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  • Israel stocks higher at close of trade; TA 35 up 1.06%

    January 20, 2019, 03:00

    Investing.com – Israel stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Insurance, Biomed and Technology sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 rose 1.06% to hit a new 1-month high.

    The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Liveperson (TA:LPSN), which rose 4.54% or 334 points to trade at 7690 at the close. Meanwhile, Perrigo (TA:PRGO) added 3.67% or 600 points to end at 16950 and Alony Hetz Properties and Investments Ltd (TA:ALHE) was up 2.59% or 90 points to 3570 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Isramco Negev 2 LP (TA:ISRAp), which fell 0.77% or 0.3 points to trade at 38.7 at the close. Bazan Oil Refineries Ltd (TA:ORL) declined 0.70% or 1.3 points to end at 184.2 and Melisron (TA:MLSR) was down 0.69% or 110 points to 15720.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 267 to 111 and 37 ended unchanged.

    Crude oil for March delivery was unchanged 0.00% or 0.00 to $54.04 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 2.35% or 1.44 to hit $62.62 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.86% or 11.15 to trade at $1281.15 a troy ounce.

    USD/ILS was up 0.05% to 3.6900, while EUR/ILS rose 0.08% to 4.1957.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.32% at 96.020.

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

    January 20, 2019, 11:25

    Investing.com - Trade rhetoric could hang over the market in the coming week, as investors watch further developments surrounding the ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China.

    Headlines on trade were a positive last week, including one that the U.S. was considering rolling back tariffs and another that China was offering to ramp up U.S. imports.

    The holiday-shortened week ahead also marks the first big week of the fourth-quarter earnings season on Wall Street, with nearly 60 S&P companies set to report.

    On the data front, economic reports will be limited due to the government shutdown. Regularly scheduled durable goods will not be available, but there will be existing home sales data on Tuesday.

    U.S. markets will remain closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

    Elsewhere, China will be the first major economy to report fourth-quarter growth data when it publishes its GDP numbers this week, amid warnings from analysts that the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S. was likely to drag on economic activity.

    Meanwhile, in central bank news, monetary policy announcements from the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan will be on the agenda, though it's highly unlikely either will rock the boat policy-wise.

    Political headlines will also be in focus as investors watch developments surrounding the U.S. government shutdown, now in its 29th day, and British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan.

    Another headliner this week will be the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which kicks off on Tuesday. The forum will not be attended by U.S. President Donald Trump or representatives of his administration as a result of the government shutdown. Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron also won’t be in attendance.

    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. U.S.-China Trade Optimism

    Markets will also be keeping abreast of the ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China to see if any more news materializes amid recent signs the world's two biggest economies are working to resolve their differences.

    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday there has been progress toward a trade deal with China, but denied that he was considering lifting tariffs on Chinese imports.

    "Things are going very well with China and with trade," he told reporters at the White House, adding that he had seen some "false reports" indicating that U.S. tariffs on Chinese products would be lifted.

    "If we make a deal certainly we would not have sanctions and if we don't make a deal we will," Trump said.

    Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the U.S. on Jan. 30 and 31 for the next round of trade negotiations with Washington.

    That follows lower-level negotiations held in Beijing last week to resolve the bitter dispute between the world's two largest economies by March 2, when the Trump administration is scheduled to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

    2. Fourth-Quarter Earnings Season Kicks into High Gear

    There are about 60 S&P 500 companies reporting earnings in the week ahead, including seven Dow stocks, in what will be the second big week of the fourth-quarter earnings season.

    Tuesday sees Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Travelers (NYSE:TRV), and Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) post results in the morning, while IBM (NYSE:IBM) is due in after the close along with TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD), and Capital One (NYSE:COF).

    On Wednesday, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT), and Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) report earnings in pre-market hours, while Ford (NYSE:F), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), United Rentals (NYSE:URI), Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX), and Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) will post results in the evening.

    American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), Textron (NYSE:TXT), Freeport-McMoran (NYSE:FCX), and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) are on the docket Thursday morning. After the close, results are expected from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC), E-TRADE (NASDAQ:ETFC), and Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG).

    Finally, corporate results from AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) and DR Horton (NYSE:DHI) round up the week on Friday.

    3. China Q4 GDP

    China is to release fourth-quarter GDP figures on Monday morning.

    The report is expected to show the world's second-largest economy grew 6.4% in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, slowing from the previous quarter's 6.5% pace and matching levels last seen in early 2009 during the global financial crisis.

    The Asian nation will also publish data on December industrial production, fixed asset investment and retail sales along with the GDP report.

    Recent data has started to show that China's economy may be losing steam, raising concerns about the potential fallout from the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.

    The U.S. has slapped tariffs on more than half of over $500 billion in Chinese imports, for which China has retaliated, after several rounds of negotiations failed to resolve U.S. complaints over Chinese industrial policies and lack of market access in China.

    4. European Central Bank Policy Meeting

    The European Central Bank is all but certain to keep interest rates at their current record low levels at the conclusion of its monetary policy meeting at 12:45 GMT (7:45AM ET) on Thursday.

    President Mario Draghi will hold a closely-watched press conference 45 minutes after the rate announcement as investors seek further clues on when the central bank plans to start hiking borrowing costs.

    After ending its asset-purchase program at its previous meeting in December, markets expected the ECB would follow with a rate rise in the third quarter of 2019.

    But a barrage of weak data suggesting growth has slowed prompted traders to push back expectations for a rate hike to the fourth quarter of this year.

    This week's calendar also features flash January PMI surveys on manufacturing and service sector activity, which should give further indication of how the region's economy is coping with global trade conflicts and messy Brexit negotiations.

    5. Bank of Japan Policy Meeting

    The Bank of Japan is widely expected to keep monetary policy unchanged at its two-day rate review ending on Wednesday, maintaining a pledge to guide short-term interest rates at minus 0.1% and long-term bond yields around zero percent.

    It will also issue a quarterly report analyzing Japan's economy that will include fresh growth and inflation forecasts through the fiscal year ending in March 2021.

    BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a press conference afterward to discuss the decision.

    According to sources familiar with the central bank's thinking, the BoJ is expected to cut its inflation forecasts to reflect recent declines in oil prices, but maintain its upbeat assessment that Japan's economy will keep expanding moderately.

    -- Reuters contributed to this report

    Read More
  • Weekly Outlook: January 21 -25

    January 20, 2019, 10:53

    Investing.com - This week investors will be continuing to monitor U.S.-China trade negotiations for signs of progress, while the ongoing government shutdown continues to delay some key U.S. economic reports.

