30 November 2009

Shares in Gulf Nations tumble

Shares in Dubai have fallen by up to 7 per cent as investor confidence in the Dubai economy takes a turn for the worse.

The United Arab Emirates central bank pledged to keep banks there liquid but the overall situation looks shaky to many on the world stock markets.

Dubai World, the state-owned company, asked for a further 6 months to pay back its $60 billion of debts last week causing a worldwide investor reaction.

Since then Dubai and Abu Dhabi officials have been holding emergency rescue talks to try and salvage the bruised Dubai economy.

27 November 2009

New Commodity to Invest

Thinking of entering the exciting world of investment trading? Which areas interest you - perhaps foreign exchange, or precious gemstones? Speculating your game - maybe CFD trading? What about trading commodities on the Futures market?

Ever thought about garlic?

Perhaps surprisingly, garlic is being tipped as the newest commodity to invest in. Why? Over three quarters of the world's garlic is produced in China, where the price has risen up to 40-fold since March this year.

The reason has been cited as speculators who bought unripe garlic crops and stored them in anticipation of a price boom. Some believe that the vegetable has become so popular there because the Chinese believe it has healing qualities and could ward off swine flu. Indeed, one school ordered sackloads of it and pupils must eat quantities of it to prevent infection.

So, in case you are looking for new places to invest - why not?

26 November 2009

Third Quarter GDP Grows

Yesterday, the pound sterling gained ground against the US dollar as investors waited for the Monetary Policy Committee to revise GDP growth figures for the third quarter.

Middle Eastern investors were keen on a significant level of increase - yet the actual revision ended up to -0.3 per cent. This was precisely what had been predicted by economic experts.

This took the shine off the pound's winning streak and it rallied later in the day.

The US dollar, meanwhile, reached its lowest level for 2009.

24 November 2009

Speculation over the British Economy

Investment traders are speculating as to what happens when the Bank of England withdraws its significant fiscal stimulus packages. The one which has tongues wagging on a frequent basis is quantitative easing - the effective 'printing of new money' to boost an economy.

When first introduced this year, the reaction was mixed - some thought it was a worthy method of pushing deflation away and providing a cushion for the economy. Others argued that by forcing deflation away, inflation was a much higher risk and the pressure on the pound would be too great.

So far, the Bank has spent 200 billion pounds on the QE programme. It is due to finish early next year. Around the same time, it is expected that the base interest rate will be increased. Futures investors are expecting the interest rate to be around 4 per cent before long.

23 November 2009

Gold hits New Record High

The price of an ounce of gold exceeded $1,167 this morning, as investors headed to the metal on the back of the low US dollar. The dollar is still suffering as speculation that the US central interest rate will remain low continues.

Also added to the continuing climb of gold is the fact that nations like China are increasing their non-dollar reserves. Gold is one of the most popular assets to Asian nations and their demand - along with other emerging nations - is keeping gold on its upward trend.

This morning's price was a new record and many analysts expect the price of an ounce to exceed $1,200 before the year is out.

20 November 2009

Pound sterling hits week Low

The pound is really struggling. In early London trading, it fell 0.4 per cent against the US dollar. Here are some reasons why it is having a tough time:

- Low investor confidence towards the UK economy
- Even worse-than-expected bad deficit data
- Concerns over the fiscal policies for the economy
- Lack of confidence in the UK government regarding economy

The pound today hit its week low against the US dollar as investors head back towards safer currencies.

Analysts and strategists have warned that the pound faces a continued struggle.

18 November 2009

Pound Rises on Inflation Figures

The future of Britain's economy is still a cause for concern for many economists. Today, there are divides again between financial experts - what does the economy need? How can a W shaped recession be avoided? - the debate has been raised again thanks to the latest inflation figures which have been released by the ONS.

Some argue that now, the QE programme needs to be halted because of the inflation threat. Others say that halting the scheme could be disastrous for the economy. The central interest rate is also a topic for discussion, as some wonder whether it needs to be raised sooner than planned on the back of the latest inflation figures.

The currency exchange market reacted with investors heading back to the pound - it rose against the euro and the US dollar after the figures were announced.

17 November 2009

Payday Loans - Safe to Apply Online?

Payday loans are becoming more and more popular thanks to a range of reasons including:

- they are available online

- the global financial downturn means mainstream lenders are tougher

Many people are concerned over their personal data when applying for an online payday loan. However, any legitimate payday loan service would not be in business for long if they were careless with the data of their customers! After all, negligence with personal data carries severe consequences for any financial service.

Sure, there are reasons to be vigilant in the current climate of online fraud - it is rife and therefore anyone entering personal information into a website is wise to be careful by checking that website's Privacy Policy and terms.

