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IG, THE WORLD-LEADING PROVIDER OF FINANCIAL SPREAD BETTING AND CFDS, OFFERS EXTENDED HOURS TRADING ON KEY US STOCKS AHEAD OF RESULTS SEASON

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extended hours trading on key us stocks ahead of results season

IG has made it even easier for clients to access the markets by becoming the only UK spread-betting provider to offer extended hours trading on a wide range of US stocks. The big players in the US banking and technology sectors are announcing results over the coming weeks and high levels of interest amongst traders are expected.

Brenda Kelly, Chief Market Strategist, IG said “With the US banking and technology sector reporting season upon us this is a busy time for traders.

extended hours trading on key us stocks ahead of results season

extended hours trading on key us stocks ahead of results season

“Confidence in US banking stocks has been rising steadily as share prices have broken above nine-month ranges over the past few trading sessions. Developments in the Basel requirements over the weekend also look set to give equities in that sector an extra boost and we expect to see increased upside in stock prices.

“By offering out of hours trading, IG customers have more opportunities to trade these stocks and are able to react more quickly to market developments.

“We have already seen plenty of interest in this offering, with customers trading JP Morgan stocks out of hours ahead of today’s results, and we’re delighted to be the only provider able offer extended hours trading on such a wide range of key US stocks.  This new service is all part of our ongoing drive to make more markets more accessible.”

The following stocks are available for out of hours trading on IG from 9am to 1am Monday to Thursday and 9am to 10pm on Fridays (UK time):

Amazon.com Inc, expected 29 January 2014

Apple, 27 January 2014

Bank of America, 15 January 2014

Cisco Systems Inc, expected 13 February 2014

Citigroup Inc, 16 January 2014

eBayInc, 22 January 2014

Facebook, 29 January 2014

Goldman Sachs Group Inc, 16 January 2014

Google, 30 January 2014

Hewlett-Packard Co, expected 21 February 2014

IBM Corp, 21 January 2014

Intel Corp, 16 January 2014

JPMorgan Chase & Co, 14 January 2014

Microsoft Corp, 23 January 2014

Twitter Inc, expected 30 January 2014

Yahoo! Inc, expected 28 January 2014

Normal margin requirements apply during the extended hours. Clients are required to show they have sufficient funds in their account to cover any open positions on these markets, as stops, limits and orders to open can be triggered during these times.

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Exclusive: Goldman Sachs restarts cryptocurrency desk amid bitcoin boom

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Exclusive: Goldman Sachs restarts cryptocurrency desk amid bitcoin boom 1

By Anna Irrera, Iain Withers and Lawrence White

LONDON (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc has restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk and will begin dealing bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards for clients from next week, a person familiar with the matter said.

The team will sit within the U.S. bank’s Global Markets division, the person said.

The desk is part of Goldman’s activities within the fast-growing digital assets sector, which also includes projects involving blockchain technology and central bank digital currencies, the person said.

As part of this work, the bank is also exploring the potential for a bitcoin exchange traded fund and has issued a request for information to explore digital asset custody, the source said.

The trading desk reboot comes amid growing interest by institutions in bitcoin, which has soared more than 470% over the past year. The largest cryptocurrency is seen by investors and some companies as a hedge against inflation as governments and central banks turn on the stimulus taps.

While its price has risen significantly over the past year, bitcoin remains highly volatile. The virtual currency smashed through $58,000 on February 21 then fell back by as much as 25% but has recovered some lost ground.

This makes the coin and related derivatives attractive for investors willing to take riskier long or short positions as they hunt for yield in a record-low interest rate environment.

Non-deliverable forwards are a type of derivative that allows investors to take a view on bitcoin’s future price.

Goldman first set up a cryptocurrency desk in 2018, just as bitcoin’s price was falling from record highs, muting investor interest in digital coins.

Since then, market infrastructure for bitcoin and other large cryptocurrencies has significantly matured, with many established financial institutions offering products and services, including CME Group Inc, Intercontinental Exchange Inc and Fidelity.

The developments have helped to attract more mainstream companies to the sector, ranging from those offering crypto services to retail or institutional investors, to companies opting to hold bitcoin on their balance sheets

Last month, electric car manufacturer Tesla Inc said it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, while Bank of New York Mellon Corp said it had formed a new unit to help clients hold and transfer digital assets.

(Reporting by Anna Irrera, Iain Withers and Lawrence White in London. Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Jane Merriman)

 

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Sterling rises supported by Britain’s swift vaccine roll-out

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Sterling rises supported by Britain's swift vaccine roll-out 2

By Joice Alves

LONDON (Reuters) – Sterling edged higher against both the euro and the dollar on Monday as a swift coronavirus vaccine roll-out supported the pound and fuelled hopes of economic recovery.

