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FTSE 100: UK stocks set to struggle amid US tech sell-off

US tech companies extended losses on Tuesday, with the plunge putting added pressure on British blue-chips at a time when investors are growing increasingly concerned about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

  • FTSE 100 under pressure as US tech sell-off resumes
  • Nasdaq extends losses, falling 3% on Tuesday
  • Investors grow increasingly concerned about prospect of a no-deal Brexit
  • Apple given ‘sell’ rating by Goldman Sachs, while Tesla tumbles 15%

US tech companies extended losses on Tuesday, with the plunge putting added pressure on British blue-chips at a time when investors are growing increasingly concerned about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

Downward pressure on the pound, as well as a relatively decent showing during corporate earnings season, had initially given the FTSE 100 a boost. But with the Nasdaq sliding more than 8% over the last four trading sessions, the blue-chip index buckled and could struggle over the near-term.

The FTSE 100 closed marginally lower on Tuesday at 5930, with the index struggling to bounce back above 6000 points, suggesting that further losses are on the cards.

Apple share price slides on weak fundamentals

Apple hit an all-time high of $134.18 per share on 1 September, but in the days that followed the stock has tumbled more than 13% as concerns about its fundamentals begin to show.

Revenue growth has slowed overtime and profit margins have been squeezed, leading to a slowdown in profit growth. At the same time, the company, once famous for its high cash reserves, has begun to take on significantly more debt since 2017, with borrowing equalling bond repayments.

As a consequence, analysts at Goldman Sachs have offered a dim outlook for Apple, with the US-based investment bank giving the stock a ‘sell’ rating and issuing a price target of $80, implying a potential downside of -30%.

Apple is trading at $115 per share at the time of publication, with the stock up 54% year-to-date.

Tesla share price slides 28% in six days

The electric car maker has erased more than $76 billion of market value over the last six days after the stock tumbled 28%.

The news will likely come as a shock to many shareholders, with the stock on course for inclusion in the S&P 500 after it delivered quarterly profit for the fourth consecutive time, only for it to be snubbed by the index despite fulfilling all inclusion criteria.

‘With an estimated ~$4.5T of assets indexed to the S&P 500, we think shares were reflecting expectations for substantial passive inflows,’ Baird analyst Ben Kallo wrote in a research note.

‘Unclear why [Tesla] was not included in the recent rebalancing cycle, though we do think the stock will eventually be added to the S&P 500, having fulfilled all inclusion criteria,’ he added.

The spectre of Brexit rears its head

We all knew it would come back at some point. Brexit took a welcome holiday from February, pushed out of the limelight by the Covid-19 crisis, something far more important and far more dramatic, according to Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

‘But as the clock ticks down to the end of the year, and the end of the transition period, the issue has exploded back on to the stage,’ he said.

‘Negotiations have been going on all summer, but without much success, and ongoing frustration with the EU’s approach has resulted in UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking a new approach.’

‘In short, ‘no deal’ is firmly back on the agenda, and the government is looking at redrafting some legislation in the event that no agreement is reached by the end of the year,’ he added.

How to trade stocks with IG

Looking to trade Apple, Tesla and other stocks? Open a live or demo account with IG and buy (long) or sell (short) shares using derivatives like CFDs and spread bets in a few easy steps:

  1. Create an IG trading account or log in to your existing account
  2. Enter ‘Apple Inc’ in the search bar and select it
  3. Choose your position size
  4. Click on ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ in the deal ticket
  5. Confirm the trade
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Daily Financial News

Don’t Count On JPY Correction; Staying Long GBP/JPY

The path of the potential pace of the JPY decline may still be underestimated by markets, which continue trading the JPY long.

While the 10% USDJPY advance from September lows looks impressive from a momentum point of view, it may no thave been driven by Japan’s institutional investors reducing their hedging ratios or Japan’s household sector reestablishing carry trades.

Instead, investors seemed to have been caught on the wrong foot, concerned about a sudden decline of risk appetite or the incoming US administration being focused on trade issues and not on spending. Spending requires funding and indeed the President-elect Trump’s team appears to be focused on funding. Here are a few examples: Reducing corporate taxation may pave the way for US corporates repatriating some of their USD2.6trn accumulated foreign profits. Cutting bank regulation could increase the risk-absorbing capacity within bank balance sheets. Hence, funding conditions – including for the sovereign – might generally ease. De-regulating the oil sector would help the trade balance, slowing the anticipated increase in the US current account deficit. The US current account deficit presently runs at 2.6% of GDP, which is below worrisome levels. Should the incoming government push for early trade restrictions, reaction (including Asian sovereigns reducing their holdings) could increase US funding costs, which runs against the interest of the Trump team.

