Daily market overview from IFC Markets

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Old Dec 15, 2014, 4:13pm   #33
Joined Oct 2014
S&P 500’s largest weekly slump since May 2012

IFCM started this thread On Friday the US markets dipped despite the release of positive macroeconomic reports. Consumer confidence index hit the January high and reached 93.8 points. However, S&P 500 has tumbled 3.5% this week, for the first time after seven weeks of continuous growth. It is the largest weekly slump since May 2012. We deem that market participants are taking profits. As oil prices keep falling, shares of oil companies such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp hit yearly lows.

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Adobe Systems stocks rose 9% due to positive reports and plans of Fotolia purchasing. The trading volume on the US exchanges on Friday was 11% higher than the monthly average and amounted to 7.6 billion stocks. Today we expect the release of the US industrial production in November at 14:15 СЕТ. The outlook is positive. Futures on the US stock indices are now traded considerably upwards. The dollar index is traded sideways ahead of the Fed’s Chair Janet Yellen statement. She is supposed to deliver her speech on Wednesday.

European stocks are currently rebounding after a significant fall on Friday and over the whole last week. For example, the British stock index, FTSE 100, hit the record weekly low over more than three years. Important macroeconomic data is not released today in the EU. The market growth is caused mainly by the oil stocks rising of such companies as Total and Royal Dutch Shell amid a slight increase in hydrocarbon prices.

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Today Nikkei has slid on the worsened Tankan survey. The yen weakened slightly against the US dollar (modest increase on the chart) as supporters of the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won in parliamentary elections on Sunday. Note that in two years while he is heading the government of Japan and conducts his economic policy called “abenomics”, Nikkei has boosted 70%, and the yen hit a seven-year high (a weakening against the US dollar). Market participants are currently expecting further confirmation of these trends. New Japanese macroeconomic reports will be released on Tuesday night. HSBC Manufacturing PMI in December will be announced in China tomorrow morning at 1:45 СЕТ. In our opinion, the forecast is still quite negative and can affect the commodity futures prices.

Oil prices have slightly risen after the release of its price forecasts for the next year. According to Barclays bank, the average Brent crude oil price in the first half of 2015 would be $67 a barrel, and $78 in the second half of the year. National Australia Bank projects the Brent price to settle at $75 a barrel in the Q1 of 2015, and $80 by the end of next year. According to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), despite the fallen oil prices WTI net long positions rose to the two-month high and net short positions reduced to its lowest level since August 2014.

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Natural gas prices in the US climbed amid falling oil prices. It was facilitated by the demand increase due to cold winter weather. We also accept the possibility that a part of the shale gas equipment could be used for the shale oil extraction.

Gold prices have fallen ahead of the Fed meeting and the final press-conference which will take place on Wednesday evening. Gold is still 1.5% up compared to the level at the beginning of this year, after falling 28% in 2013. Market participants are concerned that a possible US rate hike would reduce the demand for precious metals. According to CFTC, gold and silver net long positions reached the highest level over the last four months.
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Old Dec 17, 2014, 2:25pm   #34
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Markets mixed ahead of Fed statement

IFCM started this thread The US stocks fell sharply on Tuesday after one of the most volatile trading sessions since mid-October. Analysts pointed to combination of volatility in the dollar, gold and oil that caused the price swings in choppy trading. Investor sentiment was not helped also by disappointing housing starts and PMI data released on Tuesday. Today at 14:30 CET the CPI yoy data for November will be published in US. The tentative forecasts are positive with the core CPI, excluding food and energy prices, expected to remain unchanged at 1.8%. Consumer Price Index is expected to fall 0.1 percent in November after the index remained unchanged in October. We expect the positive forecast for CPI will contribute to further strengthening of US dollar ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee statement that will be released at 20:30 CET. With economic growth expected to accelerate next year and declining unemployment rate we deem it is likely that the Fed will issue a more hawkish statement without the phrase ‘considerable time’ and replace it with another form of forward guidance that is less prescriptive as to when the first rate hike may occur, which is believed to happen in mid-2015.

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European stocks surged Tuesday as energy stocks rebounded after West Texas Intermediate oil prices swung higher late in the session and Russia indicated it doesn’t plan to impose currency controls. Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate to 17% overnight from 10.5% late Monday, hoping to halt the ruble’s recent decline. Today at 10:30 CET UK Average Earnings Index is expected to be released with a forecast of 1.3 % increase against 1% in the previous period. Rising earnings index indicates labor costs are increasing which will contribute to increasing consumer inflation. Another statistic, Jobless Claims will be released with a forecast of slight decrease. We expect the improved earnings and employment figures will contribute to strengthening of the Pound. Japanese stocks rose on Wednesday on hopes of a continuation of the US Federal Reserve's dovish stance. Dollar fell against the yen, as investors sought the safety of yen over Russia and falling oil prices.

