Friday, December 22: In Today’s Markets…
1. Dollar Rallies As Euro Plummets On Catalan Vote
The dollar edged higher in early Friday trading while the euro dipped after early Catalan vote results indicated a victory for separatists. The Catalan election reinforced pro-independence parties’ control of the regional parliament and strengthened their campaign to force a split. Catalan pro-independence parties have held their absolute majority in snap regional elections, giving a severe blow to the Spanish government. The three separatist parties won a total of 70 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament even though the centre-right, pro-unionist Citizens party was the single biggest winner, taking 36 seats. The euro slid on the news to trade at as low as $1.1831 in early morning hours.*
2. Gold Near 2-week High
Gold prices touched a two-week high in thin pre-holiday trade on Friday despite a somewhat firmer dollar. The dollar edged up on Friday but remained on track for weekly losses, which kept the gold rally strong this week. It should be noted that uncertainty over the United Nation’s recent recognitions of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is what is thought to have caused investors to turn to “safe-haven” assets such as gold.**
3. Bitcoin Takes A Steep Dive
Bitcoin tumbled below $13,000 on Friday, down roughly 40 percent from its record top near $20,000 set at the start of the week.The cryptocurrency, which was at about $1,000 at the year’s start, had surged to a record high of $19,666 on Sunday but has since lost more than a third of its value. Bitcoin is known to go through wild swings and its recent fall was seen as another correction after last week’s a spectacular rally.***
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