30 / 03 / 2018 | Technical Analysis

Technical Analysis 30.03.2018 – GBP/NZD: Ichimoku clouds

Let's look at the four-hour chart. Tenkan-sen and Kijun-sen lines have merged, both lines are directed downwards. Confirmative line Chikou Span is below the price chart, current cloud is going to reverse from ascending to descending. The instrument is trading below Tenkan-sen and Kijun-sen lines; the Bearish trend is still strong. One of the previous minimums of Chikou Span line is expected to be a support level (1.9366). Merged Tenkan-sen and Kijun-sen lines have become a strong resistance level (1.9465).

On the daily chart Tenkan-sen line is above Kijun-sen, the red line is directed upwards, while the blue one remains horizontal. Confirmative line Chikou Span is above the price chart, current cloud is ascending. The instrument is trading around upper border of the cloud. The closest support level is the lower border of the cloud (1.7371). The closest resistance level is Tenkan-sen line (1.9495).



The Technical Analysis is provided by Marshall Gittler, an external service provider of an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

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30 / 03 / 2018 | Market News

Fundamental Analysis 30.03.2018 – Market Outlook

Market Recap

The stock market went up again yesterday Thursday 29th of March, with the S&P 500 index rising 1.4% and the NASDAQ up 1.6%. Yet USD was barely changed overall. It’s not clear whether the dollar’s performance has more to do with risk sentiment or just end-quarter book closing. As the graph shows, there’s no connection between the market’s view on risk (as measured by the Volatility Index (VIX) index) and the performance of the dollar. The dollar rose as uncertainty rose, but then stayed firm even as confidence returned to the stock markets and the VIX fell. 

JPY and CHF also rose. Since many of the world’s major trading centers are closed today Friday 30th of March for the Good Friday holiday, we won’t know for sure until next week, starting gradually on Monday 2nd of April (which is still a holiday in much of Europe) and then fully on Tuesday 3rd of April.

NZD was the best-performing G10 currency, perhaps because of a rally in agricultural commodities. The Bloomberg Agricultural subindex jumped 2.2% today. 

On the other hand, GBP was the worst performer, but with no clear trigger to the move except perhaps a continued fall in short-end yields, which may indicate fading confidence in a near-term rate hike. 

Today’s market

Because of the Good Friday holiday, there are no major indicators or speeches planned today.  

On Monday 2nd of April morning, the Bank of Japan releases its Q1 Short-Term Economic Survey of Enterprises in Japan, or Tankan as it’s universally known. This is probably the most important indicator out from Japan.

The diffusion indices for both large manufacturers and non-manufacturers are expected to decline slightly. The outlook for the next quarter on the other hand is expected to rise, but still, it’s expected to be lower than the current quarter. The figures are expected to imply that the Japanese economy has peaked for now. That could be negative for the yen.

The Forex (FX) market seems to pay more attention to the DI for large non-manufacturers than for manufacturers. The financial firms that are active in FX, such as the insurance and pension industry with their overseas investments, are not included in the survey.


The Fundamental Analysis are provided by Marshall Gittler, an external service provider of an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

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30 / 03 / 2018 | Market News

Why central banks lower their interest rates during a financial crisis

After several years of enjoying increased economic growth, world economies were hit by a financial crisis in 2008. The United States (US) economy faced the first consequences from the burst of the subprime mortgage bubble, during which many home buyers defaulted on their mortgages. Large financial institutions in the US, such as Lehman Brothers, collapsed and many others, among them AIG and Merrill Lynch sought help from the US federal government in the form of a bailout. 

The financial crisis gave its place to the Great Recession of 2008-2012, as economists are used to calling it nowadays, and contributed to the development of the European sovereign-debt crisis. European Union economies such as Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Ireland received aid packages to help them deal with the economic burden. Central banks scrambled to help local economies by changing their monetary policies and trying to make access to borrowing as easy as possible.

