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Facebook to create a Cryptocurrency for Whatsapp- EMEA Brief 21 Dec

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  • Facebook Inc. works on its plans to create a cryptocurrency allowing money to be transferred on Whatsapp, focusing on the remittances market in India first
  • Chinese stocks become one of the worst performers globally as the Shanghai composite and Shenzhen index fall over 20% and 30% respectively this year
  • US Futures show a slight incline in performance for stocks on Wall Street, following a fall for the second day in a row. Dow Jones Industrial Average suggests an opening gain over around 113.40 on Friday morning, following the decline on Thursday of 464.06 points. S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are also pointed to opening gains, after they decreased by 1.58% and 1.6% respectively on Thursday
  • Nissan Chairman re-arrested on new allegations of aggravated breach of trust which suspects that Ghosn “made the automaker shoulder personal investment losses of around $16.6million, incurred in 2008”. The court rejected a request to extend his detention, meaning Ghosn could potentially apply to be released on bail
  • The Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, is to step down at the end of February, as he believes Trump should “have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours”
  • Former Canadian Diplomat, Michael Kovrig, was taken whilst in China following the arrest on Huawei CFO, has now been detained but denied legal representation
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM had its network breached by hackers working on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security, for access to hack into clients computers
  • Trump administration plans to pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan, in hope that around 7000 troops can be sent home within months
  • Boris Johnson cleared of breaking the Tories’ code of conduct, following a remark made about women wearing burkas

Asian overnight: Asian markets were back in the red overnight, with Japanese markets leading the declines amid a flight to the safe haven Yen. Fears over a government shutdown are now front and centre of the collective investor mindset, with Donald Trump threatening to veto a bill funding the government unless he receives funds to build a border wall with Mexico. On the data front, Japanese national CPI declines to 0.9% from 1%, marking the first fall in inflation for six-months

UK, US and Europe: Looking ahead, the pound remains a key focus for traders, with UK current account, GDP (Q3 Final), public sector net borrowing, and the BoE quarterly bulletin all being released. In the afternoon, keep an eye out for Canadian GDP and retail sales, with the Canadian dollar also relatively volatile around the recent sharp declines in energy prices. The US also looks set for a busy end to the week, with core durable goods, GDP, core PCE price index, and personal spending all worth following

Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT)


Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar

9.30am – UK GDP (Q3, final): growth expected to be 0.6% QoQ and 1.5% YoY. Markets to watch: GBP crosses
1.30pm – US durable goods orders (November): forecast to rise 1.2% MoM and up 0.2% MoM excluding transportation orders. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses

Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades

  • Anglo American has resumed mining operations at Minas-Rio in Brazil. 
  • Diageo has sold a portfolio of 19 brands to Sazerac for $550 million. 
  • In partnership with Dada-JD Daojia, a logistics company, Walmart are testing on a smaller store in Chengdu to focus on lower-tier cities, as online delivery services show an increase in China
  • Tencent shares increase around 4.2% following the news that new games have been cleared for sale, after China stopped approving new titles in March

Ontex upgraded to neutral at Goldman

British Land downgraded to reduce at AlphaValue
Headlam downgraded to hold at Peel Hunt
Klepierre downgraded to reduce at AlphaValue
Telenor cut to hold at SEB Equities


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Yes, I read that this morning about FaceBook and using WhatsApp and Cryptocurrency.

I can see the logic of 'frictionless' transfer of assets made seamless and quick across all borders around the world where FaceBook and WhatApp operate. I think this is many years away and it will take many years to get there but the vision is great.

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