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  • Gold Prices Fall For Third Straight Session As U.S. Dollar Strengthens

    February 20, 2018, 04:24

    Investing.com - Gold prices remained lower on Tuesday as the dollar rebounded from a three-year low, while investors await the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting due tomorrow.

    Trading volumes were expected to remain thin however, as Wall Street was closed on Monday for a holiday. Comex gold futures were down 0.88% at $1,344.30 a troy ounce as of 11:20 pm ET.

    The dollar was supported by the U.S. homebuilding data released on Friday that increased to more than a one-year high in January and that building permits soared to their highest level since 2007. A higher-than-expected consumer price growth last week was also cited as tailwind.

    The US dollar index that tracks the dollar against a currency basket was quoted at 89.28 at 11:20 pm ET, up 0.22%.

    The greenback has been weakening in recent months, as inflation concerns amid the ideas that U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks might raise rates were cited as the main reason for the dollar's underperformance. The U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested last month that a weaker dollar policy by the States could be good given the country’s trade deficit is reaching to a 10-year high.

    Gold is sensitive to moves in the dollar and U.S. rates, as a stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency, while an increasing U.S. rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets.

    Asian equities were mixed in the morning trading session today, with the Nikkei and the S&P/ASX 200 shedding 1.1% and 0.2% respectively, while the Hang Seng Index gained 0.5%. Mainland Chinese markets are closed for Lunar New Year holiday until Thursday.

    Read More
  • Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 0.32%

    February 19, 2018, 09:30

    Investing.com – Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Industrials and Electric Power sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa added 0.32%.

    The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Gerdau SA Pref (SA:GGBR4), which rose 5.02% or 0.80 points to trade at 16.73 at the close. Meanwhile, Magazine Luiza SA (SA:MGLU3) added 4.64% or 3.65 points to end at 82.26 and Metalurgica Gerdau SA (SA:GOAU4) was up 4.44% or 0.33 points to 7.77 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were BB Seguridade Participacoes SA (SA:BBSE3), which fell 4.63% or 1.47 points to trade at 30.28 at the close. Tim Participacoes SA (SA:TIMP3) declined 2.13% or 0.30 points to end at 13.79 and IGUATEMI ON NM (SA:IGTA3) was down 1.77% or 0.71 points to 39.44.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the BM&FBovespa Stock Exchange by 219 to 147 and 46 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Gerdau SA Pref (SA:GGBR4) rose to 3-years highs; rising 5.02% or 0.80 to 16.73. Shares in Metalurgica Gerdau SA (SA:GOAU4) rose to 52-week highs; up 4.44% or 0.33 to 7.77.

    The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was up 0.24% to 29.69.

    Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.54% or 7.30 to $1348.90 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.35% or 0.83 to hit $62.38 a barrel, while the May US coffee C contract unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to trade at $120.45 .

    USD/BRL was up 0.20% to 3.2369, while EUR/BRL rose 0.19% to 4.0164.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.06% at 89.08.

    Read More
  • Peru stocks lower at close of trade; S&P Lima General down 0.14%

    February 19, 2018, 09:35

    Investing.com – Peru stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Non-Metal Minerals, Industrials and Mining sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Lima, the S&P Lima General declined 0.14%.

    The best performers of the session on the S&P Lima General were Panoro (LM:PML), which rose 1.69% or 0.005 points to trade at 0.300 at the close. Meanwhile, ENGIE Energia Peru SA (LM:ENGI) added 1.30% or 0.090 points to end at 6.990 and Bco Continenta (LM:CON) was up 0.23% or 0.010 points to 4.320 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Corporacion Aceros Arequipa SA (LM:ARE), which fell 2.22% or 0.020 points to trade at 0.880 at the close. Volcan Minera (LM:VOL_pb) declined 1.67% or 0.020 points to end at 1.180 and Aceros Arequip (LM:AREi) was down 1.35% or 0.010 points to 0.730.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lima Stock Exchange by 6 to 5 and 21 ended unchanged.

    Crude oil for April delivery was up 1.35% or 0.83 to $62.38 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 1.06% or 0.69 to hit $65.53 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.54% or 7.30 to trade at $1348.90 a troy ounce.

    USD/PEN was unchanged 0.00% to 3.2505, while EUR/PEN rose 0.05% to 4.0334.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.06% at 89.08.

    Read More
  • Colombia stocks higher at close of trade; COLCAP up 0.42%

    February 19, 2018, 08:20

    Investing.com – Colombia stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Investment, Financials and Public Services sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP added 0.42%.

    The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Etb (CN:ETB), which rose 2.04% or 9.0 points to trade at 451.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Grupo de Inversiones Suramericana SA (CN:SIS) added 1.80% or 700.0 points to end at 39500.0 and Pfgrupsura (CN:SIS_p) was up 1.74% or 640.0 points to 37320.0 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Corporacion Financiera Colombiana SA (CN:CFV), which fell 2.03% or 520.0 points to trade at 25040.0 at the close. Canacol Energy Ltd (CN:CNE) declined 1.72% or 170.0 points to end at 9730.0 and Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores SA Pref (CN:GAA_p) was down 1.55% or 20.0 points to 1270.0.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 1 to 0.

    Shares in Corporacion Financiera Colombiana SA (CN:CFV) fell to 5-year lows; falling 2.03% or 520.0 to 25040.0.

    US coffee C for May delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $120.45 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in May fell 0.89% or 19.00 to hit $2115.50 , while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.54% or 7.30 to trade at $1348.90 a troy ounce.

    USD/COP was down 0.62% to 2835.75, while BRL/COP fell 0.73% to 876.86.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.06% at 89.08.

    Read More
  • Portugal stocks lower at close of trade; PSI 20 down 1.27%

    February 19, 2018, 05:45

    Investing.com – Portugal stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Financials, Consumer Services and Utilities sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 lost 1.27%.

    The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were Novabase SGPS (LS:NBA), which rose 1.68% or 0.050 points to trade at 3.030 at the close. Meanwhile, Corticeira Amorim (LS:CORA) added 1.17% or 0.120 points to end at 10.400 and Semapa (LS:SEM) was up 0.67% or 0.1200 points to 18.1200 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Pharol SGPS SA (LS:PHRA), which fell 3.88% or 0.0090 points to trade at 0.2230 at the close. Banco Comercial Portugues (LS:BCP) declined 3.57% or 0.0109 points to end at 0.2945 and CTT Correios de Portugal SA (LS:CTT) was down 2.53% or 0.0860 points to 3.3120.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 23 to 9 and 4 ended unchanged.

