Home Authors Posts by Clyde K. Valle

Clyde K. Valle

Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.


Overall, the world of trading is highly volatile, and numerous events determine its trends every day. Knowing these events and keeping an eye open for these news in the global arena may help you make a fortune on wise and timely trading decisions. Learn about the most significant and influential events to look for in search of profitable deals in Forex.

Central Bank Rate Changes 

Changes in different countries’ Central Bank rates traditionally occur on a monthly basis, so it is strategically wise to track them and make trading decisions based on feasible changes. The Central Bank’s increase of rates typically leads to valuation of currency, the unchanged or reduced rates of which may have different effects on it depending on the overall economic perceptions.

GDP Reports

Since GDP determines the national economic health and affects tempos of economic growth, monitoring national GDP statistics may also help to make thoughtful and lucrative trading decisions. With downward GDP trends, the devaluation of currency may be expected in the near future.

Information on Inflation

This one is mostly determined by the Consumer Price Index, which reflects fluctuations in consumer prices and helps national banks to make policy decisions. Checking it becomes easier if you remember about metatrader 4 free download widely available today. Once the CPI rises, traders may expect the rise of currency value and can make a good profit on that fluctuation.

FOMC Meeting Reports

With the US dollar remaining a global currency on which the world’s trading community relies, reports of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) enjoy high influence on the Forex market’s volatility. FOMC reports usually do not contain open statements about further course of the Central Bank, but a talented and observant trader can find implied and suggested trends for investment decisions.

How to Trade on News Releases?

The daily issue of trading news is another traditional source of brokers’ information and decisions. Due to time difference, news is released at different times in different countries, and a thoughtful broker monitors them at the markets of interest to determine the current trends and anticipate market fluctuations. The key points significant to Forex market include the industrial production, unemployment rate data, business and consumer confidence polls, trade balance information, etc. The most volatile news reports relevant to the Forex market include those of NFP, FOMC, trade balance, CPI, and retail sales. Therefore, maximum attention should be focused on them for profitable decisions. All these are a potential source of viable trading data, but the most crucial aspect here is the timing of trading steps. While breaking news of global importance may have effects lingering for months in the market, the majority of regular news has a short-term of effect of 2-3 days.

Make sure you take all of these into account when trading. It will surely help you a lot.

President Donald Trump is to announce his intention to cut the rate of corporation tax when he presents his tax plan later.

According to White House officials, the centerpiece of April 26 announcement will be a sharp reduction in the business tax rate, from 35% to 15%.

Economists say the tax cuts will add trillions of dollars to the deficit over the next decade.

However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the tax plan “will pay for itself with economic growth”.

Steven Mnuchin declared it “the biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in history of this country”, according to The Hill.

Image source Flickr

Also expected in the plan:

  • some sort of repatriation tax, giving big companies an incentive to bring back money they hold overseas
  • tax breaks for childcare expenses
  • large increase to standard tax deduction
  • a cut in individual rates, although few details expected yet
  • more tax rate cuts for hedge funds, and other enterprises that pay taxes at individual rates
  • easing the tax form process

Donald Trump’s blueprint is not expected to include any proposals for raising new revenue.

The much-discussed border tax that would put a tariff on imports – favored by House Speaker Paul Ryan – will not be in the plan.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has reinstated bonuses and special allowances for civil servants and military personnel that had been cut in September 2016 as part of austerity measures when oil revenues were low.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud fired his civil service minister and put him under investigation for abuse of office.

The king also named his son Prince Khalid as new ambassador to Washington.

King Salman’s decrees saw a new national security centre created under the Royal Court.

Photo Getty Images

He also ordered two months extra salary be paid to frontline military personnel taking part in Saudi-led operations in Yemen.

Prince Khalid is a fighter pilot who has trained in the US and carried out air strikes against ISIS in Syria.

The decree said the pay cuts for ministers and government employees – the first in Saudi Arabia, where about two-thirds of working Saudis are employed in the public sector – had been in response to falling oil prices, which sank to a low of $28 a barrel in January 2017.

The oil price has since risen to about $52 a barrel and ministers said budgetary performance had been better than expected in Q1 of 2017.

Under the cuts, ministers had their salaries reduced by 20% and housing and car allowances for members of the advisory Shura Council were cut by 15%.

Wage increases for lower-ranking civil servants were suspended, and overtime payments and annual leave capped.

Salaries and allowances accounted for 45% of government spending in 2015, or $128 billion, and contributed to a record budget deficit of $98 billion.


Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi has died during a training ride after being involved in a collision with a van. He was 37.

The crash happened close to Michele Scarponi’s home in Filottrano, a statement from his Astana team said.

