DAILY MARKET NEWS - 17-10-2023

Ariff Azraei

Cryptocurrency news site Cointelegraph was caught on Monday falsely reporting that the SEC had approved BlackRock's application for a spot bitcoin ETF. This erroneous report initially caused bitcoin's price to spike to around $30,000 before quickly falling back down when BlackRock denied the rumours. Cointelegraph posted the false claim on X and later deleted the post, promising an internal investigation. The rumour was further spread by coverage from Reuters and other outlets before being definitively debunked by statements from the SEC, Nasdaq, and BlackRock itself confirming the application is still under review. This incident demonstrated the sensitivity of crypto markets to news and speculation related to a potential bitcoin spot ETF, which has yet to be approved by regulators, but this case shows the potential impact if given the green light.


Major U.S. indexes rallied on Monday as investors welcomed the start of the third-quarter earnings season with optimism, shaking off rising Treasury yields and ongoing geopolitical tensions. Transportation, small-cap, and tech stocks saw notable gains, with the Dow having its biggest daily percentage gain in a month on upbeat outlooks for impending financial reports from leading banks, tech giants, and companies like Netflix.


Gold prices fell from safe-haven highs as investors flocked to the fortified dollar and rising Treasury yields. While geopolitical tension persists, markets remain cautious ahead of Fed commentary, which could steer rate decisions and inflate opportunity costs for the non-yielding asset. Still, with its resilient safe haven appeal and potential for worldwide market stress, gold's bullish outlook appears intact.


Crude gapped down in the Asian session, extending the previous day's losses as reports indicated potential sanction reliefs for Venezuela's oil industry and de-escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict reduced supply disruption fears. Venezuela and opposition negotiations slated for Tuesday revived prospects for sanction relaxations and expanded petroleum exports, while Gaza aid pledges and Biden's impending Israel visit pointed to conflict abatement, eroding market anxieties.


The greenback saw a slight decrease Monday but remained resilient as demand for the safe-haven dollar persisted amid geopolitical tensions, though some dovish Fed notes kindled hopes for a pause in rate hikes. The yen teetered at the 150 thresholds, keeping intervention risks afloat, while the shekel sank to lows unseen since 2015 as Israel-Hamas clashes flared. Upbeat data buoyed the Aussie and Kiwi, though RBA minutes showed a hesitance to pull the rate trigger, and soft NZ inflation sunk rate hike bets.

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