Central banks took action to fight recession

In December 2007, the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) benchmark interest rate stood at 5.25%. The effect of the financial crisis that erupted in 2008 pressed the Fed’s chairman, at the time, Ben Bernanke and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to lower the interest rate to 0.25% in December 2008. The European Central Bank (ECB) followed its US counterpart much later, by lowering its benchmark interest rate to 0% in March 2016 in a bid to revive the slow growing Eurozone economy. A similar action was taken by the Bank of England (BoE) which set its interest rate to the historic low of 0.25%, just after the Brexit referendum. 

Who benefits and who doesn’t from low interest rates

Low interest rates are helping to fuel the economy’s growth. Homeowners with a variable mortgage are the ones who earn more during low-rate periods because they get to see their monthly mortgage payments decrease, while their available budget is increasing. A pro-longed period of low interest rates, as the one that we experience, may also result in cheaper fixed-rate mortgages. Homeowners also benefit as the demand for houses increases and they are able to sell their homes at increased prices. 

Low interest rate periods don’t benefit savings deposits. This is because the average saver is getting a low interest rate for the money that he chose to hold in a bank account. In some cases, if the inflation rate is larger than the nominal interest rate, savers will see a fall in the real value of their savings. This is one of the reasons that stock market indices rise in periods of low interest rates since savers are looking for opportunities to get a better rate of return, instead of keeping their money in bank accounts. The influx of new funds in the stock market results in firms having larger available budgets for investments and new projects which could create new jobs and generate profits, even during a financial crisis. 

Central banks raising borrowing costs

Ten years after the first signs of an upcoming financial crisis and the recession that engulfed many world economies, central banks are beginning to consider raising their borrowing costs. Data coming from government statistical agencies around the world suggest that the global economy is back on track of growth, which pushes central banks’ governors to re-evaluate their monetary policy strategies. 

During 2017, the Fed proceeded in hiking its interest rates three times, adding one more in March 2018 with the benchmark interest rate set at 1.75%.  The Bank of England (BoE) hiked its benchmark interest rate for the first time in ten years in November 2017. Some of the ECB’s board members have expressed the opinion that the Eurozone’s central bank should consider picking up its borrowing costs, but the majority of the board still votes to keep the rates unchanged.   

Trading with STO

The global economy seems to be improving, taking into consideration the latest economic data releases coming from the US, the Eurozone and Japan. Traders should be ready to examine the new financial conditions and build the trading strategy that they find appropriate. STO gives its clients the chance to select from 5 account types and the opportunity to trade on 6 different asset classes and more than 300 CFD (Contracts for Difference) instruments. 

Trading Forex and CFDs, which are leveraged products, are high risk investments and puts your capital at risk. You may sustain a loss of some or all of your invested capital. Only speculate with money you can afford to lose.
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29 / 03 / 2018 | Technical Analysis

Technical Analysis 29.03.2018 – AUD/JPY: Ichimoku clouds

Let's look at the four-hour chart. Tenkan-sen line is above Kijun-sen, the blue line is directed upwards, while the red one remains horizontal. Confirmative line Chikou Span has crossed the price chart from below, current cloud is descending. The instrument has entered the cloud. The closest support level is the lower border of the cloud (81.40). The closest resistance level is the lower border of the cloud (82.35). 



On the daily chart Tenkan-sen line is below Kijun-sen, the lines are horizontal . Confirmative line Chikou Span is below the price chart, current cloud is descending. The instrument is trading between Tenkan-sen and Kijun-sen lines. The closest support level is Tenkan-sen line (81.50). The closest resistance level is Kijun-sen line (82.48).


The Technical Analysis is provided by Marshall Gittler, an external service provider of an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.
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29 / 03 / 2018 | Company news

STO in Africa Financial EXPO

Continuing its expansion into African markets, STO will be taking part in the Africa Financial Expo. The Africa Financial Expo will take place at Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on March 30th-31st 2018. The Africa Financial Expo is a 2-day event which brings together brokers from all around the world, giving investors and traders the opportunity to find out more about forex products and services. 

