David Fuller and Eoin Treacy's Comment of the Day
Category - General

    Bitcoin Approaches Year Low as Japan Cracks Down on Venues

    This article by Eric Lam and Todd White for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Bitcoin approached its lowest price for the year after Japanese regulators hit six of the country’s biggest cryptocurrency trading venues with business-improvement orders.

    The crackdown surprised investors, ending what was about to be the first winning week since early June for the largest digital coin and for the 10 most-liquid tokens. The MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index tumbled as much as 11 percent on Friday. The gauge already fell in five of the past six weeks.

    Some of the targets of Japan’s regulator were quick to react. Bitflyer Inc. said it would stop accepting new customers and also review identity verification for some existing users after it received an order from Japan’s Financial Services Agency. The FSA called for improved measures at all the exchanges against money laundering. The companies must submit their plans by July 23.

    Peer-to-peer money has come under fresh pressure in recent weeks after two South Korean exchanges said they were hacked.

    That raised fresh concerns about the security of investor holdings. New pressure in Japan, one of the most crypto-friendly jurisdictions, demonstrated the market’s fragility to regulatory moves in the absence of much positive news.

    “The market is still trading on low volumes and has yet to break out of its current downtrend, leaving itself susceptible to sell-offs,” said Ryan Rabaglia, head trader with cryptocurrency dealing firm Octagon Strategy Ltd. in Hong Kong, in an email. “Although the market reacted negatively, I view this as a positive for the industry as a whole.”

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    OPEC+ to Boost Oil Output After Saudis Secure Deal With Iran

    This article by Wael Mahdi, Grant Smith and Nayla Razzouk for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The final communique made no mention of whether the kingdom, or any other member, could compensate for losses elsewhere. Yet it said the group as a whole should strive for “overall conformity” of 100 percent, which in practice will only be achievable if those nations with spare production capacity step in to fill the gap left by others.

    "The lack of specificity is bullish for prices,” said Joe McMonigle, senior energy analyst at Hedgeye Risk Management LLC. “It’s a mystery oil production increase because we don’t really know the final numbers."

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    Sector Cross-Currents: How to Surf the Swirl of Trump & Tech Disruption

    This report by Maneesh Deshpande for Barclays may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Moore’s Law basically ended in 2016 and we can already see that the speeds of computer chips have remained stagnant for the last few years. Enhancements have been delivered through longer battery life, more memory and separate drives for booting and storage but the speed of the chips has not moved much.

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    Baby Boomers Strains U.S. Welfare Programs

    This article by Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg for the Wall Street Journal may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    The surge of retiring baby boomers is reshaping the U.S. into a country with fewer workers to support the elderly—a shift that will add to strains on retirement programs such as Social Security and sharpen the national debate on the role of immigration in the workforce.

    For most of the past few decades, the ratio of retiree-aged adults to those of working age barely budged. In 1980, there were 19 U.S. adults age 65 and over for every 100 Americans between 18 and 64, census figures show. That number—called the old-age dependency ratio—barely edged up over the next 30 years, rising to just 21 retiree-aged Americans for every 100 of working age in 2010.

    But there has been a rapid shift since then. By 2017, there were 25 Americans 65 and older for every 100 people in their working years, according to new census figures released Thursday that detail age and race for every county. The ratio would climb to 35 retiree-age Americans for every 100 of working age by 2030, according to census projections released earlier this year, and 42 by 2060, though currently unforeseen factors could alter that.

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    Spotlight on Australia as Banks Fuel Rally to Highest in Decade

    This article by Matthew Burgess and Abhishek Vishnoi for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

    Rude Health
    “There’s been a few shots on the trade side, but nothing has fully broken out,” said Dermot Ryan, a fund co-manager at AMP Capital in Sydney. “Ultimately, the stock market looks at the valuation and health of the sectors. The resources sector is in rude health at the moment.”

    Not as Sensitive
    “Australia sometimes acts as an EM by proxy, but with one key difference: it’s not as sensitive to the potential negative impact from increasing tariffs on Chinese and U.S. goods,” said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Melbourne. “We’re not as crucial in the supply chain as many north Asian economies. While there would be some impact on the materials sector if Chinese growth was expected to take a hit and metals demand fell, it’s more than likely that China would respond by increased infrastructure spend to keep the ship steady.”

    Pretty Cheap
    “The banks look pretty cheap,” for a longer-term investor, said Don Hamson, managing director at Plato Investment Management in Sydney. “It’s been a bad 18 months, but maybe we’re coming toward the end of it.”

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