Oil continues falling. West Texas Intermediate for January delivery dropped as much as $1.32 to $54.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $55.44 at 2:58 pm Singapore time. It gained 2 cents to $55.93 yesterday. Total volume traded was about 52 percent above the 100-day average. According to Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak, next year output from Russia, the world’s largest crude producer, will be similar to this year’s 10.6 million barrels a day. OPEC has stated that it will not cut its output unless the US cuts its production first. The American Petroleum Institute in Washington reported yesterday crude inventories in the US, expanded by 1.9 million barrels last week. Iran is said to be offering shipments to Asia at $1.80 a barrel discount from a regional benchmark in January, the deepest discount in at least 14 years. With major producers like Russia, OPEC and US keeping production pace unchanged the price of oil will keep falling unless global demand for oil picks up.

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Gold rose 0.3 percent yesterday ahead of the Federal Reserve policy meeting announcement. It rallied as much as 2.5 percent before pairing its gains as oil and US stocks whipsawed and investors started worrying that Russia may sell its gold reserves as ruble continues falling.
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Old Dec 18, 2014, 11:44am   #35
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Markets soar on dovish Fed statement

IFCM started this thread The US stock markets recorded their biggest gains in 2014 on Wednesday after dovish Federal Reserve statement. The dollar rose against the yen and the euro after Fed’s statement. Market indexes soared after the Federal Open Market Committee statement that central bank is prepared to hike interest rates as early as the middle of next year, but will be “patient” about the timing of the first rate hike, replacing the “considerable time” language from the previous statement. Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen sounded upbeat on the economy but noted that there was room for improvement. We deem investors optimism was boosted by the Fed’s upbeat assessment of US economy recovery, which makes US assets and dollar more attractive compared with other markets struggling to reverse deflationary developments and negative consequences of geopolitical crises. At 14:30 CET Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended December 13 will be released in US with a tentative forecast of a slight increase compared with the previous month. At 16:00 CET Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey will be released, tentative forecast indicating a lower level of activity compared with the previous month. Disappointing reports may result in a weakening of dollar.

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European stock markets closed higher after a rebound in oil prices. Today at 10:30 CET Retail Sales m/m will be published in the UK, with the forecast of decreasing sales compared with the change in previous month. We expect this will cause a short term fluctuation in Pound rate contributing to its relative weakening against major currencies. At 10:00 CET German Ifo Business Climate index will be published, the tentative outlook is positive and the positive report may strengthen the single European currency. Elsewhere, the ruble ended a two-week slide after the Central Bank of Russia loosened restrictions on how much money Russian banks need to hold in reserve, and started selling dollars to stop ruble’s decline. Japan's Nikkei share average jumped 2.5 percent today in morning trade after the US Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the US economy.

Oil continues rising after Brent for February settlement increased 2 percent yesterday. Investors are weighing the reports of falling crude supplies in US and Iran offering discounts for January shipments for Asia. The US Energy Information Administration reported crude stockpiles in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer, fell by 847,000 barrels last week. Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran “will under no conditions let go of its share” of the market given restrictions on its exports in recent years. US Energy Information Administration data indicated US oil production expanded for a fourth week through December 12 to 9.14 million barrels a day, the highest level in weekly data that started in January 1983. There is no sign that any major producer is planning to curb its output as oil has slumped more than 20 percent since OPEC decided at a meeting last month to maintain its output quota.

Olam International Ltd., which agreed this week to buy Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.’s cocoa business to become top-three processor of beans, predicts cocoa prices will probably advance for a fourth consecutive year in 2015, driven by a global shortage. The company estimates demand will exceed supply by 120,000 metric tons in the season started October 1 because of lower output in West Africa, the world’s biggest growing region.

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Old Dec 23, 2014, 1:41pm   #36
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US markets continue rising

IFCM started this thread US stocks rose on Monday with S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting new record highs. The S&P 500 closed at a record for the 50th time this year, the highest number of record closes in a year since 1995. The dollar strengthened against the basket of major currencies. While the economic data released on Monday were mixed, investors' optimism was driven by Fed’s statement that it will be patient before raising interest rates. Sales of existing homes in November slowed down to the weakest pace in six months, while Chicago Fed national activity index came in stronger than expected. Today at 14:30 CET the Durable Goods Orders for November and the final figures for third quarter Gross Domestic Product will be published in US. The value of new purchase orders are expected to rise considerably, and the GDP is expected to be revised upwards. At 16:00 CET New Home Sales figures for November will be released, the tentative outlook is positive. The positive reports should contribute to further strengthening of the dollar against major currencies. European stocks rose Monday with technical, consumer services and financial stocks leading the advance. Asian equity markets closed mostly higher.

