As of Fri, Dec 28, 08:00 Singapore Time Zone UTC+8

USDJPY, -0.47%, $110.84
EURUSD, +0.69%, $1.1431
GBPUSD, +0.09%, $1.2645
USDCAD, +0.37%, $1.3622
AUDUSD, -0.45%, $0.7035
NZDUSD, -0.43%, $0.6701

S&P500, +0.86%, 2,488.83
Nasdaq, +0.38%, 6,579.49
Nikkei Futures, +2.90%, 19,952.5


  • Thursday’s stock market featured another tale of two sessions. The bulk of the trading day was marred by an inclination to sell into strength, which fed into worries that this market had more downside to come. The last part of the trading day, however, featured a huge rally from session lows that eviscerated the downbeat sentiment seen in the first part of the day. The S&P 500, down as much as -2.8% at its low for the day, ended the session up 0.86% with all of its gains recorded within the last two hours of trading.
  • There wasn’t much news really to account for the negative disposition, although growth concernswere a factor following the release of a weaker than expected Consumer Confidence report for December (CB Consumer Confidence  128.1 vs expected 133.7), an ECB economic bulletin that pointed to slower global growth in 2019, and the first decline in China’s industrial profits (-1.8% yr/yr in November) in three years. U.S. Treasuries closed on a higher note, pushing yields lower, before stocks mounted their late-inning rally. The 2-yr yield declined seven basis points to 2.53%, and the 10-yr yield declined five basis points to 2.74%. The U.S. Dollar Index lost 0.5% to 96.52.

Bitcoin-Supporting Payments Firm Square Named Yahoo Finance’s Company of the Year

United States-based Bitcoin (BTC)-supporting payments firm Square has been named Yahoo Finance company of the year. As Yahoo Finance reports, $26 billion market cap payments company has reportedly seen its stock go up 72 percent through Dec. 14; its shares were up 170 percent through the end of September, before the wider market downturn. Cash App lead Brian Grassadonia told Yahoo Finance in a separate report that the stock surge was not the reason the firm introduced BTC support, but emphasized the choice stemmed from the company’s commitment to “democratizing access to financial tools that have historically been really complicated, intimidating, and stressful.”

UN Partnership to Roll Out Blockchain-Based Telemedicine, Telepsychology in East Africa

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will reportedly partner with blockchain-based telemedicine and telepsychology firm to expand free basic healthcare services across Eastern Africa. Via the UN partnership, the company plans to roll out both its platforms to the African market by the second quarter of 2019. So far, the company has operated in 20 countries. Its data and healthcare service ecosystem uses an ERC20-compatible token dubbed “MTC,” which is currently tradable on several crypto exchanges, such as Singapore-based Coinbene and Kucoin. Allegedly, over 130,000 users have to date used its telemedicine services and almost 70,000 have used its, “Emotions,” telepsychology platform. Company plans to launch its in-house mainnet by Q1 2019 to replace its existing Ethereum-based ERC20 token system. It will also launch a subsidiary blockchain-based veterinary services system, dubbed “doc Pets,” in the U.S. by Q2 2019. Besades that, will reportedly expand its services across a wider range of U.S. states, to launch its tokenized telemedicine service in the United Kingdom by March 2019, and to branch out to the Asian market, starting with India, by the end of 2019.

New Indian Governmental Committee Favors Legalizing Cryptocurrencies

A governmental committee in India has reportedly suggested that cryptocurrencies be legalized in the country unlike previous suggestion to a complete ban on cryptocurrencies in the country earlier in December, stating that any kind of dealing in such currencies should be treated as ‘illegal.’ The committee has already had two meetings, and the next one is expected to take place in January in order to deal with the conflicting opinions on the RBI ban. The members of the committee “have also taken inputs from cryptocurrency exchanges and experts,” concluding by stating that they will work on the legal aspects with India’s law ministry. In October, the developers of India’s first Bitcoin (BTC) “ATM” were arrested on criminal charges. A press statement from India’s Central Crime Branch noted that since the ATM had not been approved by the government, it should not have been called an ATM.

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