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Rising inflation and fresh virus fears threaten global recovery

It’s no secret that global inflation has been running wild of late. All over the world, this key economic indicator is well above central bank target rates; in many cases, it’s more than double these levels. The Fed’s reassurances that increased price pressure was only a “transitory” phenomenon are beginning to look like empty platitudes as the reality of protracted above-target inflation sets in. Of course, many of the causes of the present inflation trouble stem from the coronavirus pandemic. Chief among them are unbridled central bank stimulus and restrictions-induced supply chain ruptures. However, just as mass vaccination had appeared to be bringing things under control, the Omicron variant arrived and threw everything back into uncertainty.

Eyes on the US

As the world’s biggest and most significant free-market economy, it’s natural that the US should be the focus of any evaluation of the global inflationary risks we are currently facing. US price pressure has been rising steadily since the beginning of the year, and the latest figures have it at 6.8% in annualised terms through November, a 0.6% rise from a month ago. Sadly, this is unlikely to be the end of the increases, and with no end in sight, things are now beginning to look rather worrying.

That said, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has indicated that the deteriorating price environment is likely to prompt officials to accelerate their stimulus tapering efforts, even despite Friday’s revelation that November saw the smallest jobs gain this year. While such a move could certainly help combat inflation, it is not without its own risks. The stock market, for instance, would not respond well to the consequent reduction in liquidity, and another crash could easily derail the economic recovery. In any case, the greenback is always a good bet in times of inflation and offers a nice place to park wealth until the dust settles. As opposed to physical dollars, a more convenient vehicle could be the US Dollar Index.

Commodities in the spotlight

While rampant inflation is certainly a worldwide issue just now, some regions have been hit worse than others. And commodities-based economies like Australia, New Zealand and Canada have definitely had a much easier time of it, with respective annualised inflation rates of 2.5%, 2.96% and 4.7%. Now, this is just as much about central bank policy as it is sectoral weighting. New Zealand already has one of the highest interest rates in the world right now after raising its base rate to 0.75% this month amid further action planned for the year ahead. Canada has a similarly high bank rate of 0.5%, and its central bank is preparing its own aggressive campaign of interest-rate hikes for 2022, having already ended its bond-buying programme.

Of course, the reason these countries have a bit more leeway when it comes to monetary tightening is their strong commodities reserves. Rising inflation is always good news for precious metals like gold and silver, of which Canada and Australia both have plenty. Their rise might be tempered slightly by the lack of industrial demand, but investor interest for these haven assets will likely see net gains in the event of continued price pressure. As such, gold and silver constitute good hedges against ongoing volatility and uncertainty, particularly as Omicron threatens to become the dominant coronavirus strain.

What about China?

The place where the whole crisis began is still feeling the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic two years on. Its manufacturing business is yet to recover, and even domestic consumers are beginning to notice the knock-on effect of rising materials costs and ruptured supply chains. While Chinese price pressure looks absolutely normal at 1.5-2%, make no mistake that this is a major increase in a country used to near-zero inflation.

Given the frequent manipulation of such figures, a much more eye-opening indicator is the Producer Price Index, which stood at a whopping 13.5% in November. With goods costing more and more to produce for Chinese exporters, it’s hardly surprising that worldwide prices are on the up. When we add to this endemic corporate debt issues, potential delistings and enhanced risk of defaults, it makes already battered Chinese stocks appear ripe for even more falls in 2022. It might therefore be a wise idea to exit any positions in individual Chinese stocks or ETFs, or perhaps even consider shorting them outright.

Europe and the UK

Things are extremely tense on the Old Continent at present. Beyond rising price pressure and new variant fears, there’s also a serious energy crisis and the omnipresent spectre of Brexit to contend with. Both the ECB and the BOE will be looking at the latest GDP figures with concern as they head into their pre-Christmas policy meetings on 16 December.

