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Dear clients,

What can you do in a mere 5 minutes? Hit the restroom, have a smoke or... make a profit. This time, we'll be looking at a simple trading strategy fit for both newcomers and experienced traders.

Join us on May 24 at 12:00 GMT.

During webinars, FreshForex analyst will answer your questions regarding the market situation and comment on the latest news.

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Dear clients,

According to Glassnode, daily transactions hit an all-time high of 682,000 this month, up almost 40% from the previous peak in 2017. Bitcoin's dominance, or share of the total $1.16 trillion cryptocurrency market, has risen to 44% from 38% at the start of the year.

This is due to BRC-20, the first class of cryptocurrency tokens created on the bitcoin blockchain apart from bitcoin itself. Nearly 25,000 experimental coins have already been minted this year, leading to a surge in transactions.

Mostly due to the creation of these tokens, the average daily transaction volume in seven days was more than 531,000, almost double what it was a month ago, according to Blockchain.com.

This new class of cryptocurrency has no specific use beyond speculation, much like memecoins. However, its nascent popularity points to interest in bitcoin not just as a store of value or a payment method, but also as a basis for developing new coins and applications - previously considered the domain of more modern blockchains such as Ethereum and Solana.

Some investors and developers see bitcoin blockchain as a safer long-term basis for creating tokens and applications amid the cryptocurrency carnage that has followed the collapse of high-profile companies such as FTX and a general flight away from risky assets, market participants say.

Nevertheless, the excitement around BRC-20 has been volatile. The total value of these tokens, which are typically traded on secondary markets, especially on decentralised exchanges, surpassed $1bn in early May, but has since fallen to $446m, according to tracker BRC-20.io.

Because the bitcoin blockchain was not originally designed to support the crypto ecosystem, unlike Ethereum and Solana, BRC-20 tokens are created using ordinar theory, which allows data to be written on each satoshi - the smallest bitcoin denomination, or hundred-millionth of a bitcoin.

The race to create these new coins has had little impact on the price of bitcoin, which has been trading below $30,000 since mid-April. However, experts see this trend as "promising" in terms of interest in creating products on the bitcoin blockchain.

Dear clients,

As the race to develop more powerful artificial intelligence services such as ChatGPT accelerates, some regulators are still relying on old laws to control a technology that could change the way society and business operate.

The European Union is at the forefront of developing new rules for AI that could become a global benchmark to address the privacy and security concerns raised by the rapid development of generative AI technology underpinning OpenAI's ChatGPT. However, it will take several years for the legislation to take effect.

"In the absence of regulations, the only thing governments can do is to apply existing rules," experts say. "If it's about protecting personal data, they apply data protection laws, if it's about threatening people's security, there are rules that have not been specifically defined for AI, but they still apply."

In April, European national privacy regulators set up a task force to tackle ChatGPT after Italian regulator Garante pulled the service offline, accusing OpenAI of violating the EU's GDPR, a wide-ranging privacy regime adopted in 2018. ChatGPT was reinstated after the US company agreed to install age verification features and allowed European users to block their information from being used to train AI models.

Generative AI models have become well known for making mistakes, or 'hallucinations', providing misinformation with supernatural certainty.

Such errors can have serious consequences. If a bank or government department uses AI to speed up decision-making, people could be unfairly denied credit or benefits. Major technology companies, including Google and Microsoft Corp, have stopped using AI products considered ethically questionable, such as financial products.

US and European experts say regulators intend to apply existing rules covering everything from copyright and data privacy to two key aspects: the data entering models and the content they produce.

While regulators adapt to the pace of technological advances, some in the industry are calling for more engagement with corporate leaders. Dialogue between regulators and companies has so far been "limited", they say.

"This does not bode well for the future," they say. "Regulators seem either slow or unwilling to adopt approaches that strike the right balance between consumer protection and business growth."

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Dear clients,

Nvidia Corp on Wednesday forecast second-quarter revenue more than 50 percent above Wall Street forecasts and said it was increasing shipments to meet growing demand for its artificial intelligence chips, which are used to run ChatGPT and many similar services.