Instead of counting on risk aversion to stop the JPY depreciation, we expect nominal yield differentials and the Fed moderately hiking rates to unleash capital outflows from Japan.The yield differential argumenthas become more compelling with the BoJ turning into yield curve managers. Via this policy move, rising inflation rates push JPY real rates and yields lower, which will weaken the JPY. Exhibit 12 shows how much Japan’s labor market conditions have tightened. A minor surge in corporate profitability may now be sufficient, pushing Japan wages up and implicity real yields lower.

JPY dynamics are diametrical to last year . Last year, the JGB’s “exhausted”yield curve left the BoJ without a tool to push real yields low enough to adequately address the weakened nominal GDP outlook. JPY remained artificially high at a time when the US opted for sharply lower real yields. USDJPY had to decline, triggering JPY bullish secondround effects via JPY-based financial institutions increasing their FX hedge ratios and Japan’s retail sector cutting its carry trade exposures. Now the opposite seems to be happening. The managed JGB curve suggests rising inflation expectations are driving Japan’s real yield lower. The Fed reluctantly hiking rates may keep risk appetite supported but increase USD hedging costs.Financial institutions reducinghedge ratios and Japan’s household sector piling back into the carry trade could provide secondround JPY weakening effects

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Daily Financial News

Mexico raises interest rates, cites Trump as risk

The head of Mexico’s central bank says U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump represents a “hurricane” sized threat to Mexico.

Banco de Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens told the Radio Formula network Friday that a Trump presidency “would be a hurricane and a particularly intense one if he fulfills what he has been saying in his campaign.”

Trump has proposed building a wall along the border and re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s central bank raised its prime lending rate by half a percent to 4.75 percent Thursday, citing “nervousness surrounding the possible consequences of the U.S. elections, whose implications for Mexico could be particularly significant.”

Mexico’s peso had lost about 6 percent in value against the dollar since mid-August. It recovered slightly after the rate hike

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Financial News

Africa’s first Fairtrade certified gold co-operative offers hope to gold miners living in poverty

Syanyonja Artisan Miners’ Alliance (SAMA) has become the first artisanal small scale mining co-operative in Africa to become Fairtrade certified, bringing much needed hope to impoverished communities who risk their lives to mine the rich gold seam that runs around Lake Victoria.

SAMA is one of nine previously informal groups from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania which has benefitted from a pilot project launched by Fairtrade in 2013. This innovative program aims to extend the benefits of Fairtrade gold to artisanal miners across East Africa.

In that short time, SAMA has undergone training in business and entrepreneurship, as well as safe use of mercury, internal control systems, labour rights and better working conditions, health and safety and more. Previously, daily contact with toxic chemicals used to process gold meant members risked disease, premature births and even death.  Fairtrade gold was first launched in 2011, and SAMA now joins Fairtrade certified gold mines MACDESA, AURELSA and SOTRAMI in Peru.

The co-operative produces just 5 kg gold per year, but nevertheless has the potential to significantly benefit many people in the local community through better conditions through certification. It is expected that Fairtrade and organizations like Cred Jewellery will support the miners, ensuring their gold can be refined and made available to jewellers in the UK and other markets.

Gonzaga Mungai, Gold Manager at Fairtrade Africa said: “This is a truly momentous and historical achievement and the realisation of a dream that is many years in the making. Gold production is an important source of income for people in rural economies. Congratulations to SAMA, it sets a precedent which shows that if groups like this can achieve certification, then it can work for others right across the African continent.”

The Fairtrade Gold Standard encourages better practice and changes to come in line with international regulation around the production and trade of so-called ‘conflict minerals’. Under the Standard, miners are required to:

  • Uphold a human rights policy preventing war crimes, bribery, money laundering and child labour
  • Clearly represent where the minerals were mined
  • Minimise the risks of conflict minerals through robust risk assessments and collaboration across supply chains
  • Report to buyers and trading partners regarding the risks of conflict minerals

Now in its second phase, the programme will focus on supporting other mining groups in the region to access affordable loans and explore a phased approach to accessing the Fairtrade market, allowing more mining co-operatives across Africa to participate in the programme.

Gonzaga added: “Sourcing African metals from smallscale miners in the Great Lakes Region is the responsible thing to do. For a long time companies have avoided buying gold from this region, with devastating consequences for impoverished communities who were already struggling. It has driven trade deeper underground, as unscrupulous buyers pay lower prices and launder illegal gold into legitimate supply chains. That’s why we have chosen to work with these groups to help them earn more from their gold within a robust compliance system that offers social, environmental, and economic protections.”

The Fairtrade gold programme offers a small but scalable solution to sustainable sourcing of gold from the region in line with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act in the US, OECD Due Diligence Guidance and recent EU Supply-Chain Due Diligence proposals which could come into effect in 2016. This means that up to 880,000 EU firms that use tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold in manufacturing consumer products could be obliged to provide information on steps they have taken to identify and address risks in their supply chains for so-called ‘conflict minerals’.

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