Michele Scarponi won the 2011 Giro d’Italia after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title and claimed victory in stage one of the Tour of the Alps on April 17.

“This is a tragedy too big to be written,” said the Astana statement.

The statement described Michele Scarponi as a “great champion” and a “special guy”, adding: “The Astana Pro Team clings to the Michele family in this incredibly painful moment of sorrow and mourning.”

Michele Scarponi leaves behind a wife and two children.

Image source Flickr

After finishing fourth in the Tour of the Alps on April 21, Michele Scarponi returned home by car with his masseur before heading out for a ride on the next day.

Specialist climber Michele Scarponi turned professional in 2002 with the Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo team, finishing 18th in his debut Giro d’Italia.

In 2007, he was banned for 18 months after being implicated in Operation Puerto – a major Spanish doping scandal involving some of the world’s top cyclists at the time.

Michele Scarponi admitted his involvement in the scandal but denied doping, having been charged with using or attempting to use banned substances and possession of those substances.

Returning in November 2008, he won the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in 2009 before initially finishing second in the 2011 Giro d’Italia.

He was later awarded his first Grand Tour title after original winner Alberto Contador was stripped of his title by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2012 after a positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

Michele Scarponi joined Astana in 2014, primarily riding Grand Tours as a domestique and helping team-mate Vincenzo Nibali to victory in the 2014 Tour de France and 2016 Giro d’Italia.

President Donald Trump has launched an investigation into countries that export steel to the United States, raising the prospect of new tariffs on imports.

The investigation is designed to stop countries from flooding the US with artificially cheap steel and undercutting local suppliers.

China is most often associated with the practice but President Trump said it had “nothing to do” with Beijing. The president said it was about protecting US security.

The news caused shares in US steelmakers to rise sharply.

However, Asian steelmakers also climbed as investors appeared to shrug off the news.

The US government has previously attempted to shield national steelmakers from cheap foreign steel through the World Trade Organization, but the Trump administration says this has had little impact.

Image source Wikimedia

Instead, the investigation will fall under the US Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which lets the president impose restrictions on imports for reasons of national security.

“Steel is critical to both our economy and our military,” President Trump said.

“This is not an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries.”

China is the largest national producer and makes far more steel than it consumes, selling the excess output overseas, often at subsidized prices.

However, Japan and South Korea have also been accused of dumping in the past.

Commenting on the probe, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Chinese exports now accounted for 26% of the US steel market.

Wilbur Ross said exports had risen “despite repeated Chinese claims that they were going to reduce their steel capacity”.

“The artificially low prices caused by excess capacity and unfairly-traded imports suppress profits in the American steel industry,” the administration said in a statement.

Wilbur Ross said that if the investigation found the US steel industry was suffering from excess steel imports, he would recommend retaliatory steps that could include tariffs.

President Trump has been highly critical of China’s trade practices in the past but has softened his tone of late as he seeks greater cooperation over North Korea.

Earlier in April, Donald Trump said his administration would not label China a currency manipulator, rowing back on a campaign promise.

Donald Trump had previously accused China of suppressing the yuan to make its exports more competitive against American goods.

US steel stocks rallied on April 20 with the Dow Jones US Iron and Steel Index closing 5% higher.

However, Asian steel stocks also climbed with Japan’s Nippon Steel up 1.3% on April 21 and South Korea’s Posco gaining 2.5%.

Meanwhile China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co, Angang Steel and Baotou Steel each gained around 0.3%.


Aaron Hernandez has been found dead in jail in Massachusetts, prison officials say.

The former New England Patriots tight end hanged himself at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center and was pronounced dead later at hospital.

Aaron Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence for killing a man who was dating his fiancée’s sister.

Last week the former NFL star was acquitted of a drive-by double murder prosecutors said began over an argument about a spilled drink.

Aaron Hernandez had cried in court as that verdict was read, saying he was “very happy”.

His death comes on the day members of his former team visit President Donald Trump at the White House to be commended for their Super Bowl victory over Atlanta in February.

According to Massachusetts Department of Correction, Aaron Hernandez had tried to block the door to his single cell before hanging himself.

Lifesaving techniques were performed on him and he was taken to UMASS Leominster hospital where he was pronounced dead at 04:07 local time.

State police are on the scene and Aaron Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified, officials said.

State Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement that he was not aware a suicide note had been written and that officials had not been concerned that Aaron Hernandez would take his life.

Although Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of the double murder last week, he was found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm and the judge added five years to his sentence.

He had been accused of the fatal shooting of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub in 2012, one month before he signed a $40 million contract extension with the Patriots.