    Brent oil for April delivery was up 0.85% or 0.55 to $65.39 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.02% or 0.63 to hit $62.18 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.50% or 6.80 to trade at $1349.40 a troy ounce.

    EUR/USD was up 0.05% to 1.2411, while EUR/GBP rose 0.31% to 0.8856.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.07% at 89.09.

    Read More
  • Finland stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 down 0.50%

    February 19, 2018, 05:30

    Investing.com – Finland stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Industrials and Telecoms sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 lost 0.50%.

    The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Outokumpu Oyj (HE:OUT1V), which rose 4.46% or 0.2880 points to trade at 6.7480 at the close. Meanwhile, Kesko Oyj (HE:KESKOB) added 1.60% or 0.76 points to end at 48.40 and Fortum Oyj (HE:FORTUM) was up 0.51% or 0.09 points to 17.91 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Konecranes ABP (HE:KCRA), which fell 2.22% or 0.82 points to trade at 36.16 at the close. Wartsila Oyj Abp (HE:WRT1V) declined 1.55% or 0.92 points to end at 58.62 and KONE Oyj (HE:KNEBV) was down 1.43% or 0.65 points to 44.73.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 78 to 69 and 11 ended unchanged.

    Brent oil for April delivery was up 0.80% or 0.52 to $65.36 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.15% or 0.71 to hit $62.26 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.49% or 6.70 to trade at $1349.50 a troy ounce.

    EUR/USD was unchanged 0.00% to 1.2405, while EUR/GBP rose 0.32% to 0.8857.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 89.12.

    Read More
  • Spain stocks lower at close of trade; IBEX 35 down 0.26%

    February 19, 2018, 05:35

    Investing.com – Spain stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Telecoms&IT, Consumer Goods and Consumer Services sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 declined 0.26%.

    The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were Acerinox (MC:ACX), which rose 5.50% or 0.610 points to trade at 11.710 at the close. Meanwhile, Tecnicas Reunidas (MC:TRE) added 2.13% or 0.540 points to end at 25.870 and ArcelorMittal SA (MC:MTS) was up 1.41% or 0.400 points to 28.820 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Cellnex Telecom SA (MC:CLNX), which fell 1.65% or 0.34 points to trade at 20.24 at the close. Ferrovial (MC:FER) declined 1.45% or 0.255 points to end at 17.380 and Melia Hotels (MC:MEL) was down 1.43% or 0.160 points to 11.020.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 98 to 80 and 19 ended unchanged.

    Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.51% or 6.90 to $1349.30 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.15% or 0.71 to hit $62.26 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract rose 0.83% or 0.54 to trade at $65.38 a barrel.

    EUR/USD was unchanged 0.00% to 1.2405, while EUR/GBP rose 0.31% to 0.8856.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 89.12.

    Read More
  • Denmark stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Copenhagen 20 down 1.16%

    February 19, 2018, 05:35

    Investing.com – Denmark stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Healthcare, Industrials and Technology sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Copenhagen, the OMX Copenhagen 20 declined 1.16%.

    The best performers of the session on the OMX Copenhagen 20 were Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CO:VWS), which rose 0.77% or 3.3 points to trade at 429.7 at the close. Meanwhile, AP Moeller - Maersk A/S B (CO:MAERSKb) added 0.55% or 60 points to end at 10900 and Nordea Bank AB (CO:NDA) was up 0.23% or 0.16 points to 71.20 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Genmab (CO:GEN), which fell 3.77% or 41.0 points to trade at 1047.0 at the close. ISS A/S (CO:ISS) declined 2.58% or 5.90 points to end at 223.20 and DSV (CO:DSV) was down 2.29% or 11.3 points to 481.4.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange by 72 to 42 and 19 ended unchanged.

    Shares in ISS A/S (CO:ISS) fell to 52-week lows; falling 2.58% or 5.90 to 223.20.

    Crude oil for April delivery was up 1.12% or 0.69 to $62.24 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 0.83% or 0.54 to hit $65.38 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.50% or 6.80 to trade at $1349.40 a troy ounce.

    USD/DKK was down 0.01% to 6.0034, while EUR/DKK fell 0.02% to 7.4473.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 89.12.

    Read More
  • Health Care Spending To Hit 20% Of U.S, Economy By 2026

    February 19, 2018, 05:31


    Investing.com - U.S. health care spending will grow an average of 5.5% a year between 2017 and 2026, when it is projected to reach 19.7% of the economy.
    Those are the projections of a new report by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
    Health care spending now accounts for 17.9% of GDP, or $10,348 per person, much more than other wealthy nations.
    Switzerland is second at 13.0%, or $7,919 per person. The average cost of health care spending for wealthy nations is $5,169.
    The difference in health care spending has soared over the past five decades. In 1970, it accounted for 6% of GDP, versus an average of 5%. The turning point was the 1980s, when spending rose 10% a year.
    Even though it spends the most, the U.S. ranks among the worst of the 35 OECD nations in life expectancy and infant mortality.
    Americans also visit doctors less often than citizens of other countries.
    Spending is higher because the U.S. uses more expensive medical technology and patients pay more for health care goods and services.

    Read More
  • U.K. stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com United Kingdom 100 down 0.61%

    February 19, 2018, 05:15

    Investing.com – U.K. stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Household Goods&Home Construction, Software&Computer Services and Chemicals sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in London, the Investing.com United Kingdom 100 declined 0.61%.

    The best performers of the session on the Investing.com United Kingdom 100 were Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MERL), which rose 4.12% or 14.10 points to trade at 356.50 at the close. Meanwhile, Standard Life Aberdeen PLC (LON:SLA) added 2.39% or 8.70 points to end at 372.90 and International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A. (LON:ICAG) was up 1.32% or 8.00 points to 616.00 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (LON:RB), which fell 7.51% or 493.00 points to trade at 6075.00 at the close. Shire PLC (LON:SHP) declined 2.86% or 91.50 points to end at 3110.50 and Micro Focus International PLC (LON:MCRO) was down 2.83% or 60.00 points to 2058.00.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1123 to 798 and 140 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (LON:RB) fell to 52-week lows; down 7.51% or 493.00 to 6075.00.

    Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.47% or 6.40 to $1349.80 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.27% or 0.78 to hit $62.33 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract rose 0.97% or 0.63 to trade at $65.47 a barrel.

    GBP/USD was down 0.16% to 1.4005, while EUR/GBP rose 0.34% to 0.8859.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 89.12.

    Read More
  • Poland stocks lower at close of trade; WIG30 down 0.09%

    February 19, 2018, 05:10

    Investing.com – Poland stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Basic Materials, Information Technology and Developers sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Warsaw, the WIG30 lost 0.09%.

    The best performers of the session on the WIG30 were Powszechna Kasa Oszczednosci Bank Polski SA (WA:PKO), which rose 1.88% or 0.79 points to trade at 42.76 at the close. Meanwhile, Alior Bank SA (WA:ALRR) added 1.62% or 1.35 points to end at 84.85 and Cyfrowy Polsat SA (WA:CPS) was up 1.39% or 0.32 points to 23.42 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were KGHM Polska Miedz SA (WA:KGH), which fell 2.30% or 2.53 points to trade at 107.55 at the close. Asseco Poland SA (WA:ACPP) declined 2.25% or 1.00 points to end at 43.40 and Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (WA:PGN) was down 1.75% or 0.11 points to 6.19.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Warsaw Stock Exchange by 252 to 204 and 208 ended unchanged.

    Crude oil for April delivery was up 1.28% or 0.79 to $62.34 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 1.06% or 0.69 to hit $65.53 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.49% or 6.60 to trade at $1349.60 a troy ounce.

    EUR/PLN was down 0.61% to 4.1324, while USD/PLN fell 0.57% to 3.3312.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.11% at 89.13.

    Read More
  • Germany stocks lower at close of trade; DAX down 0.53%

    February 19, 2018, 05:15

    Investing.com – Germany stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Chemicals, Retail and Pharmaceuticals&Healthcare sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX declined 0.53%, while the MDAX index lost 0.52%, and the TecDAX index declined 0.57%.

    The best performers of the session on the DAX were RWE AG ST O.N. (DE:RWEG), which rose 2.42% or 0.385 points to trade at 16.315 at the close. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank AG NA O.N. (DE:DBKGn) added 2.10% or 0.272 points to end at 13.194 and Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DE:LHAG) was up 0.97% or 0.260 points to 27.040 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Daimler AG NA O.N. (DE:DAIGn), which fell 2.06% or 1.490 points to trade at 71.010 at the close. Fresenius Medical Care KGAA ST (DE:FMEG) declined 1.66% or 1.460 points to end at 86.420 and Linde AG O.N. (DE:LING) was down 1.55% or 2.70 points to 171.80.

    The top performers on the MDAX were Hella KGaA Hueck&Co (DE:HLE) which rose 1.62% to 56.55, Axel Springer SE (DE:SPRGn) which was up 0.90% to settle at 72.850 and Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG (DE:PBBG) which gained 0.72% to close at 14.07.

    The worst performers were Fielmann AG (DE:FIEG) which was down 4.59% to 68.550 in late trade, Gerresheimer AG (BS:GXId) which lost 2.96% to settle at 67.250 and Osram Licht AG (F:OSRn) which was down 1.69% to 67.380 at the close.

    The top performers on the TecDAX were Medigene NA O.N. (DE:MDG1k) which rose 2.65% to 17.450, SMA Solar Technology AG (DE:S92G) which was up 1.73% to settle at 46.940 and Siltronic AG (DE:WAFGn) which gained 1.62% to close at 119.300.

    The worst performers were Slm Solution G (DE:AM3D) which was down 4.00% to 37.20 in late trade, GFT Technologies AG (DE:GFTG) which lost 2.26% to settle at 11.250 and Xing AG (DE:OBCGn) which was down 2.22% to 264.50 at the close.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 387 to 351 and 74 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Axel Springer SE (DE:SPRGn) rose to all time highs; rising 0.90% or 0.650 to 72.850. Shares in SMA Solar Technology AG (DE:S92G) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 1.73% or 0.800 to 46.940.

    The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was up 6.34% to 19.84.

    Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.48% or 6.50 to $1349.70 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.23% or 0.76 to hit $62.31 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract rose 1.02% or 0.66 to trade at $65.50 a barrel.

    EUR/USD was down 0.01% to 1.2404, while EUR/GBP rose 0.35% to 0.8860.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.12% at 89.14.

    Read More
  • Sweden stocks lower at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 down 0.39%

    February 19, 2018, 05:05

    Investing.com – Sweden stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Technology, Healthcare and Consumer Goods sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 lost 0.39%.

    The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were SSAB AB ser. A (ST:SSABa), which rose 2.84% or 1.34 points to trade at 48.48 at the close. Meanwhile, Svenska Handelsbanken AB A (ST:SHBa) added 0.60% or 0.7 points to end at 116.9 and Tele2 AB (ST:TEL2b) was up 0.58% or 0.56 points to 96.92 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Fingerprint Cards AB ser. B (ST:FINGb), which fell 2.31% or 0.23 points to trade at 9.77 at the close. Electrolux, AB ser. B (ST:ELUXb) declined 1.90% or 5.1 points to end at 263.2 and Getinge AB ser. B (ST:GETIb) was down 1.70% or 1.8 points to 101.2.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 341 to 269 and 53 ended unchanged.

    Crude oil for April delivery was up 1.32% or 0.81 to $62.36 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 1.05% or 0.68 to hit $65.52 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.46% or 6.30 to trade at $1349.90 a troy ounce.

    EUR/SEK was up 0.25% to 9.9096, while USD/SEK rose 0.28% to 7.9891.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.12% at 89.14.

    Read More
  • Russia stocks lower at close of trade; MOEX Russia down 0.02%

    February 19, 2018, 05:05

    Investing.com – Russia stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Power and Manufacturing sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Moscow, the MOEX Russia declined 0.02%.