    Investors will get an update on U.S. existing home sales and jobless claims, while U.S. markets will remain closed for a long holiday weekend on Monday.

    Other key economic reports this week include figures on China’s fourth-quarter GDP growth on Monday, the latest U.K. jobs report on Tuesday and Thursday’s euro zone PMI data. Central bank meetings in the euro zone and Japan will also be in focus, though no major monetary policy changes are expected.

    Brexit developments will be closely watched, with British Prime Minister Theresa May set to unveil her Plan B in parliament on Monday ahead of a Jan. 29 vote, after her initial plan was struck down by a 230-vote margin last week.

    Market watchers will also be looking to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which kicks off on Tuesday. The forum will not be attended by U.S. President Donald Trump or representatives of his administration as a result of the government shutdown. Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron also won’t be in attendance.

    The U.S. dollar was higher against a basket of its rivals on Friday and notched up its first weekly gain of the year amid optimism over ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China.

    Media reports on Thursday and Friday suggested both countries were considering concessions ahead of a Washington visit from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Jan. 30 and 31 for talks aimed at resolving the trade standoff between the world’s two largest economies.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.32% at 96.02 late Friday, for a weekly gain of 0.76%. It was the first positive week for the index since mid-December.

    The pound was little changed against the dollar and the euro late Friday, with GBP/USD at 1.2880, for a weekly gain of 0.31%. EUR/GBP ended at 0.8823, down 1.11% for the week, which was the largest weekly decline since August 2018.

    Bets on a second referendum vote on Britain’s EU membership supported sterling.

    “The bottom line for sterling is that when the probability of second referendum rises it is positive and when the probability of hard Brexit rises it is negative so sterling crashes between the two views,” said Adam Cole, chief currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

    Ross Hutchison, rates portfolio manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments, added that as concerns about a no-deal Brexit recede, factors such as brighter outlook for the economy and what the Bank of England will do on rates come back into play.

    “I think that kind of analysis is broadly correct but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be an accident on Brexit,” he said.

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

    Monday, January 21

    China is to release what will be closely watched data on fourth quarter growth, as well as figures on investment and industrial production.

    U.S. financial markets are to be closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Day Holiday.

    Tuesday, January 22

    The U.K. is to publish its latest employment report along with data on net lending.

    The ZEW Institute is to publish a report on German economic sentiment.

    Canada is to report on manufacturing sales.

    The U.S. is to publish data on existing home sales.

    Wednesday, January 23

    New Zealand is to release inflation figures.

    The Bank of Japan is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement, which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

    Canada is to publish data on retail sales.

    Thursday, January 24

    Australia is to release its jobs report.

    The euro zone is to release data on private sector business activity.

    The European Central Bank is to announce its latest monetary policy decision.

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

    Friday, January 25

    The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

    -- Reuters contributed to this report

    Read More
  • 3 Things Under the Radar This Week

    January 18, 2019, 08:10

    Investing.com - Here’s a look at three things that were under the radar this past week.

    1. U.S. Nearing Energy Independence (to Saudi Arabia’s Chagrin)

    Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC are battling the U.S. for influence on oil prices.

    Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih sent oil prices rallying earlier this month when he said he’ll slice another 100,000 barrels per day in crude exports in February. On the other side, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that U.S. crude production reached 11.9 million bpd last week.

    But while headlines on production numbers weighed on market sentiment, another important forecast by the EIA this week went almost unnoticed.

    The U.S., which is currently the world's second-largest oil importer after China, may be less than two years away from energy independence.

    The U.S. has already virtually achieved the EIA’s 2019 production forecast of 12 million bpd, and the EIA is expecting 13 million bpd by 2020. It also thinks net imports of oil into the U.S. will dwindle to 1.1 million bpd by the end of this year and reach just 100,000 bpd in 2020.

    In the final three months of 2020, the EIA thinks the U.S. will become a net exporter by about 900,000 bpd.

    While there’s no guarantee all these will happen, the potential loss of the world’s second-largest oil importer will be a huge headache for the Saudis, who are fighting to preserve market share even now as they cut supplies to boost prices.

    But if the EIA is right, al-Falih might not have to worry about cutting supplies to the U.S. anymore after 2020 and the U.S. might also be competing to export to the same markets as the Saudis and OPEC.

    2. A Rising Netflix Price Lifts All Boats?

    Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) made a big bet on the strength of its content after hiking U.S. prices. It may have also given its rivals a boost.


    Disney , or more accurately its upcoming entertainment streaming service Disney+, is set to benefit, analysts said.

    With the launch of Disney+ due this year, Netflix’s price hike increases "the price umbrella" Disney can charge for its streaming service, Loop Capital said.
    That may give Disney (NYSE:DIS) shares a boost. They're up just 1.5% this year. Netflix is up nearly 27% even with Friday's slip.

    While many will point to Netflix's stellar slate of binge-worthy content as a driver behind its decision to raise prices, Disney boasts an envious and far-wider-reaching lineup. Disney has been in the content game since, well, the days of Walt Disney.

    Wall Street and Netflix are confident the company’s price increase will not see a wave of subscribers jump ship. It’s firing on all cylinders and its public profile won some glitz and glamour after it scooped up numerous awards at the Golden Globes. The hit movie “Birdbox” provided further evidence that Netflix's massive cash burn, an estimated $3 billion last year and this year, is bearing fruit (subscribers).

    With a full slate of its top shows due this year, including “Stranger Things,” “Orange Is The New Black” and “The Crown,” Netflix has every reason to be confident that customers will stay on the couch and chill.

    Looking ahead, a successful Netflix price hike could suggest U.S. consumers feel compelled to pony up for subscriptions services that have become ubiquitous in everyday life. That strengthens the case for other services, including Amazon’s Prime and Apple’s Music service, to join in on the hike, potentially boosting earnings.

    3. Loss of a Planet Highlights Stumbling Video Game Makers

    A long time ago, in a market far, far away, investors weren’t forced to pay attention to Star Wars. But in the days where content is king and Lucasfilm was worth $4 billion to Disney, it’s wise to be apprised of the happenings of Jedi and Sith.

    For example, you may have missed an entire planet (Alderan?) disappearing on Wednesday.

    Video game maker Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) has shelved development of an open-world Star Wars game, Kotaku reported.

    This sent some ripples through the gaming community given the popularity of open-world games, where players can explore the realm of the game independently, not forced to follow a linear storyline. That leads to hours more gameplay as winning the game becomes relative.

