Indices Open Lower Ahead of Key Elections in Europe and Ukraine

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Financial Spreads: Spread Betting and CFD Trading

Stock Market Trading

: 23 May 2014

Stock markets are set to open mixed as traders turn cautious ahead of Ukrainian and European election results.

Despite modest gains in overnight markets, this hesitation is expected to see investors play it safe going into the weekend.

With intensifying violence in Ukraine, fears are that a Presidential election will merely polarise the two sides and could be a trigger for an escalation of fighting.

Since the last European elections in 2009, we've had numerous bailouts, austerity, stubborn unemployment and crisis after crisis.

With voting already underway, concerns are brewing that the corridors of power in Brussels could be full of Eurosceptic, anti-establishment parliamentarians come Monday.

Yesterday was a relatively flat day for equities, although the majority of world indices managed to make small gains.

Towards the start of yesterday's US session, Initial Jobless Claims came out 14,000 jobseekers worse than expected.

The market spiked down but the losses were quickly reversed and then strong manufacturing and existing home sales data helped seal the win for the bulls.

The Dow gained 10 points to close at 16,543.

Stock Market Trading

: 22 May 2014

European equities are set to start with a bang on positive overnight cues.

US markets closed with solid gains following the release of a set of dovish FOMC meeting minutes.

Although some 'prudent planning' had been undertaken on how to raise rates, it appears that the time line for such an event is still some long way off in a hypothetical goldilocks economy.

With the bulls getting a green light, expect them to take this opportunity to challenge those stubborn technical resistances.

Yesterday the Dow Jones more than made up for the down day on Tuesday in what represented an almost exact mirror image.

All the losses were reversed, and this time on the back of 'good' retail sector earnings, as opposed to Tuesday's bad retail reports.

Tiffany & Co led the charge supported from some good news from Netflix regarding its future plans in Europe.

The Dow gained 158 points to close at 16,533; this was the biggest gain seen in five weeks.

Stock Market Trading

: 21 May 2014

European equities are set to dip on the open as the hangover from yesterday's decline ensues.

With the markets clearly stalling once again at key technical levels, the question of how low will we go is now the main topic of trader mutterings.

Central banks could be the source of volatility today as the Bank of Japan concludes its policy meeting and we are due to see minutes from the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve.

Although policy continues to be dovish at the BoE and the Fed, the downside risk is that even the mere hypothetical discussion of anything hawkish may cause traders to conclude that a tightening of policy is coming sooner than hoped.

US stocks finished a lot lower on Tuesday as retailers reported disappointing results.

Staples and Urban Outfitters were among those that concerned investors regarding the outlook for the retail sector, with the Dow Jones falling by a hefty 137 points to close at 16,374.

Nevertheless, the index has attracted buyers when it has slipped to these levels over the last month or so; let's wait and see how it reacts today.

Stock Market Trading

: 20 May 2014

Despite overnight gains in the US and Asia, European indices haven't been able to latch on to any of their bullishness and we expect a mixed start.

While the overall global economic picture isn't too clear itself, for Europe there is the added cloud of uncertainty from this week's European elections where euroskeptic parties across the region are expected to do well.

It's been quite a while since the Eurozone crisis had its last flare up but, with polls suggesting that 25-30% of the seats will go to anti-establishment parties, traders may be concerned that next week's results could stir up old memories.

Tech stocks led the world's main indices higher on Monday as corporate news drove markets in a day lacking of US economic data.

Investors reacted to the 'falling through' of the Pfizer/Astrazeneca deal and AT&T's plans to buy DirecTV.

Market sentiment also took caution from China, where tightening credit is worrying investors about future growth opportunity.

As a result, the Dow Jones rose 20 points to close at 16,512.

Stock Market Trading

: 19 May 2014

European equities are set to open flat as traders adopt a wait and see attitude.

After posting new highs last week, the bulls took a breather and we've drifted back from those levels but it doesn't look like panic is setting in and they're taking it in their stride.

As evidenced by the lack of volatility, there aren't any clear catalysts for traders to get their teeth into and back up their convictions with big trades.

Until something happens to shake off investors' current state of apathy, expect markets to continue drifting.

The Dow Jones managed to stop the rot on Friday in what was beginning to look like a serious correction.

The index closed up 44 points following a late surge to close at 16,491.

Markets made the move as news of Warren Buffett's added investment in Verizon was warmly received by risk assets.

Although nothing is a given in financial markets, today is expected to be quiet as data releases couldn't be much thinner.

By Jonathan Sudaria, 23 May 2014

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