Weekly Update 25 May 2018
Cryptocurrencies, national currencies, and equities were mostly lower this week, while bonds and commodities were mixed. The largest drops were in Ethereum and Bitcoin, which closed down 16.5% and 10.4% respectively. The largest gains were in cotton and platinum, which rose 1.9% and 1.5%.
The Euro fell more than any other national currency, giving up 2.1%, followed by the Canadian Dollar, which closed off 2.0%. The best performing currency was the Yen, which was little changed, up 0.1%. Bonds were mixed, with the long term TLT up 0.9%, while the short term SHY fell 0.9%. USD cash was down 1.2%.
After a brief pause the prior week, cryptocurrencies resumed their downward move. Ethereum rose early in the week, then dropped sharply, closing at 14 grams, off 16.5%. Bitcoin followed a similar path, ending the week at 178.5 grams, off 10.4%. Contributing to the declines were reports of a hack on Tuesday on the currency Verge. This attack, while technically fascinating, had no direct implications for Bitcoin, Ethereum, or most other cryptocurrencies; but that didn't stop it from adding to the general level of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
All the major stock indexes closed lower; only the gold stocks managed a small gain, rising 0.2%. The European STOXX was hit hardest, dropping 3.5%. The S&P 500 closed down 0.9%.
Outside of the cryptos, commodities saw the biggest swings. Crude oil closed down 5.9%, the largest loss. Cotton had the largest gain, rising 1.9%. Platinum and palladium reversed their usual courses, with Pt rising 1.5% while Pd fell 1.5%. Silver gained 0.5%.
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