Financial market research and analysis

Our analysts have their fingers on the pulse of the world's financial market news.

CFD trading is high risk and may not be suitable for everyone.
Lifting restrictions, Softbank & Gold 7-year high

Stocks rising

Markets are restarting after a long Easter weekend with a positive tone. Things have moved on from when there was so much bad virus news that the weekend was to be avoided at all cost. European shares look set for a positive open as more nations including Spain ease lockdown restrictions. Wall Street finished down but well off lows of the day as Netflix shares saw the Nasdaq finish higher.

 

China exports

Asian shares got a lift from a smaller than expected fall in Chinese exports. Dollar-denominated exports fell 6.6% year-on-year, less than half the -14% drop expected. The data coming out of China (that suffered the fallout from the virus first) is rough leading indicator for the rest of the world. The smaller exports drop is a clue China’s Q1 growth figures released on Friday could also surprise on the topside.

 

Opening calls

FTSE set to open 79 points higher at 5921

DAX set to open 181 points higher at 10,745

S&P 500 to open 47 points higher at 2808

 

Softbank to lose billions

A “deteriorating market environment” will lead to a massive $16.7 billion loss at tech investing fund Softbank. The fund partnered with Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund to create the ‘Vision fund’ where the losses will be felt. The reason has been some high profile tech investments that have hit problems during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

The problems go deeper at SoftBank though. The company has huge debts that have only been tolerated because of large paper profits in some big loss-making companies like Uber and WeWork. The hope was to convert those paper profits into real ones via IPO. But the WeWork IPO fiasco as well as the tumble weeds floating through the current new listings market will mean investors no longer have that profitable exit point. If markets hit turbulence again, or even if they don’t – investors will want to pull funds out of Softbank, even at a loss.

 

Spain lifting coronavirus restrictions

We are approaching two million coronavirus cases globally. But while the number of cases has doubled in two weeks, the countries that are seeing a slower rate of growth are trying to reopen economies before permanent damage is done. Spain allowed approximately 300,000 ‘nonessential’ workers back to work in the Madrid region on Monday in an effort to lift lockdown restrictions.

 

They are mostly from construction and manufacturing. It looks like services and tourism will be the last to go back to work. The trouble is in a country like Spain that those are some of the biggest contributors to GDP. Tourism is of course cyclical and if restrictions last too long, Summer bookings will just never materialise. We suspect another big tourism-specific bailout would need to happen in that instance.

 

Gold 7 year high

It has been a steadier rise to 7-year highs this time around. While all the focus has been on oil market volatility, gold has been staging an impressive rally. Gold’s strength flies in the face of the usual explanation of haven gains because it has coincided with a recovery in stock markets. For us, the common denominator is the – at last count – nine new programs introduced by the Federal Reserve. More dollars swirling around in the system will see investors worry less about dollar funding pressures.

 

18-5-2020

Gold hits 7-year high after Powell Warning
Fed Chair Jay Powell has warned the US economic recovery might last through the end of 2021. The Fed is normally too optimistic in its forecasts so the outlook feels bleak. Still, warm weather is encouraging countries to continue exiting lockdown. If the flu s… Read more

14-5-2020

Powell predicts more pain to come but no NIRP
A warning from the top of the US central bank that there’s more pain to come isn’t going down well across markets. Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned yesterday that more stimulus will likely be needed in the US to fend off the economic damage done by virus and pol… Read more

13-5-2020

“Suffering and death” warning hurts markets
A sense of caution has taken hold across markets. Shares, riskier currencies and oil are pointed lower. There’s a reassessment of the likely timeline for economic reopening. Our sense is markets juiced up by higher liquidity may have gotten ahead of themselves… Read more

12-5-2020

Bitcoin halving, dollar breakout on second wave fears
Market sentiment remains fragile. There’s a lot of emphasis being placed on the virus numbers in economies that have been gradually reopening.  Wuhan, the City in China where it all began reported its first ‘cluster’ of new cases yesterday after lifting restri… Read more

20-4-2020

US oil lowest since 1999, European shares diverge from Wall St
Another oil crash US crude prices have plummeted over 15% to the lowest since 1999. The 21-year low came as sellers were trying to get ahead of the expiry of the May contract tomorrow. Open interest was five times the average. A condition of Super Contango in… Read more

14-4-2020

Lifting restrictions, Softbank & Gold 7-year high
Stocks rising Markets are restarting after a long Easter weekend with a positive tone. Things have moved on from when there was so much bad virus news that the weekend was to be avoided at all cost. European shares look set for a positive open as more nations… Read more

9-4-2020

S&P 500 enters bull market, lockdowns to extend
The mood in markets continues to improve but it’s patchy. Virus cases continue to rise at a rapid clip but markets are extrapolating the data forward and hoping we’re close to a peak.    Asian and European markets are playing catch-up to the rally on Wall St… Read more

8-4-2020

Rally fizzles out, Tesco pandemic costs, Sterling & Boris
Optimism is fizzling out as doubts grow about how and when exactly quarantine and lockdown restrictions will end. The failure of Eurozone finance ministers to agree joint action underscores the limited capacity of governments to cushion the coming economic fal… Read more