The volatility index, or VIX, is at 12-monthly highs, suggesting the market expects increasingly erratic share movements, mainly downwards. But is the VIX any more insightful than the sum of traders’ and investors’ best guesses?
They are the “odd couple” of currency markets, the US dollar and the Swiss franc. Despite their big differences, the interplay between them can tell us a lot about market sentiment regarding the world economy.
Stocks and the pound made a shaky start to a week in which both Britain and the European Union will set out their demands ahead of trade talks starting next month. Sticking points include UK alignment with EU rules and access for continental fishing boats to British waters.
Crude oil trading has been stuck within a $50-$70 trading range for the last 12 months. One factor weighing on the price has been greatly increased US oil production.
Mexico’s currency the peso is at 12-monthly highs, supported by returning economic growth and a new North America trade deal. The exchange rate has helped the country respond to economic shocks, according to experts.
The gold price has risen by about 20% during the last 12 months, but could this result from the “sugar rush” of easy-money policies by central banks? The prospect of higher American interest rates has spooked some in the market.
Australia’s top shares have enjoyed a surge in the last 12 months, and momentum seems strong. Fears that the coronavirus would damage the investment outlook have apparently been shrugged off.
Whether it’s Sinn Fein’s surge in the Irish election or the fears of Scottish salmon producers of life after Brexit, Britain’s post-European agenda is not short of urgent issues. But the biggest hurdle remains getting a trade deal by the end of the year.
China’s outbreak of the sometime-fatal coronavirus is depressing crude oil prices. Traders fear the illness will impact economic activity in the country and that ravel restrictions will reduce demand for fuel.
As we enter the last winter month of the oil-guzzling northern hemisphere, what is the outlook for the crude price? In our crude oil price forecast for next week, we ask whether US shale oil and concerns about carbon emissions have broken the traditional links joining cold weather and economic growth to the price of “black gold”.
A few years ago, China’s renminbi, also known as the yuan, was carrying all before it, joining the elite basket of reserve currencies and possibly challenging the US dollar’s role as lynchpin of global finance. But while it remains remarkably steady on foreign exchanges, much of the euphoria seems to have died down.
A long-running bull market in gold shows little sign of running out of steam. Bullion out-performed most assets in 2019 and insiders believe 2020 could prove equally glittering.
The first month of the year is almost over, so it is a good time to take stock of which cryptocurrencies did well in January – and which did not so well. The results may surprise you.
The elite Euro Stoxx 50 index of the euro-zone’s leading quoted companies has risen by more than 17% during the past 12 months. This is despite warnings that the euro area economy faces “significant downside risks”.
The Swiss franc is the ultimate safe-haven currency, and has been buoyed by a good economic performance by a country genuinely at the heart of Europe. But the Swiss remain dependent on the health of the euro-zone, making it vulnerable to any downturn.