German industrial output and factory orders are expected to show declines amid global supply-chain snarl-ups. Talk of potential lockdowns in early 2022 will only add to the economic fears brewing in Frankfurt and London. UK and euro area inflation currently stands at 4.2% and 4.9%, respectively, which, although double the regulators’ target rates, is not quite as high as elsewhere in the world. The problem is that the economic risks engendered by the energy crisis and coronavirus mean that it is extremely difficult for the ECB and BOE to take the stimulus-slashing steps required to keep a lid on price pressure.

As for rate hikes, both major European regulators have stated that such a move is “unlikely” before the end of 2022. The current uncertainty is bad news for European stocks and major currencies, leaving little else for the risk-averse to turn to. Other than potentially adding natural gas and oil to one’s portfolio as protection in case of a protracted energy crisis, that is.

Trade the world with Libertex

Libertex offers trading in over 200 underlying assets across virtually all asset classes from stocks and forex through to commodities, energy resources and even cryptocurrencies on CFDs! To learn more information about trading with Libertex or to create an account, simply visit

Christopher Baumner:
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A holiday toast to all Libertex clients: thank you for your continued support!​

After experiencing a crisis the world had never seen before, the bar wasn't exactly very high for 2021. Of course, the pandemic is still not completely over and done with, though we're much closer to the ‘old normal' than we were 12 months ago. For Libertex, however, the success of this past year far outstripped all expectations, and we're delighted to see all our hard work paying off for both ourselves and our clients.

Following 2020, a year replete with achievements for the company despite external pressures, we were absolutely committed to making 2021 even more of a shining success. Nonetheless, we wouldn't have been able to do any of it without the extensive hard work of our valued staff and the unwavering support of our clients, both new and existing. That's why we'd like to take a moment to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for helping us to reach new heights during this time of ongoing uncertainty. Without you, none of our success would be possible.

After we won a raft of awards the year before, the pressure was on to match or improve on our performance in 2021. Thankfully, we weren't left disappointed. Libertex's commitment to user experience was once again rewarded with another Best Trading Platform award from Forex Report. In addition to this, we were then named Best FX Broker by European CEO. The latter was a special win because it showed that, even with all our newly added instruments, we're still one of the top players in financial markets. But the one all of us at Libertex are most proud of was Ultimate Fintech's Most Trusted Broker of Europe since it represents recognition of our multi-year campaign to build Libertex's strong reputation.

Everyone loves being awarded, but what clients really want from their brokers is a constant effort to improve the service provided and expand the available options. That's why we're so committed to keeping our product-line up-to-date with the hottest new asset classes and instruments. A testament to this fact would be our additions of SHIB and DOGE CFDs to our already extensive cryptocurrency pool, the inclusion of Robinhood CFD in our list of tradable assets, and the long-awaited arrival of options trading on Libertex.

But we didn't stop at individual instruments; we even created our very own new account type, Libertex Portfolio, which comes with no transaction commissions and allows users to become shareholders!

As 2021 draws to a close, we'd like to wish you and your loved ones all the very best for health and happiness in the new year. Let's hope that 2022 will see the end of the pandemic and we will finally put all of this behind us.

See you in 2022 and don’t forget to… #TradeForMore!


What are the Nasdaq exchange and Nasdaq 100 index?

The Nasdaq is a stock exchange that also publishes two widely followed stock indexes. Some of the largest companies in the world, including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon are listed on the exchange.

Both the exchange and the Nasdaq indexes are heavily weighted to technology and growth companies, making it of interest to investors and traders alike.

What is the Nasdaq exchange?

Nasdaq is an American stock exchange headquartered in New York. It was the first electronic exchange in the world and led the move to automated trading.

The exchange is owned by Nasdaq Inc, a publicly listed company. Nasdaq Inc also owns and operate eight European exchanges.
While originally licensed as a stock market, Nasdaq is now a licensed national securities exchange.

Over 3,000 companies are now listed on the Nasdaq exchange. These companies are divided into three tiers for small, mid and large cap stocks.

