This week, as expected, markets experienced thin volumes as investors celebrated the Christmas holidays.
Still, the markets saw major moves especially with the cryptocurrencies. On Monday, the major cryptos tried to recover from the major losses experienced last week with bitcoin trading above $16,000. However, on Thursday, the cryptos started falling as South Korea announced a major crackdown on exchanges following a major hack that led to the bankruptcy of a leading exchange.
On Thursday, the outlier was Ripple, which is designed to help banks, major global investors, and individuals transfer money. A major Japanese consortium announced that it would start using Ripple in transferring funds leading to a 20% gain making it the third largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Another major gainer of the week was Gold, which went up from a low of $1265 to $1295. The surge came as dollar saw a major sell off. Dollar and gold are inversely correlated which means that a surge in one may lead to a plunge in the other. The drop in the dollar was as a result of the tax plan signed last week which may lead to more deficits.
Crude oil was also a major winner with WTI surging to above $60 and Brent approaching $70. The surge was as a result of improving investor sentiment, and a major fire that happened in a major Libyan terminal.
In currencies, the dollar was a major loser against its other major counterparts. The dollar index, which measures its performance against major currencies fell from a high of $93.47 to the current $92.63. This year, the dollar has struggled with investors focusing on other currencies like Euro whose economies are strengthening. Trump too, favors a weaker dollar which is usually better for American exporters. This year, the dollar has lost 10% of value.
Another big winner for the week was copper whose price moved from $3.19 to a high of $3.30. The surge came as investors continued their bullish sentiment that demand would outstrip the supply of the yellow metal. This year, the metal has had a 32% gain as investors expected more demand especially with electric vehicles.
Global stocks were little changed with the Dow and the S&P 500 gaining by 0.22% and 0.07% in what investors refer as the santa rally. This is a rally that happens in the week between Christmas and the New Year. The biggest news this week was about Apple which was sued by multiple organizations after it reported that it slows down older models.
Around the world, stocks had mixed results with Chinese and Europe’s stocks gaining and falling respectively. Germany’s DAX lost 0.98% while Nikkei lost 0.40% and Hang Seng gained by 1.64%.
In the coming week, all eyes will be in Europe and China. As the first week of the year, investors will look at Chinese manufacturing data which is expected to be released on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the focus will turn to Europe where the new sweeping MIFIID II regulations will start being implemented.