Brexit debacle does nothing to stem flow of foreign investment into UK, with regional cities emerging on top

Brexit debacle does nothing to stem flow of foreign investment into UK, with regional cities emerging on top

United Kingdom World ,
  • Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan area among top 10 global cities for foreign direct investment (IBM)
  • West Midlands is only UK region to see both FDI projects and jobs created increase (Department for International Trade)
  • Pace of FDI shows confidence in UK’s resilience and importance of regional cities (Surrenden Invest)

As we inch ever closer to a no deal Brexit, it’s easy to imagine the rest of Europe enjoying a quiet laugh at the UK’s expense. However, investors around the world are standing up to be counted and showing that they are interested in the UK for the long term, irrespective of Brexit.

Two studies have recently highlighted the importance of the UK to the global investment community – specifically, the importance of the UK’s regional cities. IBM’s 2017 Global Location Trends report looked at the world’s top cities for foreign direct investment (FDI). The annual report compares metropolitan areas based on equal labour catchment areas, for a truer comparison. Using that methodology, the Manchester-Liverpool metropolitan area ranked tenth in the world for FDI, placing it in the league of cities such as London, Paris, Singapore, Amsterdam and Dubai. It beat the likes of Barcelona, Toronto and Dublin to make it to the tenth spot.

According to IBM, Manchester and Liverpool jointly pulled in the tenth highest number of FDI projects of any global city in 2017. In doing so, they created some 7,000 jobs.

“It’s brilliant to see Manchester and Liverpool rubbing shoulders with the world’s top cities. Both have undergone extensive regeneration over the past couple of decades, positioning themselves to compete globally at this level. Manchester has established itself as the UK’s creative and media hub, while Liverpool’s health and life science sectors, and digital manufacturing industry, are truly world-class.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

Foreign direct investment has not been limited to these sectors. Far from it. Both cities have enjoyed keen interest in their property sectors too, as the UK’s need for far more rental homes than it currently has available, has attracted overseas investors in their droves. Prime developments such as Manchester’s Ancoats Gardens, with its outstanding roof garden, vast 1,715 square foot gym and on-site coffee lounge, or the 139 high-spec homes at The Tannery in Liverpool, which are available from as little as £85,000, provide precisely the easy route into the UK property market that many foreign investors are seeking.

Further research by Foundation Home Loans has contributed to the sense of long-term security that investment in sectors such as buy-to-let in the UK brings with it. The company found that 18% of landlords plan to remain active in the sector indefinitely, versus just 6% who are considering exiting the buy-to-let market in the next year or two.

“What several of the latest research pieces are showing is that investors are looking to keep their money in the UK over the longer term, despite the continued blustering that we read daily about the Brexit debacle. Behind the scenes, investors are letting their funds speak for themselves.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

The second piece of research to flag up the importance of one of the UK’s regional markets is from the Department for International Trade. The study found that the West Midlands was the only region in the UK to experience a rise in both FDI projects and the number of jobs recorded compared with a year previously. These increased by 13% and 43% respectively.

At the core of the West Midlands, Birmingham is another regional city that is firmly on international (as well as domestic) investors’ maps. Again, the city’s property market in particular is charming investors from around the globe. Developments such as Westminster Works, in the city’s investment hotspot of Digbeth, offer a global standard of urban living that appeals to investors and tenants in equal measure.

“FDI in the UK is here to stay. The property market in particular has a compelling case for its long term viability. The UK can’t build houses fast enough to house its expanding population and is over a decade behind where it needs to be in terms of the number of homes. Coupled with a rise in the appeal of city centre living, this has created an excellent environment for investors from overseas who are looking to commit their funds to exciting regional cities.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest


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Property buyers flex their dollars as sterling approaches pre-Brexit levels

Property buyers flex their dollars as sterling approaches pre-Brexit levels

Turkey United Kingdom United States World
  • Pound passed $1.40 mark in February for first time since Brexit referendum (
  • Turkish property buyers benefitting from the pound’s rise against the dollar (Spot Blue)
  • US & Caribbean properties proving particularly hot right now (

Over the past month, the pound’s value against the dollar has edged significantly closer to pre-Brexit levels.

February saw a high of $1.42, while at the time of writing the pound’s value stands at $1.37 ( While it may not have returned to the heady $1.49 that it was on the day of the Brexit referendum, the pound’s steady climb is excellent news for anyone with an eye on an overseas property.

A British buyer with £100,000 to spend will today have a budget of $137,000. This time last year, they would have had just $122,000. A buyer whose £1 million a year ago would have given them $1,220,000 will now have $1,370,000 to play with. Naturally, buyers of US and Caribbean dollar properties are delighted, but it’s also great news for those buying closer to home.

Buyers purchasing homes in Turkey aren’t limited to conducting their transactions in lira or euros – they can also pay in dollars. Given the pound’s steady climb against the dollar, and its recent passing of the $1.40 mark for the first time since the Brexit referendum, this has opened up the Turkish market to British and international buyers looking to get maximum value from their overseas property purchase. In short, it’s a great time to buy. 