Open an STO Premium account during the Africa Financial Expo and get a 75% discount on account opening requirements

During the Africa Financial Expo, visitors who register with STO and open an STO Premium account are going to get a 75% discount on the minimum deposit requirements. STO Premium account clients benefit from spreads starting at 0.4 pips as well as 12 EAs and 15 chart indicators to help them implement their trading strategy. STO also provides negative balance protection and 24/5 customer service support.

Win a free funded STO Premium account during the Africa Financial Expo 

Visitors who register for STO’s raffle draw promotion during the Africa Financial Expo will also get the chance to win a free funded STO Premium account. STO’s raffle* will give   3 newly registered or existing STO clients the opportunity to get a free STO Premium account with US$500** credit. The raffle draw will be held at STO’s booth (B3-4), at 14.30, on March 31st 2018. 

* Terms and Conditions apply
** This amount is non-realisable funds, are for trading purposes only and cannot be withdrawn. Any profits made can however be withdrawn. 

This promotion is for clients of AFX Markets Ltd only. AFX Markets Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 560872, Company Number: 07612002).

Trading Forex and CFDs, which are leveraged products, are high risk investments and puts your capital at risk. You may sustain a loss of some or all of your invested capital. Only speculate with money you can afford to lose.
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29 / 03 / 2018 | Market News

Fundamental Analysis 29.03.2018 – Market Outlook

Market Recap

Wednesday 28th of March 2018 was a risk-on day, AUD increased and JPY and CHF fell. Gold and silver also fell. In this case, it looks like the risk was not stock markets, which ended the day little changed (DJIA) or lower (S&P 500) in the US, but rather geopolitical – it was reported that North Korea wants to hold a summit meeting with Japan. 

The biggest move though was that USD increased. That was mostly against a weaker JPY, which fell on the news of North Korea’s summit bid plus end-month flows. It may seem contradictory that a summit with North Korea, which could be good news for Japan in that it might reduce tensions in the region, would cause the currency to weaken, but lower tensions mean greater risk appetite among Japanese investors, and that usually means larger outflows.

The dollar was boosted by a higher-than-expected upward revision to Q4 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which was revised to +2.9% qoq SAAR from +2.5%, vs 2.7% expected. The growth data outweighed the negative news that the US trade gap was wider than expected in February 2018 and indeed was the widest for nine years despite an increase in exports. The US is likely to keep up the pressure on its trade partners and may continue with tariffs and other obstacles to free trade. 

Today’s market

First up today is the German consumer price index (CPI). The goal is the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), which is the national CPI measured the same way for Germany as it is for all the other EU countries. That won’t come out until later in the day. Before then, we get information for the CPIs for various lander, or states, the first of which is Saxony. There’s no forecast for Saxony, but it’s closely watched anyway, as the national CPI tends to go the same way anyway. Look for an acceleration in the inflation rate, because Easter falls early this year and so more of the price hikes for package holidays fell in March 2018 than usual. 

By the time it comes out, the German HICP is pretty well discounted and doesn’t have that much impact on the market. Nonetheless it could prove positive for the euro, since the German CPI figure is naturally a major component of the EU-wide CPI and is naturally a good indicator of what that figure is likely to be. 

There is also the German employment data. The fall in unemployment is expected to be less than average recently (the average for the last six months has been -22k) but the unemployment rate is expected to fall a notch to a record low. The market probably pays more attention to the change in the number of unemployed, if for no other reason than that that’s harder to predict and so more often comes in different than the actual figure. But in fact neither indicator is particularly closely correlated with subsequent movements in the FX rate. This should be neutral for EUR.

