Make It Or Break It

In the United States at the moment, there are nearly 39 million people on food stamps. We already know that government workers are not getting paid during the shutdown but what now seems unclear is how the shutdown affects the poor.

For those of you who are not familiar with food stamps, this is the US government's welfare program that provides food to poor people by giving them coupons that they can take to the store. 

The thing is, the system is quite complex and varies for different states and different retailers. A few stores have already been forced to stop accepting food stamps due to the shutdown and some states have given their citizens an advanced payment.

For now, it seems that only a small number of people have actually been affected but with some analysts predicting that the shutdown could last for several more months, the future seems incredibly uncertain and information is hard to come by. So it's worth keeping an eye on this development as it could potentially affect several areas of the US economy and the broader market.

Shutdown: Day 28 | Days to Brexit: 70

Traditional Markets

The markets were relieved yesterday by the news that...

This is a good indication that US-China trade talks are going well and seeing any sort of concessions from the White House, or even the indication that there may be concessions, is cause for celebration among investors.

The positive sentiment has carried through the Asian session and well into European trading.

Risk On

With the rise in stocks, we're seeing some of the hallmarks that show investors are looking to take on more risk today.

Gold has managed to pull back from the $1,300 resistance level and oil is testing new highs, despite an IEA report that expects over-production to continue.

Perhaps the biggest indication of risk on sentiment today is coming from the USDJPY, which has now stepped over the 109 level as traders sell the Yen for the Greenback.

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Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 18th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

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