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Today Asian commodity stocks are falling, dragging the regional index lower for the first time in four days. The yen fell for a fourth day against the dollar, as rising global stock markets reduce the demand for the safe haven asset. The ruble gained 3.1 percent against the dollar by 12:37 pm in Moscow yesterday after China signaled it is prepared to offer Russia support by expanding a currency swap between the two nations and making increased use of yuan for bilateral trade. China and Russia signed a three-year currency-swap line of 150 billion yuan ($24 billion) in October. Ruble was also supported by the announcement of Saudi Oil Minister that fossil fuel will remain the main source of energy for decades to come.

Oil advanced for the second time in three days as investors expect the Energy Information Administration’s report tomorrow will indicate a fall in stockpiles in the US for the second week. There is still an oversupply on global market as major producers don’t plan to cut output while global demand is falling. Iraq’s Oil Minister announced plans for the country to boost production to 4 million barrels a day next year, while the Saudi Oil Minister commented that prices as low as $20 a barrel are irrelevant to OPEC policy.

Gold futures fell below $1,200 an ounce Monday, with gold for February delivery falling 1.4%. Silver for March fell 2.1% . Both metals ended last week sharply lower, with gold declining 2.2% and silver losing 6%. With dollar getting stronger and rising global equity markets the demand for safe haven assets is expected to decrease. Copper prices declined for the second time in three sessions after purchases of previously owned US homes dropped more than forecast in November.

Russia plans to introduce export duties on cereals as it tries to stop the increase in the price of bread as the ruble slumped 40% against the dollar this year. A report from Rabobank International indicated that Russia has already shipped 15 million to 16 million metric tons of wheat out of the 22 million tons expected by the US Department of Agriculture for the season.

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Old Dec 29, 2014, 2:15pm   #37
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Dow and S&P 500 hit record highs

IFCM started this thread World stock markets were traded sideways at the end of last week as investors activity was low due to Catholic Christmas celebration. The US stock indices, Dow and S&P 500, managed to hit record highs in intraday trading. However, the indices showed a relatively slight rise over the week. The Dow upped 1.4%, S&P 500 – 0.9%, NASDAQ – 0.9%. There was no significant US economic data released on Friday. Today we also don’t expect any information. The trading volume was 60% below the monthly average and reached 3.1 billion stocks. Currently, futures on US stock indices are traded “noticeably down”. Note that the US dollar index hasn’t still managed to consolidate above the psychological resistance level at 90 points. Subsequently, the euro has suspended to fall against the dollar.

European markets are traded down today amid the political risks associated with the third round of voting in Greece, electing its president. If today the Greek Parliament fails to elect the president, it may trigger a snap election which will be finished only on February, 8. Investors believe that it could have a negative impact on the economy of the entire European Union. The election results in Greece will be announced approximately at 11:00 СЕТ. Important economic reports in the EU are not expected to be released until Friday.

Nikkei has slipped today along with other global stock indices. An additional negative factor was the news of the first Ebola case in Japan. The investor activity was low. The trading volume on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 18% lower than the monthly average. Let’s remind that macroeconomic data will not be released this week. Japanese stock exchanges will be closed from December 31 up to and including January 4.

World oil prices climbed slightly amid the renewed fighting in Libya: 800 thousand barrels or nearly two-day production volume of the country was destroyed over that period. An extra factor providing support for oil prices was the policy conducted by the Central Banks of China and Japan, aimed at economic growth boost. China is planning to cut rates once again early next year. On Saturday the Japanese government approved a plan of economic incentives in the amount of $29 billion.

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Natural gas price in the US tumbled 26% in December, and reached the psychological support level of $3 per million BTU for the first time since 2012. It was caused by the warm weather forecasted in the United States this winter, according to the Commodity Weather Group. Note that 49% of American housing uses natural gas for heating. Amid the warm weather conditions, the US gas reserves may hit historical highs, more than 4 trillion cubic feet by the beginning of the next heating season. Now the gas reserves make up 3.25 trillion. Note that the US gas production has risen 5.5% this year and reached a record high of 74.3 billion cubic feet a day. It happened mainly due to an increase in shale gas production by 19%, up to 16.3 billion cubic feet. However, we accept the possibility of a technical price upward retracement, starting at the level of $3, or at least highly volatile trading.

