2 min Market Summary: 3 Jan 2019

NOTABLE MOVES 

As of Thu, Jan 03, 08:00 Singapore Time zone UTC+8

USDJPY, -2.08%, $107.43
EURUSD, -1.30%, $1.1315
GBPUSD, -1.85%, $1.2516
USDCAD, -0.05%, $1.3632
AUDUSD, -1.91%, $0.6918
NZDUSD, -1.30%, $0.6630

S&P500, +0.13%, 2,510.03
Nasdaq, +0.46%, 6,665.94
Nikkei Futures, -2.62%, 19,365.0

CURRENCY MARKET WRAP 

  • FX flash crash gripped currency markets in early Asian trading on Thursday as the break of key technical levels triggered massive stop-loss sales of the Dollar and Aussie dollars in thin markets. Most major currencies collapsed against the Yen in a matter of seconds. The move was attributed to a liquidity void, with Japan still on holiday after the New Year. There was speculation that the catalyst was tech bellwether Apple Inc, when they shocked investors by cutting its earnings guidance, citing sluggish iPhone sales in China. The news sent U.S. stock futures sliding and sparked a rush of funds to safe-haven bonds.
  • The U.S. Dollar Index rose 0.7% to 96.82. Longer-dated U.S. Treasuries extended gains, pressuring yields. The 2-yr yield declined one basis point to 2.49%, and the 10-yr yield declined three basis points to 2.66%.

STOCK MARKET WRAP

  • Wall Street finished slightly higher on Wednesday despite global economic growth concerns and volatility extending their reach into 2019. The S&P 500 managed to squeeze out a gain of 0.13% after being down as much as -1.6% in the opening minutes. Stocks opened sharply lower after weak economic data from China reminded investors that a slowing Chinese economy could adversely impact global growth and corporate earnings growth. The latest data showed a contraction in China’s manufacturing sector for the first time since May 2017 (Caixin Manufacturing PMI at 49.7 vs expected 50.1). Energy stocks abruptly reversed course after oil prices swung into positive territory. WTI crude increased 2.0% to $46.38/bbl after reports that Saudi Arabia decreased its crude exports in December by roughly 500,000 barrels per day.
  • In early Thursday, Apple (AAPL) warned investors to expect lower sales from the holiday quarter due primarily to “lower than anticipated” iPhone sales in China amid an ongoing trade war with the U.S., as well as other factors like the company offering cheaper iPhone battery replacements. Apple now expects revenue for the three months ending in December to be about $84 billion, down from an earlier estimated range of between $89 billion and $93 billion. In his letter to investors, Cook touted continued traction in Apple’s “non-iPhone businesses,” including wearable devices and supplementary services, like iCloud, Apple Pay and the App Store. But he admitted that the downward revision of its sales forecast is “disappointing.” Apple fell -7.48% in after hours trading.
BLOCKCHAIN & CRYPTOCURRENCY NEWS 

Customs authorities in Saudi Arabia have concluded a pilot scheme linking its cross-border trade platform FASAH with IBM and Maersk’s TradeLens blockchain platform. TradeLens is intended to be a basis for digital supply chains and launched with almost 100 entities willing to take part in the pilot. For Saudi Arabia, the move forms part of authorities’ desire to expand the country’s economy via the Vision 2030 initiative. According to Saudi Customs governor Ahmed Alhakbani, the recent pilot to link FASAH to the TradeLens platform clearly illustrates that they are on the right track. In line with its neighbor, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Riyadh has stepped up activities aimed at integrating blockchain technology at state level in recent months.

Top Cryptos See Modest Gains After Short Wavering

The top 20 coins are seeing moderate gains over the 24-hour period. Bitcoin has scaled back above $3,800 after falling below the mark earlier. Bitcoin (BTC) is up 3.1 percent and is trading at $3,863.18. On its weekly chart, the major cryptocurrency is still down by over five percent, and is lower than the Dec. 29 high of $3,961. Ripple (XRP), is up over three percent on the day and is currency trading at $0.362, down from a weekly high of $0.390 on Dec. 26. Ethereum and XRP have market capitalizations of $14.7 billion and $14.79 billion, respectively and Ethereum is up nearly six percent on the day and is trading at $141. Some altcoins that are seeing gains are Bitcoin SV and Monero (XMR), which are up 7.74 percent and 5.47 percent over the 24-hour period. Total crypto market capitalization is currently $129.8 billion, down slightly from its weekly high of $134.3 billion.

Japan: E-commerce Giant DMM Shutters Crypto Mining Business Due to Declining Profitability

Japanese e-commerce conglomerate DMM.com Ltd. will shut down its crypto mining business, citing deteriorating profitability as the main cause. The decision was reportedly taken in September 2018, and initial steps to dismantle mining operations — including selling the company’s mining hardware — will extend over the first half of 2019. DMM.com, which has over 27 million clients for its e-commerce business, first announced its entry into the crypto mining business in September 2017, with a focus on mining major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). DMM is also reconsidering its launch of a crypto trading app dubbed “Cointap,” which had been slated for release on Dec. 25 2018. The company reportedly considers that both the bearish crypto market and the high-profile hack of Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck in January 2018 have made attracting new traders to the sector more difficult. There has been no indication that DMM will cease to operate its regulated cryptocurrency exchange. Also, Japanese internet giant GMO Internet Group has recently announced it will no longer develop, manufacture and sell Bitcoin miners, after reporting high losses in Q4 2018.

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