Mark Zuckerberg makes up the headlines

Daily Analysis - 19/01/2018

The last day of the 3rd week with WhatsApp, UK, USA and oil news

us-govt


From the US gov’t shutdown that is still looming to the Oil markets; traders focus on their Economic Calendar as Mark Zuckerberg makes up the headlines

WhatsApp revenue plan saves rocky Facebook


The messaging application WhatsApp said it would begin offering business accounts for the first time, a step that can make money for its corporate parent, Facebook Inc. The accounts are aimed at businesses that heavily use WhatsApp messages. WhatsApp is planning to charge businesses in some form in the future, but gave no details on when that would happen or what the future business services would look like. Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, attracted by the size of its user base. WhatsApp used to charge a $1 annual subscription fee but dropped it in 2016, leaving the service without a source of revenue. The announcement comes after Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday last week Facebook is making a “major change” to its News Feed. Facebook stock lost momentum as economist believe it is possible that these changes will result in lower ad load in the News Feed, hence lower revenue.

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The cable and the UK Retail Sales


The UK retail sales data, an inflation indication demonstrating the behavior of Consumers, is expected to drop by -0.6% m/m in December, while on an annualized basis, retail sales are seen ticking higher by 3.0%. In November, retail sales were stronger at 1.1% over the month and 1.6% annually. Meanwhile, core retail sales data, excluding fuel, are expected to come in at -0.8% m/m and 1.2% y/y. Above expectations reading would be a positive surprise in the retail sales report and could offer fresh motivation to the upside of the GBP, taking the rate back towards the 1.3950 barrier. In the case where the data show a bigger-than-expected decrease in the December retail sales numbers then the GBP/USD could break the strong psychological level at 1.3800 support. It is the first major macroeconomic release from the UK and the GBPUSD could witness significant moves; especially if the change is notable enough and the deviation can fuel movements of even up to 100 pips.

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US Shutdown or Pocket money for another short term extension


The dollar is at a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Friday as fears of a possible U.S. government shutdown add to the Trump administration drama we experience. The dollar index is at 90.378, making a low at 90.104 this week, a level last seen in December 2014. Since the beginning of the 2018, it has lost roughly 2 percent so far. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a temporary bill on Thursday to fund the government tasks through February 16 and avoid agency shutdowns this weekend. The bill now needs to be approved by the Senate. The euro edged up 0.2 percent to $1.2261, reaching three year top at $1.2323 struck on Wednesday. Having advanced 0.5 percent so far this week, the common currency is heading for a fifth consecutive week of gains. The dollar eased 0.2 percent to 110.86 yen, with its rebound from Wednesday’s four-month low of 110.19 already fading despite rise in U.S. debt yields. The dollar has fallen since 2017, largely on expectations central banks besides the Federal Reserve are seeking to end their policy of ultra-low, even negative, interest rates that they adopted to battle the 2008 global financial crisis and recession. “The U.S. is no longer the only country raising rates. The market’s focus is on how other countries are catching up with normalisation in monetary policy,” said Barclays’ Kadota. Among the major oppositions from the Democrats is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a program put in place in 2012 by Barack Obama as it protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

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Oil prices are heading for a correction


Oil prices dropped more than 1 percent on Friday as a bounce-back in U.S. production outweighed ongoing declines in crude inventories. Brent crude futures were at $68.65 a barrel, down 66 cents, or 0.95 percent, from their last close. The week started hitting the highest level since December 2014 at $70.37. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.23 a barrel, down 72 cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last settlement. WTI climbed near the December-2014 peak of $64.89 a barrel on Tuesday. Most analysts expect U.S. output to break through 10 million barrels per day by next month, bringing the USA the 3rd biggest oil producer. It is also notable that the net long positions in the oil markets are likely to brake on any upward momentum in prices, with many traders soon likely to cash in on recent price rises, as the crude jumped by around 14 percent since early December.

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