Why You Might Fall in Love with CFD’s

Why You Might Fall in Love with CFD’s


Author Soteris Phoraris of easyMarkets

Yes, its Valentine’s Day and there are many different types of love – the love between a person and their car, the love between two people and the love you will have for CFDs after you read this article!

Why am I so confident about this fledging romance, like a financial markets cupid? Let’s find out.

Up? Down? Who cares?!

CFDs are financial products that follow the price of an asset. The good thing is that it allows you to follow it both when it’s going up and when it’s going down.

It’s understandable that most people forget that they can still have a positive outcome even when the markets are dropping with CFD’s. I mean the media doesn’t help, here are some recent market headlines courtesy of Bloomberg and Reuters:

“U.S. Stock Rally Falters as Yen Leads Haven Gains: Markets Wrap”

“Volatility Doesn’t Come Without Economic Consequences”

“Global Stock Recovery Falters”

They don’t really inspire you to say, “let’s go to the markets!” but the thing is that every movement, positive and negative, can be used with CFDs.

You can “short” CFD’s which essentially means you expect the asset to drop or continue dropping. This also known as selling a CFD. “Buying” the CFD mean you expect it to increase in price from the point you purchased the asset.

With a CFD you can sell high and the exit low, which will work just like the infamous adage, buying low and selling high. Ignore the jargon – in both scenarios that’s what you wan

Love is in the air

And that is why CFD’s deserve your affections. Stop look affectionately and all starry eyed at Bitcoin’s crazy bull run, its less attractive sibling Bitcoin’s downtrend can be just as appealing.

With the right kind of strategy, going short can be immensely satisfying. So, feel free to open a bottle of wine, put your favorite sweat-suit on and go short on your favorite instrument. It might be non-traditional but what can we say, love works in mysterious ways!

And so do the markets, so remember no matter what type of trading strategy you choose, always protect yourself, with the risk management tools available such as stop loss and price notifications.

Just another little piece of advice, although volatile markets are seductive, they remain well… volatile meaning they could turn on you at any minute. This Valentine’s Day remember to trade like you love – responsibly.

For further details, visit www.easymarkets.com, email pr@easymarkets.com or call +44 203 1500 748.


Risk warning: Forward Rate Agreements, Options and CFDs (OTC Trading) are leveraged products that carry a substantial risk of loss up to your invested capital and may not be suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you understand fully the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Our group of companies through its subsidiaries is licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (Easy Forex Trading Ltd- CySEC, License Number 079/07), which has been passported in the European Union through the MiFID Directive and in Australia by ASIC (Easy Markets Pty Ltd -AFS license No. 246566).

Is the market right to be losing its head with the recent Stock market collapse?

Is the market right to be losing its head with the recent Stock market collapse?


By James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist

It was coming.   For many months you heard the cries that a stock market crash was on its way and yet these words of caution were drowned out by headlines of equities hitting new all-time highs.

Bitcoin was another one.  As much as a record breaking year 2017 was for the infamous cryptocurrency, there was still those out there who were quoting the words “tulipmania” in connection with it but yet the believers ignored it.  Now in many ways you can hear the naysayers exclaiming loudly “I told you so”.

But we have talked so much about bitcoin over the last 12 months, so let’s have a look at the stock market and question if we are witnessing just a mere sell off or the beginning of a full blown market correction?

This is the end? My only friend the end?

Firstly, let’s look at some numbers that have happened over the last couple of trading sessions.

The catalyst for the stock market’s recent collapse was the Friday US job report which sent a shock to the system.  Non-farm payroll came in at an impressive number of 200K jobs created but it was the unexpected average earnings increase which came in at 0.3% versus 0.2% as expected that started the sudden sell off in the stock market.

It continued on Monday 5th February with the DOW Jones crashing by 4.6%, which is its worst plunge in a single day ever.  The S&P 500 followed suit dropping 4.1% and the rot also spread into Europe and Asia with the FTSE closing Monday at the lowest level since April 2017 and Japan’s Nikkei225 closing -4.7%.

Tuesday 6th February brought further losses for the DOW and the SP500 but come Wednesday 7th buy orders kicked in and the stock market mounted a minor recovery.

Should the market now start to panic or is everyone just over reacting?  Let’s look at this way.  At the current time of writing both the SP500 and the Dow Jones are trading around the levels they were trading at back in November 2017.  That’s just two months ago, so should we really all be running to the exits?

It’s not the levels, it’s trading that is causing concern, it’s the how quickly this sell off has occurred and that one word every trader knows, the volatility.

Over the last couple of years, the market has been fairly calm.  The markets have risen nice and steadily and in a very civilized manner. You can see this in the behavior of the VIX, the volatility index also known as the “fear index”, which has been very low over the last several years and has particularly been stuck in a range, just plodding along.  That was until Friday where it broke through the range and skyrocketed to levels not seen since 2015.

Though currently it has fallen back down slightly, it’s how quickly the move higher happened that potentially indicates that volatility is well and truly back.

Why is this happening now?

As a sense of amazement gripped a nation and the world in November 2016 as Donald Trump beat the incredible odds and won the US Presidential election, the stock market also went into a sense of awe and skyrocketed on optimism of potential future tax cuts that Trump had pledged would occur with him residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

2017 saw those tax cuts and the stock market continued to rally throughout that year and into January this year.  But what was considered a blessing for the markets is now causing concern as there is fear that these cuts could also increase inflation.

Friday’s surprise increase in wage growth has planted these thoughts deeper into the mind of the market and if inflation does indeed start to rise the FED might be forced to act.