Next up is the big indicator of the day:  the US personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator and its sub-index, the core PCE deflator. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) stated back in January 2012 that the PCE deflator was “most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve's statutory mandate.” The things to watch here are how the mom rate of change of the PCE deflator and the yoy rate of change of the core deflator come in relative to estimates. The core deflator is more important, but as it doesn’t change very much, the market usually gets it right. In that case, attention will focus on the overall measure and any deviation from expectations there.

In this case, the core PCE deflator is expected to accelerate 10 bps to 1.6%, a little closer to the Fed’s 2% target. That could be positive for the dollar. 

The personal income and personal spending figures that come out at the same time are a big indicator for the US economy overall, as about 70% of GDP is related to consumption, but they’re relatively insignificant indicators for the FX market. In any case, income is expected to grow in line with the recent trend as job and wages continue to rise, but sluggish retail sales figures suggest that spending is likely to grow at the same weak rate as it did in the previous month of February 2018. This may be because people expected tax cuts and so increased their spending late last year. This could be negative for the USD. 

Philadelphia Federal Reserve System (Fed) President Patrick Harker, a non-voting FOMC member, speaks on the economic outlook. There will be a Q&A. He said back in February 2018 that he has “penciled in two hikes for 2018.” However, that would mean his dot on the dot plot would’ve been at 1.875%, but there weren’t any dots there this time (as opposed to three back in December 2017). 

Overnight, Japan releases its end-of-month indicators, of which probably only the Tokyo CPI matters. Few Japanese indicators have an impact on USD/JPY. Japan started splitting out the Tokyo CPI and releasing it a week before they release the national CPI. When the two were released together, the market largely ignored the Tokyo CPI, but now that it comes out ahead of time, it may be seen as a leading indicator of the subsequent national CPI.

Today’s indicator is expected to show core inflation at the same rate as in the previous month of February 2018 and a small deceleration in headline inflation, which could be negative for JPY.  

The Japan unemployment rate seems to have a modest correlation with the subsequent movement of JPY. In this case too, an expected rise in the unemployment rate could also be negative for JPY. 

Note that the job-offers-to-applicants ratio, which comes out as part of the employment data, and also industrial production, which comes out shortly afterwards today Thursday 29th of March, doesn’t seem to have any significant correlation with the subsequent movement of the currency. 



The Fundamental Analysis are provided by Marshall Gittler, an external service provider of an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.
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29 / 03 / 2018 | Market News

All you need to know about bonds

Investors and traders are using various ways to diversify their portfolios in order to avoid potential losses in case the market moves against their interests. Portfolio diversification means investing and trading with different asset classes, thus moderating risks. Experienced traders are keen on spreading their available funds between different types of assets which helps them cope with the market volatility.

Portfolio diversification is a strategy which proves useful during times of financial crisis such as the one that started from the United States in 2008 and subsequently spread to Europe. Some of the asset classes that attract the attention of investors and traders are shares, commodities, marketable equity securities such as common stocks and marketable debt securities such as treasury bills or notes and government bonds.

What is a bond and what are the types of bonds

Each asset class involves different risks and return on investment characteristics. Bonds are debt securities under which the issuer owes the holders a debt and is obliged to pay them an interest or to repay the nominal amount on the maturity date.  

Bonds can be issued by governments or corporations. A government bond is a debt security which a state government issues to support its spending plans. A large part of the government budgets comes from the issuance of bonds which is administered by the central bank of each country. In recent years, governments around the world avoid issuing more bonds than needed because it could undermine the macroeconomic control. 

Corporate bonds are issued by private or public corporations in order to raise funds for various reasons. Most times these reasons are associated with expanding their business capabilities, mergers and acquisitions or to finance ongoing operations. Corporate bonds are not considered safer than government bonds as corporations are more likely to default than governments. However, the higher risk of having these bonds included in a portfolio may offer higher returns to the bondholder. Corporate bonds are traded in over-the-counter markets in which dealers act as intermediaries between sellers and buyers, rather than on exchanges. 

Features of bonds

Nominal amount

The nominal or principal amount is the amount of money on which the issuer of a bond has to pay interest and has to be repaid at the end of the specified term. 

