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News Recap: Markets in Asia traded positively

Markets in Asia traded positively as the region picked up on last week’s late surge stateside although bullish momentum was somewhat capped with participants cautious heading into the month and quarter end as well as Friday’s NFP jobs data and impending Easter holiday closures.

The Euro continued to edge lower last week on a firmer US dollar. The single currency continues to disappoint with growing concerns of a third wave circling the bloc. German Chancellor Merkel threatened the use of Federal law to toughen pandemic restrictions given that she is not convinced that the current measures will slow down the rise in cases. EUR/GBP slumped to new yearly lows after giving up support around 0.8550.

On the other hand, Sterling has led the charge as market participants look towards the quarter end. With stage 2 of the nation’s easing methods being implemented and a strong vaccine rollout, the currency continues to edge higher against safe haven assets. GBP/JPY has reclaimed the 151.00 handle after initially slumping below 149.00 last week.


Cryptoassets started the week with gains as Visa announced that they will permit payment settlements using cryptocurrency. At the time of writing Bitcoin is up over 3.5% after reclaiming the $57,000 handle.

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News Recap: Market participants will be eyeing Fed Chair Powell as he is set to speak at least three times along with a number of FOMC members

Markets in Asia began the week mixed as the region continued to trade indecisively following on from last Friday’s sour US-China talks. The ASX 200 was down 0.7% whilst the Nikkei 225 closed lower by 2.1% after suffering losses following on from the BoJ policy tweaks as well as the announcement that foreign spectators will be banned from attending the Olympics in Tokyo.

Last week saw the FOMC maintain the FED rate as expected whilst maintaining the QE at $120bln per month. The median dot plot projection is still set to forecast no rate hikes through to the end of 2023 despite four officials now projecting a hike in 2022. Fed Chair Powell continued to remain dovish and outlined that complacency is not an option despite avoiding the worst possible economic outcomes. Going into the week ahead, market participants will be eyeing Fed Chair Powell once again as he is set to speak at least three times along with a number of FOMC members.

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A Guide to Commodity Trading

Commodity trading is one of the earliest types of trading to exist. Trading commodities can be dated as far back as 4500 BCE in Sumer – the city we now call Iraq – where a commodity market exchanged clay tokens for goats.

Commodity trading even helped establish successful historical empires who were found to have implemented trading systems to facilitate the trading and exchange of commodities. 

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News Recap: Optimism continued to cycle across markets as US President Biden signed Covid-19 relief bill

Asian equity markets were mixed heading into the week as the region traded tepidly ahead of what is set to be a busy week of Central bank announcements with the Fed, BoE and BoJ all set to take centre stage. Last week saw the greenback trade indecisively as the DXY traded above the 92.00 handle briefly, before finishing the week with a strong Doji. The Canadian dollar was the top performer for the week as the commodity currency benefited from a strong labour market report which saw the unemployment rate trend lower to 8.2%. In addition to this, market participants digested comments from Governor Macklem as the central bank hosted its second-rate statement for the year. CAD/JPY traded to its best levels since 2018 as the cross eclipsed the 87.00 handle. Optimism continued to cycle across markets as US President Biden signed the Covid-19 relief bill into law marking a significant turning point in the nations battle against the virus which has killed more than 500,000 Americans. 

World News

Going into the week ahead, the US will host China in what is set to be their first significant meeting since President Biden took office. The meeting will see US Secretary of State Blinken and National Security Adviser Sullivan meet with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other officials. The meeting will most likely be an opportunity for either side to size each other up in what could potentially set the tone for any talks or developments moving forward. As of now, it has been reported that President Biden will not be looking to remove the tariffs imposed on the nation by the former presidential administration.

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News Recap: Public Health official Hopkins provided signs of optimism after outlining that new virus variants are unlikely to hamper the nations efforts to ease the current restrictions

Markets in Asia traded mostly lower as the underperformance within the tech space sapped the initial momentum from stimulus progress after the US Senate passed the $1.9tln Covid-19 relief bill which is also set to include $1,400 of stimulus checks and with the House set to vote on the bill on Tuesday.