NASDAQ stands for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.

The Nasdaq Indexes

The two widely followed Nasdaq indexes are the Nasdaq Composite and the Nasdaq 100.

The Nasdaq Composite is an index of all common stocks, ADRs and other types of ordinary shares that are listed on the Nasdaq exchange. 

The Nasdaq 100 is a subset of the Nasdaq Composite, consisting of the 100 largest non-financial companies in the Nasdaq Composite index.

ETFs, futures and options on both indexes are widely traded. Products tracking the Nasdaq 100 are amongst the most widely traded in the world.

The History of the Nasdaq

The Nasdaq exchange was started in 1971 by the NASD (National Association on Futures Dealers), now known as FINRA. Initially it was set up as an electronic system. When the electronic quotation system became operational it was relatively easy to add a trading system. Thus, the world’s first electronic exchange was born.

By 1981, 37% of stock trades in the US were conducted on the NASDAQ exchange, and by 1991 the percentage had grown to 46%. The exchange really took off in the late 1990s during the “Dot Com’ bubble. It was the first exchange to facilitate online trading and became the preferred exchange for technology companies to list on.

Nasdaq Inc became a listed company in 2002 after FINRA sold its stake in the company. The company now has a market value of $16 billion and annual revenues of $4.2 billion.

How are the Nasdaq indexes calculated?

Both Nasdaq indexes are market cap weighted. That means the weight of each stock in the index reflects its value compared to the value of all the companies in the index.

Market cap weighted indexes are calculated by adding up the value of all the companies and then calculating the percentage attributable to each company. The index is based to 100 when it is launched, and then grows in line with the growth of the companies it includes.

Nasdaq indices are rebalanced annually, in December. Any companies no longer eligible are removed from the indexes and replaced by newly eligible companies. Weighting may also be adjusted according to new share issues or repurchases.

What is the Nasdaq 100?

The Nasdaq Composite index, which includes all Nasdaq listed companies, was launched in 1971 when the exchange went live. In 1985, The Nasdaq 100 index was launched, to reflect the values of the most liquid, non-financial companies.

The Nasdaq 100 is one of the three major US Indexes, the other two being the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P500. The Dow contains just 30 stocks, and is prices weighted. The S&P 500 is also a market cap weighted index but includes 500 stocks. These indices also include financial companies like banks and insurers.

The index began with a value of 100 in 1971 and first reached 1,000 in 1995. At the peak of the Dot Com bubble in March 2000, it reached 5046. It then fell 3,938, or 78% over the following 18 months. After bottoming at 1,108, it took another 13 years to reach its previous high again. In July 2019 it reached a new record high of 8,321.

The following 5 companies account for 45% of the Nasdaq 100, and therefore have the most influence on the direction of the index:
Microsoft (MSFT) makes up around 11% of the index and has a market value of about $1 trillion. Besides the company’s well-known software, it is building a rapidly growing cloud business.

Apple (APPL) which accounts for just over 11% of the index is worth just over $1 trillion. Apple sells computers, tablets and smartphones. It also sells subscription services for video, music, apps and other services.

Amazon (AMZN), with a market value of $850 billion makes up 9.5% of the index. Amazon’s profits come from its marketplace, its cloud business (AWS) and advertising.

Alphabet/Google (GOOG) accounts for 8.5% of the index and is worth $820 billion. Google owns numerous businesses including YouTube, Gmail. Android and the Google search engine. Most of Google’s revenue comes from advertising.

Facebook (FB), with a value of $500 billion is 4.7% of the index. Besides the Facebook platform, the company owns WhatsApp and Instagram. It makes its money from advertising on the various platforms.

The largest 20 companies account for just under 70% of the index. Other prominent members of the index include Intel, Cisco, Pepsi, Comcast, Adobe, Starbucks and Netflix.

