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FOUR MEDIA EVENTS THAT ROCKED THE FINANCIAL MARKETS

The media has incredible influence over many facets of life and the financial markets are no exception.

A famous study by Huberman and Regev showed how an article in the New York Times directly caused a 600% increase in one biotech company’s stock price, despite not actually revealing any new information.

The impact of news stories is often felt worldwide and, with this in mind, a new interactive tool has been launched to help traders get an instant picture of international repercussions.

Market Health by DailyFX, the leading portal for forex trading news, provides a snapshot of global markets and indices all in one place, allowing people to quickly assess the consequences of big events.

To launch the tool, Daily FX has analysed how four major news stories from the last decade have impacted the financial markets, to help investors better understand this complicated relationship.

 

Brexit rumours

Brexit sent shockwaves through the markets, with virtually every British industry from manufacturing to farming experiencing volatility. This uncertainty has seen the value of the pound fluctuate dramatically, particularly when the media speculate about the future.

In August 2019, rumours of a no-deal Brexit began to circulate in the press and sterling subsequently fell to a three-year low against the dollar.

However, in December, when news broke that the Conservatives were about to secure a large majority in government, the pound rose to a year-high. Many newspapers claimed a new period of calm, with hopes that Boris Johnson’s landslide victory would finally bring some stability to the country.

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus has meant 2020 has been anything but stable. The pandemic has completely dominated the news agenda, removing Brexit from the public eye. It’s hard to say whether its absence from the news is affecting trading, as Covid-19 is now the main influence on global markets. However, previous Brexit announcements have led to big price movements, so as soon as they inevitably make headlines again, the markets will surely respond.

Peter Hanks, Analyst at DailyFX, commented: “While Brexit headlines may not dominate the front page as they used to, it is important to consider the effect of persistent uncertainty derived from the theme.

“As the EU and UK clash, regulatory guidelines remain in flux and businesses may look to delay capital expenditures as a result. Consequently, the current Brexit proceedings may not spark dramatic price swings that dominate the tabloids as they used to, but the lingering uncertainty can certainly erode price over time. Thus, it can be argued Brexit is still a very real headwind for the British Pound and FTSE 100, perhaps just not to the degree that it has been in the past.”

 

US and Iran oil crisis of 2019

In the autumn of 2019, Iranian officials reported that one of their oil tankers had been hit by two rockets while in Saudi Arabian waters. The explosions damaged the vessel, causing oil to leak into the Red Sea and tensions between Iran and the USA – a strategic ally of Saudi Arabia – to escalate further.

An Iranian news agency first broke the story and then NBC broadcast it to the Western world, with allegations wildly thrown around. The National Iranian Oil Company said that the cause was under investigation, however rumours were already spreading.

With the media fanning the flames, Brent crude futures – the international benchmark for oil prices – rose by 2.4% to reach over $60.50 a barrel. Part of this increase will have been due to the impact of the attacks on oil reserves, but the media storm surrounding the event suggested that the Iran-US conflict was set to intensify. This prompted traders to jump on commodities in case the hostilities continued to send prices skywards.

 

Coronavirus vaccine

In 2020, the coronavirus ignited global panic as millions of people were infected, businesses closed and share prices tumbled. It was, and remains, the international health emergency of a generation and its unprecedented and universal nature means that it has wholly dominated the news agenda.

As the pandemic worsened, a worldwide search for a vaccine began and rumours of breakthroughs in the media led to movements in the stock markets. Share indexes, such as the FTSE 100, rose and fell with the emergence and then eventual discrediting of new drugs.

In April, stories began to circulate that claimed the American company Gilead had found a drug that was effective. This optimism led to surges in Asian, European and US stocks.

However, as doubts started to appear about the treatment’s reliability, the markets fell once more. The FTSE 100 dropped by 0.7% and the Stoxx 600 traded 0.3% lower.