Now it was widely expected for the FED to indeed raise rates again this year, however as there are signs that the US economy is growing faster than expected, the worry is the Federal Reserve will be prompted to be more aggressive with their rate hikes.

The end of the bull run?

It has been an incredible run and of course it had to come to an end at some point.  The era of low interest rates is over, which will result in less borrowing for businesses and higher bond yields which will make them an attractive alternative to investors who want to move away from stocks.  There is a real feeling that we will see rate increases in the US (and now the UK too) at a lot faster pace which you can also see with lower gold prices, which should be enjoying a ride higher as a safe haven but it’s not because of this belief in higher interest rates.

Combine that with the return of volatility then a potential correction and further losses is really at play.

How bad can it get? 

As it stands the global economy is healthy unlike it was back in 2009 when we saw the DOW lose more than 50% of market value, so fundamentally speaking this fall back could be more controlled.

However, with years of low interest rates and borrowing how much have stocks been overvalued? And when the new reality sets in, how healthy, with debt still extremely high, is the actual global economy?

Wherever the market is destined to go to, there are certainly indications that the bears can smell blood.

Will 2018 finally see Gold’s shine return?

Will 2018 finally see Gold’s shine return?

World ,

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets

It’s that time of the year again when many analysts chuck their hat into the ring and try to predict the next 12 months.

You can hear it already, the shouts of what is the new bitcoin, whether the GBP will hold its own despite the ongoing Brexit drama and when the Stock market bull run will finally stop.

For me, I am going talk about an old favorite of mine and that is gold.

Gold and I have a pretty close relationship.  In fact, when I first started out in this industry, Gold options were the first asset I got involved with and I can remember it trading around $684 oz. It was at the dawn of the financial crisis and my firm at the time was predicting gold to skyrocket $1000 OZ.  And I remember the excitement that filled our office in August 2008 when it finally breached that level.  Ok, it then fell back a little but after the financial crisis took hold it carried on its bull run hitting its peak of around $1920oz in September 2011.   After that the next 4 years saw it free fall hitting a low of $1042 in December 2015.

Since then Gold has been stuck in a range, trading between $1375oz and $1124oz.   Now will 2018 be the year for Gold to finally break through that range?

Three weeks into the start of the year have seen a fairly bullish rally, however historically speaking January has often been a good month for the yellow metal, but this January it has hit a 17 month high of $1365 oz on 25th January. So is there good reason for gold bulls to start getting excited?


The size of the bull run so far is no greater than previous January bull runs.  So far this month Gold has moved higher by around $50 and at the time of writing it is currently trading around $1358.32.

The past two January’s have seen similar moves, with it opening in January 2017 at $1144.81oz and closing the month out at around $1208 oz with January 2016 being slightly more impressive with its open price at $1057oz and the close at around $1119.15oz.  So really the movement at present is nothing for the bulls to shout about.

As well that Gold’s jet propulsion skyward actually started around the December 20th, when it posted gains for eleven sessions in a row till gains being pared on January 5th.  So really is this January’s 17 month high really cause to celebrate?

Greenback falling flat on its face

Now there is something which can fuel the bull’s enthusiasm for gold to return to its dizzy heights and that is the US Dollar’s recent collapse against the majors which can visibly been seen with the Dollar index trading at the lowest level since January 2014.

As every gold trader knows a weaker dollar often results in higher gold prices due to their ongoing love/hate relationship.  In fact, USDs dramatic decline this year has seen other currency pairs hit levels not seen for nearly 4 years with the likes Euro/USD at the time of writing trading at $1.2462.  With the ECB along with BOI toying with the idea of cutting back on monetary stimulus and the UK economy showing signs of being stable and the hope that a Brexit deal will be made, there are clear reasons why the USD is struggling against the majors but eventually this will surely turn around especially with the FED likely to raise rates again this year.

However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s address to reporters in Davos on Wednesday 24th January sparked the markets to life as he mentioned that “a weaker dollar is good for trade” though he later tried to backtrack.  The fact that a US Treasury secretary is actually embracing a weaker greenback is surprising traders with the long standing rhetoric of previous US Treasury Secretaries have favored a stronger greenback.

Now no one can say for sure what’s a weaker USD but with recent trades tariff’s imposed upon South Korea and China, the concerns of a potential trade war are very much alive and a weaker USD would play a key part in winning any sort of trade war.

How about the stock market?

The stock market is still very much enjoying its bull run with the SP500 and Dow Jones both hitting all-time highs.  Now so many speculators out there have said that eventually we will experience a crash and at some point we must, but no one has really said when they believe this will finally occur.  A weaker USD can certainly help the bull run to keep going, however if we do end up having a full blown trade war that will not help the stock market at all.

With the stock market still enjoying its record highs so far this year it hasn’t stopped Gold which is of course a safe haven and really should only benefit when times are bad from hitting the before mentioned 17 months high.  So could it also be a case that there are those big hitters out there moving into gold preparing for the eventual crash?

One method of trying to read market sentiment is by looking at the last COT report which was published on 16Th January, which shows that the merchants are hedging themselves with 212,879 short positions in gold where the speculators have 227,373 long positions in gold, hinting at a potential overall bullish tone.

Where could Gold possibly go?

Now I have read wild claims that some believe we could see the yellow metal rise to its all-time highs once again. But to be fair, back in 2011 when we hit an all-time high of $1920 we were still feeling the aftershocks of the financial crisis and witnessing unrest with the Arab Spring.  Currently we are seeing economic revival across the globe and despite the occasional spat between North Korea and US, thankfully not so much potential conflict.

