcomes. A few participants indicated that economic conditions might warrant a move toward less-accommodative monetary policy this year; a few others noted that exceptional policy accommodation could be appropriate beyond 2011." Also, "A few members noted that evidence of a stronger recovery, or of higher inflation or rising infl expectations, could make it appropriate to reduce the pace or overall size of the purchase program. Several others indicated that they did not anticipate making adjustments to the program before its intended completion."
Recall that staff forecasts were rev down for growth, up for inflation. 


EUR/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of $1.4150-$ 1.4245. 
GBP/USD: on results of yesterday's session the pair become stronger in around $1.6300.
USD/JPY: on results of yesterday's session the pair become stronger above mark Y85.00.

UK data:  at 0830GMT with UK industrial production and manufacturing output data. IP is expected to come slow slightly to +0.4% m/m, 4.3% y/y with manufacturing at 0.6% m/m, 5.8% y/y. 

EMU data sees the third release of Q4 GDP at 0900GMT, which is followed at 1000GMT by German manufacturing orders data.


Stocks: Tuesday's review

Japanese stocks fell, dragging the Topix index down by the most in three weeks, after Tokyo Electric Power Co. began dumping radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station into the sea.
Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd. (1332), which fishes and produces seafood products, lost 4.9 percent. Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc. (1334), which sells seafood, dropped 2.5 percent. Tokyo Electric Power plunged to a 60-year low for the biggest drop on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average. Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the world’s biggest carmaker, fell 2.4 percent. Tokyo Electron Ltd. (8035), the world’s second- largest maker of semiconductor equipment, slumped 2.8 percent after a report showed global chip sales fell.
The Nikkei 225 declined 1.1 percent to 9,615.55 as of the close of trading in Tokyo, its biggest loss since March 23. The gauge has fallen 7.9 percent since the close on March 10, the day before Japan was hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami.

European stocks climbed for a third day, led by technology companies, after Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) agreed to buy National Semiconductor Corp., fueling optimism that company spending will push shares higher.
STMicroelectronics NV (STM) and Infineon Technologies AG (IFX), Europe’s largest chipmakers, led gains on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Storebrand ASA (STB) rallied 4.5 percent as Morgan Stanley added the insurer’s shares to its best ideas list.
Stocks in Europe climbed even as a U.S. gauge of service industries fell, China raised interest rates and Portugal’s credit rating was cut at Moody’s Investors Service.

U.S. stocks rose for a third day as National Semiconductor Corp. (NSM) led chipmakers higher after Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) agreed to buy the company and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF)’s earnings forecast topped estimates.
National Semiconductor, which makes analog chips, soared 71 percent. Abercrombie & Fitch, the teen retailer, jumped 12 percent. Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) added at least 1.2 percent before their weightings in the Nasdaq-100 Index more than double. Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) rose 3.6 percent as gold surged to a record $1,455.50 an ounce. Google Inc. (GOOG) sank 2.9 percent as people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News that the U.S. government is considering an antitrust probe.
The S&P 500 has risen 6 percent in 2011 through yesterday as government stimulus measures, corporate takeovers and higher- than-estimated earnings boosted investors’ optimism. Alcoa Inc. (AA) starts the earnings reporting season on April 11. The aluminum producer may post net income of $321 million in the first quarter, a 265 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg.
The S&P 500 had fallen as much as 6.4 percent from this year’s high in February amid concern that Japan’s nuclear crisis and uprisings in the Middle East and northern Africa would stifle global economic growth.

Switzerland: Consumer Price Index (Mar) +0.6% МоМ, +1.0% YoY
Tech on USD/JPY

Resistance 3:Y84.50 (Aug 13 high) 
Resistance 2:Y85.90 (Sep 16-17 high) 
Resistance 1:Y85.50 (Apr 5 high) 
Current price: Y85.29
Support 1:Y84.70 (Apr 1 high)    
Support 2:Y83.80 (Apr 4 low)    
Support 3:Y82.50 (Mar 31 low)    
Comments: the pair continues to become stronger. The nearest support - Y84,70. Below losses are possible to Y83.80. The nearest resistance - Y85.50. Above growth is possible to Y85.90.

Tech on USD/CHF

Resistance 3: Chf0.9370 (high of March)
Resistance 2: Chf0.9340 (Apr 1 high)
Resistance 1: Chf0.9290 (session high)
Current price: Chf0.9260
Support 1: Chf0.9240 (session low)
Support 2: Chf0.9190 (Apr 4 low)
Support 3: Chf0.9120 (Mar 31 low)
Comments: the pair bargains in the field of Chf0.8260. The nearest support - Chf0,9240. Below loss may extend to Chf0.9190. The nearest resistance - Chf0.9290. Above is located Chf0.9370. 

Tech on GBP/USD

Resistance 3: $ 1.6460 (Jan'2010 high)
Resistance 2: $ 1.6400 (Mar 22 high)
Resistance 1: $ 1.6340 (session high)
Current price: $1.6329
Support 1 : $1.6180 (Apr 4 high)
Support 2 : $1.6090 (Apr 5 low)
Support 32 : $1.5930 (Mar 28-29 low)
Comments: the pair grown. The nearest resistance - area $1.6340. Above growth is possible to $1.6400. The nearest support $1.6180. Below is possible testings of around $1.6090. 

Tech on EUR/USD

Resistance 3: $ 1.4580 (Jan 2010 high)
Resistance 2: $ 1.4410 (Jan 19'2010 high)
Resistance 1: $ 1.4270/85 (Apr 4 high, high of November, resistance line from Jul'2008)
Current price: $1.4261
Support 1 : $1.4215 (session low)
Support 2 : $1.4150 (Apr 5 low)
Support 3 : $1.4120 (support line from Jan 10)
Comments: the pair become stronger. The nearest support $1,4215. Below losses are possible to $1.4150. The nearest resistance - $1.4270/85. Above growth is possible to $1,4410. 

Schedule for today, Wednesday, Apr 06 2011:

05:00 Japan  Leading indicators composite index (January) preliminary 104.2 101.5
05:00 Japan Coincident indicators composite index (January) preliminary - 105.9
08:30 UK Industrial production (February) 0.4% 0.5%
08:30 UK Industrial production (February) Y/Y 4.3% 4.4%
08:30 UK Manufacturing output (February) 0.6% 1.0%
08:30 UK Manufacturing output (Ferbuary) Y/Y 5.8% 6.8%
09:00 EU(16) GDP (Q4) final 0.3% 0.3%
09:00 EU(16) GDP (Q4) final Y/Y 2.0% 2.0%
10:00 Germany Manufacturing orders (February) seasonally adjusted 1.3% 2.9%
10:00 Germany Manufacturing orders (February) not seasonally adjusted, workday adjusted Y/Y 13.2% 16.0%

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