Washington, US (BBN) – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, December 11.
1. BITCOIN FUTURES SURGE IN TRADING DEBUT
Bitcoin futures jumped more than 20% in their eagerly anticipated debut on the Chicago-based CBOE Global Markets exchange, even as critics warn of the risk of a bubble and price collapse, reports Investing.com.
The one-month Bitcoin futures contract opened trade at 6:00PM ET Sunday (2300GMT) under the “XBT” ticker symbol at $15,460. It leaped to a high of $18,850 for a gain of 21%, before coming back down to trade at $17,600 as of early Monday, up almost 14%, with around 2,700 contracts traded.
The rapid price gains triggered at least two trading halts – a two-minute halt after climbing 10% and a five-minute stop after soaring 20% – similar to the way that trading in stocks is halted after sharp price moves.
Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin recently was changing hands at $16,780 on the U.S.-based GDAX exchange, a jump of 10% for the day. It traded as high as $16,988 intraday, bringing the cryptocurrency closer to $17,000, a milestone that it first topped last Thursday.
Bitcoin, which started 2017 at about $1,000, has risen almost 1,600% so far this year.
2. GLOBAL STOCKS INCH HIGHER AT START OF BUSY WEEK
Global stock markets inched higher at the start of a busy week, as investors looked ahead to monetary policy meetings from the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England.
Most Asian-Pacific markets ended higher, building on Friday’s bounce that led to a global rally, with shares in Hong Kong and mainland China leading gains.
In Europe, most of the continent’s bourses were in positive territory in mid-morning trade, with London’s FTSE 100 outperforming other major European benchmarks as the pound remained under pressure.
On Wall Street, U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 closed at record highs Friday following the release of a stronger-than-expected jobs report.
3. BRITAIN’S MAY SPEAKS TO PARLIAMENT AFTER BREXIT BREAKTHROUGH
British Prime Minister Theresa May will hail “a new sense of optimism” in Brexit talks when she speaks to parliament later today, saying Britain and the European Union should sign off on a deal at a summit this week “to move forwards together” to discuss future trade ties.
In a statement to parliament, May will take to task those who doubted that she could move the talks beyond the initial stage of agreeing terms on how much Britain should pay, citizens’ rights and the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
Britain and the EU reached an 11th-hour deal on Friday that allows the second phase of Brexit negotiations, on future trade relations, to proceed. Next up is the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels on Dec. 14-15.
Sterling was down 0.2% against the dollar at $1.3370, well off Friday’s high of 1.3521 hit in the wake of the breakthrough in Brexit negotiations.
4. DOLLAR DRIFTS LOWER AS INVESTORS WEIGH WAGE GROWTH DATA
The dollar edged lower, as investors weighed a U.S. employment report that was tainted by a disappointing rise in wages, which analysts said could weigh on the pace of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve next year.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, dipped 0.1% to 93.75, pulling away from a two-week high hit on Friday.
U.S. employment data on Friday showed a bigger rise in jobs than expected in November, but pay growth remained moderate. Average hourly earnings rose just 0.2% last month and 2.5% for the year, both falling shy of estimates.
That could weigh on the pace of interest rate rises next year as the Federal Reserve grapples with sluggish wages that reflect persistently low inflation.
5. OIL DIPS AMID UPTICK IN U.S. DRILLING ACTIVITY
Oil prices started the week on the backfoot, amid worries that rising U.S. shale output would dampen OPEC’s efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.
U.S. crude futures traded at $57.05 per barrel, down 0.5% percent. Meanwhile, Brent futures dipped 0.2% to $63.38 per barrel.
U.S. energy companies added two oil rigs in the week to Dec. 8, bringing the total count up to 751, the highest since September, General Electric (NYSE:GE)’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.
Domestic U.S. output has rebounded by almost 15% since the most recent low in mid-2016 to around 9.7 million barrels per day, the highest level since the early 1970s and close to the output of top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Increasing drilling activity for new production means output is expected to grow further, as producers are attracted by climbing prices, underlining fears that rising U.S. output would dampen OPEC’s efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.