Weekly Update 31 Jul 2020

National currencies, stocks and bonds continued to decline, while cryptocurrencies soared and commodities were mixed. The week's biggest gains were in Ethereum and Bitcoin, up 19.8% and 14.9%. The largest losses were in palladium, which fell 8.5%, and the Nikkei 225 index, which closed down 7.5%.

National currencies all moved lower, led by the US Dollar, down 3.2%. The best performers were the Euro, off 1.5%, and the Swiss Franc (not in table) which slid 1.8%. Bonds also fell, with the short term SHY dropping 3.1% and the long term TLT declining 2.5%.

Cryptocurrencies were broadly higher. Bitcoin, the oldest and largest, climbed throughout the week finishing at 179.3 grams, up 14.9%. Ethereum, the second largest, gained 19.8%. Bitcoin continued to climb over the weekend, then saw a "flash crash" rumored to be caused by a billion dollar short sale in the futures market, but quickly rallied back to the 178.6 gram level, about where it closed on Friday.

Stocks were all lower, led by the Nikkei 225, which dropped 7.5%. The Euro STOXX fell 5.8% and the S&P 500 sank 4.4%. Gold stocks outperformed, giving up just 0.6%. On a year over year basis, gold stocks have far outpaced all other assets, rising 27.8%.

Aside from cryptocurrencies, the commodity sector provided all the week's gains. Coffee rose 6.2% and silver added 3.7%. But the sector also had the largest loss, as palladium fell 8.5%.

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