    The best performers of the session on the MOEX Russia were MMC Norilsk Nickel (MCX:GMKN), which rose 3.34% or 361.0 points to trade at 11171.0 at the close. Meanwhile, NLMK ao (MCX:NLMK) added 2.45% or 3.65 points to end at 152.89 and Gruppa LSR PAO (MCX:LSRG) was up 2.25% or 18.5 points to 839.0 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Magnit (MCX:MGNT), which fell 4.96% or 222.0 points to trade at 4251.0 at the close. Safmar Finansovye Investitsii PAO (MCX:SFIN) declined 2.34% or 17.5 points to end at 730.0 and Inter rao ees (MCX:IRAO) was down 1.86% or 0.0705 points to 3.7215.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 106 to 105 and 17 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Magnit (MCX:MGNT) fell to 5-year lows; losing 4.96% or 222.0 to 4251.0.

    The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MOEX Russia options, was down 2.25% to 21.750.

    Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.45% or 6.10 to $1350.10 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 1.35% or 0.83 to hit $62.38 a barrel, while the April Brent oil contract rose 1.13% or 0.73 to trade at $65.57 a barrel.

    USD/RUB was down 0.07% to 56.3495, while EUR/RUB fell 0.17% to 69.8826.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.11% at 89.13.

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  • Morocco stocks higher at close of trade; Moroccan All Shares up 0.50%

    February 19, 2018, 05:05

    Investing.com – Morocco stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Telecoms, Hotels, Restaurants&Leisure and Holding Companies sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Casablanca, the Moroccan All Shares added 0.50%.

    The best performers of the session on the Moroccan All Shares were M2M Group (CS:M2M), which rose 6.88% or 30.20 points to trade at 469.00 at the close. Meanwhile, Taslif (CS:TSF1) added 4.75% or 1.36 points to end at 29.99 and Aluminum du Maroc SA (CS:ALU) was up 3.15% or 40 points to 1310 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were CDM (CS:CDM), which fell 5.29% or 31 points to trade at 555 at the close. Managem (CS:MNG) declined 2.17% or 39 points to end at 1756 and BMCI (CS:BMCI) was down 1.51% or 15 points to 980.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Casablanca Stock Exchange by 20 to 10 and 12 ended unchanged.

    Shares in M2M Group (CS:M2M) rose to 5-year highs; rising 6.88% or 30.20 to 469.00. Shares in Taslif (CS:TSF1) rose to 52-week highs; rising 4.75% or 1.36 to 29.99.

    Crude oil for April delivery was up 1.36% or 0.84 to $62.39 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 1.14% or 0.74 to hit $65.58 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.45% or 6.10 to trade at $1350.10 a troy ounce.

    EUR/MAD was up 0.02% to 11.3690, while USD/MAD fell 0.01% to 9.1624.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.12% at 89.14.

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  • Italy stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com Italy 40 down 1.08%

    February 19, 2018, 04:55

    Investing.com – Italy stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Chemicals, Travel&Leisure and Utilities sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Milan, the Investing.com Italy 40 lost 1.08%.

    The best performers of the session on the Investing.com Italy 40 were Tenaris (MI:TENR), which rose 3.03% or 0.40 points to trade at 13.59 at the close. Meanwhile, Banco Bpm (MI:BAMI) added 0.70% or 0.021 points to end at 3.037 and Davide Campari Milano SpA (MI:CPRI) was up 0.56% or 0.04 points to 6.24 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Ferrari NV (MI:RACE), which fell 2.19% or 2.30 points to trade at 102.70 at the close. CNH Industrial NV (MI:CNHI) declined 2.15% or 0.250 points to end at 11.375 and Mediaset (MI:MS) was down 2.03% or 0.066 points to 3.179.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Milan Stock Exchange by 237 to 111 and 24 ended unchanged.

    Crude oil for April delivery was up 1.32% or 0.81 to $62.36 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 1.02% or 0.66 to hit $65.50 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.41% or 5.50 to trade at $1350.70 a troy ounce.

    EUR/USD was unchanged 0.00% to 1.2405, while EUR/GBP rose 0.34% to 0.8859.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 89.12.

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  • Economic Calendar: Top Things to Watch

    February 19, 2018, 03:51

    Investing.com - U.S. markets are closed Monday for Presidents Day holiday in an otherwise light week of economic reports.

    In Germany, look for the ZEW Economic Sentiment survey on Tuesday and fourth-quarter GDP data on Friday.

    Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) and Domino's Pizza report quarterly earnings on Tuesday in the U.S.

    On Wednesday, look for reports on existing home sales and weekly crude inventories in the U.S.

    In the U.S., initial jobless claims and the index of Leading Economic Indicators are due out on Thursday.

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL), Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) release quarterly earnings in the U.S. on Thursday.

    Read More
  • Gold Prices Remain Lower in Subdued Trade

    February 19, 2018, 01:22

    Investing.com - Gold prices remained lower in subdued trade on Monday, as the U.S. dollar remained mildly supported although fresh U.S. political woes could potentially threaten the greenback's future gains.

    Trading volumes were expected to remain thin with U.S. markets were closed on Monday for Presidents' Day.

    Comex gold futures were down 0.47% at $1,349.8 a troy ounce by 08:15 a.m. ET (12:15 GMT), off Friday's three-and-a-half week peak of $1,364.4.

    The greenback strengthened after data on Friday showed that U.S. homebuilding increased to more than a one-year high in January and that building permits soared to their highest level since 2007.

    The upbeat report overshadowed fresh concerns over the deficit in the U.S., which is projected to climb near $1 trillion in 2019 following the recent announcement of infrastructure spending and large corporate tax cuts.

    However, investors were likely to remain cautious with the dollar amid fresh U.S. political jitters after Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies over the weekend for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.08% at 89.10.

    Gold is sensitive to moves in the dollar. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency.

    Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures were down 0.43% at $16.64 a troy ounce.

    Read More
  • Saudi Arabia stocks higher at close of trade; Tadawul All Share up 0.26%

    February 19, 2018, 01:15

    Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were higher after the close on Monday, as gains in the Energy&Utilities, Financial Services and Telecoms&IT sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share rose 0.26%.

