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 ADVFN Morning Euro Markets Bulletin - Oct. 22th 2010

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PostSubject: ADVFN Morning Euro Markets Bulletin - Oct. 22th 2010   Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:29 am

By ADVFN.com
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London Market Reports
Blue chips lower as IPOs roll-out

London has opened lower, with attention distracted by the huge AIA float in Hong Kong and Betfair's listing in London.

AIA is raising $20.5bn from the float, which it priced at HK$19.68, at the top of the indicated range. The price values AIA at $30.5bn - exactly matching the price Prudential eventually baulked at paying earlier this year after months of shilly- shallying.

Meanwhile online betting firm Betfair has priced its London float at 1,300p, valuing it at a more modest £1.39bn.

Red faces at Legal & General this morning as it revealed its third quarter results more than two weeks early after it sent them to analysts last night by mistake. Included were figures revealing total worldwide new business on an annual premium equivalent (APE) basis of £466m in the three months to 30 September, taking the nine-month number to £1.35bn, up 27% on 2009.

Elsewhere, BSkyB added more customers than expected in the first quarter, boosting revenue by 15% and profit by 25%, but there’s no word on News Corp's bid to take over the satellite broadcaster. Net customer growth of 96,000 in the three months to 30 September took the total to 9.96m, while a 12% increase in net product growth of 989,000 was a record.

African Barrick Gold’s profit fell 8% during the third quarter and revenue dipped 1%. Net income dropped to $40m during the three months to 30 September from $43m a year ago and sales of $209m compare with $211m in 2009. The company, which recently slashed production forecasts at its Buzwagi operation following a huge fuel theft, blamed the quarterly drop in revenue on a drop in ounces sold, though this was partially offset by 29% increase in the average realised gold price to $1,233 an ounce.

Home credit group Provident Financial played down the possible impact of the government’s welfare and spending cuts even though its core customer base are low to middle income earners.

Events and publishing group UBM's trading environment is improving steadily with with revenue for the nine months up 3.9% to £643m (Sept 2009: £619m) and underlying revenue up 2.1%.

Internet gambling firm PartyGaming, which is merging with rival bwin Interactive Entertainment, raised revenue by 9% in the third quarter and has named Simon Duffy as chairman of the enlarged group.


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UK Event Calendar for today
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
AG Barr, Ambrian Capital, Densitron Technologies, Edinburgh US Tracker Trust, F&C Asset Management, Goals Soccer Centres, H.R. Owen, Invesco Perpetual UK Small Companies Inv Trust, Just Car Clinics Group, Kentz Corporation Ltd., New World Resources NV, Petrofac Ltd., Playtech Ltd., PME African Infrastructure Opportunities, Robert Walters, Severfield-Rowen, Tribal Group

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Henderson Financial Opportunities Ltd., Real Estate Credit Investments Ltd.

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Supermarket Sales (JPN)
Balance of Payments (EU) (09:00)
IFO Business Climate (GER) (09:00)
IFO Current Assessment (GER) (09:00)
IFO Expectations (GER) (09:00)
Retail Sales (EU) (10:00)

Q3
PartyGaming, Schlumberger Ltd.

GMS
Mercury Recycling Group

ANNUAL REPORT
Pan African Resources

IMSS
United Business Media Ltd.

EGMS
Powerflute Oyj

AGMS
British Sky Broadcasting Group, Charles Street Capital , Thorntons, Urals Energy Public Co Ltd.

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Consort Medical, Epicure Qatar Equity Opportunities, Invesco Perpetual AiM VCT, Jupiter Primadona Growth Trust

Q1
British Sky Broadcasting Group


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Forex Market Reports
Markets set to remain choppy as G20 finance meeting looms

Currency markets have continued their US dollar rollercoaster ride with the greenback continuing to flirt with its recent 15 year lows against the yen, and trading either side of the 1.4000 level against the euro, as 10 year bond yield spreads continue to work in the single currency’s favour.

