Daily Market News: China’s economy up 7% in 2018 – the lowest pace in 28 years

Daily Market analysis

Mati Greenspan, Senior Market Analyst at FX broker eToro, has provided his daily commentary on traditional and crypto markets for January 21, 2019.

Highlights include:

  • US, UK Governments Approach Standstills: Thousands of US government workers and contractors are feeling the pinch as the shutdown doesn’t seem to have an end in immediate sight. Meanwhile, Brexit looks to be approaching a time extension or second referendum.
  • China Posts Weak Economic Data: China’s economy grew 6.6% in 2018, the lowest pace in 28 years. Most onlookers believe that the People’s Bank of China will inject further stimulus and prop up the markets if needed.
  • Crypto Legislation Introduced in Wyoming: A new bill in Wyoming would give Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies the same legal status as money. While this is a minor development, it sets a good example for supportive legislation.
  • Crypto TV Show Announced: At North American Bitcoin Conference, Kevin Connolly of HBO TV series Entourage announced a new show called “Cryptos”.

Traditional Markets

Little or no progress has been made in the UK or USA. Prime Minister May is apparently ceasing cross-party negotiations and instead re-focusing on the issue of the Irish backstop, previously a deadlocked issue. An increasing consensus that the odds are now rising for either a time extension on Brexit negotiations or even a 2nd referendum has the Pound Sterling Rising this morning.

No such serendipitous optics have been presented for President Trump, however. The Democrats rejected a proposal from the White House that would compromise on DACA in order to fund the border wall. Now we’re back to square one. It’s been more than a month since the shutdown began and many government employees and contractors are already feeling the pinch.

Today the US markets will be partially closed in honor of Market Luther King Jr. Day. In the good words of the great Reverend…

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

China’s Challenge

As was widely expected, the growth figures out of China this morning were extremely disappointing.

There were some sprinkles of positivity buried under the headline though as both industrial output and retail sales came out strong. The feeling is though, that no matter what happens to the economy, the People’s Bank of China will be there to inject further stimulus if needed and prop up the markets.

Asian stocks did experience a tad bit of volatility at the time of the announcement (purple circle) but overall are taking this in good stride.

European stocks, on the other hand, have not been performing particularly well today, and at the time of writing, indices are slightly in the red.

Wyoming Crypto Country

Even though there are only about half a million people living in Wyoming the square state is quickly becoming a leader of bitcoin and blockchain legislation.

A new bill has now been introduced to clarify the status of bitcoin and other crypto assets. The highlight, of course, is that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be given the same legal status as money.

The state has also clarified the definitions of cryptoassets, very similar to the way the Swiss regulator Finma has almost exactly a year ago and divided them into three categories:

  • Currencies,
  • Securities, and
  • Digital Assets (Utility Tokens).

At this point, though the news is exciting the effects are rather limited. Wyoming is a small state and it’s still not clear how the federal government will react to this. Certainly, if other states follow in their footsteps this can turn into something bigger but we’re still very much in the early stages of the game.

Nevertheless, this small step is a huge win for bitcoin and blockchain as it sets a great example of supportive legislation for the entire country and the entire world.

Let’s have an amazing week ahead.

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