    The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were Saudi Industrial Export Co (SE:4140), which rose 9.98% or 20.20 points to trade at 222.60 at the close. Meanwhile, Tourism Enterprise Co. (SE:4170) added 6.26% or 2.01 points to end at 34.10 and The Mediterranean&Gulf Insurance Co (SE:8030) was up 5.24% or 1.20 points to 24.10 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SE:4210), which fell 4.95% or 3.96 points to trade at 76.00 at the close. Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication (SE:7040) declined 4.11% or 0.300 points to end at 7.000 and Yanbu Cement Co. (SE:3060) was down 3.51% or 1.17 points to 32.20.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 95 to 85 and 4 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Tourism Enterprise Co. (SE:4170) rose to 52-week highs; rising 6.26% or 2.01 to 34.10. Shares in Etihad Atheeb Telecommunication (SE:7040) fell to 52-week lows; down 4.11% or 0.300 to 7.000.

    Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.76% or 0.47 to $62.02 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 0.49% or 0.32 to hit $65.16 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.47% or 6.40 to trade at $1349.80 a troy ounce.

    EUR/SAR was up 0.04% to 4.6540, while USD/SAR rose 0.06% to 3.7504.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.08% at 89.10.

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  • Arizona Cryptocurrency Tax Bill Has More Hurdles To Clear

    February 19, 2018, 12:47

    Investing.com - Groundbreaking legislation in Arizona allowing residents to pay their taxes in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is far from becoming law.
    Though the state senate has already approved the bill, the house of representatives won't vote on it until late February or early March, according to a spokesman for the bill's sponsor.
    At this point, it is unknown if the bill has the votes to win approval in the house, especially since the minority leader opposes it. It is also unknown if the state's governor supports the bill and would sign it into law.
    Thus far, California is the only U.S. state to allow the use of cryptocurrencies in any form of payment. Cryptocurrencies, however, are not legal tender in the state.
    Arizona previously passed a law allowing the use of blockchain ledger technology in state contracts.

    Read More
  • President Trump's Economic Policies Show He's Still "King of Debt"

    February 19, 2018, 12:07

    Investing.com - President Trump proudly considered himself the "king of debt" during his days as a businessman, and he has already earned that moniker as president.
    The President's economic plans will drown the nation's balance sheet in a sea of red ink.
    His tax cut plan will cost $1.5 trillion over a decade. The recent spending budget includes $300 billion in new spending over two years. And his infrastructure plan calls for $200 billion in federal money.
    By 2019, the U.S. is likely to have its first $1 trillion budget deficit.
    The national debt is already at $20.5 trillion and will explode in the next decade. The President's budget plan will bring $7.2 trillion in new deficits during that time. Interest payments on existing debt alone will cost $420 billion.
    The numbers are staggering and have not gone unnoticed in the financial markets. Interest rates are rising and the dollar is falling, and that's never a good combination.

    Read More
  • United Arab Emirates stocks mixed at close of trade; DFM General up 0.18%

    February 19, 2018, 11:15

    Investing.com – United Arab Emirates stocks were mixed after the close on Monday, as gains in the Banking, Real Estate&Construction and Insurance sectors led shares higher while losses in the Telecoms, Finance&Investment and Transport sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Dubai, the DFM General rose 0.18%, while the ADX General index lost 0.07%.

    The best performers of the session on the DFM General were National Cement Company P.S.C. (DU:NCC), which rose 14.91% or 0.410 points to trade at 3.160 at the close. Meanwhile, Mashreqbank PSC (DU:MASB) added 6.67% or 5.00 points to end at 80.00 and Marka Pjse (DU:MARKA) was up 5.48% or 0.03 points to 0.54 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Dubai Islamic Insurance Co. (DU:AMAN), which fell 2.35% or 0.019 points to trade at 0.791 at the close. Emaar Development PJSC (DU:EMAARDEV) declined 2.01% or 0.110 points to end at 5.370 and ARAMEX PJSC (DU:ARMX) was down 1.26% or 0.060 points to 4.690.

    The top performers on the ADX General were National Bank of Fujairah PJSC (AD:NBF) which rose 10.00% to 3.30, Ad Shipbldg Co (AD:ADSB) which was up 7.66% to settle at 2.250 and Eshraq Properties Co PJSC (AD:ESHR) which gained 2.86% to close at 0.7200.

    The worst performers were Sharjah Islami (AD:SIB) which was down 8.27% to 1.220 in late trade, Waha Capital (AD:WAHA) which lost 4.09% to settle at 2.110 and Al Khazna Ins (AD:AKIC) which was down 3.45% to 0.280 at the close.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Dubai Stock Exchange by 19 to 16 and 8 ended unchanged; on the Abu Dhabi, 10 rose and 8 declined, while 10 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Sharjah Islami (AD:SIB) fell to 52-week lows; losing 8.27% or 0.110 to 1.220.

    Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.93% or 0.57 to $62.12 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in April rose 0.66% or 0.43 to hit $65.27 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract fell 0.40% or 5.40 to trade at $1350.80 a troy ounce.

    USD/AED was unchanged 0.00% to 3.6729, while EUR/AED rose 0.10% to 4.5610.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.03% at 89.00.

    Read More
  • Dollar Little Changed Vs. Rivals in Quiet Trade

    February 19, 2018, 10:25

    Investing.com - The U.S. dollar was little changed against other major currencies on Monday, as Friday's upbeat U.S. housing sector data continued to support despite fresh U.S. political concerns.

    Trading volumes were expected to remain thin with U.S. markets closed on Monday in observance of Presidents' Day.

    The greenback strengthened after data on Friday showed that U.S. homebuilding increased to more than a one-year high in January and that building permits soared to their highest level since 2007.

    The upbeat report overshadowed fresh concerns over the deficit in the U.S., which is projected to climb near $1 trillion in 2019 following the recent announcement of infrastructure spending and large corporate tax cuts.

    The dollar has been pressure lower recently by expectations for a faster rate of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Federal Reserve and other central banks.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 89.08 by 05:15 a.m. ET (09:15 GMT).

    The yen was lower, with USD/JPY up 0.38% at 106.60, off Friday’s 15-month lows of 105.55, while USD/CHF held steady at 0.9275.

    Elsewhere, the euro was moderately higher, with EUR/USD up 0.10 at 1.2416, while GBP/USD eased 0.08% to 1.4017.

    The Australian dollar was stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.23% at 0.7923, while NZD/USD held steady at 0.7382.

    Meanwhile, USD/CAD was almost unchanged at 1.2550.