In April 2015, Aaron Hernandez had been found guilty of the first-degree murder of his friend, another American footballer, the semi-professional Odin Lloyd, in 2013.

Odin Lloyd’s body was found with six bullet wounds less than a mile from Aaron Hernandez’s home.

Within hours of his arrest for the 2013 shooting, the Patriots sacked Aaron Hernandez, considered one of the top tight ends playing the game.

Aaron Hernandez was given a life sentence without parole.


Former Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap has accidentally killed his three-year-old daughter at his home in Arizona, police say.

Todd Heap, 37, was moving his truck in his driveway in the city of Mesa on April 14 when the accident occurred.

According to police, there were no suspicious circumstances and the former NFL star showed no signs of impairment.

Image source Flickr

Todd Heap was a two-time Pro-Bowler.

The accident occurred at about 16:00 local time on April 14.

The girl was taken to a local hospital after the accident but did not survive.

Todd Heap attended Arizona State University and was a first-round draft pick in 2001 for the Baltimore Ravens and played there for 10 seasons, becoming the team’s all-time leader in touchdown catches.

He played two seasons for the Arizona Cardinals and retired in 2013.

Todd Heap has raised money for sick and disadvantaged children through a charitable foundation, opening the Todd Heap Family Pediatric Center in Baltimore in 2010.


Ex-NFL player Aaron Hernandez has been acquitted of a drive-by double murder that prosecutors said began over an argument about a spilled drink.

On April 14, Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of seven charges, but was found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm.

The former tight end for the New England Patriots is already serving a life sentence for the killing of man who was dating his fiancée’s sister.

Aaron Hernandez cried in court as the verdict was read, saying he is “very happy”.

A judge added five years to Aaron Hernandez sentence after the verdicts were read.

Image source Wikimedia

The former NFL player had been accused of the fatal shooting of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub in 2012.

Prosecutors said it happened after the football star became enraged that one of the men had bumped into him causing him to spill his drink.

Lawyers for the state relied heavily on a former friend of Aaron Hernandez, Alexander Bradley, who said he had been the driver for the shooting.

Alexander Bradley, who is serving a prison sentence in another state, was granted immunity in order to testify.

He had also claimed that Aaron Hernandez shot him in the face, causing him to lose sight in his right eye, after becoming paranoid that he would tell someone about their crime.

Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers mocked the immunity agreement as the “deal of the century”.

One month after the deaths, Aaron Hernandez signed a $40 million extension contract with the Patriots.

Prosecutors pointed to one of Aaron Hernandez tattoos as evidence that he had committed the attack.

“That is not random. That is not art. That is evidence,” Patrick Haggan told the court about a depiction of a handgun beside five bullets – the same number fired in 2012.

“That is a confession,” the prosecutor said.


Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam and the bank’s board of directors have offered to cut their own bonuses by 40% ahead of its annual meeting.

The group also proposed to keep total board pay at the same level as 2015 and 2016.

The move follows pressure from Swiss lawmakers and Credit Suisse’ shareholders to address excessive executive pay.

Credit Suisse has posted two straight years of losses but its top 12 executives were awarded 78 million Swiss francs ($77 million) in pay this year.

Tidjane Thiam, who used to head insurance giant Prudential, was awarded 12 million Swiss francs in total pay in 2016.

Credit Suisse’s chief executive said the decision to reduce top executives’ variable compensation reflects “the total confidence” they have in fixing the Swiss bank’s fortunes.

In a letter to shareholders, he wrote: “My highest priority is to see through the turnaround of Credit Suisse which is under way.

“I hope that this decision will alleviate some of the concerns expressed by some shareholders and will allow the executive team to continue to focus on the task at hand.”

Credit Suisse investors are set to meet on April 28. Under Swiss law they get a binding annual vote on executive pay.

A bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund soccer team to a home Champions League match has been hit by three explosions.

Player Marc Bartra was injured and has been hospitalized, but is not seriously hurt, reports say.

The Borussia Dortmund team tweeted that the other players were safe and there was no danger in or around the stadium.

Image source Flickr

The game has been postponed until April 12. According to the AFP, the bus’ windows were broken in the blasts.

North-Rhine Westphalia police said they were at the scene.

Borussia Dortmund was scheduled to play a quarter-final match against Monaco.

The match will now be played on April 12 at 18:45 local time.

Borussia Dortmund are currently fourth in the German Bundesliga table.


Toshiba has published its delayed financial results, warning that the company’s survival is at risk.

The Japanese electronics giant said in a statement: “There are material events and conditions that raise substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Toshiba reported a loss of 532 billion yen ($4.8 billion) for April to December 2016.

