As of Sat, Feb 9, 08:00 SGT Time
USDJPY,- 0.07%, $109.74
EURUSD, -0.09%, $1.1330
GBPUSD, -0.08%, $1.2945
USDCAD, -0.28%, $1.3271
AUDUSD, -0.15%, $0.7090
NZDUSD, -0.03%, $0.6746
S&P500, +0.07%, 2,707.88
Nasdaq, +0.12%, 6,913.13
Nikkei Futures, -2.08%, 20,290.0
CURRENCY MARKET WRAP
- U.S. Treasuries edged higher, pushing yields lower across the curve. The 2-yr yield decreased one basis point to 2.46%, and the 10-yr yield decreased two basis points to 2.63%. The U.S. Dollar Index gained 0.1% to 96.63. WTI crude increased 0.1% to $52.76/bbl.
- The Canadian labor print came in strong. Economists were only looking for an addition of 6.5K jobs but instead more than 66.8K jobs were created in the month of January. Private sector hiring was exceptionally strong which will soften the blow of weaker global growth. This report also reinforces the Bank of Canada’s view that the economy is on solid footing but as Governor Poloz said, there’s nowhere to hide from Brexit or trade fights so there’s no reason to raise rates.
STOCK MARKET WRAP
- The S&P 500 declined as much as -0.9% on Friday as follow-through selling and an effort to de-risk sent the broader market lower. However, steady buying interest throughout the afternoon, and a last-minute swarm of buyers, lifted the S&P 500 to a gain of 0.07%. Most sectors were down in the early going amid a continuation from Thursday’s narrative, which emphasized concerns about growth, trade matters, and disappointing earnings guidance. There was also a prevailing sense that the market was due for some consolidation, considering the extent of its rally and no news catalyst to support a continued advance. Some buying interest may have been generated by a Reuters report, which quoted San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly as saying the central bank is debating whether quantitative easing should be reserved for emergencies or used more readily.
- Amazon (AMZN 1588.22, -26.15) made headlines, losing -1.6% amid news that CEO Jeff Bezos accused National Enquirer’s publisher of blackmail. Its underperformance was a huge drag on the consumer discretionary space, which featured some notable post-earnings movers. In earnings news, toy maker Mattel (MAT 15.23, +2.87) surged 23.2% after it beat top and bottom-line estimates and provided a positive financial outlook for 2019. Goodyear Tire (GT 18.69, -1.86), however, fell -9.1%% after the company missed top and bottom-line estimates.
BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTOCURRENCY UPDATES
Credit Suisse Completes Joint Mutual Fund Transactions Using Blockchain
Global investment bank Credit Suisse and Portuguese Banco Best have completed end-to-end fund transactions on blockchain. The financial institutions have reportedly processed every part of the fund trade process by implementing a blockchain-based decentralized platform, FundsDLT. Designed to improve the efficiency of fund transaction processing with the use of blockchain and smart contracts, FundsDLT would purportedly reduce the time between request and the settlement from delivery of the order to trade processing. Within the initiative, Lisbon-based Banco Best — specializing in banking, asset management and trading — was responsible for the Application Programming Interface (API) integration, and also developed a dedicated application to collect client experiences.
Italian Parliament Approves Bill Defining Distributed Ledger Tech, Blockchain Terms
The Italian House of Representatives has approved a bill defining distributed ledger technologies (DLT) such as blockchain. With 275 votes in favor, 206 against and 27 abstentions, the bill dubbed “Semplificazioni” has moved forward. The Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale will now define the technical criteria that smart contracts will have to comply with in order to have legal validity. Maria Laura Mantovani, a member of the Italian Parliament in the Movimento 5 Stelle party, said that a favorable use case for blockchain is its application in online voting. However, Mantovani noted that there are not projects in place to implement such systems.
Ethereum Denies It Is Mulling $15 Mln Investment to Develop Verifiable Delay Functions
The Ethereum Foundation has refuted alleged plans to spend a prospective $15 million on the development of Verifiable Delay Functions (VDFs) for use in its transition to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network. A report from crypto news outlet CoinDesk had purported that the Foundation was considering an investment of $15 million to develop the technology, given its prospective benefit for Ethereum’s future transition to a PoS-based system. VDFs are a type of technology that functions to protect any system that relies on the generation of (pseudo) random values from manipulation strategies or attack. Reportedly, the shift to PoS is expected to be completed with the final upgrade of the Ethereum network — known as Serenity, or Ethereum 2.0 — which will be the last in a series of four stages set out in the platform’s roadmap.