Currencies were weak this week, with the EUR treading water up 0.1%, while the USD and CAD fell 0.4% and 0.6% respectively. The weakest of the bunch was the JPY, down 1.5%. This week I am starting to include coverage of Bitcoin (BTC). As you can see from the chart below, bitcoin has had a meteoric rise over during the last two years since its introduction, though this has been punctuated by sharp declines. This volatility is caused by the currency's youth: it is being adopted by thousands of new users each week, and this rising demand is pushing its value up. But any time there is a rumor of a theft or concern about a government crackdown, the value can tumble sharply. This week, BTC is the only currency to show much strength, and over the last month, and the last year, it outshines all other investment categories. Worth keeping an eye on! Learn more at bitcoin.org.
The biggest losers this week were commodities, coffee and crude oil. Coffee fell 3.5% to 29.3 mg/lb, while crude dropped 2.9% to 1.57 g/bbl. Cotton took a breather this week after big drops in prior weeks, closing up 0.5% at 12.2 mg/lb. Silver also gained slightly for the week, rising 0.1%.
TLT (the long term US Treasury Bond ETF) was the other big loser, off 2.7% to close the week at 2.11 g. The shorter term SHY traded lower in line with the USD, dropping 0.5%.
Stocks were mixed, with US equities up (the S&P 500 rose 1%), while the Japanese Nikkei and the Gold stock index (HUI) were down 1.6% and 0.4% respectively.