The other matter which weighs on my mind is that even though the USD is suffering massively, GOLD has yet to pass the key level of $1400oz, but instead at the time of writing still unable to break through the $1375 level.

However, due to the points I have made about the USD weakness, the threat of a trade war and the anticipation that we might see the stock market finally experience a correction I can see gold push above the $1400 level at some point and depending on how it may react to more rate hikes this year from the FED, I can also see the possibility of it approaching the $1500 level before the year is out.

For further details, visit www.easymarkets.com, email pr@easymarkets.com or call +44 203 1500 748.


Risk warning: Forward Rate Agreements, Options and CFDs (OTC Trading) are leveraged products that carry a substantial risk of loss up to your invested capital and may not be suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you understand fully the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Our group of companies through its subsidiaries is licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (Easy Forex Trading Ltd- CySEC, License Number 079/07), which has been passported in the European Union through the MiFID Directive and in Australia by ASIC (Easy Markets Pty Ltd -AFS license No. 246566).

CES 2018 – How will new technologies affect markets?

CES 2018 – How will new technologies affect markets?


Author: Soteris Phoraris

Market Commentator for easyMarkets

We frequently hear the idiom “The future is now!” especially in the age on the cusp of artificial intelligence, autonomous robotics, nanotechnology, mass adaptation of alternative energy and genetic medicine. We undeniably live in a very technologically exciting era and these breakthroughs definitely have the potential to completely change the way the world fundamentally works.

In honor of CES 2018 (Consumer Electronics Show) which just finished, I thought I’d take the time to look at technology with a different scope. I thought I’d consider the question most traders would ask when faced with change on a large scale: “how will this affect the markets?”

Well let’s take a look at how the markets were affected by significant technological advances in the past, what survived, what went up in smoke because of them and ultimately try to see what could be affected by the latest technological break-throughs.

History: Coal vs. Oil

The first type of energy source humanity had at its disposal was itself, I know that sounds redundant, but muscle power was the first type of locomotion – which I hear is really tiring. Luckily, we domesticated animals, found that the black rock stuff underground could be burned to create tons (joules actually) of energy and that the black goop erupting from underground could create even more. During the industrial revolution around the beginning of the 20th century, coal was the go to fuel and there were millionaires made because of it. Name any disgustingly wealthy family that existed before and during the industrial revolution and I can guarantee they had a hand in coal – Rockefellers? Rothschilds? Yes, as recently as the 2000s.

Still to this day coal mining is a vital form of income and source of employment for certain locations around the world – much of a certain person’s campaign (which shall remain anonymous) was based on the preservation of so-called “coal belt” jobs in lieu of an international environmental preservation pact – but I digress. Eventually oil came to replace coal as a primary energy source, due to its transportability, availability – but the true catalyst (!) for the mass adaptation of oil over coal was the internal combustion engine. The ease of having a liquid tank and a self-feeding engine instead of constantly having to shovel coal into a steam-engine helped this fuel-source immensely.

Although most people heavily invested in coal reinvested in oil, the shift did cost jobs within the industry, but new industries emerged covering the need for skilled or semi-skilled labor.

We have seen multiple technologies which could replace fossil fuels although none have proven to be as efficient or economic as their globe destroying counterparts. Hydrogen fueled cars seemed like a solid competitor, but the need for specialized infrastructure and their inability to compete autonomy-wise with gasoline driven cars has greatly stifled its popularity and mass adaptation. If a fuel type emerges or is optimized to be more efficient, more affordable and ultimately more convenient, then we might see both oil and coal go the way of the Dodo.

Electronics – Gold Fever

Although gold is still primarily used for jewelry, 10 -12% (depending on the source) of the world’s gold supply goes to the production of technology. The reason that percentage isn’t higher is probably due to the fact that a third of the gold used in new technology is actually recycled. Of course, we know gold is finite whereas technology continually evolves, thus the demand for gold is constantly increasing. For example, Mathew Neurock and Robert J. Davis of the University of Virginia have found a method using gold, to create “bio-renewable chemicals” that could replace petroleum based ones.

Of course, even gold’s use in tech might be reversed, with new material innovations such as graphene, which is promising to completely redefine circuit paradigms of today. This statement is going to seem superlative – but graphene is the most conductive material in the world, it is stretchable (which flexible circuits have been the holy grail of the tech industry for decades), 200 times stronger than steel and one of the thinnest materials known to humanity. It’s also impermeable, meaning it can create a protective, conductive but still stretchable protective layer over, well theoretically anything. Imagine a housing that is also the circuitry and battery of a smart-phone.

Yes, yes ‘how will this affect the markets?’. Currently, producing graphene is prohibitively expensive – the company or institution that manages to find a cost-efficient way to produce this hyper-material, and the foresight to patent it, it will at least initially, dominate the market – like DOW chemicals and Teflon, Westinghouse with alternating current infrastructure and Tesla with electric cars – on that note…

Autonomous cars everywhere

It seems that this year’s CES was dominated by self-driving cars, with a few other alternative fueled non-non-driverless cars (drivable?) including Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell car and Chinese manufacture’s first foray into electric cars – Byton.

Honda seemed to be the break-away autonomous vehicle producer, with two offerings, the awkwardly named 3E-D18 which looks like a futuristic four-wheel off-road vehicle which is a platform for various tools depending on the application from agriculture to bomb-disposal. Honda also introduced its NeuV which is slated as a “ride sharing” vehicle. Beyond the most evident shift these vehicles create (most are electric instead of using fossil fuels) something which can practically redefine the automotive industry: some analyst believe that autonomous vehicles will make car ownership a thing of the past – creating a model like bike-sharing, with the difference that you will not need to go to the “sharing” terminal, but the vehicle will come pick you up.