However as the November date of the FOMC draws ever nearer, there is a concern about the level of any stimulus relative to the recent US dollar declines, especially in light of some of US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s recent comments with respect to the major currency pairs. To add to the uncertainty Brazilian Finance Minister Mantega claimed that Geithner told him that the US doesn’t intend a devaluation of the dollar, and that the Fed’s policy actions were being overestimated.

With no US data ahead of this weekend’s G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in South Korea, it appears caution about being overly bearish on the dollar is starting to set in a little. It is unlikely however that anything of note will be achieved at the meeting this weekend, apart from a few sound bites about monitoring the situation, and urging countries not to use their currencies as weapons of devaluation.

The pound has also taken a hit on fears of further calls for stimulus from members of the more dovish camp in the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, after UK retail sales fell for the second month in succession as consumers reined back on spending in September, over uncertainty with respect to the outcome of Wednesday’s spending review. Some investors are now concerned that the Bank of England could look to inject another £50bn of stimulus as soon as the next meeting in November, however that seems unlikely at this stage.

The decline in retail sales could just be a brief pause ahead of a pre-Christmas pick-up ahead of the VAT rise in January next year, as consumers hold back on spending until the lead up to the festive season.

The only economic data of note today is the German IFO Business climate assessment and confidence expectations for October, which could give the euro a further boost.

EURUSD – another choppy session saw the single currency overshoot the 1.4020/30 area to 1.4050 before sliding back below the 1.4000 level towards the 200 week moving average around the 1.3920 area where it appears to be finding some support. For clues about the euro’s direction we need to keep an eye on the trend line support in the US dollar index from the March 2008 lows at 70.70.
As long as the support line around 76.00/10 holds then we can expect further euro upside to be limited. However a break of the trend line could propel the euro above the recent highs at 1.4165 towards the 1.4370 area.
However with this weekends meeting of G20 finance ministers in South Korea on the horizon expect the moves to continue to be choppy.

GBPUSD – the pound continues to squeeze short positions quite aggressively with the rebound from the 50 day moving average support at 1.5640/60 stopping around the 1.5880 level, which was a 50% rebound of the 1.6105/1.5650 down move.
The lows set this week around the 1.5650 area remain the key barrier to further declines towards 1.5390, the 38.2% retracement of the up move from the May lows at 1.4230 to the highs at 1.6105.

EURGBP – the euro broke above its recent highs at 0.8835/40 and ratcheted sharply higher yesterday targeting the move to 0.8895 61.8% retracement of the down move from 0.9410 to 0.8065.This retracement level also coincides with trend line resistance from the December 2008 highs at 0.9801 which comes in around 0.8900.
As long as the single currency is able to hold below these key resistance levels then further upside should be limited and a return to the 0.8700 levels should occur, but it needs to break below support around 0.8835/40 first. A break and close above 0.8900 re-targets the March highs around 0.9150.


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US Market Reports
More gains for the Dow

US shares closed higher after rumours swirled about possible new stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve. Dow closed up 38 points at 11,146. Nasdaq gained 2 at 2,459 while the S&P 500 added 2 at 1,180.

Fast food king McDonald’s beefed up net profit by 10% between July and September to $1.39bn (£883m). Revenue increased by 4% to $6.3bn. Same store sales were up 5.3% in the US and 4.1% in Europe.

Online marketplace eBay forecast strong fourth quarter results as buyers and sellers continue flocking to the site.

Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar increased its earnings guidance following the release of its third quarter figures. The earnings per share guidance has increased from 315-385 cents, to 380-400 cents. That means that earnings could almost treble in 2010.

Chocolate maker Hershey upgraded its full year earnings forecast to between $2.52 and $2.56 a share.

Parcel delivery group UPS and tobacco giant Philip Morris also lifted full-year earnings forecasts.

After the close, Amazon posted a 39% jump in sales and third-quarter earnings per share of 51c, ahead of the 48c predicted in the market.

Meanwhile, Chinese economic growth slowed to an annual rate of 9.6% in the third quarter, a bit lower than the 10.3% expansion seen in the previous quarter but impressive nevertheless.

Back in the US and initial unemployment claims in America fell a slightly bigger than expected 23,000 last week to 452,000. There was also talk that the Fed could start buying bonds as soon as next week to speed up the recovery in the US economy.