The Nasdaq 100 includes the largest non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq. The Nasdaq Financial 100 includes financial companies like Etrade, T Rowe Price and Zillow. The Nasdaq 100 is widely considered a technology focused index, which it is, though this is not by design. There are several companies from other sectors, including Pepsi, Costco, Starbucks and Walgreens.

Trading the Nasdaq 100

An index is merely a calculation based on prices, so you cannot trade an index. However, you can trade ETFs, futures contracts and CFDs that are based on an index.

The largest ETF (exchange traded fund) tracking the Nasdaq 100 is the Invesco PowerShare’s QQQ fund. This fund has $73 billion under management and is listed on the Nasdaq exchange too.

While ETFs are adequate for investors who don’t require leverage, traders and most investors look to CFDs and futures contracts to trade the Nasdaq 100, because they are more liquid and offer other advantages.

What is CFD Trading

Contracts for Difference, or CFDs, are derivative trading instruments. They are similar to futures contracts but are not traded on centralized exchanges like futures. Instead, each CFD is a contract between a broker and a client,

There are several advantages to trading CFDs. They can be traded on any tradable instrument, including stocks, index futures, currencies, commodities and cryptocurrencies.

They allow traders to trade all these instruments from markets around the world, on one trading platform, such as Libertex, and with one trading account. This is a major advantage of CFD trading as it reduces the number of accounts you need to keep track of.

CFDs are traded using margin, which means only a percentage of the value of the trade needs to be deposited to open a position. CFDs can easily be shorted too.

Nasdaq CFD Trading

CFDs offer several advantages for traders and investors alike. Libertex offers CFDs on the Nasdaq 100 futures, as well as live charts and prices. The market can be tracked on the Libertex platform, as well as on the very popular MetaTrader 4 platform.

Libertex Nasdaq 100 CFDs offer leverage of 100x and a minimum trade value of just EUR 20.

Advantages and disadvantages of Nasdaq 100 CFDs

As with all trading activities and instruments, there are advantages and drawbacks to consider when trading Nasdaq 100 CFDs.


- The Nasdaq 100 is more volatile than other indexes, creating more trading opportunities.
- Several of the fastest growing companies in the world make up a large percentage of the index. They include Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft. This means the index gains more value than other indexes during bull markets.
- CFDs on the Nasdaq allow traders to increase their profits by using leverage.
- CFDs also allow traders to open short positions, and profit during corrections and bear markets.
- CFD trading accommodates smaller trades than futures trading, which has a very high minimum trade size.


Because of its volatility, the Nasdaq can move a lot overnight and during a single trading session. While this can help you increase your profits, it applies to losses too.

The Nasdaq can be unpredictable during periods of market volatility.

Nasdaq trading hours

The Nasdaq exchange official trading times are 9.30am until 4pm EST. However, there is also a pre-market session from 4am until 9.30am and a post-market session from 4pm until 8pm.


The Nasdaq exchange is home to many of the most successful companies in the world. The Nasdaq 100 offers exposure to the largest 100 of these companies. The index is a good benchmark for long term growth investors. Trading instruments like CFDs based on the index offer traders numerous opportunities to trade this index as it rises and falls.

You can trade CFDs on the index with Libertex . If you want to get started, you can open a risk-free demo account today. This will allow you to get used to the trading platform and learn more about trading the Nasdaq 100, with no risk or cost.

Libertex is a broker and trading platform which offers CFDs stocks commodities, indices, ETFs and cryptocurrencies with leverage of up to 100 times. The platform offers free trading tutorials and state of the art trading tools.


The forex landscape in 2021 and beyond

It’s a well-known fact that the forex market is one of the biggest financial markets in the world, boasting a value of around $2.4 quadrillion and a turnover of about $6.6 trillion every single day. However, the lifeblood of this marketplace is international trade, and the disastrous effects of the coronavirus pandemic and associated inflation on supply chains and global economic activity have had a serious impact on foreign exchange trading. Meanwhile, regulators and financial policymakers have been forced to perform a delicate monetary balancing act to keep the unfortunate combination of rising public debt, runaway inflation and uncertain business outlook in check.