Companies such as Uber and Lyft will need to adapt to this technology and already have to a certain extent, Lyft has permission to test self-driving cars in California and Uber is testing autonomous cars in Toronto. Uber is taking it a step further by working with NASA to introduce autonomous air-taxis by the 2028 Olympics in L.A. pushing the world one step closer to the worlds seen in Blade Runner and the 5th Element. OK maybe even Demolition Man, which lets hope doesn’t feature Wesley Snipes with a bleached flattop – just the self-driving cars.

Smart Homes

As we saw from CES 2018, companies want to make your dumb home smarter. The usual suspects Amazon and Google presented their respective smart home tools, but less traditional tech proposals by the likes of Kohler with voice-controlled shower, that can be programmed to play the music you want and the lighting you prefer when getting squeaky clean. Another addition is an Alexa “powered” mirror and a toilet that would make a luxury car blush in inadequacy – it has feet warmers, a heated seat, mood lighting (I wonder if you can make your bathroom look like an EDM music festival if you combine it with the smart-shower), music and a bidet. Toilet talk aside though, there was a myriad of smart home devices, remotes, hubs and even robotic companions that function as smart home remotes.

So how is all this relative to markets and traders? Smart tech, great you say, we’ve seen it flounder and fail for half a decade (or more anyone remember the Palm Pilot?) – but don’t look at the tech, look at the companies and how many are investing in this.

The industry generally responses to the request of consumers, they want smartphones? WE’LL GIVE THEM SMART EVERYTHING. That might be hyperbole but shows like CES can reveal industry trends – helping you discern which companies are riding the wave of innovation and which are just resting on their laurels (or even worse, brand name).

You can also see general industry trends revealed, for example techradar.com noticed a significant lack of cameras at the show, but as mentioned above the show was inundated by smart home devices. Another bit of industry news revealed was the fact that Huawei was dropped from a partnership with AT&T, but has established strong retail relationships with the likes of Amazon, Newegg, Microsoft Store and Best Buy – which still makes the launch of its flagship device State-side viable.

This kind of news may seem insignificant but we’ve seen company stocks fluctuate wildly because of industry news and trends. Just look at how Apple’s stock spikes before each major release announcement and then corrects to normal levels or drops lower than before depending on consumer reaction and response. During Samsung’s Note 7 battery overheating and exploding troubles – which ultimately caused the company to recall the entire run of the device a few months after its release – extreme example I know – but just on the report of batteries failing and turning pockets around the world into impromptu fireworks shows, pushed Samsung market value down by an astounding $7 billion. This was before the company even admitted that the device had problems, saying that quality control issues where causing shipping delays.

News is important and if investors are listening in to Central Bank officials’ speeches for hints, even if the speech in question isn’t even related to the Bank’s policy-making, why not look to other sources too. The news is out there – you just have to be creative how to find it.


For further details, visit www.easymarkets.com, email pr@easymarkets.com or call +44 203 1500 748.


Risk warning: Forward Rate Agreements, Options and CFDs (OTC Trading) are leveraged products that carry a substantial risk of loss up to your invested capital and may not be suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you understand fully the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Our group of companies through its subsidiaries is licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (Easy Forex Trading Ltd- CySEC, License Number 079/07), which has been passported in the European Union through the MiFID Directive and in Australia by ASIC (Easy Markets Pty Ltd -AFS license No. 246566).

Bitcoin Traders Can Now Trade on Lows AND Highs!

Bitcoin Traders Can Now Trade on Lows AND Highs!

  • Traders shorting Bitcoin with CFDs now have an investment option for when they anticipate the value of the currency going down (AxiTrader)   
  • Spread Betting CFDs provide a way for many traders to reduce or eliminate tax on profits (AxiTrader)
  • New ways of trading Bitcoin reduce the stress of keeping the currency safe in digital wallets (AxiTrader)

Bitcoin trading has truly hit the mainstream, with a constant flow of news stories and global coverage. Dinner-table conversations about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency were widespread and lively for many families over the recent holiday season.

Many of those chats clearly resulted in people choosing to get involved with cryptocurrency for the first time. This is something demonstrated by the fact that several crypto exchanges are struggling with verifying a backlog of new members, with some even temporarily blocking new sign-ups as reported in Business Insider.

Bitcoin traders old and new no longer only have the option of buying Bitcoin and hoping its value increases. New trading instruments for Bitcoin, such as CFDs (Contracts for Difference), well established in more traditional trading markets, are now emerging on the cryptocurrency scene, providing traders with more ways of getting involved, and new methods of making their investments.

“CFDs allow traders to trade based on the value of Bitcoin going down, as well it going up.”

 Sanjeev Joshi, Head of UK , AxiTrader


Plenty of the people entering the crypto marketplace for the first time are intimidated by the complexity of coin exchanges, transfer fees and digital wallets. Trading Bitcoin using CFDs eliminates much of this complexity, because the trader isn’t required to “own” the digital coin and be responsible for its safe electronic storage.

While some crypto traders attempt to make money when cyptocurrencies like Bitcoin fall in value (by selling at a perceived high and buying back in at a lower value), these strategies are increasingly thwarted by long transaction times and congestion on Bitcoin’s blockchain network. CFDs introduce a legitimate way to properly “short” the currency.

