1. Week Ahead: Fed Set To Raise Rates; EU Summit To Decide On Brexit
We are in for a data-packed week as numerous central banks are scheduled to meet to set their monetary policy. This includes the Federal Reserve, which is expected to push rates higher with analysts setting the probability of a rate hike at 100%. The pro-rate hike forecasts have helped boost the price of the USD last week. Beyond this, major economies will see the release of important data. Specifically, UK is set to release inflation, wage growth and retail sales reports which could cause the pound to rally or plummet. In the political arena, we are in for EU’s official decision on whether Brexit talks can move to the next stage which could again affect the GBP pairs.*
2. Bitcoin Futures Surge to $18,000 On Debut
Bitcoin futures surged more than 20 percent in their eagerly anticipated U.S. debut last weekend, as the world’s cryptocurrency largest establishes its legitimacy. The launch on Sunday night caused heavy traffic on the CBOE Global Markets website, rendering the site “temporarily unavailable.” It is worth noting that bitcoin prices have officially surged more than 1,400 percent so far in 2017. Market participants have commented that the launch of the futures contract wouldn’t necessarily reduce volatility in the cryptocurrency.**
3. Goldman Sachs Remains Cautious On GE
General Electric Company (GE.N) has been underperforming this year amid massive cash flow issues, rising pension obligations, and a rather problematic energy segment. As a result, it slashed its dividend in half and cut tens of thousands of jobs. Despite the company’s apparent efforts to improve its performance, analysts at Goldman Sachs remain cautious on the stock through next year. The firm reiterated its Neutral rating on GE recently and commented that it continued to look at 2018 as a transitional year for GE, as investors wait and see whether the company can reach its restructuring goals.***
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