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Copper prices have reached a four-year low today, after the negative data on Chinese industrial revenues in November was released on Saturday. Its total reduction appeared to be the largest in two years. Note that the Chinese PMI in December will be released on December 31. The outlook is negative: it may affect the commodity futures prices.

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Soybean prices are at the two-week high due to the flooding in Malaysia, the world leader in palm oil production. Investors deem that it would increase the demand for alternative soybean oil.
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Old Dec 30, 2014, 11:27am   #38
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S&P 500 hits new record while Dow retreats

IFCM started this thread US markets closed mixed on Monday with S&P 500 edging up to another record close, while The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated from the record close achieved on Friday. Trading volumes were at roughly two-thirds of their 30-day average. Trading is expected to be light throughout this holiday-shortened week. Today at 16:00 CET Consumer Confidence will be released in US by the Conference Board Inc. The tentative forecast indicates increasing consumer confidence which we expect will have a positive effect on US dollar. On Wednesday at 14:30 CET labor market statistics will be released in US. The tentative forecasts for Continuing Claims and Initial Jobless Claims for weeks ending December 20 and December 27 respectively indicate marginal decrease in Continuing Claims while the Initial Claims are expected to increase marginally, which we believe may have a limited negative effect on USD. At 15:45 CET Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index will be published, the tentative forecast indicating a slight decline in the index. And at 16:00 CET Pending Home Sales for November will be released, the tentative outlook is positive.

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The stocks in Europe edged higher as Stoxx Europe 600 posted marginal gains on Monday notwithstanding the Greek parliament’s rejection of the prime minister’s nominee for president. This means the Greek parliament will have to be dissolved and a snap election will be held on January 25. Investors are concerned whether the Greece’s bailout program and austerity measures will continue if the far-left Syriza party wins in the general election. The uncertainty about the bailout program pushed euro to a two-year low versus the dollar. On the backdrop of struggling Eurozone economy the European Central Bank will meet on January 22 amid speculation officials are preparing to consider sovereign-bond purchases as a next stage of expanding the monetary stimulus measures into a full blown quantitative easing program. This sets the stage for continued euro weakness.

The Nikkei is falling today after closing 0.5% down on Monday. As the Bank of Japan is considering additional measures of monetary easing in April after it tripled its buying of exchange-traded funds to 3 trillion yen in October and the government announced a 3.5 trillion yen ($29 billion) fiscal stimulus package to boost the economy on December 27, all indications are that yen will continue falling in 2015.

The ruble fell the most in almost two weeks after the Economy Ministry report indicated that gross domestic product shrank 0.5 percent in November from a year earlier. The performance of Russia’s currency is determined by the price of crude oil, Russia’s main source of export revenue. If the price of oil does not stabilize the pressure on Russian economy and the ruble will continue.

Oil tumbled to the lowest level in more than five years on concerns of global supply glut, reversing early gains after news that oil storage tanks in Libya were set ablaze and the subsequent report by a National Oil Corporation spokesman that fires were extinguished. As dollar strengthens the appeal of raw materials as a store of value decreases, further reducing the speculative demand for oil. According to ICE Futures Europe exchange, hedge funds curtailed net-long positions by 15 percent in the week ended December 23, while they had added to net-longs in the prior four weeks, boosting them to the highest level since July on December 16.

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Old Jan 5, 2015, 1:34pm   #39
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Crude oil prices hit 5.5 year low

IFCM started this thread Global stock indices were down on Friday due to weak macroeconomic data released in the US. Markit’s Manufacturing PMI and ISM Manufacturing in December appeared to be lower-than-expected. Construction Spending declined for the first time since June, while it was expected to grow. The volume traded on the US exchanges was 23% below the monthly average and reached 5.3 billion shares. Starting today, the majority of world markets are opened on a regular schedule. Futures on US stock indices are currently traded prominently down. Today we don’t expect any important macroeconomic data to be released in the US.

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The US currency has advanced greatly. It was caused by the European data release, the same as it happened on Friday. The Greek parliament failed to elect the president, so it will have to be dissolved and a snap election will be held on January 25. Amid this information there were even rumors in Germany of Greece leaving the European Union. These rumors were disproven later. However, the whole situation has affected the euro. It fell below $1.2 for the first time in four years. Another negative factor was the investor expectation of the ECB to announce the beginning of euro printing at the meeting which will take place on January 22. Due to this news, the US dollar has strongly settled above 90 points.