    Read More
  • Asian Shares Higher With Greater China Markets Shut, Nikkei 225 Up Over 1%

    February 19, 2018, 02:17

    Investing.com - Asian shares gained on Monday in holiday-thinned trade with Greater China markets shut and the US markets slated to mark President's Day.

    The Nikkei 225 rose 1.22%. Japan reported trade data for January with a deficit of ¥943 billion, narrower than the ¥1.0 trillion seen. Exports jumped 12.2%, beating the 10.3% gain expected and imports rose 7.9%, less than the 8.3% rise seen on year.

    Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.50%. Santos rose 1.39%, Oil Search was up 2.96% and Beach Energy added 4.74%.

    Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, the US and Canada are shut on Monday. In the week ahead, investors will focus on minutes of the Fed’s latest policy meeting with hopes the central bank will give more hints on the pace of future rate hikes this year.

    Last week. the Dow Jones industrial average closed 19.01 points higher at 25,219.38. The S&P 500 closed just 0.04% up at 2,732.22, eking out a six-day winning streak. The Nasdaq composite snapped a five-day winning streak, closing 0.2% lower at 7,239.47.

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  • US Crude Oil Gains In Asia In Thin Trade As China Shut For Holiday

    February 19, 2018, 12:16

    Investing.com - US crude edged higher in Asia on Monday in thin trading with China and other countries in the region shut for holidays.

    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April delivery rose 0.28% to $61.72 a barrel. ICE April Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., were last quoted at $64.88 a barrel.

    Weekly estimates of crude and refined product stocks from the American Petroleum Institute and official data from the Energy Information administration will be delayed by a day this week to Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

    Markets in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, the US and Canada are shut on Monday. Japan reported trade data for January with a deficit of ¥943 billion, narrower than the ¥1.0 trillion seen. Exports jumped 12.2%, beating the 10.3% gain expected and imports rose 7.9%, less than the 8.3% rise seen on year.

    Last week, oil prices finished higher for a third straight session on Friday to score a weekly gain, as investors weighed OPEC's ongoing efforts to rid the market of excess supplies against indications of rising U.S. production.

    Sentiment was boosted after United Arab Emirates energy minister Suhail al-Mazroui said that major oil producers, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, aim to draft an agreement on a long-term alliance to cut output by the end of this year.

    That came after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier in the week his country will be “sticking” with its policy to withhold production throughout 2018.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

    The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

    However, fears that rising U.S. output would dampen OPEC’s efforts to rid the market of excess supplies prevented prices from rising much farther.

    The number of oil drilling rigs rose by 7 last week, Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. The count has risen by 51 oil rigs in the last four weeks, putting the total at a nearly three-year high of 798.

    U.S. oil production, driven by shale extraction, rose to an all-time high of 10.27 million barrels per day (bpd), last week, putting it above top exporter Saudi Arabia and within reach of Russia's output levels.

    Analysts and traders have recently warned that booming U.S. shale oil production could potentially derail OPEC's effort to curb excess supply.

    Read More
  • Crude Oil Prices - Weekly Outlook: February 19 - 23

    February 18, 2018, 12:03

    Investing.com - Oil prices finished higher for a third straight session on Friday to score a weekly gain, as investors weighed OPEC's ongoing efforts to rid the market of excess supplies against indications of rising U.S. production.

    Strength in global stocks, which enjoyed their biggest weekly gain in six years, as well as weakness in the dollar also contributed to oil's strong performance.

    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April delivery tacked on 38 cents, or around 0.6%, to close at $61.55 a barrel, its highest level in a week.

    Meanwhile, April Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., advanced 51 cents, or roughly 0.8%, to settle at $64.84 a barrel.

    For the week, WTI crude rose roughly 4.2%, while Brent added about 3.3%, clawing back some of the ground lost since late January. The gains for both benchmarks come after back-to-back weekly declines.

    Sentiment was boosted after United Arab Emirates energy minister Suhail al-Mazroui said that major oil producers, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, aim to draft an agreement on a long-term alliance to cut output by the end of this year.

    That came after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier in the week his country will be “sticking” with its policy to withhold production throughout 2018.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

    The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

    However, fears that rising U.S. output would dampen OPEC’s efforts to rid the market of excess supplies prevented prices from rising much farther.

    The number of oil drilling rigs rose by 7 last week, General Electric (NYSE:GE)'s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. The count has risen by 51 oil rigs in the last four weeks, putting the total at a nearly three-year high of 798.

    U.S. oil production, driven by shale extraction, rose to an all-time high of 10.27 million barrels per day (bpd), last week, putting it above top exporter Saudi Arabia and within reach of Russia's output levels.

    Analysts and traders have recently warned that booming U.S. shale oil production could potentially derail OPEC's effort to curb excess supply.

    Among other energy contracts, March gasoline futures increased 1.5 cents, or around 0.9%, to end at $1.750 a gallon on Friday, with prices tallying a weekly gain of 3%.

    Heating oil for March edged up 1.8 cents, or 1%, to $1.910 a gallon, posting a weekly advance of 3%.

    Meanwhile, natural gas futures sank 2.2 cents, or about 0.9%, to $2.558 per million British thermal units, for a weekly decline of 1%.

    Natural gas prices are down almost 30% since late January, amid speculation the end of the winter heating season will bring warmer temperatures throughout the U.S. and cut into demand for the fuel.

    In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Wednesday and Thursday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise.

    The reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday's President's Day holiday.

    Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

    Monday

    Markets in the U.S. will remain closed for President’s Day.

    Wednesday

    The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

    Thursday

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

    The U.S. government will also publish a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

    Friday

    Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

    Read More
  • Gold / Silver / Copper Prices - Weekly Outlook: February 19 - 23

    February 18, 2018, 11:37

    Investing.com - Gold prices pulled back from three-week highs on Friday as the dollar rebounded against a currency basket, but losses were held in check as the dollar remained near multi-year lows.

    Gold futures for April delivery settled down 0.41% at $1,349.70 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after hitting the highest level since January 25 at $1,364.40 earlier.

    For the week, prices were up 3.08% and remain near their highest level since August 2016.

    A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for overseas buyers. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.63% to 89.03 in late trade, having earlier sunk to a three year low of 88.15.

    For the week, the index was down 1.46%, marking its fifth weekly decline in the past seven weeks.