Shares in Nvidia, the world's most expensive semiconductor company, soared 28 per cent after the signal to a record high of $391.50. That boosted the market value of Nvidia stock by about $200 billion to more than $950 billion, extending the Silicon Valley-based company's lead as the world's most expensive chip maker and the fifth most valuable company on Wall Street.

Nvidia is forecasting revenue of $11bn for the current quarter, with analysts polled by Refinitiv citing a figure of $7.15bn. They note that amid a gold rush of generative artificial intelligence, demand for Nvidia chips is secure for the rest of the year.

Adjusted revenue for the quarter ended April 30 was $7.19bn on revenue expectations of $6.52bn. The company's data centre chip sales were $4.28bn, beating analysts' forecasts of $3.89bn, according to FactSet.

Nvidia faces competition in AI chips from traditional rivals such as Advanced Micron Devices Inc and Intel Corp, as well as from startups such as Cerebras Systems and its own AI chip efforts at companies such as Google and Amazon.

According to FactSet, revenue from gaming chip sales exceeded Wall Street expectations, coming in at $2.24 billion against forecasts of $1.97 billion. Net income rose to $2.04 billion, or 82 cents per share, from $1.62 billion, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned $1.09 per share in the first quarter, beating estimates of 92 cents.

Dear clients,

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, has spent the last week travelling around Europe, meeting leading politicians in France, Spain, Poland, Germany and the UK to discuss the future of AI and the progress of ChatGPT. On Wednesday, he warned that the company could leave the EU if the bloc becomes "over-regulated".

By February, ChatGPT had set a record for the fastest user base growth of any consumer app in history. More than six months after OpenAI unveiled its AI-powered chatbot to the world, concerns about its potential sparked excitement and anxiety - and led to conflict with regulators.

"The current EU bill on artificial intelligence would be over-regulatory, but we have heard that it is going to be pushed back," Altman said on Wednesday. EU lawmakers responsible for drafting the AI law have disputed Altman's claims. EU industry chief Thierry Breton also criticised the threat, saying the draft rules were non-negotiable. Dutch MEP Kim van Sparrentak, who also worked on the EU bill, said she and her colleagues "should not allow themselves to be blackmailed by US companies".

"If OpenAI cannot meet the basic requirements of data management, transparency, security and protection, then their systems are not suitable for the European market," she said.

OpenAI first clashed with regulators in March, when Italian data regulator Garante shut down the app domestically, accusing OpenAI of breaching European privacy rules. ChatGPT returned to the web after the company introduced new privacy protections for users.

Meanwhile, EU lawmakers have made new proposals to the Artificial Intelligence Act, which would oblige companies using generative tools such as ChatGPT to disclose all copyrighted material used to train systems. EU parliamentarians agreed a draft law earlier this month. Member states, the European Commission and Parliament will finalise the final details of the bill.

The departure of OpenAI is seen as an unlikely outcome as the European market is too valuable economically. Experts note that some legislative relieves are still possible, but the overall trajectory has already been set.

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Dear clients,

Federal Reserve policymakers received a dose of unexpectedly strong US economic data on Friday, which bolstered the case for further monetary policy tightening to reduce persistently high inflation.

A 0.8% rise in consumer spending last month compared with March was good news, showing that the economy is not on the brink of recession, but discomfort for policymakers waiting for a slowdown that could ease rising pressure on prices. And the increase in core inflation to 4.7%, up from 4.6% in March, underlined the Fed's less-than-steady progress in fighting inflation. The US central bank's inflation target is 2%.

Combined with seemingly some progress on a deal to raise the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophic US default, the latest data raises doubts that the Fed will indeed "pause" its campaign to raise rates, as Chairman Jerome Powell signalled earlier this month.

Interest rate futures traders are seeing less subtlety in the numbers and are now expecting an 11th consecutive interest rate hike in June, a reversal of the June pause bets made after the last hike on May 3.

Next month's rate hike is not a definitive decision: Key labour market data from next Friday and fresh inflation data expected on 13 June are still to be announced before the Fed meeting on 13-14 June. However, there are growing expectations that even if the Fed leaves rates unchanged in June, it will hit the brakes in July. In the futures markets the odds are three to one in favour of a rate hike until then.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller — one of the Fed's most hawkish voices — made this point earlier last week. He said that while key data in the coming weeks as well as uncertainty over credit conditions could support a temporary rate halt, the lack of progress on inflation points to the need for further tightening.