Coupon

A coupon rate is the rate of interest that the bond issuer has to pay on the bond’s nominal amount. The interest rate is set to remain stable and is calculated on the bond’s face value despite the fluctuations that the price of a certain bond may have in the market. The word “coupon” is used to commemorate the times that bond holders kept in their safe boxes paper bond certificates, long before the bond issuance started to be made in electronic form. 

Maturity

Maturity date is the date on which the principal amount of a bond, whether government or corporate bond, is to be paid in full. Bonds can be short-, medium-or long-term depending on the time they need to mature. 

Yield

Bond yields are a tricky concept to understand for many investors as media sometimes mixes them with bond prices. However, bond yields and bond prices have an inverse correlation. Bond yields are a measure of the profit the bond holder makes from a bond investment. Because of the inverse correlation between bond prices and yields, a high-priced bond equals a low yield and vice versa.

STO and bonds

Government bonds represent one of the six different underlying asset classes of a CFD (Contract for Difference) financial instrument, that an STO client can trade with. STO traders can choose from 7 CFD-government bonds, use a range of appropriate leverages to execute their trading strategy with no commission. STO offers educational material which traders can use to better understand the challenges of CFD-bond traders. 

Trading Forex and CFDs, which are leveraged products, are high risk investments and puts your capital at risk. You may sustain a loss of some or all of your invested capital. Only speculate with money you can afford to lose.



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28 / 03 / 2018 | Technical Analysis

Technical Analysis 28.03.2018 – EUR/JPY: Ichimoku clouds

Let's look at the four-hour chart. Tenkan-sen line is above Kijun-sen, the red line is directed upwards, while the blue one remains horizontal. Confirmative line Chikou Span is crossing the price chart from below, current cloud has reversed from descending to ascending. The instrument has entered the cloud. The closest support level is the lower border of the cloud (130.64). The closest resistance level is the lower border of the cloud (131.01).



On the daily chart Tenkan-sen line is below Kijun-sen, the lines are horizontal . Confirmative line Chikou Span is approaching the price chart from below, current cloud is ascending. The instrument has broken through Tenkan-sen and Kijun-sen lines. The closest support level is Kijun-sen line (130.68). The closest resistance level is the upper border of the cloud (131.74). 



The Technical Analysis is provided by Marshall Gittler, an external service provider of an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.
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28 / 03 / 2018 | Market News

Fundamental Analysis 28.03.2018 – Market Outlook

Market Recap

The S&P 500 was up 0.6% at one point, but then plunged down 2.3%. It closed off 1.7%. Turmoil in the tech sector from the Facebook fiasco has affected US trade policy:  a tweet from US President Donald Trump saying that everything was going well sent stocks higher, but then news that the US is considering banning Chinese investment in various technology sectors sent tech stocks down.

Unlike earlier this year, the surge in volatility in the stock market hasn’t been matched by volatility in FX or bonds. Currencies have remained within relatively narrow ranges.  

The dollar rose in the risk-off environment this time, even though US bond yields fell. 

AUD/JPY performed as expected, with JPY being the second-best performing G10 currency and AUD the worst.

GBP was lower!  A stronger GBP could weigh on EUR today if it results in people selling EUR/GBP.

Today’s market

The US indicators start with the advance estimate of US trade in goods. Trump will be watching this one no doubt as his comments about US trade with Canada seem to suggest that he doesn’t recognize trade in services as being “real” trade, only trade in physical goods. This could be negative for the dollar.

The final revision of US Q4 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to be revised higher. The consensus forecast is still approximately the same range as the other two estimates. 

Pending home sales are expected to rise, but the rise seems rather modest given the (-4.7%) decline the month before, the biggest monthly decline since 2010. The market may just see an increase, especially in comparison to the weak housing starts & building permit numbers for the month released earlier. This could be positive for USD.