Julian Walker, MD, Spot Blue International Property

Award-winning Turkey property specialists Spot Blue are seeing sterling’s rise positively impact buyers of Turkish property in dollars at both ends of the price spectrum.

Turkish properties offer exceptional value at present; $151,206 is sufficient for a three-bedroom villa with communal pool just 7km from the coast. Meanwhile those with more to spend can enjoy serious luxury, with this six-bedroom, five-bathroom ultra-contemporary eco villa with private pool, priced at just $2,214,927.

The Turkish property market certainly seems to be benefitting. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, sales there increased by 1.7% in January 2018 when compared to January 2017.

The more traditional dollar-purchase locations of the US and the Caribbean also now offer British buyers more for their money. A spacious three-bedroom apartment in Orlando, with huge communal pool and landscaped gardens can be snapped up for just $134,900 through Over in Barbados, a lavish three-bedroom villa with sun terrace, private pool and garden costs just $850,000.

It’s a fantastic time for those interested in US property to see how far their pounds will stretch at the moment. The ups and downs of the Brexit process are far from over, but we’ve seen a steady increase in the pound’s value against the dollar over the past year, which has put British buyers in a much stronger position and made US and Caribbean properties far more appealing in terms of their price tags. 

Julian Walker, MD, Spot Blue International Property 

For further information about buying or selling property in Turkey, the US and the Caribbean please contact: 

Spot Blue International Property

Tel: +44 (0)20 8339 6036    


Website: and


Notes to Editors:

Spot Blue International Property is one of the UK’s leading Turkish property agencies, with hundreds of properties regularly listed and updated on its website, As well as helping developers promote their projects to the UK and other foreign markets, features properties for sale by private individuals. Spot Blue only promotes property of developers that pass its due diligence assessment. It also specialises in matching buyers with suitable properties and operates in all major resorts in Turkey. The company’s high profile in the UK means it is regularly quoted in the national press and invited to appear on panels at leading seminars and exhibitions. is owned by Spot Blue International Property, one of the UK’s leading international property specialists that markets hundreds of properties around the world across its portfolio of websites, which includes Turkish property site As well as helping developers promote their projects to the UK and other foreign markets, features properties for sale by private individuals. Spot Blue International Property only promotes property of developers that pass its due diligence assessment. The company’s high profile in the UK means it is regularly quoted in the national press and invited to appear on panels at leading seminars and exhibitions.

Crazy for Cryptos? Should traders still be by bowled over Bitcoin?

Crazy for Cryptos? Should traders still be by bowled over Bitcoin?


easyMarkets Head of Risk Management, Evdokia Pitsillidou, speaks about the cryptocurrency phenomena taking the world by storm.


With Bitcoin’s incredible run in 2017 which clearly caught the imagination of the market, have you ever seen cryptocurrencies being traded as much as major currency pairs like the EUR/USD?

It is true that the incredible rally of the cryptocurrencies attracted the attention of investors around the globe. We have experienced unbelievable demand for Bitcoin and there may be a strong probability that the trend will continue. It was an outstanding year for the crypto market until the end of 2017, however, I believe that traditional markets can withstand whatever happens.

What do you see as the advantages of trading cryptocurrencies as a CFD over buying the actual cryptocurrency?

The major advantage of trading cryptocurrencies as a CFD is you can easily trade the upside (buy) and the downside (sell) of the price, whereas when you trade the physical cryptocurrencies you can only benefit from the upside. Trading with easyMarkets, you can have fixed spreads, guaranteed stop loss and take profit, no slippage and no commissions on withdrawals.

Clearly Bitcoin is the most talked about cryptocurrency but can you see Ethereal and Ripple becoming as big?

As investors gain more confidence in the main cryptocurrency ‘Bitcoin’, I believe that other cryptocurrencies will follow and likely surpass it. It seems that Ethereum and Ripple might be the next that are gaining significant market capitalization.

Why do you think so few traders out there taking advantage of shorting cryptocurrencies when they are falling?

I believe that it is more of a psychological reaction for investors to sell (short) any asset. However, it has been observed that our clients are trading both directions, as this is the benefit of trading a CFD.

In your career in Risk Management have you ever seen any instrument behave the way cryptos did? What did you think the first time it broke through the historical 9,000 high?

I have seen a lot of interesting events in my career in Risk Management. Some of the highlights where the SNB ‘black swan’ event in January 2015, Brexit June 2016 and US elections November 2016, adding to this basket of events the thrill of watching the ‘Bitcoin’ rally, it was astounding. I recall Bitcoin trading at 6,000 at the end of October 2017 and the whole world discussing that it had reached its high, then it went on to reach even higher at 9,000, on the 26th of November 2017. Every day since then, we were experiencing new higher highs until it reached its highest of highs at 20,000, on the 17th of December 2017. The daily swings of the cryptocurrencies are very interesting and it seems that the financial world has a new basket of currencies, the so-called ‘Cryptocurrencies’.  


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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).
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, email 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, email 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 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, email 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


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 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, email 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).