“Trading Bitcoin with a fully regulated global brokerage is an attractive alternative to learning the intricacies of how cryptocurrency exchanges – and coping with increasingly frequent delays and downtime.”

Sanjeev Joshi, Head of UK , AxiTrader


Trading Bitcoin via CFDs also allows traders additional leverage and profit potential. It’s possible to use 10:1 leveraging and trade ten times more Bitcoin than with physical trading. While leverage can be a great tool to multiply returns, it can also work against traders by multiplying losses. The volatile nature of cryptocurrency makes it all the more important for investors to be aware that leverage is a double-edged sword.

The best part for many traders is the tax implication, especially as many individuals begin to discover the realities of capital gains tax in the wake of celebrating their profits. In some countries, CFDs are treated differently from physical trading, resulting in serious savings. Financial advisors can advise on tax laws in individual jurisdictions.

For the many people seeing real financial gain due to Bitcoin trading, the opportunity to hold on to an additional 20% (or more) of the money they make will be the icing on the cake.

“With no GST tax in Australia on Bitcoin CFD earnings, and no capital gains tax on spread betting in the UK, a great many people can keep far more Bitcoin profit by trading with CFDs.”

 Sanjeev Joshi, Head of UK , AxiTrader


For further information, visit www.axitrader.com


Investing in over-the-counter derivatives carries significant risks and is not suitable for all investors. You could lose substantially more than your initial investment. When acquiring our derivative products you have no entitlement, right or obligation to the underlying financial asset. AxiCorp is not a financial adviser and all services are provided on an execution only basis.

2018 property investment market to be “harder but more rewarding,” experts reveal

2018 property investment market to be “harder but more rewarding,” experts reveal

  • Property Frontiers flags up reduction in low risk returns in emerging markets
  • Investors will need to think laterally when it comes to profiting from UK and US cities
  • Dark tourism, pockets of growth in Asia-Pacific and hidden European locations all set to deliver in 2018

With 2018 fast approaching, it’s the perfect time for a detailed and well analysed look at what the future is likely to hold for the residential property investment sector. As such, the property investment experts at Property Frontiers have looked ahead to what the next 12 months are likely to hold.

“2018 is going to be an interesting year for property investment. Investors are facing a less bountiful environment, with plentiful, low risk returns in emerging markets drying up to a certain extent. What remains is a harder investment environment, but one that is potentially more rewarding. 2018 is likely to be a year that fortune favours the brave. A flexible strategy, open mind and hard-working property investment company will be the keys to success in the year ahead.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers


In the UK and the US, it’s time to head off the beaten track in search of up-and-coming towns and cities that investors have barely heard of. These hidden pockets of growth will unlock the secret to healthy returns, while sheltering investors from oversupply in larger cities. Bradford, Doncaster, Exeter and Halifax are all strong contenders in the UK, while in the US it is locations like Pittsburgh, PA, Columbus and Cincinnati in Ohio and Seattle, WA that are most likely to offer some exciting opportunities. Perennially popular tourist areas such as Florida and the Caribbean also look set to fare well, with places affected by 2017’s severe hurricane season potentially offering incentives to investors, as construction companies step up with innovative weatherproof offerings.

Looking to Europe, the 2018 investment picture offers a range of opportunities. Mainstream city markets look stable but not overly exciting, with the exception perhaps of Berlin, Madrid and Amsterdam, which all look set to soar. Leeuwarden in the Netherlands should do well in 2018, thanks to its forthcoming European Capital of Culture designation, while Hamburg and Frankfurt in Germany are also worth a hard look. Sweden’s housing market seems poised for stagnation, though the office market in Stockholm could make for some exciting opportunities. Over in Portugal, the city of Porto is drawing investors’ interest away from Lisbon, while the golden visa schemes there and in Cyprus should continue to pull in plenty of investments.

 “Asia-Pacific is looking particularly exciting for 2018, with Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand all looking strong. Japan is also a market to watch very carefully. Growth may be low to middling at present, but with property there 18% undervalued relative to rents, there could be some exciting catch-up growth over a relatively short period. Mongolia is also one to keep an eye on, with projected economic growth of 8% per annum (according to APIP) and some strong foundations for sustainable growth.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers


In Africa, the longer-term gains are key to investment success. The continents’ population is set to double to 2.5 billion by 2050, creating one of the biggest housing challenges/opportunities that the world has ever experienced. The political situation in Zimbabwe is one to watch carefully, while peaceful Ghana, economically powerful and urbanising Tanzania, the dynamic and fast-growing Ivory Coast and stable and culturally-rich Morocco are all likely to present interesting longer-term opportunities.

Over in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is the one to watch. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is making a name for himself with bold, modernising gestures. The launch of the hugely ambitious Neom, a revolutionary robot-serviced desert utopia backed by $5bn of Saudi cash, is a great example. On a more fundamental level, with women set to be allowed to drive by June (hopefully), the impact on the Saudi property market could be significant. Suburban living will be unlocked to countless previously city-confined families, reshaping the market (and society) in many healthy ways.

“The final mention for 2018 predictions is a nod to dark tourism. Chernobyl’s exclusion zone has seen a 411% rise in visitor numbers since 2009, while Iraq is expected to receive 1,136,000 international tourist arrivals over the course of 2017. Those arrival numbers are expected to more than double over the next decade, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, creating some exciting investment opportunities thanks to the sector’s rapid rate of growth.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers


All in all, 2018 looks set to be an interesting year indeed for those with a nose for high yielding property investment opportunities around the world!