    While a disappointment for gamers, investors should also be concerned about what looks like another own-goal from the video game companies. Stocks have been struggling to gain any sort of upward momentum as the major companies -- EA, Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Take-Two (NASDAQ:TTWO) Interactive -- keep making headlines for gaffes, not triumphs.

    EA, which is down about 20% over the last year, managed to finish Wednesday higher despite the report, but fell Thursday following a downgrade.
    Jefferies analyst Timothy O’Shea cut the stock to hold from buy and its price target to $95 from $139, saying the company may have “lost its creative way.”
    O’Shea noted that analysts and investors “know next to nothing” about EA’s other Star Wars title “Jedi Fallen Order.”

    Shares of EA haven’t recovered from the dive they took late August when the company delayed the release of its much-anticipated “Battlefield V” by a month to make “adjustments.”

    Rival Activision, which is down 30% in the last 12 months, has had its share of blunders, losing the CFOs of its Activision and Blizzard divisions back to back and having to let go of its underperforming “Destiny” franchise.

    Even Take-Two, which had a big success with “Red Dead Redemption 2” -- lauded as an excellent open-world game -- is down 8% over the last 12 months.

    The company was forced to respond to sharp criticism of the way the economy worked in the beta version of “Red Dead Online,” which was to be a strong source of revenue from microtransactions. Critics said the online version was released too early and forced players to use too much real-world currency to enhance gameplay.

    Read More
  • U.S. stocks higher at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.38%

    January 18, 2019, 09:25

    Investing.com – U.S. stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Industrials and Basic Materials sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.38% to hit a new 1-month high, while the S&P 500 index gained 1.32%, and the NASDAQ Composite index added 1.03%.

    The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD), which rose 2.69% or 4.71 points to trade at 179.58 at the close. Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) added 2.21% or 5.73 points to end at 265.50 and Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT) was up 2.18% or 2.92 points to 136.60 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), which rose 0.03% or 0.03 points to trade at 111.04 at the close. Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) added 0.14% or 0.06 points to end at 42.53 and Merck&Company Inc (NYSE:MRK) was up 0.36% or 0.27 points to 75.87.

    The top performers on the S&P 500 were Pacific Gas&Electric Co (NYSE:PCG) which rose 13.68% to 7.23, VF Corporation (NYSE:VFC) which was up 12.39% to settle at 82.34 and Schlumberger NV (NYSE:SLB) which gained 8.12% to close at 44.73.

    The worst performers were CarMax Inc (NYSE:KMX) which was down 4.09% to 61.92 in late trade, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) which lost 3.99% to settle at 339.10 and LKQ Corporation (NASDAQ:LKQ) which was down 2.42% to 26.25 at the close.

    The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Ascent Capital Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASCMA) which rose 42.79% to 0.61, Avalon Globocare Corp (NASDAQ:AVCO) which was up 34.94% to settle at 5.600 and Ultra Petroleum Corp (NASDAQ:UPL) which gained 29.87% to close at 0.995.

    The worst performers were Organogenesis Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:ORGO) which was down 44.82% to 30.350 in late trade, Tyme Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:TYME) which lost 35.39% to settle at 2.41 and Bio Path Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BPTH) which was down 30.56% to 1.750 at the close.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 2234 to 834 and 76 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1806 rose and 841 declined, while 83 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Avalon Globocare Corp (NASDAQ:AVCO) rose to all time highs; up 34.94% or 1.450 to 5.600.

    The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 1.44% to 17.80 a new 1-month low.

    Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.92% or 11.95 to $1280.35 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 3.30% or 1.72 to hit $53.79 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 2.42% or 1.48 to trade at $62.66 a barrel.

    EUR/USD was down 0.25% to 1.1366, while USD/JPY rose 0.43% to 109.70.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.32% at 96.018.

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  • Colombia stocks lower at close of trade; COLCAP down 0.02%

    January 18, 2019, 08:15

    Investing.com – Colombia stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the Industrials, Investment and Agriculture sectors led shares lower.

    At the close in Colombia, the COLCAP declined 0.02%.

    The best performers of the session on the COLCAP were Banco De Bogota SA (CN:BBO), which rose 3.21% or 1800.0 points to trade at 57900.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Cemex Latam Holdings SA (CN:CLH) added 2.33% or 100.0 points to end at 4400.0 and Corporacion Financiera Colombiana SA (CN:CFV) was up 1.82% or 300.0 points to 16780.0 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Avianca Holdings Pf (CN:AVT_p), which fell 2.41% or 45.0 points to trade at 1820.0 at the close. Canacol Energy Ltd (CN:CNE) declined 1.37% or 140.0 points to end at 10080.0 and Almacenes Exito SA (CN:IMI) was down 0.93% or 120.0 points to 12820.0.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Colombia Stock Exchange by 12 to 9 and 4 ended unchanged.

    US coffee C for March delivery was up 2.98% or 3.05 to $105.45 . Elsewhere in commodities trading, US cocoa for delivery in March fell 1.22% or 28.50 to hit $2306.50 , while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.88% or 11.35 to trade at $1280.95 a troy ounce.

    USD/COP was down 0.20% to 3124.00, while BRL/COP fell 0.43% to 832.51.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.34% at 96.037.

    Read More
  • Top Gainers: VF Corporation, Schlumberger, Western Digital Soar

    January 18, 2019, 07:48

    Investing.com -- VF Corporation, Schlumberger and Western Digital were in rally mode Friday, underpinning the broader market.

    VF Corporation (NYSE:VFC), an apparel, footwear and accessories manufacturer, topped fiscal third-quarter estimates on both bottom and top lines, sending its shares soaring 12% higher.

    The maker of Vans shoes reported fiscal third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.31 per share on $3.94 billion in revenue, handling beating estimates for earnings of $1.10 a share on $3.87 billion in revenue.

    Expectations for full-year earnings were raised to $3.73 a share from $3.65, above Wall Street estimates of $3.68.

    Oilfield services company Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) rose 8% after its fourth-quarter revenue topped expectations.

    Earnings of $0.36 a share was in line with consensus estimates, while revenue of $8.2 billion was ahead of estimates of $8.1 billion.

    The beat on the top line appeared to overshadow the company's cautious outlook on growth 2019.

    "The recent oil price volatility has introduced more uncertainty around the E&P spending outlook for 2019, with customers generally taking a more conservative approach at the start of the year," said CEO Paal Kibsgaard.

    Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC), meanwhile, shrugged off a bearish note from Wall Street as its shares climbed 8%, supported by a risk-on move in the broader market on growing optimism on U.S.-China trade.

    RBC cut its price target on shares of Western Digital to $40 from $48, on worries about a slowdown in hard drives sales.

    The S&P 500 rose more than 1% after China offered to boost its annual imports of U.S. goods by a combined value of more than $1 trillion, according to a report from Bloomberg.

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  • Oil Rises 3% on 'Visible' OPEC Cuts; IEA Suggests 'Gradual' Recovery

    January 18, 2019, 05:22

    Investing.com - Sharp bouts of price gains are likely in oil as Saudi Arabia ratchets up efforts to raise the visibility of OPEC's output cuts. But patience may also be key for oil producers, with the West's energy watchdog anticipating any market recovery to be more gradual than immediate.

    Futures of New York-traded West Texas Intermediate crude and London's Brent jumped about 3% or more on Friday as the OPEC+ alliance of 25 oil producers listed cuts by each country in the group to address market concerns that the supply-demand rebalancing of the past six weeks lacked transparency. OPEC+ has committed to cut at least 1.2 million barrels per day through this year and the Saudis have hinted they will do more to get to $80 per barrel.

    WTI settled up $1.73, or 3.3%, $53.80 per barrel, hitting a six-week high of $53.90.

    Brent, the global oil benchmark, rose by $1.50, or 2.5%, to $62.68 by 2:30 PM ET (19:30 GMT). It also hit a six-week peak intraday trading, reaching $63.

    For the week, both benchmarks rose about 4%.

    On top of that, WTI is up nearly 19% on the year and 27% higher from its Christmas Eve low of $42.36. Brent is showing a near-17% gain year to date.

    Friday's rally was also spurred by a Bloomberg report that the Saudi and Russian energy ministers had spoken on the phone Monday and that Moscow was trying to accelerate its contribution to the OPEC+ cuts and make them run more "smoothly". The Russian minister Alexander Novak was quoted saying that he would try to discuss the cuts with his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih at the Jan. 22-25 Davos World Economic Forum.

    Production cuts aside, another boost for crude futures came from a Bloomberg report that China, the world's largest oil buyer, had offered to raise its annual imports from the U.S. by more than $1 trillion to offset their trade war. But Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was also reported to be resisting the offer as Beijing planned to make the upgrade over a six-year period, rather than instantly, as preferred by the Trump administration.

    Higher prices of stocks on Wall Street also helped oil, with the three main U.S. equity indexes all showing gains of more than 1% each.

    Oil was slower to rally in Asian and European trading after the International Energy Agency said it expected the market rebalancing to be gradual despite OPEC cuts, as the U.S. in 2019 “will reinforce its leadership as the world’s number one crude producer”.

    “The journey to a balanced market will take time, and is more likely to be a marathon than a sprint,” the Paris-based IEA, which looks over the interest of Western oil consumers, said in its monthly oil market report.

    Scott Shelton, ICAP'S Durham, N.C.-based energy futures broker and commentator, agreed, calling the IEA report "a good synopsis of the market".

    The Energy Information Administration said that U.S. crude production had reached 11.9 million bpd as of last week, one million more than averaged in 2018. It is now forecasting an output of 13 million bpd by 2020 and for the U.S. to become a net exporter of oil by then.

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  • Dollar Set to Snap Four-Week Losing Streak amid Trade Optimism

    January 18, 2019, 07:08

    Investing.com – The dollar was set to snap a four-week losing streak against its rivals Friday, on the back of a decline in the Japanese yen. The gains come amid growing investor optimism over a U.S-China trade deal after Chinese officials reportedly offered to boost U.S. imports.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.27% to 95.97.

    China offered to boost annual imports of U.S. goods by a combined value of more than $1 trillion in a bid to cut its surplus with the U.S., Bloomberg reported.

    The news fueled investor hopes that the stalemate between the U.S. and China may be resolved sooner rather later, prompting a rally in risk assets, which kept the safe-haven yen on its back foot.

    USD/JPY rose 0.46% to Y109.74.

    The dollar was also lifted by U.S. industrial production data that topped economists' forecasts. U.S. manufacturing output rose by 0.3% last month, beating economists' forecasts for a 0.2% rise.

    Elsewhere, the pound gave back some of the gains against the greenback seen in the wake of the U.K. parliament's rejection of the government's Brexit deal.

    USD/GBP fell 0.75% to $1.2887, but remained on track to post its fifth-weekly rise.

    EUR/USD fell 0.26% to $1.1367, and the pair could be set for a further slide as analysts sound the alarm on Euro-area weakness. That could force the European central bank to turn more dovish in March.

    "We continue to think the ECB will have to give us some sweeteners come March," Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) said.

    USD/CAD fell 0.11% to C$1.3263 as a rally in oil prices and stronger-than-expected Canada inflation data supported the loonie, limiting gains in the pair.

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  • Portugal stocks higher at close of trade; PSI 20 up 0.76%

    January 18, 2019, 05:45

    Investing.com – Portugal stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Technology, Basic Materials and Consumer Services sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Lisbon, the PSI 20 added 0.76% to hit a new 3-months high.

    The best performers of the session on the PSI 20 were Altri SGPS (LS:ALSS), which rose 2.97% or 0.2000 points to trade at 6.9300 at the close. Meanwhile, Mota Engil (LS:MOTA) added 2.67% or 0.0460 points to end at 1.7700 and Ibersol SGPS (LS:IBS) was up 2.62% or 0.220 points to 8.620 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Banco Comercial Portugues (LS:BCP), which fell 0.41% or 0.0010 points to trade at 0.2427 at the close. EDP Renovaveis (LS:EDPR) added 0.19% or 0.0150 points to end at 7.9500 and Sonae Capital (LS:SONAC) was up 0.23% or 0.0020 points to 0.8660.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Lisbon Stock Exchange by 25 to 4 and 5 ended unchanged.

    Brent oil for March delivery was up 2.12% or 1.30 to $62.48 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 2.88% or 1.50 to hit $53.57 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.75% or 9.75 to trade at $1282.55 a troy ounce.

    EUR/USD was down 0.30% to 1.1361, while EUR/GBP rose 0.54% to 0.8818.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.34% at 96.037.

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  • Altria Rises 3%

    January 18, 2019, 05:41

    Investing.com - Altria (NYSE:MO) rose by 3.04% to trade at $48.49 by 12:40 (17:40 GMT) on Friday on the NYSE exchange.