Dear clients,

Never before in the history of US equities has a small group of companies from one industry had such an impact on the entire market. Six companies — Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Nvidia and Meta Platforms — now have a combined valuation of around $10 trillion and account for more than a quarter of the total market capitalisation of the S&P 500.

All of these stocks have doubled in value in 2023 — and Nvidia and Meta more than doubled — thanks to the dawn of artificial intelligence and expectations that the Federal Reserve will soon halt interest rate hikes. The benchmark index is up 8% in 2023, but its return is down to just 2% if technology companies are excluded. The S&P 500 is also well behind the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which has entered bull market territory, jumping 22% this year.

Historically, it is rare for a handful of stocks from one sector to make up such a large proportion of the S&P 500. The last time the five largest valuation companies accounted for a quarter of the total market value of the index was in the 1960s, according to Schroders. It is also the first time in history that all five of the largest publicly listed companies represent the same industry.

However, this is not all good news for investors.

It is tempting to view the dominance of the technology sector as a good thing. But single-industry stocks tend to be vulnerable to the same macroeconomic factors — such as rising interest rates, which often hit technology stocks harder than other companies because they are more reliant on borrowing cash.

The overall size of the S&P 500 market is so concentrated around technology companies that it is more vulnerable to sharp price swings than before, Minerva Analysis said. When there is a narrow group of leaders, there is a big risk if something bad happens to technology. If interest rates rise to 7%, it will be bad news for the whole market.

So while the tech giants have provided a surprise rally in equities in 2023, their rising market capitalisation could end up being more of a curse than a blessing for investors.

Dear clients,

When you are at the start of your trading path, you might want some boost, something to get ahead. This time we'll be looking at some strategies which can help a beginner to gain an egde.

Join us on May 31 at 12:00 GMT.

During webinars, FreshForex analyst will answer your questions regarding the market situation and comment on the latest news.

If you missed the previous webinars, you can always find them here.

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Dear clients,

As Japanese equities have unexpectedly come back into fashion with global investors, analysts at leading Wall Street investment banks are predicting further gains in the country's major indices.

Japan's Topix index (Tokyo Price Index) has reached new highs in the last two weeks, and on Monday it recorded its highest level since July 1990.

It has jumped 14% since the start of this year, recently fuelled by optimism from the tentative debt ceiling deal reached between US President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, along with momentum from a weaker yen. Meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 continues to rise, gaining around 20% over the past year.

The start of an inflationary regime, combined with Tokyo Stock Exchange valuation reforms, will see Japanese equities hit record highs as early as the first half of 2025, according to BofA Securities.

BofA's forecasts echo those of other Wall Street firms, which see further room for a rally in Japanese equities. Heightened interest from foreign investors, strong earnings and a weak yen should continue to support growth in the Topix index. Disappointment with the Chinese economy and Warren Buffett's recent interest in the Japanese market are also cited as motivators.

While equities may face headwinds in the near term, the BofA said there is "no need to take a bearish stance if the market rallies in line with fundamentals". The current investment environment remains favourable following the opening of the economy and stronger inflation.

The rush in Japanese equities reached a record high on Wednesday amid a continued surge in foreign demand for the country's shares and an adjustment in positions ahead of the rebalancing of the MSCI equity index.

The value of shares traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's Prime Market index reached an unprecedented level of nearly 7 trillion yen ($50 billion) on May 31. Finance Ministry data on Thursday showed foreign investors were net buyers of Japanese shares for nine consecutive weeks in the period ended May 26, the longest buying period since November 2019.

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Dear clients,

On June 2, the Non-farm Payroll, a measure of US industrial employment, is expected to be published. The report greatly influences the movement of American dollar and related instruments.

We will find out what figures are expected this time from our expert:

Falling unemployment claims and rising employment in services - the lion's share of the US economy - are indicative of positive Non-Farm Employment data, which is favourable for the dollar's strength. On Friday, consider buying USDTRY, USDZAR, USDCAD, USDCHF.