For more information, contact Property Frontiers by visiting www.propertyfrontiers.com or calling +44 1865 202 700.

The Santa rally – will Christmas bring even more gifts for Bitcoin traders?

The Santa rally – will Christmas bring even more gifts for Bitcoin traders?

  • December is traditionally one of the best months of the year for shares (Stock Market Almanac)
  • 2015 and 2016 both saw Bitcoin increase in value during December (easyMarkets)
  • CBOE and CME bitcoin future contracts may already have been priced in (easyMarkets)

Not unlike its name sake, there are those who believe in the Santa rally and those who don’t.  The supposed “Santa rally” tends to occur in the last week of December, when the market can see a sudden surge in stock prices. Many have tried to explain this burst of activity in the market. Some put it down to the general cheer of the season, others say its down to tax considerations and individuals investing their Christmas bonuses.

Is the Santa rally real?  Well, Wall Street certainly hopes that people believe it is. However, while many traders believe it to be true, there are others who think it’s just a myth and that it’s just another saying in line with the infamous “Sell in May and go away.”

However, according Stock Market Almanac, December is one of the best months of the year for shares, with the FTSE in particular rising 74% of the time in December since 1970.

Of course, as any analyst worth their weight in gold (which isn’t much these days – have you seen gold prices lately?) would tell you, past performance never guarantees future results.

“When it comes to cryptocurrencies, the question is not only whether you believe in the Santa rally, but also whether it’s something that may have come early this year for those who trade bitcoin. On 1 December, Bitcoin was around $9,867 per coin. At the time of writing, it’s at an incredible $16,526, which is an increase of more than 40%. It certainly looks like Santa has come early this year for Bitcoin traders.”

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets


While Bitcoin is far too young really to give any hint of a potential Santa rally effect, those looking back to December 2015 will recall that it started the month at around $360 per coin and closed the month out at $418 per coin. It did something similar last December too, opening the month at $725.40 and starting January at $955.90 per coin. On the flip side of the coin (pun intended) you could look back at the end of 2013. In November of that year it went on its first impressive bull run, hitting $1,087, only for it to collapse in December to a low of $384 before closing the month out at $670 due to Chinese regulators’ intervention.

Many are saying this latest bull run is due to the fact that both the CBOE and the CME are launching their bitcoin future contracts. CBOE went live on 10 December, with CME due to follow on 17 December. The fact that these two exchanges have accepted Bitcoin has given further evidence that legitimizing Bitcoin as an investment could be just around the corner.

“When both exchanges go live with their Bitcoin future contracts, it could shower the Bitcoin market with more gifts, pushing it higher to close out a record breaking year. However, could the crypto market react in the same way as the forex market sometime does and “buy the rumour and sell the fact,” essentially dropping Bitcoin when this happens? Also, how will the Bitcoin market react with the opportunity for future traders to short their Bitcoin contracts on these exchanges?”

James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets


Nobody could really have predicted what has happened to Bitcoin in 2017. Only time will tell how it will bow the year out. However, December’s run so far is nothing short of spectacular.

It may well be that eventually this bubble will burst. The recent rush into the market has been by those looking to profit and not to use Bitcoin for what it was designed for. When the time comes to cash out, there may be issues with getting it exchanged back to a physical currency and maybe even with banks accepting the transfer.

For now, Bitcoin continues to enjoy its run. Let’s just hope for those bitcoin traders out there that when it comes to the final week of December, the crypto market isn’t overly stuffed on its own indulgence.


For further details, visit www.easymarkets.com, email pr@easymarkets.com or call +44 203 1500 748.


Risk warning: Forward Rate Agreements, Options and CFDs (OTC Trading) are leveraged products that carry a substantial risk of loss up to your invested capital and may not be suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you understand fully the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Our group of companies through its subsidiaries is licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (Easy Forex Trading Ltd- CySEC, License Number 079/07), which has been passported in the European Union through the MiFID Directive and in Australia by ASIC (Easy Markets Pty Ltd -AFS license No. 246566).

Resorts with altitude and easy access remain most sought-after in 2017-18 season

Resorts with altitude and easy access remain most sought-after in 2017-18 season

France United Kingdom World

Access, length of ski season and altitude should be key considerations of international investors choosing a resort for their perfect ski home this season, said new-build ski specialist Skiingproperty.com in October.


“The Savoie region in the French Alps, in particular, is home to established high altitude resorts with excellent skiing and easy access from the UK and Europe,” said Skiingproperty.com director Julian Walker. “These resorts include Tignes, Val d’Isère, Courchevel and Méribel. We also recommend Alpe d’Huez a little further south.”


Tignes Part of the Savoie department’s Espace Killy ski area, with its 300 kilometres of slopes reaching from 1,550m to 3,456m, Tignes is made up of four villages, each at different altitudes. The highest is Val Claret (2,300m), followed by the main village at Le Lac (2,100m) and further down are Tignes Les Boisses (or Tignes 1800) and Tignes Les Brévières. The Grande Motte glacier, which offers summer skiing, is accessed via Val Claret. Transfers to the resort from Geneva and Lyon are around two-and-a-half hours, or two hours from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has luxury chalets in Tignes available off-plan from €2.28million.


Val d’Isère

The other half of the Espace Killy ski area, the lively resort of Val d’Isère lies at an altitude of 1,850 metres. The resort is about to benefit from a major €200million regeneration project, which follows the opening last year of a €16-million two-year redevelopment of the Solaise area directly above the resort, which includes a new mid-mountain station at 2,500 metres. Transfers to the resort from Geneva and Lyon are around two-and-a-half hours, or two hours from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has luxury three-bedroom apartments in Val d’Isère available off-plan from €923,000.