The week ahead will see two monetary policy meetings with Canada leading the way midweek followed by the ECB on Thursday. Market participants will be keen to gauge the rhetoric from both Central Banks given the broad-based dovish tone recently observed by a number of ECB officials as they tackle an economic recovery amidst a slower than expected vaccination rollout. On the other hand, the Canadian dollar has experienced strength as it remains underpinned by lifted commodity prices. EUR/CAD traded to May lows last week to close almost 2% down.

UK Focus

In the UK, Public Health official Hopkins provided signs of optimism after outlining that new virus variants are unlikely to hamper the nations efforts to ease the current restrictions over the next 3-5 weeks. This comes as the first phase of PM Johnson’s easing blueprint takes effect today with schools set to resume. Gains in the pound have slowed somewhat over the past two weeks since its initial rally year to date. Last week, UK Chancellor Sunak provided the budget for the nation which is set to see 95% mortgages resurface under a mortgage guarantee scheme as well as an abundance of support in the form of loans and grants for businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.

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News Recap: UK Chancellor Sunak is set to release the annual budget on Wednesday

Asian markets moved higher as bourses picked themselves up from the Friday lull as the bond market rebounded from last week’s turmoil. Sentiment was also encouraged by an improving Covid-19 situation after Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine approval and a slower pace of infections over the weekend. The ASX 200 was up around 1.7% after a positive performance in tech whilst the Nikkei 225 closed 2.2% in the green after PM Suga announced the removal of a state of emergency in 6 prefectures. The week ahead will see a monetary policy meeting in Australia as well as the all-important NFP Jobs report which will be released on Friday where an additional 133K are set to have been added in the past month. In addition to this ISM Manufacturing PMI’s and OPEC-JMMC meetings will also feature in the week ahead.

UK Focus

UK Chancellor Sunak is set to release the annual budget on Wednesday and is said to be looking to provide more support for businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. Reports suggest that a new £5bln grant scheme will be launched to aid shops, pubs, hotels and many other businesses. In addition to this Sunak is set to layout plans to increase income tax by around £6bln as he looks to plug a hole into the nation’s finances. The UK have currently surpassed the 20mln mark in inoculations as they continue their vaccination rollout.

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A Trader’s Recap of What Happened to Gamestop

If you’ve seen any news, or posts on social media across the month of February, you may have heard the terms “Gamestop”, “stock”, “Wall street” and “Robinhood” used in conjunction.

For those unfamiliar with the world of Wall Street trading, it may have seemed too complex a story to understand. For traders, this was a David and Goliath battle that could have some long-term implications for the future of Wall Street. 

All thanks to a social media network, a broker, and some short stocks. If you’ve completely missed the headlines, or you’re still confused, we give you a quick roundup of what happened and why it’s so important.

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News Recap: PM Johnson is set to provide the nation with an update on the way out of the current lockdown

Asian markets traded cautiously as market participants continued to digest the increase in US yields early last week which underpinned some of the initial strength seen for the greenback and triggered US equities to meander away from all-time highs. Economic data was somewhat strong with better-than-expected retail sales and PMI’s released in line with expectations in the US. The week ahead will see a monetary policy meeting in New Zealand as well as speeches from FED Chair Jerome Powell who is set to testify on the semi-annual monetary policy report before the House Financial Services Committee.

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A Guide to Algorithmic Trading

Significant technological advancements in trading and the financial markets have paved the way for a whole new type of trading: Algorithmic trading.

Around 80% of the daily moves made in both the United States Stock Exchange and Forex markets are made by machine-led algorithmic traders. At Alphachain Academy, we are one of the only trading firms offering a comprehensive Algorithmic trading programme. You can check out our course here 

In this guide to algorithmic trading, we’re going to explore the concepts of algorithmic trading as well as detail the potential steps new traders can take to forge their career in algorithmic trading.

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Virtual Trading Experience with Bristol University

Last week we ran our the first online University event of this year with Bristol University’s Banking & Finance Society. Hosted by our Head of Trading Academy, Gavin Pannu and Funded Trader & Mentor Desmond Adeosun.

The event began with a brief overview of Alphachain and its objective to develop traders who then progress on to manage the firm’s capital. The students were then introduced to the topic of risk management which proves to be an important subject for traders and market participants.

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