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FX Bazooka (your trading weapon)
Gold surges in Asia as Fed chief comments to Congress noted

On Wednesday, gold gained in Asia notwithstanding mildly hawkish comments by the Fed chief on the necessity to lift interest rates sooner rather than later.

In New York, April delivery gold futures managed to ascend 0.14%, trading at $1,227.15 a troy ounce. Apart from that March delivery silver futures edged up 0.18%, trading at $17.922 a troy ounce. Additionally, copper futures leapt 0.15%, showing $2.750.

Overnight, the number one precious metal came off the strongest levels of the trading session in North America after Fed Chair Janet Yellen informed Congress that waiting too long to increase interest rates would be foolish as economic growth continues and inflation ascends.  She added that even though the major US bank expects to raise rates gradually and to keep policy accommodative, getting interest rates back to normal levels is crucial and hikes are going to be considered ahead. 
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EU stocks are steady to lower amid fresh earnings

On Thursday, European shares were steady to lower, as market participants paid attention to a new series of corporate earnings reports.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 headed south 0.13%, France’s CAC 40 slid 0.11%, while Germany’s DAX 30 dived 0.02%.

Market sentiment had improved after on Tuesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told the US Senate Banking Committee that the US major bank will probably increase interest rates at one of its upcoming gatherings.

Ms. Yellen told that waiting too long to increase interest rates wouldn’t be rational, especially considering current economic growth and inflation.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 edged down 0.14%, suppressed by losses in the mining sector.

As for peripheral lenders, Intesa Sanpaolo surged 0.82% and Unicredit declined 0.15% in Italy. Meanwhile, Spanish banks Banco Santander as well as BBVA gained respectively 0.10% and 0.12%.

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European shares go up

On Monday, EU stocks traded broadly higher, as market participants focused on corporate movements with special attention on Unilever as Kraft Heinz dared to withdraw a merger offer.

During mid-morning trade in Europe, the benchmark Euro Stoxx 50 managed to earn 0.35%, France’s CAC 40 jumped 0.11% and German DAX 30 inched up 0.58%.

Stocks in Unilever dipped more than 6% on both exchanges as Kraft Heinz decided not to improve its $143 billion offer to merge with the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company. The previous week Unilever chief executive Paul Polman had rejected the offer because of what he considered a lack of financial or strategic merit.

Meanwhile, in London, the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 soared 0.03%.

German stocks of Steinhoff led advancers with revenues of almost 7% because the South African-based international retail holding company cancelled talks with supermarket chain Shoprite to combine their African assets into what would have been the continent’s largest retailer. 

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HSBC's 2016 revenue tumbles 62% on writedowns

HSBC Holdings posted a 62% slide in annual pre-tax revenues, which fell way short of experts’ estimates as the British bank took huge writedowns from its restructuring, sending its Hong Kong stocks dived 3.5%.

The EU’s biggest bank by assets reported a 2016 revenue before tax of $7.1 billion compared to $18.87 billion for last year and the average analyst estimate of about $14.4 billion according to Thomson Reuter’s data. Moreover, it announced a fresh $1 billion share buy-back.

The 2016 revenue actually reflected a $3.2 billion impairment of goodwill in its global private banking business in the EU as well as the impact of its sale of operations in Brazil, as bank informed on Tuesday in a statement to the stock exchanges.

The private banking impairment charge mostly deals with its acquisition of Safra Republic Holdings in 1999, as HSBC told.

HSBC's stock dip on Tuesday in Hong Kong was the lender's biggest single intra-day stock price sag since June 24, which was a reaction to Britain's vote to abandon the EU. 

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American crude holds close to seven-week peak

On Wednesday, crude prices held close to multi-week peaks after OPEC signaled optimism over its deal with other producers in order to curb crude output to clear a glut, which has weighed on markets since 2014.

The US West Texas Intermediate April delivery crude futures CLc1 gained 0.3%, hitting $54.49 a barrel. On Tuesday, the March contract ascended 1.2%, having reached its highest value since January 3.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 surged 0.4%, trading at $56.89, having hit its highest value since February 2.

Last week's numbers showed that American output helped to spur crude as well as gasoline inventories to record peaks, amid faltering demand surge for the motor fuel.

It has kept a lid on crude prices after they ascended following an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as other crude producers to reduce output by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs stressed that a rebound in American drilling activity had surpassed even its own above-consensus hopes

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Morning brief for February 23

I will speak in a rondabout way commenting today’s market situation. Given into account the recent data flow from numerous countries, we must admit that the global economy has started the year in smuttily rude economic health with the hint at further acceleration of growth worldwide. This, however, doesn’t immediately affect the nominal exchange rates of the major currencies as geopolitical risks abound across the globe. The main focuses of the past session were European politics again and the FOMC meeting minutes.