Méribel Located in Savoie and part of the Les Trois Vallées ski area, the largest in the world, the heart of picturesque Méribel lies at 1,450 metres but its chalet developments rise up the side of the valley to 1,700 metres. There is also a satellite resort, Méribel-Mottaret at 1,750 metres. A favourite with British homeowners, skiers there can be on slopes at well over 2,000 metres in no time, from which they can link into Les Trois Vallées’ 600kms of slopes. Transfers to the resort from Geneva, Grenoble and Lyon are around two hours, or 75 minutes from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Méribel available from €1.09million.


Courchevel One of the Alps’ most upmarket resorts and also within Les Trois Vallées, Courchevel is a collection of linked villages at different altitudes. The main village and lift hub is Courchevel 1,850, named after its altitude. A little lower is Courchevel Moriond (1,650), then Courchevel Village (1,550) and then Courchevel Le Praz (1,300). Courchevel has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other resort in the French Alps and recently opened a £50-million water park. Transfers to the resort from Lyon and Geneva are around two hours, or 75 minutes from Chambéry. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Courchevel available from €776,000.


Alpe d’Huez Located in the Isère department, the resort of Alpe d’Huez sits at an altitude of 1,860 metres. Its 250 kilometres of slopes, which comprise France’s fifth largest ski area and include the longest black run in the Alps, range from 1,100 metres up to 3,330 metres. A long ski season, typically from early December until late April, is guaranteed thanks to the glacier there. The nearest airport at Grenoble is just 90 minutes’ drive away. Skiingproperty.com has off-plan apartments in Alpe d’Huez available from €315,000.



For further information or to enquire about properties in the French Alps:

Julian Walker



Email: info@skiingproperty.com

Website: www.skiingproperty.com


 About Skiingproperty.com

Skiingproperty.com, which is owned and operated by international property specialist Spot Blue International Property, works with developers in the French and Swiss Alps to promote new and off-plan developments to the UK and wider international market. Since its foundation in 2003, Spot Blue International Property has established itself as a leading international property specialist and is a member of the AIPP and NAEA. The company’s high profile in the UK and worldwide means it is regularly quoted in the national press and invited to appear on panels at leading seminars and exhibitions.


China celebrates its prosperity this Golden Week – but are Chinese investors doing the same?

China celebrates its prosperity this Golden Week – but are Chinese investors doing the same?

  • Half of China’s population is due to travel this week (China National Tourism Administration)
  • 57% of Chinese consumers plan to purchase property while overseas for Golden Week (Juwai)
  • Liverpool and Manchester set to benefit from Chinese investment (Properties of the World)
  • Golden Visas in Spain, Portugal and Turkey are drawing in Chinese investors (Spot Blue)


There was nothing subtle about the 17-metre fruit basket sculpture that adorned Tiananmen Square to mark China’s 68th National Day. Huge pomegranates, persimmons, apples, peonies and roses represented the country’s prosperity and strength as Golden Week got underway.

Occurring twice each year, Golden Week is a week-long national holiday that sees business in China grind to a halt as citizens enjoy a week of travelling, feasting and spending time with loved ones. Between 1 and 8 October, the China National Tourism Administration estimates that some 710 million Chinese citizens will be on the move, as a full half of the population makes the most of the holiday period.

While regular business operations all but cease during Golden Week, there are some areas, such as investment, where business booms over the course of the holiday. As this particular holiday coincides with China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, making an eight-day break instead of a seven-day one, the boon to companies and sectors that catch Chinese investors’ eye is expected to be even bigger than usual.

One sector to particularly benefit from Golden Week is the international property sector. According to a Juwai survey, 57% of its Chinese consumers have plans to purchase property while overseas this Golden Week.

 “With nearly half of China’s population on the move during Golden week, obviouslt business slows down.  This gives business owners and the higher end Chinese property buyers the perfect opportunity to visit a number of countries and seek out that ideal property investment. With a weaker sterling since the Brexit result in 2016, the UK will be one of such country being visited. Since June 2016 there has been an increase in Chinese interest in properties in the UK mainly due to the weaker GBP against the RMB. But the UK still remains behind the United States and Australia for countries of choice for Chinese buyers due to concern about what the future holds for the UK once it leaves the EU in 2019.

James Trescothick, Chief Global Strategist, easyMarkets


In terms of the UK, cities such as Manchester and Liverpool remain popular with Chinese investors and look to reap the benefits of the extended Golden Week.

 “With a whole week off for Golden Week, it’s an ideal time for Chinese buyers to scour the planet for enticing investment opportunities and Manchester has all the elements needed to be a big hit. 

“China is such a vast market and interest in UK property is increasing with each passing year. Projects like Herculaneum Quay in Liverpool, where construction is well underway, are particularly attractive as their looming completion dates mean that buy-to-let investors can already see their end goal.”

Jean Liggett, CEO, Properties of the World


Beyond the UK, it is another kind of gold that Chinese investors are seeking – namely, Golden Visas.

 “The introduction of the Golden Visa schemes in Portugal, Spain and Turkey have driven real interest from Chinese buyers. High net worths are particularly attracted to the offer of full residency in Western nations through these Golden Visas and we regularly receive a good number of enquiries for properties priced at €500,000 or more for just this reason. 