While Gilead’s proposed remedy was ultimately unsuccessful, it does show the power of the media, as such updates directly boosted investor confidence. News of a successful medical breakthrough could well be the catalyst that sees the world’s markets start to recover.

 

Powerful posting 

In today’s world, most breaking news stories are first revealed on social media, with information able to be shared as soon as events occur. Traders now need to monitor content on both traditional news sites and channels like Facebook and Twitter, as sometimes a single post can create waves in the financial markets.

In 2015, the billionaire activist, Carl Icahn, tweeted that he believed Apple’s stock was undervalued. This simple post caused the tech giant’s market value to rise by more than $8 billion in just one day. Conveniently for Icahn, a major Apple shareholder, his own investment in the company increased in value by $76.5 million.

With social media clearly holding great power, it’s crucial that traders are also wary of fake news stories. When somebody hacked The Associated Press’ Twitter account and posted that President Barack Obama had been injured in an explosion at the White House, the DOW Jones dropped by over 140 points. The temporary loss of market cap in the S&P 500 alone totalled a staggering $136.5 billion. The story wasn’t true, but it shows how significantly markets can fluctuate as a result of social media.

John Kicklighter, Chief Currency Strategist at DailyFX, said: “Before a day begins, traders need to check how markets around the world have performed and how they have reacted to any latest news. A single story can send ripples across the planet, so it’s important to assess it’s full impact before making any moves on the domestic stock exchange.

“The DailyFX Market Health tool has the advantage of a clear and interactive structure, giving traders exactly the benefits they need to start a day.”

 

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BANKIA TRANSFORMS THE CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE WITH BIANKA BY IPSOFT

Developed with cognitive artificial intelligence, IPsoft’s conversational agent can carry out transactional tasks, perform different roles in customer service and assist branch employees

 

IPsoft, one of the largest independent leaders in enterprise artificial intelligence (AI), today announced that Bankia has launched its industry-leading conversational agent, Amelia® (known as Bianka), to serve customers in call centers and in the Bankia mobile app. Bianka will also help employees resolve their customers’ day-to-day requests.

Bankia, the fourth largest bank in Spain, continues to make progress in its digital transformation process using the most advanced technology in the market. Recognizing the potential of artificial intelligence and cognitive agents to improve customer relationships – both digitally and at bank branches – Bankia has chosen Amelia by IPsoft as the backbone of Bianka. Amelia is the most advanced technology in the market. She is the result of more than 20 years of research and development and has been repeatedly chosen as the industry leader by independent analyst firms, including Everest GroupForrester and Ovum.

Her cutting-edge artificial intelligence and natural language understanding are capable of recognizing customers’ contextual changes, intention and emotional state. This enables Bianka to hold human-like conversations and execute tasks independently.

Additionally, its advanced Machine Learning capabilities also mean that she constantly evolves over time to accumulate knowledge and improve the user experience.

 

Bankia customers will be served by Bianka in three areas:

  • Bankia Mobile Application – Once customers are logged into the mobile app, they can have a conversation with Bianka via chat or voice to request account information and complete transactions such as money transfers through Bizum.
  • Customer Service Center – Bianka will serve clients through the customer service center, where they can now ask open-ended questions when she asks, “How can I help you?” When interacting with Bianka, customers will always arrive at a resolution: from user identification to the execution of tasks, such as blocking a lost credit card and requesting a new one. Bianka will be able to resolve many customer requests quickly because she has access to the bank backend systems, allowing her to solve queries immediately. When the requests are more complex or require human intervention, Bianka will transfer the call directly to a human employee. As a result, human employees can focus on resolving more complex tasks that bring greater value to the client.
  • Support for branch employees – Bianka also provides guidance to branch employees on more complex inquiries, such as requests about insurances. Employees are no longer required to speak with another customer service agent when they run into a problem. They can instead interact with Bianka by chat, who offers timely and detailed information about the process while the human agent is serving a customer. This not only provides more help for employees when they need it, but also allows them to improve the customer experience with more immediate responses.