However, the results have not been approved by the company’s auditors.

These latest financial results have already been delayed twice and raise the possibility that Toshiba could be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The company is expected to hold a news conference later.

Toshiba, originally known for its consumer electronics products, has faced a series of difficulties.

An accounting scandal, uncovered in 2015, led to the resignation of several members of the company’s senior management, including the CEO, after it was found to have inflated the previous seven years’ profits by $1.2 billion.

Toshiba’s problems came to a head again in January 2017, when it became clear its US nuclear unit, Westinghouse, was in financial trouble.

Westinghouse was put into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, which protects it from creditors while it undergoes restructuring.

This week, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn was reported to be willing to pay up to $27 billion for Toshiba’s computer chip business, a move which could help shore up the losses if it went ahead.

However, that has not been enough to resolve Toshiba‘s difficulties.

The company’s auditors, PriceWaterhouseCooper Aarata, have refused to sign off its accounts, resulting in their publication being delayed twice.

Now, faced with a deadline, Toshiba has made the unprecedented move of publishing the results without the auditor’s approval.

Toshiba’s statement added: “At the present time, substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern exists as of the filing date of the quarterly report.”

The loss reported is for the first nine months of Toshiba’s financial year, covering April to December 2016.

The company has previously warned that its net loss for the full year could exceed one trillion yen, which would make it one of the biggest losses in Japanese corporate history.

Toshiba is the world’s second-largest chip manufacturer, with its products used in data centers and consumer goods worldwide, including iPhones and iPads.

The US unemployment rate fell to a 10-year low in March, despite the economy adding a smaller than expected number of jobs.

Employers added 98,000 jobs in March 2017 – far fewer than the 180,000 expected by economists and less than half the figure for January and February.

However, the unemployment rate fell from 4.7% in February to just 4.5% – the lowest since May 2007.

Anything under 5% is considered to indicate “full employment”.

Image source Wikimedia

The US economy needs to create 75,000 to 100,000 jobs a month to keep pace with growth in the working-age population.

It had added more than 200,000 jobs in both January and February 2017, but March brought lower temperatures and a major storm to the North East, which was likely to have hit hiring.

Aberdeen Asset Management investment strategist Luke Bartholomew said the decline in job creation was another sign of a “pretty tight” labor market.

The dollar rose against the euro and pound, while the Dow Jones and S&P 500 were flat in morning trading in New York.

The US Labor Department also revised the number of jobs created in February down from 235,000 to 219,000, while the figure for January was lowered from 238,000 to 216,000.

The percentage of people in work or looking for a job held steady at 63%.

President Donald Trump has promised to relax “horrendous” US banking regulations that were introduced after the financial crisis.

Referring to the Wall Street and consumer protection rules Barack Obama enacted in 2010, Donald Trump said: “We’re going to do a very major haircut on Dodd-Frank.”

Dodd-Frank aimed to prevent banks taking on too much risk and to separate their investment and commercial arms.

However, President Trump said he wants “some very strong” change to help the bank sector.

“We want strong restrictions, we want strong regulation. But not regulation that makes it impossible for the banks to loan to people that are going to create jobs,” he told a group of about 50 business leaders at a White House meeting.

Photo Reuters

“We’re going to be doing things that are going to be very good for the banking industry so that the banks can loan money to people who need it.”

Donald Trump had promised during his election campaign to relax rules on big banks, and subsequently ordered a review of the industry’s regulations.

The president’s remarks have the backing of Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of one of the world’s biggest banks, JP Morgan Chase.

In his annual letter to shareholders, released on April 4, Jamie Dimon said the regulatory burden “is unnecessarily complex, costly and sometimes confusing”.

Dodd-Frank was designed to resolve the too-big-to-fail problem that meant banks facing collapse had to be bailed out rather than wound down.

However, Jamie Dimon said banks had essentially solved this issue by boosting the capital they held in reserve and introducing tougher risk controls.

S&P Global has cut South Africa’s credit rating to junk status.

The ratings agency said that South Africa’s political upheaval, including the recent sacking of finance minister Pravin Gordhan, was endangering the economy.

S&P also expressed concern over government debt, and in particular the expense of supporting the state energy firm Eskom.

The news put more pressure on the rand, which was down 2% against the US dollar.

Pravin Gordhan’s sacking, seen as a safe pair of hands and with a reputation for financial prudence, led to a 4% fall in the rand on March 31 and prompted strong criticism.

His replacement as finance minister by Malusi Gigaba was part of a cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma.

However South Africa’s deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, called Pravin Gordhan’s sacking “totally, totally unacceptable” and the Gwede Mantashe, secretary-general of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), also opposed it.

