USDJPY, +0.18%, $113.80.
EURUSD, -0.27%, $1.1297.
GBPUSD, -0.72%, $1.2742.
USDCAD, +0.35%, $1.3298.
S&P500, +0.33%, 2,682.17
Nasdaq, +0.01%, 7,082.70
Nikkei, +0.64%, 21,952.40
CURRENCY MARKET WRAP
- Dollar was bid against the G7 after Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said he backed gradual rate hikes with an eventual move towards neutral rates. U.S. CB Consumer Confidence at 135.7 vs expected 136.2. Consumer confidence remains at historically strong levels due in large part to positive views on the labor market. The 2-yr yield was unchanged at 2.83%, and the 10-yr yield decreased two basis points to 3.06%.
- Euro continues to be offered over worries about German auto tariffs.
- In Brexit, speculation that the deal won’t get approvals and comments from ex-defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon undermined Sterling. Sir Michael’s decision to come out against the deal is a blow to the prime minister who is struggling to muster support in Parliament for it. He cited, “My fear is that this deal gives us the worst of all worlds,” he said. No guarantee of smooth trade in the future and no ability to reduce the tariffs that we need to conclude trade deals with the rest of the world.”
STOCK MARKET WRAP
- The stock market was able to shrug off early angst caused by Trump reiterating his hard-nosed tariff stance. Trump’s comments struck concerns that his G-20 meeting with President Xi Jinping at the end of the week might not meaningfully ease trade tensions between the two countries. Trump said in a Wall Street Journal interview that it is “highly unlikely” he will refrain from raising a 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25%, effective January 1. He added, too, that if China and the U.S. don’t make a deal he will move ahead with a plan to place a tariff of 10% or 25% on an additional $267 billion of imported Chinese goods, which would possibly include iPhones and laptop computers. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow followed up with his disappointment in China talks thus far and stated that talks between Trump and President Xi will occur on Saturday evening. He added that Trump will make up his mind on the $267 billion tariff tranche at the end of the meeting.
- Apple (AAPL 174.24, -0.38, -0.2%) never traded in positive territory after the Trump’s comments reminded investors that tariffs remain a headwind for the company. Microsoft (MSFT 107.14, +0.67, +0.6%) helped lift the heavily-weighted information technology sector (+0.2%), and chip stocks also rose, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up 0.2%. General Motors (GM 36.69, -0.96) fell -2.6% after Trump tweeted he is disappointed in GM and is looking to cut all of its subsidies. Trump’s frustration stemmed from GM’s decision to close plants in Ohio, Michigan, and Maryland but not those in Mexico or China. The White House is hopeful that General Motors will make some adjustments and does not believe GM’s job layoffs will impact the overall economy.
BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTOCURRENCY NEWS
Allegedly, the Copay wallet from U.S.-based bitcoin payments processor BitPay has been compromised by a hacker. The malware was deployed on versions 5.0.2 through 5.1.0 of its Copay and BitPay wallet apps, and could potentially be used to capture private keys to steal bitcoin and bitcoin cash. The firm is asking users to not run or open the Copay wallet if they are using versions from 5.0.2 to 5.1.0. It has now released an updated version (5.2.0) without the malicious code for all Copay and BitPay wallet users that will be available in app stores “momentarily.” Users should first update their affected wallets (5.0.2-5.1.0) and then send all funds from affected wallets to a brand new wallet on version 5.2.0, using the Send Max feature to initiate transactions of all funds. The attack was reportedly commited by a supposed developer called Right9ctrl who took over maintenance of the NodeJS library from its author who no longer had time for the work.
Ten financial and tech firms have established an Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) to create a “code of conduct” for the cryptocurrency sector. Among ADAM’s founding members are Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, global financial services firm BTIG, fintech firm Paxos – of recently-launched stablecoin PAX – and crypto liquidity solutions provider GSR. ADAM will focus on working with regulators to seek “comprehensive standards” for digital asset market participants which will encompass trading, custody, clearing and settlement in the sector, and to provide a framework for “ethical conduct” and “professionalism.” ADAM’s code of conduct will be established to work as a “complement” to existing laws and regulations in order to “accelerate fair and orderly digital asset markets where innovators and capital can transact with confidence.”
The Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) is launching the country’s first “Blockchain Academy,” by approval of the Specific Council for Vocational Training. The training program is designed to prepare participants to earn the international qualification of Certified Blockchain Professional C|BP and was developed by the BIBF and Dubai-based training firm MyLearning Key. The C|BP Certification is consisted of three competency areas in blockchain technology; development, implementation, and strategy. The new initiative aims to support businesses and organizations as they adopt new technologies like blockchain.