EUR/USD spiked to 1.0570 overnight after the Fed’s Minutes indicated a cautious approach to raising US interest rates. Market expected a pinky promised “fairly soon” (talking about the rate hikes), but got just “soon”. It shows how can one word change the whole impression from the report. There were also some comments emphasizing a gradual pace of raising rate tinged with concerns of the fast appreciation of the USD against upside risks from Trump’s fiscal policies.

The grass has become a bit greener on the European side of the fence, however. There was the news that French Presidency centrist candidate Francois Bayrou is going to withdraw from the race and throw his hat in the ring behind Emmanuel Macron to support him in the battle with Le Pen.

USD/JPY edged down to 113.20 in the Asian session.

The British pound is trading slightly higher against the USD. The UK fourth quarter was revised up to 0.7% - 1pp higher than it was projected by the market. With the economic calendar light for the remainder of the week, the pair might be trading in the narrow range of 1.2415 – 1.2465. At the present moment, it seems that the pound has enough strength to advance at least to the upper level of the aforementioned range.

Aussie surprisingly rose to 0.7695 having erased its earlier losses from the disappointing capex result. A further upward movement will be rather difficult. For the present moment, the situation is not clear. The pair may slide towards the nearest supports located at 0.7680 (50 H4 MA), 0.7670 (the lower border of Ichimoku cloud), 0.7660. Alternatively, the rise above the resistance at 0.7705 will signal about the bulls’ strength.

Kiwi was an absolute gainer in the course of the past session haven rise to 0.7215 on the FOMC meeting minutes. Loonie also strengthened against its US counterpart having supported by the recent uplift in oil prices. USD/CAD fell to 1.3130, and it might slide further towards the next supports at 1.3110, 1.3070 retaining bearish momentum. Brent oil futures edged up to $56.30 in the Asian session. USD/CAD may go higher if we get the US government data on stockpiles shows the built.

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Gold declines in Asia

On Friday, Gold dived in Asia in cautious trade as market participants mulled the latest Fed minutes as well as comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who told that he hopes for a tax package to pass Congress by August as it might help to forecast rate lift paths this year.

In New York, April delivery gold futures dipped 0.12%, trading at $1,249.85 a troy ounce. Additionally, copper futures managed to rise 0.57%, being worth $2.655 a pound as market participants kept a close eye on labor disputes at key mines in Indonesia and Chile where work has ceased for nearly two weeks.

Overnight, gold futures grew to a 15-week peak after the minutes of the most recent Fed policy gathering turned to be more dovish-than-expected, thus weakening hopes of a March interest rate lift.

Gold started the trading session in the ascendancy, affected by a tumble in the greenback after Wednesday’s Fed minutes dampened expectations that a rate lift is in play for March. Some Fed members happened to be reluctant to back a raise of interest rates, as they wait for further details on President Trump’s economic plans to assess how Trump’s policies would influence economic growth.

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I honestly can’t predict what gonna Trump’s do on the economic decision including forex. Hope we will have some exact news about it in the next months. Is it stable enough to spend a lot on USD pair…
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Chinese companies look for cheaper offshore debt after rule change

More Chinese companies are currently seeking to raise debt offshore after Beijing officially approved a new funding structure the previous month, which makes it easier and also cheaper to tap foreign lenders.

In January, China's foreign exchange regulator let domestic companies bring home cash raised via offshore bonds secured by onshore guarantees, in a game-changer for domestic borrowers.

The change, lowering the cost of funding, has sparked more interest in offshore borrowings, as bankers and lawyers revealed. Chinese companies would like to raise debt offshore where the market is far deeper and more liquid, thus enabling them to sign larger as well as longer-term deals.

However, those who are eager to raise money offshore for the purpose of bringing it back to China could previously only do so utilizing relatively weak legal agreements, which made it expensive to borrow.

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Aussie and Kiwi dip vs. broadly stronger greenback

On Wednesday, the Australian and New Zealand dollars slumped against their American rival notwithstanding the issue of positive Australian economic growth data, as hopes for a March rate lift in America kept lending broad support to the US major currency.

The currency pair AUD/USD tumbled 0.17% to a two-week minimum of 0.7643.

Earlier Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that GDP increased by 1.1% during the fourth quarter of last year, thus beating hopes for a surge rate of 0.7%, right after a contraction of 0.5% in the three months to September.

Year-on-year, the Australian economy added 2.4% during the last quarter, compared to hopes for 1.9%.

The currency pair NZD/USD dipped 1.20% to 0.7104, showing the lowest outcome since January 17.

The US dollar found broad support after Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan repeated his view on Monday that a rate lift should come sooner rather than later to curb ascending inflation.

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