The financial downgrading is likely to make it more expensive for South Africa to borrow money on the international markets, as lending to the country would be seen as riskier.

S&P explained its decision, stating that: “Internal government and party divisions could, we believe, delay fiscal and structural reforms, and potentially erode the trust that had been established between business leaders and labor representatives (including in the critical mining sector).”

“An additional risk is that businesses may now choose to withhold investment decisions that would otherwise have supported economic growth,” it added.

S&P also raised concern about the level of borrowing by state energy company Eskom.

The government guarantees 350 billion rand ($25 billion) of its debt, which is equivalent to about 7% of the nation’s economic output.

For his part, Malusi Gigaba spoke at the weekend of plans to “radically transform” South Africa’s economy.

While he has a track record of policymaking, most recently as home affairs minister, he lacks a background in economics.

That prompted criticism that Malusi Gigaba was too inexperienced for the job.

According to recently released White House documents, its senior staff held millions of dollars in assets.

The White House financial disclosure also detail salaries of several other high-profile figures in the administration.

Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have assets valued between $240 million and $740 million.

That includes a stake in Trump International Hotel, which earned Ivanka Trump between $1 million and $5 million in 2016.

Ethics regulations require such financial disclosures for staff working in the White House. The documents show income and assets at the time they started working for the US government – before any assets were sold or disposed of.

Neither President Donald Trump nor VP Mike Pence were part of the disclosure release, which came on March 31.

The documents, which have been uploaded online, list asset values within a range, rather than giving precise figures.

Among the revelations include financial data about: Steve Bannon, now a senior White House adviser, was paid $191,000 in consulting fees by conservative media outlet Breitbart, in addition to at least $1 million in other employment income; Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, was paid $260,000 for his role as chief strategist and communications director at the Republican National Committee, and holds several real estate assets; Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign chief turned advisor, earned more than $800,000, mostly for consulting services, including Donald Trump’s campaign;  Gary Cohn, head of the White House National Economic Council and a former Goldman Sachs president, has assets worth at least $230 million – but potentially more, as many of his assets are simply listed as worth “over $1m”. The White House said Gary Cohn resigned from all his positions at Goldman Sachs.

Image source Nordstrom

In a briefing before the release, White House officials stressed that “these are not the current holdings that everyone has today. These are the holdings that everybody had at the time when they came into office”.

Potential conflicts of interest may have already been eliminated.

Reuters quoted a White House official as saying about 25% of President Trump’s administration staff were classified as having “extremely complex” filings, indicating they were very wealthy.

They appeared much wealthier than officials in previous administrations, including Barack Obama’s White House.

According to Bloomberg’s estimation, President Trump’s cabinet and senior staff are worth some $12 billion.

Since Donald Trump’s election in November, the president’s own business empire has been scrutinized by ethics experts – who say it poses major conflicts of interest.

Fears have been raised that interest groups or foreign governments might stay at the luxury Trump hotel in Washington in a bid to win the administration’s favor.

Donald Trump’s two oldest sons now control his extensive assets, but watchdogs have complained that the arrangements are insufficient to avoid conflicts.

The Office of Government Ethics has urged President Trump either to divest fully, or to set up a blind trust for his assets.

Donald Trump has also refused to release his tax returns, breaking with a long-held tradition.

Uber has decided to pull its driverless cars from the roads after a car crash which left one of the vehicles on its side.

Images posted online showed the car on its right side on an Arizona street, next to another badly damaged vehicle.

The car – a Volvo SUV – was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash, on March 24, Uber said. No one was hurt.

A spokeswoman for the police in Tempe, Arizona, said the accident occurred when another vehicle “failed to yield” to the Uber car at a left turn.

Uber spokeswoman Josie Montenegro said: “There was a person behind the wheel. It is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision.”

The company’s self-driving cars always have a human in the driving seat who can take over the controls.

Uber pulled its self-driving vehicles off the road in Arizona at first, followed by test sites in Pennsylvania and California – all three states where it operated the vehicles.

The incident follows a tumultuous few weeks for the car-hailing app service, after several negative stories about workplace practices and ethics.

A number of Uber’s executives have quit in recent weeks, including the president, Jeff Jones.


The meeting of G-20 finance ministers has just been concluded in Germany but there is still a dark shadow of uncertainty hanging over global trade. To start with, the Communiqué released after the meeting provides reasons to be worried about global economic trends because of the things it didn’t say on trade.