    Expectations for a faster rate of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Federal Reserve and other central banks has eroded the dollar’s relative yield attraction for investors.

    The greenback has also been hit by concerns that recent tax cuts will negatively impact the U.S. fiscal deficit, which is projected to balloon to near $1 trillion in 2019.

    The declines in the dollar came despite expectations for a faster pace of rate hikes by the Fed this year after data on Wednesday showing a stronger-than-expected increase in U.S. inflation in January.

    Although gold struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets such as Treasury’s when borrowing costs rise, some analysts said the factors that drove the uptick in inflation were cyclical, meaning growth in inflation is likely to be gradual.

    Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver dropped 1.17% to $16.60 a troy ounce, but ended the week with gains of 1.78%.

    Platinum settled at $1,008.80, up 0.77% for the day and was up 4.19% for the week.

    Among base metals, copper for March delivery was down 0.2% at $3.239 in late trade. Trade remained subdued amid the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday. China is the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals.

    In the week ahead, investors will focus on minutes of the Fed’s latest policy meeting with hopes the central bank will give more hints on the pace of future rate hikes this year.

    Staying in the U.S., a report on existing home sales will be the highlight of the holiday-shortened week. Markets stateside will remain closed on Monday for the President's Day holiday.

    Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

    Monday, February 19

    Financial markets in China will be closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

    Meanwhile, markets in the U.S. will be closed for the President’s Day holiday.

    Tuesday, February 20

    Markets in China will remain closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

    The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting.

    The ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney along with other officials is to testify on inflation and the economic outlook before Parliament's Treasury Committee.

    Canada is to publish data on wholesale sales.

    Wednesday, February 21

    Markets in China will be shut for the Lunar New Year holiday.

    Australian is to publish data on construction work done and wage inflation.

    The euro zone is to release data on manufacturing and service sector activity.

    The UK is to publish its latest employment report.

    The U.S. is to produce figures on existing home sales. Later in the day, the Fed is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting.

    Thursday, February 22

    The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

    The UK is to release revised data on fourth quarter growth along with preliminary data on business investment.

    The European Central Bank is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting.

    Canada is to produce data on retail sales.

    The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on jobless claims.

    Friday, February 23

    New Zealand is to publish data on retail sales.

    The euro zone is to release revised inflation data.

    Canada is to wrap up the week with its monthly inflation report.

    Read More
  • Weekly Outlook: February 19 - 23

    February 18, 2018, 11:32

    Investing.com - The dollar rebounded from three-year lows against a currency basket on Friday but still ended the week lower as a combination of fears over the perceived erosion of its yield advantage and the outlook for the U.S. fiscal deficit weighed.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.63% to 89.03 in late trade, having earlier sunk to a three year low of 88.15.

    For the week, the index was down 1.46%, marking its fifth weekly decline in the past seven weeks.

    Expectations for a faster rate of monetary tightening outside the U.S., which would lessen the divergence between the Federal Reserve and other central banks has eroded the dollar’s relative yield attraction for investors.

    The greenback has also been hit by concerns that recent tax cuts will negatively impact the U.S. fiscal deficit, which is projected to balloon to near $1 trillion in 2019.

    The declines in the dollar came despite expectations for a faster pace of rate hikes by the Fed this year after data on Wednesday showing a stronger-than-expected increase in U.S. inflation in January.

    The euro ended the day lower, with EUR/USD last down 0.79% at 1.2405 after hitting its highest level since 2014 at 1.2555 earlier in the day.

    The dollar was steady against the yen in late trade, with USD/JPY at 106.19 after hitting a fresh 15-month low of 105.55 earlier.

    The Japanese currency has gained around 6% against the dollar so far this year.

    The steep drop in the dollar against the yen in recent sessions has fueled speculation over an intervention by Japanese officials.

    Japan’s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said on Friday that recent moves in the currency market were one-sided and that the government would take appropriate measures if needed.

    Meanwhile, sterling was last down 0.49% at 1.4028 after reaching a weekly high of 1.4144 earlier.

    In the week ahead, investors will focus on minutes of the Fed’s latest policy meeting with hopes the central bank will give more hints on the pace of future rate hikes this year.

    Staying in the U.S., a report on existing home sales will be the highlight of the holiday-shortened week. Markets stateside will remain closed on Monday for the President's Day holiday.

    Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

    Monday, February 19

    Financial markets in China will be closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

    Meanwhile, markets in the U.S. will be closed for the President’s Day holiday.

    Tuesday, February 20

    Markets in China will remain closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

    The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting.

    The ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney along with other officials is to testify on inflation and the economic outlook before Parliament's Treasury Committee.

    Canada is to publish data on wholesale sales.

    Wednesday, February 21

    Markets in China will be shut for the Lunar New Year holiday.

    Australian is to publish data on construction work done and wage inflation.

    The euro zone is to release data on manufacturing and service sector activity.

    The UK is to publish its latest employment report.

    The U.S. is to produce figures on existing home sales. Later in the day, the Fed is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting.

    Thursday, February 22

    The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

    The UK is to release revised data on fourth quarter growth along with preliminary data on business investment.

    The European Central Bank is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting.

    Canada is to produce data on retail sales.

    The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on jobless claims.

    Friday, February 23

    New Zealand is to publish data on retail sales.

    The euro zone is to release revised inflation data.

    Canada is to wrap up the week with its monthly inflation report.

    Read More
  • Economic Calendar - Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

    February 18, 2018, 11:19

    Investing.com - Global financial markets will focus on minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting in the week ahead, with hopes the central bank will give more hints on the pace of future rate hikes this year.

    Staying in the U.S., a report on existing home sales will be the highlight of the holiday-shortened week. Markets stateside will remain closed on Monday for the President's Day holiday.

    In the UK, investors will be looking ahead to a second reading on British growth data for further hints on the health of the economy and the likelihood of the Bank of England raising interest rates this year.

    Meanwhile, market players will eye flash survey data on euro zone business activity to assess how fast the European Central Bank will start unwinding its asset purchase program.

    Elsewhere, Japan is to publish closely-watched inflation data as investors look for signs on the strength of the economy and hints on when the Bank of Japan will start withdrawing stimulus.