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Dear clients,

Oil prices rose on Thursday by the largest amount in a fortnight ahead of the OPEC+ meeting on Sunday, while the passage of a bill to suspend the US debt ceiling by the House of Representatives helped offset the impact of rising stocks in the country.

US West Texas Intermediate crude rose $2.01, or 3 per cent, to settle at $70.10 a barrel, recording its biggest daily gain since May 5. Brent crude futures rose $1.68, or 2.3%, to $74.65 a barrel, the biggest daily gain since May 17.

Both benchmarks recovered after two consecutive sessions of declines after the House of Representatives passed a bill late on Wednesday night to suspend the US government debt ceiling and improve the chances of preventing a default. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Market attention has shifted to the OPEC+ meeting on 4 June. Sources within the organisation said the alliance was unlikely to deepen supply cuts at Sunday's meeting, but some analysts believe this is possible as demand figures in China and the US have been disappointing in recent weeks.

US crude inventories rose unexpectedly last week as imports jumped and strategic stocks fell to their lowest level since September 1983, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Data from China's manufacturing sector presented a mixed picture, with Thursday's Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing PMI better than expected, while official government data from the previous day reported that activity at firms in May contracted to its lowest level in five months.

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Dear clients,

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Dear clients,

Saudi Arabia will make deep production cuts in July, in addition to the broader OPEC+ deal to limit supply until 2024, as the group seeks to boost oil prices.

Saudi Arabia's energy ministry said the country's output would fall to 9 million barrels per day (bpd) in July from around 10 million bpd in May, the biggest cut in years.

"This is a Saudi lollipop," Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz told on a news conference. "We wanted to ice the cake. We always want to add suspense. We don't want people to try to predict what we do... This market needs stabilisation".

OPEC+ pumps about 40% of the world's oil, which means its policy decisions could have a significant impact on oil prices.

A surprise decision to cut supplies in April briefly boosted Brent crude prices by about $9, but prices have since retreated under pressure from concerns about global economic weakness and its impact on demand. On Friday, Brent crude ended trading for the week at $76.

OPEC+ imposed production cuts of 3.66m bpd, representing 3.6% of global demand, including the 2m bpd agreed last year and voluntary cuts of 1.66m bpd agreed in April. Those cuts were valid until the end of 2023, and on Sunday OPEC+ said it would extend them until the end of 2024 as part of a broader deal on production policy agreed after seven hours of negotiations.

In addition to extending current OPEC+ production cuts by 3.66 million bpd, the group also agreed on Sunday to cut overall production targets by a further 1.4 million bpd from current targets to 40.46 million bpd from January 2024.

However, many of these cuts will not be real as the group has lowered targets for Russia, Nigeria and Angola to bring them in line with actual current production levels. For its part, the United Arab Emirates was allowed to raise its production targets by about 0.2m bpd to 3.22m bpd.

Dear clients,

Shares of Apple Inc. traded at record intraday levels on Monday, but failed to close at an all-time high, although they were on track to do so for most of the session.

Apple shares closed Monday at $179.58, down 0.8 per cent after speaking at its WWDC developer event. The stock was as high as $184.95 ahead of the presentation, surpassing its all-time intraday high of $182.94 set on 4 January 2022, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The smartphone giant has endured a lot since its last record close, facing pandemic-related supply problems and cost pressures from its customer base. But Wall Street seems fairly relaxed about Apple's ability to thrive in an era of shrinking consumer budgets. One analyst noted after the company's latest earnings report that iPhones priced at $1,000 and above have become a glorified essentials purchase.

In addition to traditional products, the company introduced a mixed reality headset and surprised investors with price and timing: the new Vision Pro will cost $3499, when the expectation area was around $3000, and will be released in early 2024, not later this year. By announcing the Vision Pro, Apple is making an attempt to enter a category that hasn't been widely adopted until now.

Overall, it's been a strong year for big tech companies. For 2023, Apple shares are up 38%, while Microsoft Corp. shares are up 40%, Alphabet Inc. — 43%, Amazon.com Inc. — 49% and Meta Platforms Inc. shares gained more than 125%

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