For instance, the G-20 finance ministers practically refrained from making the usual commitment to foster cooperation on global trade.  In fact, the G-20 finance ministers seemed hesitant to discuss or mention trade – “trade” was mentioned two times in this communiqué – ”trade” was mentioned 40 times in the communiqué from the last G-20 finance ministers meeting that held six months ago.

From the foregoing, one could make two submissions. The first submission is that the G-20 finance ministers are  passing up the responsibility of sorting out the brewing issues in global trade to their political leaders. The second submission is that the G-20 finance ministers are probably clueless on how the geopolitical tensions could affect global trade. The fact that G-20 finance ministers don’t know where the global economy is headed suggests that traders and investors can expect increased volatility in the markets going forward.

Increased uncertainty brewing in the global equity markets

The lack of concrete information on global trade from the last G-20 meeting of finance ministers is sowing the seeds of concerns in the global economic landscape. The performance of equities in the global market suggests that traders and investors are worried that protectionism might become the order of the day at the expense of free trade.

The fears of increased geopolitical headwinds if trade wars begin is already triggering increased uncertainty and its attendant volatility in the global equities market. As at market open on Monday, March 20 (the first trading session after the G-20 meeting) global equities were mostly choppy. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 25 was down 0.35%, China’s Shanghai was up 0.41%, South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.5%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.6%, and Taiwan’s Taiex up 0.1%.

Here’s you could get trading direction in a directionless market

It could be very hard to make sense of where the markets are headed after G20 finance ministers failed to denounce  protectionism in the global economic landscape. Nobody knows the extent to which increased protectionism will alter the balance of the markets but stakeholders agree that we will see increased market volatility as the world transitions from an era of free trade into an era of protectionism.

Institutional investors are in a better position to navigate the upcoming market uncertainties because they have better access to market data and they have strong cash positions to make volume trades and hedge such trades. However, individual retail traders are exposed to greater risks in times of increased market volatility. In fact, retail traders might only have one opportunity to get a trading decision right after which the capital invested in the trade is as good as lost.

However, social trading is an innovative trading strategy that helps retail traders to improve their odds of making winning trades. What is social trading? InvestinGoal defines social trading as a form of trading that ” allows the investor, even if inexperienced, to copy automatically the financial transactions made ​​by one or more professional investors inside a trading network.” In essence, retail traders can leverage social trading platforms to copy the trade of professional and experienced traders in order to improve their chances of trading success.

Of course, social trading suggests that you are placing the fate of your trading success on the reliability of the trading decisions made by other traders. If such traders make erroneous trading decisions, you would have copied the poor trading moves and you’ll most likely lose money on the trade.



An investigation into claims Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) broke diesel emissions tests has been opened in France.

French car industry regulators have been looking into whether some Fiat Chrysler cars exceeded emissions limits.

Fiat Chrysler, already facing probes in the UK and US, said it noted the prosecutor’s decision to look into “certain alleged consumer protection violations”.

However, the company added that its diesel cars fully complied with emissions rules.

The move by French prosecutors comes after revelations in 2015 that Volkswagen broke diesel tests in the US.

France’s consumer affairs body passed a file on Fiat Chrysler to the courts for possible investigation in February.

Tests by French regulators in 2016, launched in the wake of the VW emissions test-cheating scandal, revealed pollutants from some Fiat Chrysler and other car maker’s models exceeded regulatory limits.

The move by the French prosecutor is the latest indication that questions about diesel pollution tests extend beyond VW.

A French judicial source told Reuters that the Paris prosecutor had opened the investigation on March 15, after the finance ministry’s consumer affairs and anti-fraud body had referred the case to the courts.

Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that its diesel vehicles “fully comply with applicable emissions requirements” in Italy, where its European unit is based. However, the company could not comment on which models were under further investigation in France.

The company said that it would “continue to co-operate to any investigations by competent authorities and remains fully confident that the matter will be clarified in due course”.



The first step towards understanding civil liability for car crashes in the Golden State is knowing what to call them, because in our society, words have power.

In 1997, the Massachusetts Highway Safety Commission became one of the first of some thirty agencies to shift terminology from accident to crash; in 2016, Nevada became the first state to make such a move. Later in 2016, the Associated Press followed suit, declaring that its reporters would no longer use the term if negligence is either claimed or established.


After all, according to advocates, airplanes crash, trains wreck, and ships sink, so vehicles should crash as well. To label these incidents as “accidental” implies that they were completely unavoidable by anyone involved, and typically, that is not the case. Other people counter that “accident” is proper, because the term correctly implies that the negligent driver did not intentionally set out to hurt other drivers.

“Accident” was first used in this context in the early 1900s, when some business owners referred to workplace injuries as “industrial accidents” to shift blame away from dangerous factory conditions and onto the injured workers.