    Recent chatter that the world's leading central banks will step back from easy policies and raise rates at a faster pace than is currently priced into the market due to a pickup in inflation has sparked a global bond market selloff this year, with yields in the U.S., Europe and Asia all spiking higher.

    Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

    1. Fed FOMC Meeting Minutes

    The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its most recent policy meeting on Wednesday at 2:00PM ET (1900GMT).

    The U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged following its meeting on Jan. 31, the last under the leadership of Janet Yellen, and said inflation was likely to rise this year. Those comments signaled that borrowing costs will continue to climb under new central bank chief Jerome Powell.

    Besides the FOMC minutes, markets will also be paying close attention to comments from around a dozen Fed speakers this week for their views on the recent uptick in inflation and how that can affect monetary policy.

    Topping the agenda will be remarks from influential New York Fed boss William Dudley as well as Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, a known hawk. Both are scheduled to participate in panel discussions at the United States Monetary Policy Forum, taking place in New York on Friday.

    The Fed is scheduled to hold its next policy meeting on March. 20-21, with interest rate futures pricing in an 82% chance of a rate hike at that meeting, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

    A recent batch of stronger-than-expected U.S. inflation data has bolstered bets that the Fed could increase interest rates as many as four times this year, more than the three it currently forecasts.

    2. U.S. Existing Home Sales

    The National Association of Realtors will publish data on January existing home sales at 10:00AM ET (15:00GMT) Wednesday.

    The consensus forecast is that the report will show that transactions of second-hand homes rose 0.9% to 5.62M from 5.57M in December.

    Besides the housing report, this week's holiday-shortened calendar also features U.S. data on manufacturing and service sector activity, as well as jobless claims figures.

    Meanwhile, on Wall Street, markets will remain closed Monday for President's Day. Earnings in the week ahead include results from retail heavyweights Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD), both due ahead of Tuesday's opening bell.

    The Dow and S&P 500 rose 4.3% each last week, posting their best weekly performances since 2016 and 2013, respectively. The Nasdaq jumped 5.3%, meanwhile, notching its biggest one-week gain since 2011.

    Elsewhere, news out of Washington D.C. is expected to keep investors on their toes, as the investigation into President Donald Trump campaign's ties to Russia continues to rumble on.

    3. U.K. Fourth Quarter GDP - Second Estimate

    The Office for National Statistics is to produce a second estimate on U.K. fourth-quarter economic growth at 09:30GMT (4:30AM ET) on Thursday.

    The report is forecast to confirm the economy grew 0.5% in the final three months of last year, underlining the view that the British economy remains on a solid footing. On a year-over-year basis, the economy is forecast to grow by 1.5%, also unchanged from an initial estimate.

    The second reading will include a breakdown of business investment growth.

    Ahead of the GDP report, monthly unemployment data will be eyed on Wednesday for further indications on the continued effect that the Brexit decision is having on the economy.

    While Britain's economy is lagging behind the global recovery, it has held up better than the gloomy forecasts made at the time of the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

    The Bank of England kept interest rates steady earlier this month, but signaled it was likely to raise rates sooner and by more than it thought a few months ago as it seeks to keep a grip on inflation.

    The BoE will hold its Inflation Hearings on Wednesday, where Governor Mark Carney and his colleagues will discuss recent inflation developments before the Treasury Select Committee.

    4. Flash Euro Zone PMIs

    The euro zone is to publish preliminary data on manufacturing and service sector activity for February at 0900GMT (4:00AM ET) on Wednesday, amid expectations for a modest decline.

    Ahead of the euro zone PMI's, France and Germany will release their own PMI reports at 0800GMT and 0830GMT respectively.

    In addition to the PMI data, there are also a pair of surveys on German business sentiment from both the IFO and ZEW institutes, which if they remain strong could push the European Central Bank another step closer to ending its mass stimulus program.

    Minutes from the ECB's January policy meeting will be published on Thursday. The ECB said it will keep its €2.5 trillion stimulus program in place for as long as needed at that meeting, and stated that there are "very few chances" that it will change interest rates this year.

    Despite those remarks, market players remain convinced that easy monetary policy in the region is coming to an end sooner rather than later.

    The central bank cut its monthly bond purchases from €60 billion to €30 billion back in October, but extended the program until the end of September 2018, citing muted price pressures.

    5. Japan Inflation Data

    Japan's Statistics Bureau will publish January inflation figures at 8:50AM Tokyo time on Friday (2350GMT Thursday).

    Market analysts expect the headline figure to remain positive, rising 1.3% year-on-year, which would be the 13th straight month of annual increases.

    But the modest year-on-year increase will be well off the Bank of Japan's 2%-target and keep the central bank under pressure to maintain its massive monetary stimulus.

    There have been some indications recently that the BoJ is setting the ground to begin discussions on winding back its quantitative easing program, triggering speculation it will follow the Fed and ECB and start normalizing policy sooner than expected.

    Stay up-to-date on all of this week's economic events by visiting: http://www.investing.com/economic-calendar/

    Read More
  • Bitcoin Lower after Briefly Rising above $11,000

    February 18, 2018, 09:46

    Investing.com - After briefly rising to a one-month high of $11,250 overnight the price of digital currency bitcoin turned lower on Sunday.

    Bitcoin was trading at $10,216 on the Bitfinex exchange, down around 5% for the day after hitting a high of $11,250 overnight, the strongest level since January 30.

    Bitcoin has rebounded after falling to a more than two month low of $6,000 on February 6, but the price remains more than 25% lower for the year to date.

    Cryptocurrency prices fell sharply at the start of the year as governments clamped down on trading and major banks implemented a ban on using credit cards to buy digital currencies.

    Prices were also been hit by fears over potential price manipulation. U.S. regulators are investigating the Bitfinex exchange over its links to digital asset Tether, amid fears that it is being used to artificially inflate bitcoin prices.

    But market sentiment recovered after South Korea indicated last week that it will allow cryptocurrencies to continue operating in the country, welcome news for investors who had feared an outright ban.

    Recent comments from U.S. financial regulators that balanced the need for regulation with consumer protection have also helped prices recover.

    Other major cryptocurrencies also traded lower, with Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, losing around 5% to trade at $913.49.

    The third largest cryptocurrency Ripple was down about 6% to $1.06.

    Read More

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