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Citi Research raises its price forecast for Apple shares, citing falling memory chip prices

By Tae Kim

Citi Research raises its price target to $265 from $230 for Apple shares, predicting the smartphone maker will report earnings per share above expectations next year.

“We increase our financial model primarily due to higher ASPs [average selling price] & stronger gross margins given the consumer preference for higher memory configurations of iPhones coupled with the new falling memory prices,” the firm’s analyst Jim Suva says.


USD/JPY Rate Forecast: Bearish RSI Signal Emerges Ahead of U.S. CPI

By David Song

Fundamental Forecast for Japanese Yen: Bullish

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Thursday 11, may also produce headwinds for the greenback as the headline reading is projected to narrow to 2.4% from 2.7% per annum in August, and another set of mixed developments may rattle the U.S. dollar as it does little to alter the monetary policy outlook.

The narrowing threat for above-target inflation may sap the appeal of the greenback as it limits the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) scope to extend the hiking-cycle, but it seems as though the central bank will stay on course to deliver four rate-hikes in 2018 as a growing number of Fed officials endorse a hawkish forward-guidance for monetary policy.

The broader outlook for USD/JPY remains supportive as Fed Fund Futures continue to reflect expectations for at least a 25bp rate-hike at the next quarterly meeting in December, but recent price action raises the risk for a larger pullback in the exchange rate as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) falls back from overbought territory and snaps the bullish formation carried over from the previous month.


Pound US Dollar Exchange Rate Forecast: Will Slower GDP Bring Trigger GBP/USD Losses?

By Oliver Meredew

Pound traders have recently been unsettled by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) warning about Brexit, as well as reduced growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019.

Looking ahead, existing Pound Sterling losses could be extended on Wednesday if the morning’s UK GDP data disappoints.

The reading for August is expected to show a slowdown in the pace of economic activity during the month, with a shift from 0.3% growth in July to 0.1% in August.

While this result would still leave the UK economy in a state of growth instead of contraction, it would be a disappointing development nonetheless.

The next UK economic data to watch out for will be jobs market stats out on 16th October.

These are anticipated to show a slowdown in the pace of UK wage growth, along with a rise in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits.

A slower pace of average earnings growth is the more significant of the two results, as it risks causing a wage squeeze for UK households in the coming months.

With incomes under pressure, UK consumers could be less inclined to spend which may ultimately translate to slower retail sector growth.

The GBP/USD exchange rate could drop if slowing wage growth is reported, given the negative implications of such news.


Crude Oil Price Surges on Iran Sanctions, Gulf of Mexico Fears

By Nick Cawley

The price of US crude oil jumped by nearly 1.5% to $84.78/bbl. in early trade on a one-two of nearing Iran sanctions and production shutdowns in the Gulf of Mexico due to Hurricane Michael. Data also pointed to Iran oil reserves being run down ahead of sanctions which is likely to underpin prices in the weeks ahead. Although US sanctions against Iran begin on November 5, the US State Department is reportedly looking at reduction waivers for individual countries – with India cited – to give them more time to replace oil imports from Iran.

Another production headwind helping to boost prices, Hurricane Michael, is expected to hit the Gulf of Mexico region Tuesday, threatening nearly 300 miles of the Gulf coast. Oil operators continue to close ahead of the hurricane with around 20% of oil production affected.


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