The main thing to bear in mind when applying for a payday loan is not so much your security (as this is usually tight) but whether you can afford to pay it back!

16 November 2009

Eurozone Leaves Recession

Europe's economies are enjoying a return to growth. Overall the latest Eurozone figures show that there was growth for the last two consecutive quarters, meaning recession is over.

The UK is still nursing its recovery after six consecutive quarters of contraction. As Europe's second largest economy it was much more exposed to a fall than countries like France and Germany, were a heavy reliance on credit has not been a factor.

Overall, Europe including non Euro countries like Sweden experienced growth of 0.2 per cent.

12 November 2009

Credit or Prepaid for Christmas Shopping?

The time has come to sort the Christmas shopping - the Big Day is just over a month away!! Some people have already sorted their presents and ordered the turkey but others are more last minute.

As people hit the shops and rely on their credit cards to see them through, there are warnings to keep vigilant against fraud. Protect your PIN, never write it down and certainly never divulge it (not even to family)!

For people who want to stay on the even safer side, there is always the prepaid card option which doesn't have a credit facility or overdraft. If stolen it can be replaced and the provider will have all transactions listed out so anything can be pinpointed.

11 November 2009

Rating Cut in Store for UK

The UK faces yet more tough times ahead as it battles to keep its sovereign AAA rating. The credit rating agency Fitch has warned that the UK stands to be downgraded and is the only of the AAA nations to be in jeopardy.

The main reason? The vast budget deficit is the principle problem. It is feared by various economists, financial bodies and analysts that the deficit will reach close to 200 billion GBP by the close of this financial year.

Gordon Brown now adds this to the latest of many awkward situations in his term as Prime Minister.

The British Pound took a sharp knock thanks to the rating scare and fell against the US dollar and the euro after what had been a fairly strong day.

10 November 2009

Try before you Buy

Are you an experienced forex trader? Then you'll know about how important it is to know how to use the software for your trading activity.

What prospective trader might not know is that each platform has its own features and idiosyncrasies that ought to be mastered before placing real orders.

Here's a good way to go about it: sign up with various online forex dealers and use their free demo account option - this is free software for you to download, you can test that dealer's way of working. Place around 20 orders with them, and with all the others where you have a free demo.

After a few weeks of testing each one out, you'll probably have a fair idea about which is your favoured one. Only then (and after having learned about the forex market as a whole and how it works) should you consider using real money to trade currencies!

Good Luck!

06 November 2009

Insider Trading in US Hedge Fund

US hedge fund Galleon Group is at the core of a huge alleged case of insider trading, activity which is said to have gained those involved total illegal profits of over $50 million.

The accused span across the US and include fund managers, lawyers, traders and executives.

So far, around 20 people have been accused and arrested.

It is clear that investors looking for a fund manager would be best advised to tread with extreme caution before signing up with a fund. However, criminal activity is a reality which must always be kept in mind - check and double-check a company before placing your hard-earned capital with a manager.

05 November 2009

IMF selling off Chunks of Gold reserves

The price of an ounce of gold on the gold spot market has reached record levels at $1,092.60.

The precious metal's performance has been helped by the US dollar's generally weak status of late, plus a boost: the IMF plans to sell off around 400 tonnes of its 3,217-tonne gold reserves.

This move is seen as being a good factor for developing nations and to take pressure off the US dollar as a reserve currency.

India has already jumped on the IMF's offer, with a bid to buy around 200 tonnes, costing around $6.7 billion.

No prizes for guessing who is aiming to buy the remaining 200-odd tonnes.....yes, China is already preparing to make the purchase, still on its crusade to take away the dollar's status.

The nation already has vast gold reserves - it was building these up while the UK's then-Chancellor Brown was busy selling off the country's reserves at a quarter of today's price.

04 November 2009

UK banks need more Boost

European shares fell in early trading as the banking sector sits in uncertain territory. Not just the UK sector this time - some European banks announced more quarterly losses.

The situation in Britain doesn't inspire confidence at all - with the Treasury announcing more taxpayer money to be pumped into state-funded banks like Lloyds and RBS.

The amount of money to be injected into the banks actually is more than the amount of money that was used just over a year ago.

The foreign exchange market is awaiting news from the US Federal Reserve bank on its likely decision to keep its base interest rate near zero.

03 November 2009

Gold prices up

Risk appetites on the foreign exchange and commodities market are enjoying a return to form - the price of gold rose to over $1,060 on Monday while the US dollar retreated.

In the US, there are marked improvements to the manufacturing and construction sectors and general business sentiment is up.

However, the dollar's downward trend is set to continue as the base interest rate remains low and the Fed's aggressive stance on QE stays too.