Market Wrap: FTSE100 at a 1-month high. Google embraces China in AI research.

by | 13 Dec, 2017

Tuesday’s Market Wrap

The LSE is a hive of activity this Wednesday

The FTSE100 was at its highest level in a month today thanks to strong rises for Dixons Carphone, TUI group and Serco, despite a stronger Pound.

Dixons Carphone shares jumped due to its latest earnings release which showed record Black Friday sales (to the tune of half a billion pounds), but profits were still lower than last year.

Headline pre-tax profit for the 26 weeks to October 28 fell 60% compared to last year while total sales went up 3%. The company said it was “repositioning the UK mobile business model to deliver a simper, less capital-intensive business”. The firm also said the weaker profit number was skewed by £58m in one-off charges.

New figures for the UK economy from the Office for National Statistics were a mixed bag today, with the unemployment rate at a 42-year low and wage growth edging higher, but not by enough to offset rising inflation, which now sits at a 6-year high of 3.1%, over 1% higher than the Bank of England’s target.

In The Mood for Crude
Later we get US EIA crude inventories which will show the extent of recent American oil production. Invstrs should keep an eye on Brent Crude and WTI oil prices after the figures are released at approximately 10.30AM EST.

Markets Ready for Fed
It’s Fed announcement day. Janet Yellen will hold a press conference later (2:30PM EST) where she may hint about the future pace of interest rate increases. MarketWatch think this strategy is a safe bet for trading around the Fed meeting.

Asia Markets and Currency Movements
In Asia, the NIFTY50 had a volatile session touching highs of 10,292.35 before plummeting by 100 points. Some of this selling pressure may have been due to new data showing November CPI inflation hit a 15-month high of 4.88% and industrial output growth fell to a 3-month low of 2.2%. Other Asian markets were mixed.

In currencies today the Pound continued to advance higher against the Euro (up to €1.1358), while holding steadier against the Dollar ($1.3348) and Swiss Franc (CHF1.3238) at the time of writing.

Bitcoin prices were fairly flat at $17,250, while Litecoin shone, jumping by 35.70% to $329 since yesterday, stealing the king cryptos spotlight.

Google Embraces China in AI Research

Will this lead to greater tech cooperation between the worlds 2 largest powers?

In a somewhat paradoxical move, Google is setting up an artificial intelligence research centre in China to target the country’s local talent, even though the firm has its products blocked in the country.

Google said the facility in Beijing would be the first of its kind in the country, aiming to take advantage of China’s strong desire to catch up with America in the field of AI development

China has been expanding its push into the artificial intelligence space. Just last week, the country’s President, Xi Jinping, urged senior officials at a key Communist Party meeting to “accelerate the implementation of big data”.

Google Chief Scientist Fei-Fei Li, said, “Humanity is going through a huge transformation thanks to the phenomenal growth of computing and digitization.”

“The Google AI China Center is a small contribution to this goal. We look forward to working with the brightest AI researchers in China to help find solutions to the world’s problems.”

“Once again, the science of AI has no borders, neither do its benefits.”

The irony of course is that Google’s search engine is banned in the market there along with its app store, email and cloud services.

China’s cyber regulators say restrictions on foreign media and internet platforms are designed to block influences that contravene stability and socialist ideas, however the key factor is also how effective these blocks have been economically for domestic companies.

Limiting foreign business influence has allowed China’s home grown internet firms like Tencent to thrive by dominating the marketplace.

Technology has always been a controversial topic in the context of the US/China relationship. For several years, China has been accused of stealing important tech secrets by the press. Science Magazine reported this year that counterfeiting, stolen trade secrets, and pirated software cost the United States as much as $600 billion a year.

South Korean Crypto Skepticism

Seoul hedges itself against the bubble

Just as Bitcoin futures went live on the CBOE in the US this week, the government in Seoul is looking rather more skeptical about cryptocurrency trading.

According to a statement obtained by Reuters, after an emergency meeting today, South Korean officials said they may consider placing a tax on capital gains from cryptocurrency trading, as well as banning minors from opening accounts on exchanges. While this is being thought over, the country will maintain its current ban on all financial institutions dealing virtual currencies.

Despite this stance, digital currency trading is massively popular in Asia. Japan and South Korea allegedly make up more than half the global trading volumes, but the possibility of major losses for investors if the bubble bursts have put pressure on policymakers to come up with a regulatory response.

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © INVSTR LTD. 2017

Risk Disclosure:
Invstr is a technology platform, not a registered broker-dealer or investment adviser. Invstr does not offer its own recommendations of any security or provide its own research to any user regarding any security transaction or order.
Please note, investing involves risk and investments may lose value. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Brokerage services are provided by the following:
US-traded securities, including fractional trading, are provided to Invstr users by DriveWealth LLC, a regulated member of FINRA/SIPC. DriveWealth may not establish investment accounts to residents of certain jurisdictions. For more information, including disclaimers, risk and transaction fees click here.
India account traded securities are provided by SIC Stocks & Services PVT Ltd. SIC does not make any personal recommendations to buy, sell or otherwise deal in investments. Investors make their own investment decisions. The services and securities provided by SIC may not be suitable for all customers and, if you have any doubts, you should seek advice from an independent financial adviser. For more information and disclaimers, click here.

 

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