These services have been implemented for Bankia’s 12,000 branch employees since December 2019 with a resoundingly positive response.

 

Elena Sanz, Director of Bankia Channel Architecture; Gema González, Director of Conversational Agents; and Eva Valle, Director of Control of Operations, said:  “We are very satisfied with IPsoft’s support in Bianka’s launch, which is the bank’s response to the needs of our digital customers. At Bankia, we have been integrating artificial intelligence into many of our processes for several years with the goal of improving our clients’ experience and making their lives easier. Technology offers us the opportunity to create great products and services and additionally allows our human employees to get personalized advice for their clients in our branches or through remote channels. All of this makes our banking proposal unbeatable.”

 

Chetan Dube, IPsoft CEO, said: “Bankia has shown that it is truly at the forefront of the banking digital revolution and that it is committed to improving the experience of both customers and employees by using cutting-edge technology. Until now, as users, we have been continuously disappointed in the so-called digital service improvements that rely on frustrating and highly limited chats. However, by integrating true cognitive intelligence with the bank’s back-end services, Bankia has been able to offer a service that infinitely improves the experience of its customers and employees.”

 

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RISK AND INVESTMENT SPECIALIST, CARDANO, TAKES TO DOCUMENT AND EMAIL MANAGEMENT IN THE CLOUD WITH ASCERTUS AS IMPLEMENTATION PARTNER

Ascertus also providing document comparison tool, compareDocs 

 

Cardano, a privately-owned, purpose-built risk and investment specialist, has chosen Ascertus Limited as its implementation partner to deploy document and email management platform, iManage Cloud. Once implemented, iManage Cloud will securely centralise, store and structure over 10 years’ worth of documents in the firm’s corporate legal department, giving users including lawyers, the legal assistant and the compliance officer access to the content from anywhere and any device. The document comparison tool, compareDocs, will also be seamlessly integrated with the iManage solution. Ascertus provides tailored information and document lifecycle management solutions, on-premises and in the cloud, to professional services firms and corporate legal departments across the UK and Europe.

“In keeping with our business growth, including the assets under management, our legal team has expanded too, making document management essential for the legal department’s operation,” explains Miriam Lindsay, Senior Legal Counsel, Cardano. “Presently, we have a shared folder system for documents. Additionally, everyone uses their email inboxes to store information in a string of folders that potentially run into the 100s. It’s an inefficient way of keeping documents and requires a lot of time which could be better focused elsewhere.”

Cardano selected Ascertus as its implementation partner following recommendation. Ascertus is currently working closely with Cardano’s legal department to design and configure iManage Cloud so that the platform delivers efficiency and productivity gains to the users. For ease of information sharing, the folder structure in the iManage platform is being streamlined. Tags and metadata are being used to index content and facilitate search. The system will automatically assign numbers to documents in iManage Cloud for easy trackability.  iManage Cloud is being fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365, to enable users to save documents and emails directly from Outlook and Word into the document and email management platform. Users will have visibility of the documents and emails that have already been filed in the system, directly from their Outlook inboxes, saving them time and ensuring that there are no duplicate files residing in iManage Cloud.

“It’s clear to us that the Ascertus team has sound knowledge of iManage Cloud,” adds Lindsay. “They are working with us patiently and systematically to meet our system requirements. Their approach to working is very straightforward and professional – with a lot of emphasis on attention to detail.”

Ascertus is also providing Cardano with compareDocs, which seamlessly integrates with iManage Cloud. Users at Cardano will be able to compare any file type, review accept and reject changes in a live Word document and save it back to iManage Cloud.

“Due to the large volume of files that a corporate legal department has to deal with, the lack of document and email management capability can be hugely frustrating for lawyers,” comments Jon Wainwright, Sales and Marketing Director of Ascertus Limited. “Once deployed, iManage Cloud will deliver significant efficiency and productivity gains to the individuals as well as streamline the department’s operation to a large extent.”

 

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