Weekly Update 17 Jan 2020 Crypto Rush!
Cryptocurrencies rose strongly again, bonds declined, and national currencies, equities and commodities were mixed. Ethereum soared 18.3% and palladium jumped 16.5%, the largest winners this week. Coffee fell 6.0% and gold stocks declined 1.3%, making them the worst losses.
Among national currencies, only the Chinese Yuan made gains, rising 0.5%. The largest decline was in the Japanese Yen, which fell 0.8% to the lowest level since 1980. The Euro, the Canadian Dollar, and the Australian Dollar (not in table) all are just a hair above their lows of the same period.
Bonds fell; the short term SHY slid 0.2% and the long term TLT declined 0.6%.
Cryptocurrency prices continued to move higher, with the smaller "alt" coins rising faster than Bitcoin. While Bitcoin rose 9.1%, Ethereum advanced 18.3%. Some smaller coins gained much more; DASH, for example, more than doubled in value, rising 101.6%. Many other small coins added 50% or more. The reasons for this are not clear to me. Most of the move occurred on Tuesday the 14th, and might be related to the opening of CME Bitcoin options trading. Concerns that Craig Wright may have acquired the private keys to Satoshi's 1.1 million BTC hoard may have prompted diversification out of Bitcoin and into altcoins. If true, and a large number of Bitcoins were dumped on the market, it would certainly depress BTC prices temporarily; but the inexorable halvings and consequent increases in stocks-to-flow ratio still should eventually push Bitcoin prices to new highs. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out!
The only equities to fall this week were the gold stocks, which declined 1.3%. The S&P 500 and Dow Industrials showed the most strength, rising 1.7% and 1.6% respectively. The Japanese Nikkei index was unchanged.
Commodities were a wild mix. Palladium and platinum were big winners, rising 16.5% and 4.6% respectively. On the other hand, coffee fell 6.0% and crude oil declined 1.1%. Silver and copper managed modest gains of 0.6% and 0.9%.
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