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Friday newspaper close
Taxpayers will have to pick up the £2.6bn bill for the controversial aircraft carrier that will never carry jets because Gordon Brown agreed an “unbreakable” contract designed to protect shipbuilding jobs in Scotland.

Under a 15-year agreement signed with BAE Systems, the Labour Government guaranteed work for the company’s shipyards on the River Clyde and in Portsmouth. This included the £5.2bn contract to build two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy, which David Cameron revealed this week that he was unable to cancel, the Times reports.

Britain’s borrowing costs have dropped to the lowest in a generation, falling below those of Germany, Europe’s biggest and strongest economy, reflecting in part investor confidence that the government can bring the deficit under control. George Osborne, the chancellor, vowed on Thursday that he would not retreat on his plans to rein in the deficit, the most ambitious effort to cut public spending announced by any major economy. Benchmark five-year gilt yields fell to 1.43% on Thursday, almost a quarter of a percentage point below those of Germany, which traditionally benefits from much lower interest rate costs, and the lowest level since at least the 1980s, the FT reports.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has accused Chancellor George Osborne of undermining his own agenda of simplifying benefits and driving the work-shy into jobs with his muddled welfare reforms. Cuts to tax credits "will reduce the incentive work", council tax benefit reforms go "directly against the ideas behind the universal credit" and the removal of child benefit from top earners is "not a well-designed means test", the IFS said, reports the Telegraph.

Ministers from leading nations are struggling to forge an agreement spurning competitive currency devaluations amid fears that a foreign exchange war could derail the world recovery. G20 nations could pledge to “refrain from competitive undervaluation” of currencies, according to a draft communiqué circulated in the lead-up to a summit of finance ministers and central bankers in Korea starting today, the Times reports.

Saskatchewan urged the Canadian government to block BHP Billiton’s $39bn (£24.8bn) bid for PotashCorp on the grounds that the Australian miner had failed to show that the deal would benefit the prairie province. “We must say no to this hostile takeover,” Brad Wall, Saskatchewan’s premier, told the chamber of commerce in Regina, the provincial capital. “In this deal we would lose a proud Canadian company. We would go from being price-setters to price-takers,” the FT reports.

AIA was poised last night to raise the maximum $20.5bn from its bumper stock market listing in Asia — the world’s second largest this year. Bankers working for the Asian insurer were expected to price AIA’s shares at HK$19.68 each late last night, at the top of the indicated range. The price values AIA at $30.5bn — the exact price at which the Prudential disastrously failed to buy the insurer this year. AIA’s flotation is the largest on a single stock exchange in Asia. It follows the $22.1bn raised by Agricultural Bank of China, which pursued a dual listing in June, the Times reports.

Installing smart meters that use the internet to transmit information about gas and electricity use in Britain’s 26 million homes will expose the nation to the threat of cyberattacks, according to a company with close ties to MI5 and GCHQ. Terrorists or foreign governments could switch off electricity supplies to entire cities, said Richard Watson, director of the commercial client group at Detica, part of BAE Systems. The drive to install the technology in every UK home by 2020 posed a distinct new security threat, the Times reports.

Banks face being taxed twice on their balance sheets in the first year of the Government's new £2.5bn levy with Britain unlikely to reach an agreement with other countries on the issue of double taxation before the measure is introduced next year. British biggest banks such as Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland will be hit hardest by the issue of double taxation as they are likely to end up paying the UK government levy on their global balance sheets as well as similar taxes in countries such as France, Germany and the US, the Telegraph reports.

Google, the internet giant which makes profits at a rate of $1m every hour, is shielding billions of dollars from tax across the world by using complex financial structures known in the industry as "the Double Irish" and "the Dutch Sandwich". The company is pushing the bulk of its non-US business revenues, including all the revenue generated in the UK, through an Irish subsidiary, and then on to the Caribbean tax haven of Bermuda – a structure that tax experts say is entirely legal and is becoming increasingly common among multinational corporations, the Independent reports.

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ADVFN Morning Euro Markets Bulletin - Oct. 22th 2010
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