Financial News – Thursday, 31 January 2019

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Wall Street soars on Fed’s promise of patience

The FOMC yesterday announced that rates in the US will remain unchanged, giving Wall Street a boost, as the DJ30, SPX500 and NSDQ100 all registered impressive gains.
Bulls are cheering after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled the bank is finished raising rates for now. U.S. stocks are set for their biggest January rally in three decades.


Trade talks

President Donald Trump will meet China’s Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office today as two days of high-level trade talks come to an end will little indication so far that China is willing to bend to U.S. demands. While a breakthrough was never expected at this point, investors will look to the concluding statement promised by the White House for progress on core issues such as intellectual property rights, market access and promises to buy more American goods. The deadline for striking a trade deal is March 1.


Brexit Bulletin: Europe Says No

While the EU says the existing arrangement is not up for renegotiation, there may be room to allow an extension of the current deadline, although the appetite for further dragging out the issue appears low.


Corporate earnings

Investors will be inundated with corporate earnings in what will be one the busiest days of the fourth-quarter earnings season, with Amazon’s report in the spotlight.


Barclays ‘cannot wait any longer’ to trigger €190bn Brexit plan

Barclays is triggering plans to shift £166bn (€190bn) worth of assets into its Irish subsidiary as it “cannot wait any longer” on the Brexit negotiations.
The UK banking giant is shifting the “huge” amount of money – a sizeable chunk of its £1.2tn worth of assets – due to the political uncertainty, court filings show.


Deutsche Bank Sees Merger by Mid-Year If All Else Fails

The German government has been intensifying efforts to help fix Deutsche Bank, studying ways to make it easier to merge it with Commerzbank in a bid to add scale and slash expenses.


UK house price growth sinks to six-year low in latest sign of gloom

House price growth in the UK almost stalled in January, with property values increasing at their slowest pace in almost six years in the latest sign of a cooling property market in the country.
House prices in January were 0.1 per cent higher than they had been one year previously — the smallest annual increase since February 2013 — as an uncertain economic outlook continued to weigh on buyer sentiment, the latest Nationwide House Price Index revealed on Thursday.


Italy Falls Into Recession as Output Shrinks

Italy fell into recession at the end of 2018, capping a year of political turmoil, higher borrowing costs and fiscal tensions that took their toll on the economy.
Output shrank 0.2 percent in the three months through December, following a 0.1 percent decline in the previous quarter, statistics agency Istat said Thursday. That was more than expected, and will put further pressure on the coalition government, which already appears to be fraying.


COMMODITIES

Oil continues to climb

After a recent report showed a smaller-than-expected increase in US stockpiles, oil prices continued to climb, reaching levels not seen in more than 2 months.


Central Banks Are on the Biggest Gold-Buying Spree in a Half Century

Central banks bought more bullion last year than anytime since 1971, when the U.S. ended the gold standard.
Governments added 651.5 tons of gold to their coffers in 2018, a 74 percent increase from the previous year, according to a report from the World Gold Council.
Russia, which is “de-dollarizing” its reserves, was the biggest buyer, followed by Turkey and Kazakhstan.
Hungary also made a large purchase, citing gold’s lack of counterparty risk and role as a hedge against changes in the international finance system, the WGC said.
“Central banks chose to significantly increase their gold reserves, reinforcing the importance of gold as a reserve asset,” the WGC said.


CRYPTOCURRENCIES

XRP rallies 10%: The positive momentum persisted in crypto markets over the past 24 hours, as 8 of the top 10 cryptos were seen higher at the time of writing. XRP shot up 10%, erasing all of the losses suffered over the past week. Bitcoin rose less than 1%, inching back towards the $3,500 mark.


Ripple CEO Sends XRP Soaring, Boosting Bitcoin And Ethereum

Ripple’s XRP has soared over the last 24 hours, adding some 10% to its market capitalization and sending the likes of bitcoin and ethereum higher, after Ripple chief executive Brad Garlinghouse sparked speculation a highly-anticipated tie-up with rival Swift could be back on the table.
Ripple’s XRP leap triggered a rebound for bitcoin, up 1% over the last 24 hours, and ethereum, up 3.5% over the same period. Bitcoin cash climbed back over the $2 billion market cap mark, adding 6%, according to prices from CoinMarketCap, which tracks most major cryptocurrencies.


SWIFT Chief Announces Integration With R3 At Paris Fintech Forum

SWIFT, the global banking payments network, intends to integrate technology from R3, the DLT provider behind the Corda platform.
In December of last year, R3 launched the Corda Settler, an application aimed to facilitate global cryptocurrency payments within enterprise blockchains and which would use Ripple’s XRP to begin with.
R3 said XRP is the first globally recognized cryptocurrency to be supported by Settler, bringing the Corda and XRP ecosystems into closer alignment – something of a rapprochement considering Ripple and R3 were previously locked in a legal dispute.
Read more at http://cryptobreaking.com/swift-chief-announces-integration-with-r3-at-paris-fintech-forum/


Fidelity to launch Bitcoin custody

American investment firm Fidelity, which administers over $7.2 trillion in client assets, will purportedly launch its Bitcoin custody offering in March


More news on cryptocurrencies at http://cryptobreaking.com