    The volume of Altria shares traded since the start of the session was 6.07M. Altria has traded in a range of $47.30 to $48.49 on the day.

    The stock has traded at $49.9600 at its highest and $46.6600 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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  • Spain stocks higher at close of trade; IBEX 35 up 1.80%

    January 18, 2019, 05:35

    Investing.com – Spain stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Telecoms&IT, Financial Services&Real Estate and Building&Construction sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 gained 1.80% to hit a new 1-month high.

    The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were Mediaset ESP (MC:TL5), which rose 5.55% or 0.304 points to trade at 5.780 at the close. Meanwhile, Amadeus IT (MC:AMA) added 3.54% or 2.220 points to end at 65.000 and ArcelorMittal SA (MC:MTS) was up 3.44% or 0.666 points to 20.020 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Tecnicas Reunidas (MC:TRE), which fell 0.98% or 0.220 points to trade at 22.220 at the close. Caixabank SA (MC:CABK) declined 0.24% or 0.008 points to end at 3.310 and Red Electrica Corporacion SA (MC:REE) was up 0.05% or 0.010 points to 19.660.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 131 to 42 and 15 ended unchanged.

    Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.78% or 10.05 to $1282.25 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 2.90% or 1.51 to hit $53.58 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 2.19% or 1.34 to trade at $62.52 a barrel.

    EUR/USD was down 0.32% to 1.1358, while EUR/GBP rose 0.45% to 0.8810.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.33% at 96.030.

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  • Netherlands stocks higher at close of trade; AEX up 1.97%

    January 18, 2019, 05:35

    Investing.com – Netherlands stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Basic Materials, Consumer Goods and Telecoms sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Amsterdam, the AEX rose 1.97% to hit a new 1-month high.

    The best performers of the session on the AEX were ASML Holding NV (AS:ASML), which rose 3.91% or 5.38 points to trade at 142.88 at the close. Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT) added 3.46% or 0.670 points to end at 20.010 and ING Groep NV (AS:INGA) was up 3.38% or 0.342 points to 10.454 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG), which fell 0.86% or 0.800 points to trade at 92.180 at the close. Gemalto (AS:GTO) added 0.04% or 0.02 points to end at 50.70 and Wolters Kluwer (AS:WLSNc) was up 0.26% or 0.14 points to 53.36.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by 108 to 26 and 7 ended unchanged.

    The AEX Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of AEX options, was down 5.83% to 14.20 a new 3-months low.

    Crude oil for February delivery was up 2.94% or 1.53 to $53.60 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 2.22% or 1.36 to hit $62.54 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.77% or 9.95 to trade at $1282.35 a troy ounce.

    EUR/USD was down 0.30% to 1.1361, while EUR/GBP rose 0.44% to 0.8810.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.32% at 96.023.

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  • Italy stocks higher at close of trade; Investing.com Italy 40 up 1.11%

    January 18, 2019, 05:35

    Investing.com – Italy stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Technology, Oil&Gas and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Milan, the Investing.com Italy 40 rose 1.11% to hit a new 3-months high.

    The best performers of the session on the Investing.com Italy 40 were STMicroelectronics (MI:STM), which rose 4.47% or 0.550 points to trade at 12.860 at the close. Meanwhile, Leonardo SpA (MI:LDOF) added 3.98% or 0.302 points to end at 7.894 and Saipem SpA (MI:SPMI) was up 3.96% or 0.1530 points to 4.0160 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Telecom Italia (MI:TLIT), which fell 7.20% or 0.0379 points to trade at 0.4885 at the close. Banco Bpm SpA (MI:BAMI) declined 1.88% or 0.036 points to end at 1.857 and Bper Banca SpA (MI:EMII) was down 0.59% or 0.018 points to 3.055.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Milan Stock Exchange by 247 to 113 and 36 ended unchanged.

    Crude oil for February delivery was up 2.92% or 1.52 to $53.59 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 2.19% or 1.34 to hit $62.52 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.77% or 9.95 to trade at $1282.35 a troy ounce.

    EUR/USD was down 0.32% to 1.1359, while EUR/GBP rose 0.44% to 0.8810.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.32% at 96.023.

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  • Finland stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 up 1.22%

    January 18, 2019, 05:30

    Investing.com – Finland stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Technology, Industrials and Financials sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 added 1.22% to hit a new 1-month high.

    The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Outokumpu Oyj (HE:OUT1V), which rose 4.31% or 0.1670 points to trade at 4.0440 at the close. Meanwhile, Outotec Oyj (HE:OTE1V) added 3.86% or 0.138 points to end at 3.710 and Metsa Board Oyj B (HE:METSB) was up 3.22% or 0.195 points to 6.250 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were DNA Oyj (HE:DNAO), which fell 0.82% or 0.1500 points to trade at 18.0700 at the close. Huhtamaki Oyj (HE:HUH1V) declined 0.39% or 0.11 points to end at 27.99 and Amer Sports Corporation (HE:AMEAS) was 0.00% or 0.00 points to 38.85.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 101 to 47 and 19 ended unchanged.

    Brent oil for March delivery was up 2.29% or 1.40 to $62.58 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 3.00% or 1.56 to hit $53.63 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.78% or 10.05 to trade at $1282.25 a troy ounce.

    EUR/USD was down 0.31% to 1.1360, while EUR/GBP rose 0.47% to 0.8812.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.32% at 96.023.

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  • Energy Stocks Jump Midday as Schlumberger Results Spur Optimism

    January 18, 2019, 04:21

    Investing.com - Oilfield services company Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) helped rally energy stocks on Frida, after its fourth quarter revenue came in higher than expected and it forecast international growth, even as crude prices have fallen.

    The company reported revenue from its North America business rose 0.3% year over year to $2.82 billion, while international revenue rose nearly 1% to $5.28 billion. Revenue was flat at $8.18 billion, compared with a year earlier, but beat the average analyst estimate of $8.04 billion.

    The company has a modestly positive outlook on the oil sector in 2019, although the fall in oil prices and volatility have increased uncertainty on the company’s outlook for the year, according to Briefing.com.

    The energy sector as a whole was higher, with the S&P 500 Energy index gaining 1.27%.

    Schlumberger jumped 6.9% while Chevron (NYSE:CVX) rose 1.8% and Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) increased 1.7%.

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  • Greece stocks higher at close of trade; Athens General Composite up 0.07%

    January 18, 2019, 04:15

    Investing.com – Greece stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Travel, Media and Retail sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Athens, the Athens General Composite added 0.07%.