While the central bank liquidity drip and government stimulus have been a veritable boon for the stock markets, traditional currencies have been driven down by swelling balance sheets and low interest rates around the world. Against this backdrop, commodities currencies like the Australian and Canadian dollars have lost significant ground against their US counterpart, which is generally seen as the world’s reserve currency and a solid hedge in times of high volatility on the currencies market. This is unsurprising given the risk-averse profile of many forex traders; a clear trend towards safe currencies is emerging among individual and institutional investors alike.

A fistful of dollars

As we already touched upon, the big winner in the traditional currencies’ space this year has been the US dollar. Forex traders have flocked to the greenback as a hedge against the ongoing pandemic uncertainty, high inflation and ultra-dovish monetary policy of other major regulators such as the ECB and the Bank of England. While the Fed has refrained from raising interest rates, it has been very vocal about the need for a transition towards fiscal tightening and has taken active steps towards tapering its economic stimulus package. Treasury bond yields have also been rising steadily, which naturally attracts foreign capital. What’s more, organic demand has also risen in countries suffering from hyperinflation, such as Argentina, Turkey and Venezuela, as locals seek to protect their wealth from depreciation. A combination of these factors has seen the USD gain more than 5% on the CAD in the second half of 2021. Meanwhile, the dollar’s gains against the EUR and GBP over this same period have been even more impressive, averaging around 7.5%.

Bargains there for the taking

While US Treasury yields may well have depressed the bulk of developing world currencies, some were probably punished a bit too harshly, providing too much of a temptation for those with a slightly higher appetite for risk. Indeed, Barclays Plc has advised its clients to consider the Brazilian real, Russian rouble, Mexican peso and South Korean won as long-term investments. Discovery Capital, on the other hand, favours minor European currencies such as the Hungarian forint, Czech koruna and Polish złoty against the euro. The logic here is clear: these countries’ central banks have already enacted interest rate hikes, while the ECB has told markets not to expect any in the euro area until 2023. Other developing market currencies with strong growth prospects include the South African rand and Indonesian rupiah. More adventurous investors could include these as a weighting in a larger basket of European minors and majors.

New money

With all this talk about traditional currencies, it’s easy to overlook the novel form of money that has made more millionaires in the past 5 years than any other asset class in history. Out of all currencies, crypto has undoubtedly been the biggest gainer across the board in 2021…but it isn’t for the faint of heart.

When it comes to digital currencies, everyone likes to focus on Bitcoin and Ethereum. These once derided instruments have now become a staple of many institutional portfolios and are close to shedding their reputation as a volatility trap. Indeed, despite some ups and downs this year, they are now up 77% and 492% YTD, respectively.

However, the more risk-tolerant would do well to look at some of the newer altcoins that have taken the market by storm. The meme cryptocurrency Dogecoin would be one prime example. Amid vocal support by Tesla founder Elon Musk, this crypto has proven to be an interesting asset for investors and traders, bringing them a 3,400% YTD gain, despite recently losing nearly 70% of its value in H2. Another pup spawned off the hype of DOGE, Shiba Inu, has posted even more impressive gains of 55,299,173.2% since launching in May of this year.

Of course, there is huge risk involved in these kinds of investments, but the wise trader or investor would conduct their own research before taking any further steps.

Trade currencies with Libertex in 2022

With Libertex, you can trade CFDs on both digital and traditional currencies — along with stocks, commodities and even options on CFDs — all from the comfort of one multi-award-winning app. Visit our Forex section to explore CFDs for all the majors like EUR/USD, USD/CAD and AUD/USD. You’ll also find CFDs for a range of exotic cross rates, including EUR/RUB, EUR/MXN and many others. Then, if you’re ready to take the crypto CFD plunge, you might want to consider CFDs for legacy coins BTC and ETH, or even the new top dogs, DOGE and SHIB. Create a Libertex account if you haven’t already, and make 2022 a year to remember!


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