What Causes Car Crashes?

Alcohol impairment is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in the United States. This depressant slows down the nervous system, so impaired drivers cannot react to changing conditions as quickly as sober drivers. Furthermore, alcohol impairs judgement skills in such basic tasks like when to apply the brakes in time to stop. Finally, alcohol disrupts concentration, making it all but impossible for drivers to focus on more than one task at a time.

Many prescription drugs, street drugs, and over-the-counter drugs cause similar effects in drivers. The evidence is unclear as to whether or not marijuana impairs driving skills, but driving under the influence of cannabis is still illegal in most states, including California. In fact, the “drugged driving” law in the Golden State is very broad. In 2016, prosecutors charged a Fairfield man with DUI-Drugs because he was under the influence of caffeine; a few months later, Solano County prosecutors reluctantly dismissed the charges.

Excessive speed is a factor in another third of fatal car crashes. Velocity increases the force in any collision between two objects. So, in car crashes, a non-injury collision at low speeds becomes a serious injury crash at higher speeds. Velocity also reduces reaction time because it increases stopping distance. At 30mph, most passenger vehicles take about six car lengths to stop, but at 60mph, stopping distance triples to eighteen car lengths.

California lawmakers recently passed a tougher cellphone law to combat the rising tide of distracted driving, because this behavior causes over 431,000 injury crashes per year. At 55mph, most cars travel the length of a football field while the driver sends or reads just one text message.

Drowsy driving causes at least 100,000 car crashes a year, and that figure is probably vastly underreported. Fatigue and alcohol or drugs have about the same effect on the brain and on motor skills. In fact, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .08 BAC, which is above the legal limit in California.


Legal Issues

All four of these behaviors could constitute a breach of the duty of reasonable care, and Gagne v. Bertran is one of the earliest California cases to explain this duty. The court held that people have “a duty to exercise the ordinary skill and competence of members of their profession, and a failure to discharge that duty will subject them to liability for negligence.”

Minimally competent drivers obey the speed limit, focus on the road, are sober, are well-rested, and otherwise obey “the rules of the road” in the Vehicle Code and elsewhere.

If the breach of duty caused the car crash (e.g. Driver A hit Driver B because Driver A was speeding), the victim is entitled to damages. These damages usually include compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, and economic losses, such as medical bills.

Many of these behaviors also involve a violation of the Vehicle Code or some other law; for example, speeding may violate Vehicle Code 22350 or another provision. In these cases, victims only need to prove cause, thanks to the negligence per se rule. Drivers are liable for damages as a matter of law if:

  • They violated a law, and
  • That violation substantially caused the victim’s damages.

In many extreme negligence per se cases, such as drivers with a high BAC or reckless drivers, additional punitive damages may be available as well.

The Trump administration has revealed plans to boost US defense spending by $54 billion while cutting funding for foreign aid.

The federal government budget plan will be submitted to Congress on March 16.

The state department, which oversees foreign affairs, faces a budget cut of about 28%.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in line for cuts to programs President Trump does not agree with, such as climate change and renewables.

These include initiatives intended to bring the US into line with its Paris Agreement climate deal obligations.

Image source Flickr

The New York Times reported that the EPA could be cut by 31%.

The defense department budget will be boosted by 10%, and homeland security will get a 6% boost.

The budget will include a $1.5 billion request for pilot schemes to determine construction methods and locations for Donald Trump’s promised wall between the US and Mexico.

The White House wants a 30% cut from an energy department office that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The energy department could see steep cuts for its 17 national laboratories, which conduct research into subjects including nuclear power and advanced materials for energy generation, storage and use.

There will also be a complete cut to funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the largest source of public broadcasting funding in the US.

The budget, known as a “skinny budget”, will be limited to the $1 trillion portion of the $4 trillion annual federal budget that pays for US agencies and departments.

The remainder of Donald Trump’s budget, which will include proposals on taxes, mandatory spending and deficits and projections on the economy, will not come out until May.

The Fed has raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% for only the third time in a decade.

It voted to raise its key rate target to a range of 0.75% to 1%.

The central bank had been expected to raise rates after a robust February jobs report, solid pay gains, rising inflation and a dip in the unemployment rate to 4.7%.

Its policymakers are expected to increase rates a total of three times this year.

The Federal Reserve aims to keep the cost of lending between banks within a specified band, which it does by buying or selling financial assets.

It is raising that band by a quarter of a percent.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the committee judged that a “modest increase” in the rate is appropriate “in light of the economy’s solid progress.”

She added: “Even after this increase, monetary policy remains accommodative, thus supporting some further strengthening in the job market, and a sustained return to 2% inflation.”