Atlanta Federal Reserve System (Fed) President Raphael Bostic, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), speaks today. Yesterday he said he sees additional rate hikes as appropriate over the next couple of years. He also said though that he sees a neutral rate for Fed funds at 2 ¼% - 2 ¾%. That’s well below the conclusion of the dot plot, which had a median of 3.0% and only 3 dots below 2.75% for the long-term rate.

Overnight, Australia private sector credit is forecast to grow at the same pace – both mom and yoy – as in the previous two months. No change could be neutral for AUD.

 

The Fundamental Analysis are provided by Marshall Gittler, an external service provider of an independent analytical company. Any views and opinions expressed are explicitly those of the writer. Any information contained in the article, is believed to be reliable, and has not been verified by STO and is not guaranteed to be accurate. References to specific products, are for illustrative purposes only and are not a form of solicitation, recommendation or investment advice. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

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28 / 03 / 2018 | Market News

ONS to publish UK GDP growth data for Q4 2017

On Thursday March 29th 2018, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will publish the finalized data regarding the United Kingdom’s (UK) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017. The GDP’s growth is considered to be a broad measure of the UK’s economic activities and is taken into consideration by market analysts. The UK’s economy has been facing some problems as the uncertainty deriving from the Brexit negotiations is weighing on the economic growth.

Economists polled by Bloomberg said that they expect the UK’s GDP to have grown by 1.4%, on an annualised basis, in Q4 2017. On a quarter-to-quarter basis, market analysts are expecting the data to show that the UK’s GDP grew by 0.4%. The ONS had released its second GDP growth estimate for Q4 2017 on February 22nd 2018. The ONS report had revised lower the quarterly GDP growth. According to the ONS’ survey “the revision down reflects, in part, a small downward revision to the estimated output of the production industries.” If data shows that the GDP’s growth was stronger than anticipated, it could lead to the strengthening of the British Pound against its competitor currencies. If the GDP’s growth comes in lower than expected, the impact on the Sterling could be negative.

BoE interest rates and Brexit 

On March 22nd 2018, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England (BoE) decided to keep the Bank’s benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5%. Analysts were expecting that the decision would be taken with absolute majority, however this didn’t happen with Ian McCafferty and Michael Saunders, who are MPC’s members, unexpectedly voting in favour of a rate hike. The last time that the BoE had decided to increase the rate was in its monetary policy meeting in November 2017. 

The MPC statement published on March 22nd 2018 said that “given the prospect of excess demand over the forecast period, an ongoing tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period will be appropriate to return inflation sustainably to its target at a more conventional horizon.” Deutsche Bank’s analysts noted in their report, released on March 23rd 2018, that “broadly speaking, the tone and language of the minutes was in line with market pricing for a May 2018 hike.” 

Gertjan Vlieghe, who is one of the MPC’s members, said at a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) event, on Friday March 23rd 2018, that the BoE’s benchmark interest rate would need to rise once or twice each year in the current tightening cycle. Gertjan Vlieghe had voted in favour of hiking the BoE’s rate in November 2017, despite the fact that he belonged to the team that didn’t want the immediate tightening of the Bank’s monetary policy. 

On Tuesday March 27th 2018, the BoE published the records of its Financial Policy Committee (FPC) meeting. The FPC stated that progress has been made in mitigating Brexit risks. The records showed that the FPC is considering possible forms for the future relationship between the UK and the European Union (EU) countries for financial services. The FPC also acknowledged the problem that UK firms may not have the necessary permissions to provide services after Brexit. 

STO and the British Pound

The British Pound is one of the major currencies that STO clients can trade with. Traders can take advantage of the STO’s Forex variety and choose from over 30 currencies when trading. STO provides its clients with educational courses to help them encounter the various trading challenges. 

Trading Forex and CFDs, which are leveraged products, are high risk investments and puts your capital at risk. You may sustain a loss of some or all of your invested capital. Only speculate with money you can afford to lose.



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