“In terms of locations, Chinese buyers still seem keen on prime locations such as Marbella and the Golden Mile on the Costa del Sol, Portugal’s capital Lisbon and cosmopolitan Istanbul in Turkey. Golden Week has traditionally been a busy time for us fielding enquiries from potential “fly and buy” Chinese buyers looking to view properties for sale whilst on their holiday travels.

Julian Walker, Director, Spot Blue International Property

With Golden Week well underway, investment companies of all kinds are dashing around, seeking to satisfy their Chinese investors’ demands over the holiday period, hoping to make this a golden week for the investment sector, as well as for China.


On the market during Golden Week:

Herculaneum Quay – luxury waterfront apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms, starting from £125,000. The development includes a swimming pool and roof garden. Circa 8% rental returns. (Available through Properties of the World.)

Beyoglu Apartments, Istanbul – three bedroom apartments costing from £1,001,940. These off plan apartments feature a communal indoor pool and fitness centre, plus private garden, just a five minute walk from Taksim Square. (Available through Spot Blue.)

River View Apartments, Lisbon – these one and two bedroom apartments offer views over the Tagus River in the sought after Chiado area of Lisbon. Priced from £620,092, the fully renovated apartments are due for delivery in the first quarter of 2018. (Available through Spot Blue.)

Benhavis Apartments, Malaga – priced from £646,484, these superb penthouse apartments come with a communal pool and landscaped gardens in one of the most exclusive areas of Benhavis. (Available through Spot Blue.)


For more information, please contact:

easyMarkets: +44 203 1500 748 or www.easymarkets.com

Properties of the World: +44 (0) 20 7624 5555 or www.propertiesoftheworld.co.uk

Spot Blue International Property: +44 (0) 208 339 6036 or www.spotblue.com


Risk warning: Forward Rate Agreements, Options and CFDs (OTC Trading) are leveraged products that carry a substantial risk of loss up to your invested capital and may not be suitable for everyone. Please ensure that you understand fully the risks involved and do not invest money you cannot afford to lose. Our group of companies through its subsidiaries is licensed by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (Easy Forex Trading Ltd- CySEC, License Number 079/07), which has been passported in the European Union through the MiFID Directive and in Australia by ASIC (Easy Markets Pty Ltd -AFS license No. 246566).

Property Frontiers reveals key global property market insights for Q3 2017

Property Frontiers reveals key global property market insights for Q3 2017

  • 89% of countries record positive house price change – highest level since financial crisis (Knight Frank)
  • Potential reworking of property taxes makes the Philippines one to watch
  • North Africa is fastest growing region for tourism, with visitor numbers up 17.8% (UN World Tourism Organization)

Global property markets are booming and clued up investors are facing a plethora of new opportunities.

Those are two of the key messages to come out of the latest Property Frontiers Global Market Roundup. The quarterly guide reveals insights into markets around the world, giving investors the intel they need to know where to look next.

“Global property markets are constantly shifting and keeping up with an entire planet’s worth of opportunities is no easy task. That’s why we’re constantly researching and reviewing data, to identify emerging trends and seek out the most promising areas for investment, no matter which country they may be in.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers

The Q3 2017 Global Market Roundup reports that the UK remains an attractive destination for property investors, with annual house price growth picking up to 5.1% in July. London’s residential market continues to decline though, with buy-to-let mortgage numbers half of what they were a year ago and just 37% of listings ending in a sale.

Elsewhere in Europe, Vienna, Zurich, Madrid, Berlin, and Amsterdam are all attracting significant capital when it comes to residential real estate investment.

With European regulators currently considering loosening solvency restrictions on real estate investments by the insurance industry, that capital flow could double to as much as €500bn in the near future.

At the very top of the list in Europe is Iceland. In fact, Iceland is currently the most profitable residential market in the world, with growth of 23.2% in the year to June.

“Europe is alive with opportunity right now. There’s something to suit every budget and risk appetite.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers

Over in the Asia-Pacific region, investment opportunities are equally interesting. The Philippines enjoyed economic expansion of 6.8% last year and a reworking of property taxes may well be on the horizon, making this a country to watch very carefully.

Meanwhile, residential investment levels in China are falling, as regulators introduce a raft of measures to stabilise runaway prices.

South Korea is also falling from favour, with investors instead opting for Hong Kong and India. The former reported the highest house price growth in Asia in the year to June, at 21.1% according to Knight Frank. The latter is enjoying five-year price appreciation of a staggering 69.7%.

The Americas present an equally mixed picture.

Canadian cities are falling from grace, with talk of the bubble deflating, if not bursting entirely. Foreign investors are flocking to the US instead, purchasing 49% more residential property by value this year than last, based on figures from the National Association of Realtors.

Latin America is also holding its own, with Argentina and Brazil both looking promising once more.

Finally, the Middle East and Africa is looking extremely interesting.

“Africa’s population is set to double by 2050. That projection is driving a massive need for housing across the continent and opportunities for investors are rife.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers

In Nigeria, the current housing shortage of 18 million units is widening every year, with urbanisation drawing an estimated 40,000 people per day to the country’s cities. The UN World Tourism Organization reports that North Africa was the fastest growing sub-region in the world in Q1 2017, with an increase of 17.8% in visitor numbers. Meanwhile, business confidence in the global hospitality industry has reached its highest level in a decade, opening up a plethora of new investment opportunities to those who like to stay ahead of the curve.

“Wherever you look, there are some outstanding property investment opportunities available right now, from residential accommodation to hotel rooms. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the sector.”

Ray Withers, CEO, Property Frontiers

For more information, contact Property Frontiers by visiting www.propertyfrontiers.com or calling +44 1865 202 700.