After retreating from a three-year high on Friday to fall below $1.39 amid a rout in global bond markets and concerns of inflation risks, sterling rose as traders expect Britain’s speedy inoculation programme to help the economy rebound from its biggest contraction in 300 years.

Britain reported on Sunday that more than 20 million people have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while cases last week were down 21.2% compared with the previous seven-day period, and deaths were down 33.5%.

British finance minister Rishi Sunak is set to announce an extra 1.65 billion pounds to fund the country’s vaccination roll-out as part of his annual budget statement on Wednesday.

“Developments have yet again looked positive for sterling, with 20 million of the UK population having now received their first vaccine at a minimum and reports that fiscal stimulus will remain supportive in Wednesday’s budget,” said Simon Harvey, senior FX Market Analyst at Monex Europe.

Sunak will also announce 5 billion pounds of additional grants to help businesses hit hard by pandemic lockdowns such as shops, bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants, gyms and hair salons, the government said on Saturday.

Versus the dollar, sterling rose 0.1% to $1.3937 by 1602 GMT. It was 0.2% higher against a weakening euro, to 86.50 pence, after falling to 87.30 on Friday.

Speculators added to their net long position for the fourth week running in the week to Feb. 23, CFTC positioning data showed. The market is at its most bullish in one year.

ING strategists said sterling positioning has moved in line with the pound’s “very strong performance” in the spot market.

“The build-up of GBP longs may have further to run in our view,” they added.

Shaun Osborne, Chief FX Strategist at Scotiabank said in a note to client that he expects cable to climb back above $1.40 this week.

(Editing by Ed Osmond and Gareth Jones)

 

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Wall Street set for higher open as bond markets calm; PMIs in focus

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Wall Street set for higher open as bond markets calm; PMIs in focus 3

By Elizabeth Howcroft

LONDON (Reuters) – European shares jumped on Monday as bond yields stayed below their recent spikes, while risk assets also rallied and Wall Street futures indicated the optimism would continue into the U.S. session.

The rise in European shares followed solid gains in Asian stock markets and saw the STOXX 600 up 1.2% by 1202 GMT. London’s FTSE 100 1.1% higher and Germany’s DAX up 0.7%.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, rose 0.4%, recovering from the previous session’s multi-week low.

The much-anticipated $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday, and now moves to the Senate.

In the bond market, key yields fell from highs seen last week when market participants became wary that when economies re-open from coronavirus lockdowns a combination of massive government stimulus and pent-up consumer demand will cause inflation to accelerate.

The U.S. 10-year treasury yield was down around 3 basis points at 1.429% at 1207 GMT, having dropped from Thursday’s one-year high of 1.614% – although it did edge up slightly overnight.

Germany’s benchmark 10-year Bund yield was down around 5 basis points, also below last week’s spike.

Germany 10-year

Wall Street set for higher open as bond markets calm; PMIs in focus 4

“I think more than anything, people were spooked at the speed of the rise, rather than anything else,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“The markets are pricing in a (U.S.) rate hike for next year, and a couple in 2023, and that’s what the Fed needs to push back against – and they haven’t done that aggressively enough.”

He said markets were being boosted by expectations that U.S. Federal Reserve officials due to speak in coming days will provide stronger verbal signals against the rise in bond yields.

“There is little doubt in my mind that central banks will eventually lean quite hard against a sustained rise in yields,” wrote Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid in a note to clients.

“They simply can’t afford to see it happen with debt so high.”

PENT-UP DEMAND

PMI data for February is also in focus this week. Germany’s factory activity rose to its highest level in more than three years last month, driven by higher demand from China, the United States and Europe.

Manufacturing in Japan grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in February, as strong orders led to the first output rise since the start of the pandemic.

But China’s factory activity grew at a slower pace than in the previous month, missing market expectations, after COVID-19 related disruptions earlier in the year.

Oil prices jumped on Monday, with Brent crude futures and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures both up around 1% at 1221 GMT.

Front-month prices for both contracts touched 13-month highs last week. Both contracts ended February 18% higher.

The dollar rose, gaining 0.3% against a basket of currencies by 1222 GMT. The Australian dollar – which is seen as a liquid proxy for risk appetite – recovered some recent losses.

Wall Street looked set for a higher open, with S&P 500 futures up 1.1%. Nasdaq futures were up 1.3% at 1223 GMT, suggesting a recovery for tech stocks.

Bitcoin recovered some recent losses, up 5% at around $47,676 at 1227 GMT.

Also helping sentiment was news that deliveries of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should start on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft, editing by Ed Osmond and Susan Fenton)

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