Trading Basics

  • How To Trade Lumber Futures

    The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) is the world's largest derivatives marketplace, offering the public a vast array of options and futures contracts. Several of the CME's featured products face the equity, debt, agricultural, energy and metal asset classes. Among these listings is a softwood industry staple known as random length lumber futures. What Are Lumber Futures? Lumber futures are financial derivatives that furnish participants with leveraged softwood market exposure. Hedgers…

  • Does Social Media Affect Financial Markets?

    Yes it does and the phenomenon is now more impactful than ever. We have seen numerous examples in 2021 of celebrity billionaires, retail chat forums and social media influencers affecting the performance of various financial instruments. As mobile trading apps have provided easier access to the markets than ever, we have seen a coming together of social media and financial markets and the formation of communities and influencers who can…

  • Automatic Stabilisers and Expansionary Fiscal Policy

    Governments utilise a mix of spending and taxation to meet economic objectives. This is typically referred to as fiscal policy and is used to affect the level of aggregate demand in an economy. Governments will also use fiscal policy to aid in with wealth distribution and to allocate resources to the various sectors of an economy. Fiscal policy may be expansionary or contractionary and depends on the goals and objectives…

  • Bank Stress Tests

    What Is A Bank Stress Test? Bank stress tests are administered by some of the world's major central banks to assess the ability of the largest commercial banks they oversee to withstand a major crisis in the economy and financial markets. Stress tests were largely instituted following the 2008 global financial crisis and have become a regular annual exercise in developed economies. In the U.S., for example, annual stress tests…

  • What Is An Economic Depression?

    Market observers have repeatedly thrown around the word "depression" to describe a severe economic downturn. However, when it comes to pinning down a specific definition of this term, there is no consensus. This article will explore the aforementioned concerns, reviewing varying definitions and the different ways to measure the severity of a downturn. What Is The Difference Between A Depression And A Recession? One good way to explain a depression…

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF)

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an institution providing guidance and financing to member nations in an attempt to promote global currency and financial stability. It has been a constant staple of global finance since its 1944 inception at Bretton Woods.

  • Black Swan Event

    What Is A Black Swan Event? A "black swan" is a rare and nearly impossible to predict event that has deep and wide-ranging consequences for the global economy. Because black swan events have generally not happened previously, they are hard to plan for. Nevertheless, some people believe that, in hindsight, the event could have been foreseen and expected. The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is a good example of a black…

  • Dotcom Bubble Of 2000

    What Is The Dotcom Bubble Of 2000? The "dotcom" bubble refers to the rapid rise and subsequent freefall in the price of internet stocks and the broader NASDAQ market that took place in the late 1990s. The collapse in 2000 prefigured the overall sharp drop in stock prices and the recession that followed, exacerbated by the terrorist attacks on 11th September 2001. NASDAQ, which to this day is heavily weighted…

  • What Is A Circuit Breaker?

    During times of extreme pricing volatility or market panic, the term "circuit breaker" is frequently used by traders, brokers and the financial media. Amid extraordinary events such as viral outbreaks or terrorist attacks, these devices are designed to prevent full-blown market crashes. Circuit Breaker Defined In the physical world, a circuit breaker is a safety mechanism used to cut the flow of electricity through a closed path. When engaged, electrical…

  • What Is A Currency Manipulator?

    The relative values of international currencies play a key role in global finance. Three areas that are particularly sensitive to exchange rate fluctuations are intercountry trade, pricing stability and regional economic growth. In practice, governments and central banking authorities implement a collection of unique mechanisms to promote the stability of their domestic money. Central banks frequently employ devices such as interest rate adjustments, debt purchases and pegs to manage exchange…

  • What Is The Difference Between Monetary Policy And Fiscal Policy?

    Monetary Policy Versus Fiscal Policy Governments have two main ways to influence their economies: Monetary policy is the actions taken by a country's central bank to regulate interest rates, control the supply of money and the amount of funds banks must hold rather than lend to their customers. Fiscal policy is the spending and taxation policies of the government that can influence how much money businesses and consumers have to…

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