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Top 5 Things That Moved Markets This Past Week

Stock Markets Sep 29, 2017 05:12PM ET
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Bitcoin steadied as Draghi downplayed ECBs ability to regulate cryptocurrencies

A few weeks after Bitcoin suffered one its worst crashes in its nine-year history as China stepped up efforts to curb bitcoin trading activity, forcing local cryptocurrency exchanges to cease trading, the popular cryptocurrency has pared most of its losses.

The post-China-ban recovery, however, has been far from straight forward as central bankers and Wall Street CEOs have not passed up the opportunity to share their views on the popular digital currency.

Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman on Wednesday adopted a somewhat measured view on Bitcoin compared to his JP Morgan counterpart Jamie Dimon who earlier this month called it “a fraud”.

Gorman said Bitcoin is “certainly something more than just a fad”, adding that the underlying software supporting Bitcoin – Blockchain – is “interesting for the privacy protections it gives people”.

The Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) chief did wonder, however, whether regulators would strengthen efforts to crackdown on bitcoin related activity to curb the digital currency use among fraudsters.

Draghi allayed fears that other regulators could step up efforts to curb bitcoin-related activity, admitting that the European Central Bank did not have the authority to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Janet Yellens time as Fed chief coming to an end?

Speculation surrounding the future of Janet Yellen’s position as Federal Reserve chair intensified after both President Donald Trump and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly met with Kevin Warsh to discuss the possibility of his nomination to replace Janet Yellen.

Warsh was a Fed governor from 2006 until 2011 and was a member of former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's inner circle of advisers.

The news drew a slight uptick in the U.S. 10-Year as Warsh, if appointed as Fed chair, is widely expected to adopt a more hawkish stance on monetary policy.

Trump promised a ‘middle class miracle’ in tax reform speech

President Donald Trump on Wednesday hailed a tax reform plan released by his administration as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" promising that it would deliver American businesses some of the lowest tax rates in "more than 80 years".

President Trump’s attempt to get his economic agenda on track following a major healthcare reform setback, sparked investor hopes that tax reform will be implemented sooner rather than later.

Some analysts, however, raised concerns over the lack of details on how the proposed tax reforms will be funded, fuelling fears that key elements missing from the plan could invite pressure from support industry groups and lobbyists.

The dollar was roughly unchanged against its rivals on Friday.

Crude oil settled above $50 a barrel

Investors had to contend with a rocky week in oil markets weighing up the possibility of supply disruptions in Northern Iraq against expectations that U.S. producers are poised to ramp up shale output.

Concerns over a possible supply disruption in the oil-rich region emerged after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned that his country could “close the valves” on the pipeline carrying 500,000-600,000 barrels of crude per day from northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

In the U.S., investors mulled over signs that rising crude prices are encouraging an uptick in U.S. drilling activity, as oil rigs operating in the United States rose by 6 to 750 last week, according to a report from oilfield services firm Baker Hughes.

Gold dipped further below $1,300

For the second straight week, investors continued to unwind their bullish bets on the gold as renewed hopes for tax reform and elevated expectations for a year-end rate sparked a selloff in the precious metal.

Net bullish bets on gold fell to 212,600, according to a report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

Gold prices traded at $1,283.47, down 0.41% on Friday.

Top 5 Things That Moved Markets This Past Week
 

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