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Money

A new way to trade the Future

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Trade your opinion on yes-or-no questions in key CME Futures markets

Say you have a strong sense of whether the price of Gold will close above USD$2,000 today, and you wanted an immediate means of taking that position with a simple Yes/No push of a button.

Now there’s a new way to express that market sentiment immediately, and across a robust number of key futures products, via Interactive Brokers’ innovative trading platform.

Event contracts offer the most intuitive, straightforward way yet to access 10 of the world’s most important futures markets.

They are short-term, limited-risk contracts that streamline how you can take part in benchmark markets.

And it’s as simple as using event contracts to trade your opinion on Yes-or-No questions on whether key futures markets will move up or down by the end of each day’s trading session. 

Interactive Brokers’ just made it even simpler with its newly launched IBKR EventTrader platform.

TELL ME MORE

Event contracts are based on the outcome of an event and are short-term positions good for that trading day only. This provides investors with a straightforward way of participating in key futures markets.

You can select from event contracts in the Equity Index, Energy, Metals and foreign currency futures markets, and to trade, just choose YES or NO on an event contract.

You will be presented with a menu of short-term price predictions by product. To participate, just choose a side on a given prediction.

So, if you think the price of crude oil is going to rise on the news of an OPEC production cuts, you can buy a YES contract and benefit from any increase in the price of oil by the end of the day. 

Similarly, if you think the stock market is going to fall on disappointing news, you can buy a NO contract on an Equity Index Event Contract and profit from any decline.

Will the S&P 500 Index close above 3,900 today? Simply Yes or No.

Event contracts are settled in cash, so there is no need to worry about delivery or expiry.

HOW CAN YOU GET STARTED?

You don’t need a big investment to gain access to major futures markets’ daily activity, nor is there a big expense to enter a trade – between USD 0.25 to USD $19.75 per trade.

For each event contract you hold that expires “in the money”, in reference to the underlying futures settlement price, you receive a fixed payout of USD $20.00. Your max profit per contract is USD $20.00 minus the contract cost, fees and commissions. Event contracts are priced between USD $0.25 to USD $19.75 per contract and quoted in USD $0.25 increments.

Interactive Brokers offers a low, transparent commission of just USD 0.10 per event contract.

Event contracts also provide exposure to key futures markets while limiting an investor’s risk because the most one can lose is the price paid for the contract.

  • You can buy one contract or multiple contracts at once. 
  • You receive a fixed payout of $20 for each event contract you hold that expires “in the money,” minus contract cost, fees and commissions.

Basically, IBKR EventTrader empowers investors’ ability to take a position on their daily price predictions.

And it’s fun.

You can get more insights on eventtrader.interactivebrokers.com.

You can also get a concise and detailed EventTrader Demo in this webinar:  Trading CME Event Contracts at Interactive Brokers Using IBKR EventTrader Platform – IBKR Webinars

So if you’re looking for a new and straightforward way to trade key futures markets, check out IBKR EventTrader

With low commissions and no minimums, it’s easy to get started. Yes or . . . Yes.

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Money

US energy stocks surge amid economic growth and inflation fears

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Investors are turning to U.S. energy shares in droves, capitalizing on surging oil prices and a resilient economy while seeking protection against looming inflationary pressures.

The S&P 500 energy sector has witnessed a remarkable ascent in 2024, boasting gains of approximately 17%, effectively doubling the broader index’s year-to-date performance.

This surge has intensified in recent weeks, propelling the energy sector to the forefront of the S&P 500’s top-performing sectors.

A significant catalyst driving this rally is the relentless rise in oil prices. U.S. crude has surged by 20% year-to-date, propelled by robust economic indicators in the United States and escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Investors are also turning to energy shares as a hedge against inflation, which has proven more persistent than anticipated, threatening to derail the broader market rally.

Ayako Yoshioka, senior portfolio manager at Wealth Enhancement Group, notes that having exposure to commodities can serve as a hedge against inflationary pressures, prompting many portfolios to overweight energy stocks.

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Shell Service Station

Energy companies

This sentiment is underscored by the disciplined capital spending observed among energy companies, particularly oil majors such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

Among the standout performers within the energy sector this year are Marathon Petroleum, which has surged by 40%, and Valero Energy, up by an impressive 33%.

As the first-quarter earnings season kicks into high gear, with reports from major companies such as Netflix, Bank of America, and Procter & Gamble, investors will closely scrutinize economic indicators such as monthly U.S. retail sales to gauge consumer behavior amidst lingering inflation concerns.

The rally in energy stocks signals a broadening of the U.S. equities rally beyond growth and technology companies that dominated last year.

However, escalating inflation expectations and concerns about a hawkish Federal Reserve could dampen investors’ appetite for non-commodities-related sectors.

Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel Corp., highlights investors’ focus on the robust economy amidst supply bottlenecks in commodities, especially oil.

This sentiment is echoed by strategists at Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets, who maintain bullish calls on energy shares, citing heightened geopolitical risks and strong economic fundamentals.

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Money

How Australians lose nearly $1 billion to card scammers in a year

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A recent study by Finder has unveiled a distressing trend: Australians are hemorrhaging money to card scams at an alarming rate.

The survey, conducted among 1,039 participants, painted a grim picture, with 2.2 million individuals – roughly 11% of the population – falling prey to credit or debit card skimming in 2023 alone.

The financial toll of these scams is staggering. On average, victims lost $418 each, amounting to a colossal $930 million collectively across the country.

Rebecca Pike, a financial expert at Finder, underscored the correlation between the surge in digital transactions and the proliferation of sophisticated scams.

“Scammers are adapting, leveraging sophisticated tactics that often mimic trusted brands or exploit personal connections. With digital transactions on the rise, it’s imperative for consumers to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their financial assets,” Pike said.

Read more – How Google is cracking down on scams

Concerning trend

Disturbingly, Finder’s research also revealed a concerning trend in underreporting.

Only 9% of scam victims reported the incident, while 1% remained oblivious to the fraudulent activity initially. Additionally, 1% of respondents discovered they were victims of bank card fraud only after the fact, highlighting the insidious nature of these schemes.

Pike urged consumers to exercise heightened scrutiny over their financial statements, recommending frequent monitoring for any unauthorised transactions.

She explained the importance of leveraging notification services offered by financial institutions to promptly identify and report suspicious activity.

“Early detection is key. If you notice any unfamiliar transactions, don’t hesitate to contact your bank immediately. Swift action can mitigate further unauthorised use of your card,” Pike advised, underscoring the critical role of proactive measures in combating card scams.

As Australians grapple with the escalating threat of card fraud, Pike’s counsel serves as a timely reminder of the necessity for heightened vigilance in an increasingly digitised financial landscape.

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Money

Workers rush back to their desks over job fears

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Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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