    The best performers of the session on the Athens General Composite were Alpha Bank SA (AT:ACBr), which rose 4.40% or 0.040 points to trade at 0.950 at the close. Meanwhile, Intracom Holdings SA (AT:INRr) added 4.23% or 0.028 points to end at 0.690 and Athens Water (AT:EYDr) was up 3.95% or 0.20 points to 5.26 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Fourlis Hld (AT:FRLr), which fell 4.75% or 0.190 points to trade at 3.810 at the close. Viohalco SA (AT:VIOH) declined 4.23% or 0.110 points to end at 2.490 and Piraeus Bank SA (AT:BOPr) was down 3.53% or 0.024 points to 0.656.

    Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Athens Stock Exchange by 52 to 46 and 19 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Fourlis Hld (AT:FRLr) fell to 52-week lows; losing 4.75% or 0.190 to 3.810. Shares in Piraeus Bank SA (AT:BOPr) fell to 5-year lows; falling 3.53% or 0.024 to 0.656.

    Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.72% or 9.35 to $1282.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 3.05% or 1.59 to hit $53.66 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 2.48% or 1.52 to trade at $62.70 a barrel.

    EUR/USD was down 0.33% to 1.1357, while EUR/GBP rose 0.41% to 0.8807.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.31% at 96.010.

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  • Turkey stocks higher at close of trade; BIST 100 up 1.69%

    January 18, 2019, 04:05

    Investing.com – Turkey stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Basic Metals, Food&Beverages and Industrials sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Istanbul, the BIST 100 rose 1.69% to hit a new 3-months high.

    The best performers of the session on the BIST 100 were Vakif Gayrimenkul Yatirim Ortakligi AS (IS:VKGYO), which rose 12.95% or 0.250 points to trade at 2.180 at the close. Meanwhile, Kardemir Karabuk Demir Celik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS Class D (IS:KRDMD) added 6.73% or 0.150 points to end at 2.380 and Eregli Demir ve Celik Fabrikalari TAS (IS:EREGL) was up 6.05% or 0.450 points to 7.890 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were ODAS Elektrik Uretim Sanayi Ticaret AS (IS:ODAS), which fell 3.72% or 0.070 points to trade at 1.810 at the close. Fenerbahce Futbol AS (IS:FENER) declined 2.60% or 0.19 points to end at 7.11 and Koza Altin Isletmeleri AS (IS:KOZAL) was down 2.26% or 1.25 points to 53.95.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Istanbul Stock Exchange by 265 to 95 and 46 ended unchanged.

    Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.68% or 8.85 to $1283.45 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 3.26% or 1.70 to hit $53.77 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 2.66% or 1.63 to trade at $62.81 a barrel.

    USD/TRY was down 0.27% to 5.3288, while EUR/TRY fell 0.49% to 6.0577.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.23% at 95.933.

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  • U.S. Dollar Rises as Consumer Optimism Falls

    January 18, 2019, 03:20

    Investing.com - The greenback picked up steam on Friday despite U.S. consumer optimism hitting its lowest level since Donald Trump was elected president and the government shutdown moving into its 28th day.

    The dollar was supported by a stronger-than-expected report for U.S. industrial production in December, in which manufacturing posted an impressive 1.1% gain from November. Such positive surprises relieve some of the worries about the strength of the economy after the slowdown at the end of last year. They also underline the relative strength of the U.S. compared to the Euro zone, where the Bank of Italy warned Friday that the country may have slid into recession with a second straight decline in GDP in the fourth quarter of last year.

    However, the negatives for dollar sentiment haven't gone away: Congress and Trump continue to struggle with their impasse over the budget and over 800,000 federal workers remain furloughed. The shutdown could have negative impacts on the economy, business leaders have warned this week as they presented their quarterly earnings.

    The shutdown is clearly having an effect on U.S. consumers already: the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey Center showed that consumer sentiment plummeted to a two-year low of 90.7 in January from 98.3 a month earlier.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.17% to 95.875 as of 10:19 AM ET (15:19 GMT).

    The dollar also continued to be supported by a Wall Street Journal report that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is in favor of easing tariffs on Chinese products. That sent U.S. stocks and the dollar higher late on Thursday, despite the Treasury Department denying the news.

    Meanwhile, sterling retreated from its recent highs after weak retail sales data for December. GBP/USD decreased 0.51% to 1.2914. It's still holding to most of the gains made in recent weeks, as the risk of an economically harmful 'hard' Brexit appears to recede.

    The yen, typically sought by investors as a safe haven during times of economic or market stress, was lower against the dollar, with USD/JPY rising 0.19% to 109.42.

    Elsewhere, the euro dipped with EUR/USD falling 0.18% to 1.1374.

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  • Netflix Falls 3%

    January 18, 2019, 02:51

    Investing.com - Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) fell by 3.18% to trade at $341.97 by 09:50 (14:50 GMT) on Friday on the NASDAQ exchange.

    The volume of Netflix shares traded since the start of the session was 5.46M. Netflix has traded in a range of $341.94 to $353.00 on the day.

    The stock has traded at $358.8500 at its highest and $312.5000 at its lowest during the past seven days.

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  • Oil Prices Jump as IEA Highlights OPEC Cuts

    January 18, 2019, 02:22

    Investing.com - Crude prices jumped on Friday after a report from the International Energy Agency pointed to recent output cuts from OPEC, but also said output from the U.S. will be a major factor this year.

    West Texas crude oil futures for February jumped 1.08% to $52.64 a barrel as of 9:21 AM ET (14:21 GMT). Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., rose 1.01% to $61.80 a barrel.

    OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed in December to keep 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) off the market, starting in January. A report on Thursday from the group showed that OPEC nations dipped 751,000 bpd to nearly 31.6 million bpd, with Saudi Arabia as the driving force.

    "While the other two giants voluntarily cut output, the U.S., already the biggest liquids supplier, will reinforce its leadership as the world's number one crude producer," the Paris-based IEA said Friday.

    "By the middle of the year, U.S. crude output will probably be more than the capacity of either Saudi Arabia or Russia."

    The IEA kept its outlook for demand unchanged in 2019, at 1.4 million bpd. Higher prices in 2018 should fade, offsetting the cooling economic growth, the agency said.

    Meanwhile, investors are looking ahead to weekly rig count data from Baker Hughes, which is considered a leading indicator of demand for oil products.

