10.10 - Moment of truth for Catalonia, Russia bans crypto
The Dollar is somewhat weaker today as the Euro bounce back from recent losses. World stocks continue to rise but gains are limited due to concerns over the crisis in Spain. Markets are looking to hear from the Catalan president later today to see if he will declare unilateral independence from Spain. Meanwhile, Russia wants to block all cryptocurrency activity as they call it a very risky and dubious investments. Read more about today’s major topics.
The euro rose to 1-week highs against the dollar on Tuesday following upbeat German trade data and hawkish remarks by a European Central Bank official who called for an end to stimulus.
German exports outstripped imports in August, data on Tuesday showed adding to evidence that the euro area’s largest economy performed strongly in the third quarter.
The euro shrugged off concerns about Catalonia ahead of a possible unilateral declaration of independence by the region’s President Carles Puigdemont later in the day.
The softer dollar helped the Turkish lira pull back from Monday’s nine-month trough, with USD/TRY last at 3.6829.
World shares hit a fresh all-time high on Tuesday, but European markets dipped as traders waited to see whether Spain's Catalonia region would push for independence later in the day.
Spain’s IBEX was down around 0.7% while the other major indices were flat to lower.
Markets in Japan and South Korea ended higher after returning from holidays in spite of tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 futures up around 0.05%, the Dow futures up 0.11% and the Nasdaq 100 futures slipping 0.1%
Russia’s central bank announced Tuesday that the country will block access to websites of exchanges that offer crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, calling them “dubious”.
“We think that for our citizens, for businesses the usage of such crypto-currencies as an investment object carries unreasonably high risks," Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov said.
Data on Tuesday showed that German exports outstripped imports in August, adding to evidence that the euro area’s largest economy performed strongly in the third quarter.
Exports rose by 3.1% on the month while imports were up 1.2%. It was the largest increase in export growth in a year.
In contrast, UK exports shrank by 0.7% in August, dashing hopes that the weaker pound would help boost exports. UK imports surged 4.2% on the month, sending the goods trade deficit to a record high.
- by Roger Gain