The decision was approved with a 9-1 vote. Neel Kashkari, the head of the Fed’s regional bank in Minneapolis, cast the dissenting vote.

This is the second time the Fed has raised rates in three months. It signaled that further hikes this year will be gradual.

The Fed’s statement said its inflation target was “symmetric,” indicating that after a decade of below-target inflation it could tolerate a quicker pace of price rises.

Wall Street stock indexes jumped after the announcement, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 112 points at 20,950 in afternoon trading.

The US dollar fell about 0.9% against the euro and more than 1% against the pound.

The Fed’s outlook for the economy changed little, with officials expecting economic growth of 2.1% this year and next year before slipping to 1.9% in 2019.

Those forecasts are far below the 4% growth that President Donald Trump has said he can produce with his economic program.

However, Janet Yellen told reporters that she didn’t believe it is “a point of conflict” between the Fed and the Trump administration.

“We would certainly welcome stronger economic growth in the context of price stability, and if policies were put in place to speed growth… those would be very welcome changes that we would like to see,” she said.



Oil prices have fallen after the OPEC said global crude stocks had risen.

A surprise output jump from Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest member, put further pressure on prices.

Gains made since OPEC announced output cuts in 2016 have nearly all been erased.

Saudi Arabia said it was “committed” to stabilizing the global oil market, and that its output was still in line with its OPEC target.

OPEC said in its report: “Despite the supply adjustment, stocks have continued to rise, not just in the US, but also in Europe.

“Nevertheless, prices have undoubtedly been provided a floor by the production accords.”

Photo Getty Images

In February, Saudi Arabia’s production increased to 10.011 million barrels per day, compared with 9.748 million barrels per day in January.

Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry said the country “is committed and determined to stabilize the global oil market by working closely with all other participating OPEC and non-OPEC producers”.

Oil prices fell after the release of the OPEC report to trade close to $50 a barrel, their lowest since November.

Crude prices are still higher than $40 per barrel a year ago and a 12-year low of about $28 in January 2016.

Brent crude oil price settled about 0.5% down at $51.09 per barrel, while US crude was at $47.90.

It appears the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark interest rate on March 15 after strong jobs growth, traders say.

Markets which track investors’ expectations for the key rate give a near 100% likelihood of a rise.

It would be only the third time in a decade that the Fed has increased rates.

Analysts said the odds strengthened on March 10 after figures showed better than expected jobs growth in February.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers added 235,000 new jobs, exceeding economists’ forecasts.

Fed chair Janet Yellen said last week that the central bank could raise rates in March if employment and inflation figures met their expectations.

The central bank increased rates, which have been at near-historic lows since the financial crisis, to a range of 0.5% to 0.75% in December.

According to Bloomberg data, the futures market for the key Federal fund interest rate puts the likelihood of a rate rise at between 98% and 100%.

Traders also see better than even odds of two further rate rises this year, based on the price of Fed funds futures contracts traded at CME Group’s Chicago Board of Trade.

The Fed’s next meeting will conclude on March 15.

The Trump administration also welcomed the jobs figures, which covered the president’s first full month in office.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that the figures were “great news for American workers… in first report for [President] Trump”.

VW has pleaded guilty to three charges as part of a $4.3 billion agreement with the US authorities over the diesel emissions scandal.

The automaker has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice and entry of goods by false statement.

VW general counsel Manfred Doess told a court in Detroit the company was “guilty on all three counts“.

Manfred Doess said the criminal acts occurred in both Germany and the United States.

Volkswagen admitted that vehicles were fitted with illegal software which allowed them to cheat emissions tests over a six-year period.

John Neal, an assistant US attorney, told the district court that the scheme “was a well thought-out, planned offensive that went to the top of the organization”.

Under the deal with the DoJ, VW agreed to major reforms and scrutiny by an independent monitor for three years after admitting to installing the secret software in 580,000 US vehicles.

The devices enabled VW’s diesel vehicles to emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution.

Accepting VW’s guilty plea, district judge Sean Cox said: “This was a very, very serious crime.”

VW has agreed to change the way it operates in the United States and other countries as part of the settlement.

In January 2017, VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion in US civil and criminal fines.

A company spokeswoman said it “deeply regrets the behavior that gave rise to the diesel crisis”.

Since the emissions scandal broke in September 2015, VW has agreed to pay about $25 billion to address claims from owners, regulators, states and dealers in the US.

VW has come under pressure to pay compensation in other markets too.

However, the fallout from the scandal has not stopped VW from growing its sales. In 2016, VW overtook Toyota as the world’s best-selling car maker.