    In other energy trading, gasoline RBOB futures rose 0.45% to $1.4365 a gallon, while heating oil increased 0.33% to $1.8905 a gallon. natural gas futures slumped 4.72% to $3.252 per million British thermal units.

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  • Tesla Falls Premarket as Elon Musk Cuts Workforce by 7%

    January 18, 2019, 10:20

    Investing.com - Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares slumped in premarket trading Friday, after the electric car maker said it's cutting its full-time workforce by 7% to lower operating costs.

    It will also retain "only the most critical temps and contractors", according to a memo to employees from CEO Elon Musk that was posted on the company's web site. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

    Tesla shares, which had largely recovered from the stock market at the end of last year, fell 5% in premarket trade in response to the news.

    The cuts are an effort by Tesla to cut the price and increase sales of its Model 3 sedan, the company's first mass-market product, CEO Elon Musk told employees. He said the company needed to keep the Model 3 available as federal tax breaks for its products are phased out over the course of this year.

    “Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company,” Musk said in the memo.

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  • Indonesia stocks higher at close of trade; IDX Composite Index up 0.38%

    January 18, 2019, 10:15

    Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Miscellaneous Industry, Financials and Mining sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index gained 0.38% to hit a new 6-months high.

    The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Renuka Coalindo Tbk (JK:SQMI), which rose 24.84% or 76 points to trade at 382 at the close. Meanwhile, Kirana Megatara Tbk PT (JK:KMTR) added 24.63% or 66 points to end at 334 and Jakarta Int Hotels&Dev (JK:JIHD) was up 23.95% or 114 points to 590 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Tifico Fiber Indonesia Tbk (JK:TFCO), which fell 15.65% or 115 points to trade at 620 at the close. Onix Capital Tbk (JK:OCAP) declined 15.04% or 40 points to end at 226 and Yanaprima Hastapersada Tbk (JK:YPAS) was down 12.88% or 85 points to 575.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 214 to 195 and 140 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Jakarta Int Hotels&Dev (JK:JIHD) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 23.95% or 114 to 590.

    Crude oil for February delivery was up 1.25% or 0.65 to $52.72 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 1.16% or 0.71 to hit $61.89 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.60% or 7.75 to trade at $1284.55 a troy ounce.

    USD/IDR was unchanged 0.00% to 14175.0, while AUD/IDR fell 0.09% to 10184.03.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.01% at 95.718.

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  • Sterling Falls as U.K. Retail Sales Slump in December

    January 18, 2019, 09:50

    Investing.com - The pound was lower on Friday as the uncertainty over Brexit continued to put pressure on the economy.

    U.K. retail sales fell for the first time since March, suggesting that consumers are becoming more cautious as Brexit nears.

    GBP/USD decreased 0.34% to 1.2938 as of 4:48 AM ET (9:48 GMT) while EUR/GBP rose 0.40% to 0.8805.

    Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal was defeated in parliament on Tuesday but she won a subsequent vote of confidence, which has removed some political uncertainty. Analysts have interpreted this week's events as reducing the risk that the country will fail to strike a deal with European Union before it leaves the bloc on March 29. That has pushed the pound up over 2.6% against the dollar since Jan. 2.

    The U.S. dollar was little changed as investors wait for more progress on U.S.-China trade talks.

    A Wall Street Journal report that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is in favor of easing tariffs on Chinese imports sent U.S. stocks and the dollar higher, despite the Treasury Department denying the news.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.07% to 95.782.

    The yen, typically sought by investors as a safe haven during times of economic or market stress, was lower against the dollar, with USD/JPY rising 0.32% to 109.56.

    Elsewhere, the euro was flat at 1.1392.

    The risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars were lower, with AUD/USD falling 0.13% to 0.7179 and NZD/USD slipping 0.16% to 0.6750.

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  • UK Retail Sales Fall 0.9% in December

    January 18, 2019, 09:31

    Investing.com - UK retail sales fell short of expectations in December, adding to evidence that uncertainty over the country's departure from the European Union is hurting consumer sentiment.

    Retail sales fell 0.9% in December, and were up only 3.0% from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday.

    Economists had forecast a 0.8% decline for the month and a 3.6% gain year-on-year.

    The monthly increase in November was also revised down to 1.3% from an initial estimate of 1.4%, while the annual increase was revised down to 3.4% from an initial 3.6% advance.

    “The three-month on three-month growth rate..shows that in recent months sales have slowed for both measures and flattened from September 2018 to December 2018,” ONS statistician Rhian Murphy said.

    Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to consultancy EY's Item Club, said via Twitter that underlying sales growth was down 0.2% in the fourth quarter, and added that the December figure "Indicates many retailers aimed to boost sales by major discounting."

    "Not good news for profit margins," Archer added.

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  • China stocks higher at close of trade; Shanghai Composite up 1.42%

    January 18, 2019, 07:35

    Investing.com – China stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Oil Equipment Services&Distribution, Life Insurance and Banking sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Shanghai, the Shanghai Composite added 1.42% to hit a new 1-month high, while the SZSE Component index gained 1.49%.

    The best performers of the session on the Shanghai Composite were Shanghai Hongda Mining Co Ltd (SS:600532), which rose 10.10% or 0.410 points to trade at 4.470 at the close. Meanwhile, Hongda (SS:600331) added 10.04% or 0.240 points to end at 2.630 and Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology Co Ltd (SS:600584) was up 10.02% or 0.830 points to 9.110 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Pengqi Technology Development Co Ltd A (SS:600614), which fell 10.03% or 0.680 points to trade at 6.100 at the close. Pengqi Technology Development Co Ltd B (SS:900907) declined 8.87% or 0.043 points to end at 0.442 and Shanghai No1 Pharmacy Co Ltd (SS:600833) was down 7.54% or 0.870 points to 10.670.

    The top performers on the SZSE Component were Jiaozuo Wanfang Aluminum (SZ:000612) which rose 10.10% to 4.47, Jiangsu Nhwa Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (SZ:002262) which was up 10.03% to settle at 9.65 and Muyuan Foodstuff Co Ltd (SZ:002714) which gained 10.00% to close at 32.79.

    The worst performers were Hunan TV&Broadcast Intermediary Co Ltd (SZ:000917) which was down 7.62% to 6.91 in late trade, Yinji Entertainment Media Co Ltd (SZ:002143) which lost 6.67% to settle at 3.36 and Goldleaf Jewelry Co Ltd (SZ:000587) which was down 6.17% to 3.04 at the close.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Shanghai Stock Exchange by 1086 to 337 and 58 ended unchanged.