European markets have indicated minor gains in the morning, as the expected euro printing should result in a splurge of liquidity, according to market participants. We don’t exclude that the American and European stock markets and currencies of both regions may be observed in a mixed trading for some time (according to the example of Nikkei and yen). This information may be used for creating a personal composite instrument. The German CPI will be released today at 13:00 СЕТ. In our opinion, the tentative outlook is negative for the euro.

Nikkei has dipped today. We deem there was no specific reason for the index drop. However, note that Markit and JMMA Manufacturing PMI index in December has been announced today early in the morning. It proved to be a bit worse than expected. Composite PMI and Services PMI will be released tomorrow at 1:35 СЕТ. The forecast is neutral. Note that the exchange rate of the Japanese yen against the US dollar looks very stable. It is still difficult to predict whether it remains for a long time or not. Economic data will be reported in Japan on Friday morning.

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Crude oil prices reached the lowest level over five and a half years. Some oil-producing countries are forced to increase the production level in order to offset the fallen revenues due to lower prices. Russia’s production rose 0.7% in 2014, up to 10.58 million barrels a day. According to the Russian Ministry of Energy, oil production is expected to fall to 525 million tons in 2015, from 526.6 million tons in 2014 due to the depletion of a number of deposits in Western Siberia. But meanwhile, it is a matter for the future. Russia produced 10.67 million barrels a day in December, more than the country’s annual average. In December Iranian oil exports climbed to the highest level since 1980 (2.94 million). In January it may reach 3.3 million barrels a day.

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As expected earlier, $3 per million BTU has become a kind of “support level” for the US natural gas. However, it was not the result of investor sentiment, but due to the Arctic front and cold weather forecasts, according to National Weather Service. The US natural gas reserves shrank 133 million cubic feet a week, while the demand upped 21%, to 100 million. It has also affected the prices.

Today the majority of commodity futures are going up again after severe losses as negative Chinese data on manufacturing production was released last week. The Chinese statistics will be released tomorrow morning, on Wednesday and Friday. In our opinion, all the forecasts are neutral.
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Old Jan 6, 2015, 12:13pm   #40
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Markets retreat as oil plunges

IFCM started this thread World stock markets tumbled on Monday on continued fall in oil prices and surging dollar. Sell-off of US equities dragged US stock indices down, with Dow Jones Industrial and the S&P 500 recording their worst losses since October. Investors sold off energy stocks as WTI slid below $50 a barrel. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also suffered its largest one-day decline in three months, with 28 of its 30 components closing with losses. The US Dollar Index, which has increased nearly 2% already in 2015, upped 0.3% on Monday. Today at 16:00 CET the December Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) by the Institute for Supply Management will be released in US. The Non-manufacturing PMI is expected to reach 58.2 in December having increased to 59.3 in November, which may contribute to temporary weakening of US dollar as the Manufacturing PMI also came out lower than expected earlier on Friday.

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European stocks fell sharply on Monday on concerns over political uncertainty in Greece and falling oil prices. Investors are concerned that the opposition Syriza party may win the snap election scheduled for January 25 after the third and final parliamentary vote failed to elect a new Greek president. Syriza has threatened to stop implementing the austerity program that the country agreed to as a condition for the international bailout. Today from 9:15 to 10:00 CET December Services PMI by Markit will be released for Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Eurozone. They are expected to remain unchanged from previous month levels and should not affect financial markets. A slightly improved December Services PMI for UK is expected to be released at 10:30 CET, which may positively affect the British Pound. The euro recovered after falling to its lowest level in nine years as investors covered their shorts to take profits. Investors started selling the single European currency ahead of the expected large-scale purchases of government bonds by the European Central Bank. The ECB’s next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for January 22 and analysts expect the ECB may decide to start the quantitative easing program to add around €1 trillion to the central bank’s approximately €2 trillion-balance sheet. On Monday the final German consumer price index reading for 2014 was released, indicating prices remained unchanged month over month against an expected 0.1% increase. The likelihood that the ECB will decide to start the quantitative easing will greatly increase if the Eurozone CPI for December, expected to be released on Wednesday, shows falling prices as the tentative outlook indicates.

Japan's Nikkei average is falling today on concerns over Greece's future in the euro-zone and falling oil prices. The yen is gaining against the dollar as investors seek the traditional safety of the Japanese currency amid worries about global growth.

On the backdrop of swelling oil supplies the Saudi Arabia state-owned producer, known as Saudi Aramco, raised prices for all its sales to Asia in February and cut all of them for Europe and most in the US. It will sell its Arab Light grade for $1.40 a barrel less than a regional average next month, the company said yesterday in a statement.

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Gold climbed for a third day as slumping equity markets and concern that Greece may quit the euro area spurred demand for the safe haven asset. Silver and palladium rose.
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