    The CBOE China Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Shanghai Composite options, was unchanged 0.00% to 21.74.

    Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.14% or 1.75 to $1290.55 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 1.06% or 0.55 to hit $52.62 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 0.95% or 0.58 to trade at $61.76 a barrel.

    USD/CNY was down 0.05% to 6.7700, while EUR/CNY fell 0.01% to 7.7165.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was unchanged 0.00% at 95.713.

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  • Taiwan stocks higher at close of trade; Taiwan Weighted up 0.48%

    January 18, 2019, 06:45

    Investing.com – Taiwan stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the Optoelectronic, Cement and Oil, Gas&Electricity sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted added 0.48% to hit a new 1-month high.

    The best performers of the session on the Taiwan Weighted were Good Will Instrument Co Ltd (TW:2423), which rose 9.90% or 2.50 points to trade at 27.75 at the close. Meanwhile, Genesis Photonics Inc (TW:3383) added 9.88% or 0.16 points to end at 1.78 and Green Energy Technology Inc (TW:3519) was up 9.88% or 0.34 points to 3.78 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Sumagh High Tech Corp (TW:1475), which fell 10.00% or 1.11 points to trade at 9.99 at the close. Daxin Materials Corp (TW:5234) declined 5.08% or 5.00 points to end at 93.50 and Bonny Worldwide Ltd (TW:8467) was down 4.47% or 1.50 points to 32.05.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Taiwan Stock Exchange by 588 to 209 and 120 ended unchanged.

    Shares in Good Will Instrument Co Ltd (TW:2423) rose to all time highs; rising 9.90% or 2.50 to 27.75.

    Crude oil for February delivery was up 1.27% or 0.66 to $52.73 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in March rose 1.19% or 0.73 to hit $61.91 a barrel, while the February Gold Futures contract fell 0.08% or 1.05 to trade at $1291.25 a troy ounce.

    USD/TWD was up 0.06% to 30.841, while TWD/CNY rose 0.09% to 0.2197.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.02% at 95.732.

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  • Australia stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 up 0.50%

    January 18, 2019, 06:00

    Investing.com – Australia stocks were higher after the close on Friday, as gains in the IT, Consumer Staples and Metals&Mining sectors led shares higher.

    At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.50% to hit a new 1-month high.

    The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (AX:APT), which rose 12.98% or 1.850 points to trade at 16.100 at the close. Meanwhile, Sandfire Resources NL (AX:SFR) added 6.46% or 0.430 points to end at 7.090 and Credit Corp Group Ltd (AX:CCP) was up 5.27% or 1.060 points to 21.160 in late trade.

    The worst performers of the session were Steadfast Group Ltd (AX:SDF), which fell 5.28% or 0.150 points to trade at 2.690 at the close. Estia Health Ltd (AX:EHE) declined 4.91% or 0.110 points to end at 2.130 and Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (AX:SYD) was down 2.88% or 0.190 points to 6.410.

    Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 647 to 412 and 361 ended unchanged.

    The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 2.48% to 12.259 a new 3-months low.

    Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.13% or 1.65 to $1290.65 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 1.25% or 0.65 to hit $52.72 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 1.14% or 0.70 to trade at $61.88 a barrel.

    AUD/USD was up 0.00% to 0.7191, while AUD/JPY rose 0.13% to 78.66.

    The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.03% at 95.745.

    Read More
  • Dollar Little Changed; China-U.S. Trade Talks in Focus

    January 18, 2019, 05:27

    Investing.com - The U.S. dollar was little changed on Friday in Asia after trading slightly higher earlier in the day amid optimism of progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks.

    The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies last traded at 95.732 by 12:01 AM ET (05:01 GMT), up 0.02%.

    Citing people with knowledge to the matter, the Wall Street Journal said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is a proponent of easing tariffs on Chinese products.

    The report sent U.S. stocks higher overnight, even after the Treasury Department quickly denied the news.

    Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the U.S. later this month for another round of trade talks.

    Separately, jobless claims data showed on Thursday that the U.S. government shutdown has yet to have an impact on jobs.

    The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. hit its lowest level in five weeks, despite 27 days of a government shutdown which has furloughed 800,000 federal workers.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese yuan was near flat against the U.S. dollar, as the USD/CNY pair traded at 6.7768, up 0.06%.

    China’s statistics bureau on Friday revised down its final 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 6.8% from the previous 6.9%.

    The revision came ahead of Monday’s release of preliminary GDP growth figures for the latest quarter and full-year 2018.

    Sources have told Reuters earlier that Beijing is considering setting a lower economic growth target of 6-6.5% in 2019.

    The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan reference rate at 6.7665 on Friday vs the previous day's fix of 6.7592.

    Elsewhere, the USD/JPY pair was up 0.16% to 109.39.

    The AUD/USD pair was unchanged at 0.7190.

    Read More
  • Crypto Prices Rise as Thailand Stock Exchange Eyes Nationwide Digital Asset

    January 18, 2019, 04:32

    Investing.com - Bitcoin and other major digital coin prices made small gains on Friday in Asia following news that Thailand ’s stock exchange is keen on developing a nationwide digital asset that would include a cryptocurrency exchange.

    Bitcoin added 0.96% to $3,611.3 by 12:35 AM ET (05:35 GMT).

    Ethereum rose 1.05% to $121.4, XRP was up 0.46% to $0.32554, and Litecoin traded 1.45% higher to $31.22.

    Various media reported that the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) plans to apply for a digital license, with which it can operate a crypto exchange to enable digital asset trading.

    “Securities firms are currently waiting for the SET to apply for a license. For us, digital assets are expected to grow in the future as investors gain more understanding of this asset class,” said Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, the chairwoman of the Association of Securities Companies and vice-chairwoman of the SET’s board of governors.

    According to the Bangkok Post, this would make Thailand’s bourse one of the first in the world to setup a separate crypto exchange.

    The news came after the Thai financial regulators granted working licenses to three crypto trading companies last week.

    The Southeast Asian country has been known as one of the friendliest markets in Asia for crypto businesses. Not only has the country approved crypto and ICO regulations, but it also has legalized seven cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

    In other news, U.S. researchers received some attention on Friday as they are said to be developing a new cryptocurrency superior to Bitcoin. Researchers from seven colleges such as Stanford and MIT are working on the new digital token known as Unit-e, which could rival Visa (NYSE:V) and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) in terms of transactions processed per second.

    Read More

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