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DECEMBER 18, 2023


Coinbase recently sought specific regulations on digital assets from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but the request was rejected. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler argued that current securities regulations are adequate for crypto asset governance, dismissing the need for a separate framework. Despite Coinbase planning to contest the decision in court, two SEC commissioners opposed the denial, advocating for potential benefits from new regulations. However, the SEC remains firm, stating the current rules sufficiently address crypto asset concerns, despite Coinbase’s disagreement. This rejection fuels the ongoing debate over U.S. cryptocurrency regulation, and while Coinbase plans to challenge the decision, regulatory disagreements persist, with the SEC rejecting tailored rules and some commissioners urging exploration of new regulations.


As per the latest analysis by the Bank of America (BofA) Global Research, the Federal Reserve is anticipated to roll out four 25-basis point rate cuts commencing in March of the next year, a revision from their previous forecast of three cuts. This shift comes after the central bank’s pivot to a more accommodative stance during its latest policy meeting. Moreover, the firm has adjusted its projection for U.S. economic growth to 1.2% for the upcoming year, attributed to a more robust outlook for consumer spending. In addition, economist Michael Gapen of BofA pointed out that recent economic indicators support the view that the U.S. economy can sustain moderate growth alongside disinflation. Gapen also emphasized that the Fed’s more dovish stance has brought forward the anticipated timing of the initial rate cut. Additionally, in response to indications from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hinting at a probable end to the unprecedented tightening in monetary policy initiated in March 2022, several financial institutions have revised their forecasts for the timing of the first interest rate reduction.


The housing market is currently experiencing a substantial increase in buyer interest, driven by the lowest mortgage rates since summer. However, this swell in demand clashes with a serious scarcity of available homes for sale, causing prices to remain at record highs. Even as mortgage rates dipped below 7%, homeowners have been reluctant to sell, fearing a loss of their low mortgage rates in exchange for higher-cost loans. As a result, the real estate market is at risk of stagnation, with the potential for an impasse between buyer interest and lack of available properties. This standoff situation has led to a situation of low inventory, with new for-sale listings increasing slowly, in contrast to the market demand. Moreover, economic experts suggest the housing market slowdown may result from efforts by the Federal Reserve to control inflation, nevertheless, despite this challenging scenario, some predict a gradual decline in mortgage rates and a potential rise in housing inventory next year. Therefore, although the market is currently facing constraints, it is hoped that changes in mortgage rates and inventory levels will eventually contribute to a more balanced and active market.


The initial public offering (IPO) market in London has been facing a tough time in 2023. U.K. stock listings have fallen far short of usual levels, barely reaching $1 billion this year. Most new companies coming to the market are seeing their stock prices drop below the level set during the IPO. This has posed significant challenges for the London Stock Exchange, which has not only been grappling with a reduced number of listed companies and trading outages, but also facing pressure from an activist investor to move a major FTSE 100 company, Pearson Plc, to the U.S. In 2023, only a few smaller companies have debuted on the U.K. market, and a majority of them have experienced substantial stock price declines. The general trend has been worrisome, with companies such as Arm Holdings and Marex Group preferring to list in New York, and others like CRH Plc being pressured to follow suit. Nonetheless, despite these challenges, it is worth noting that the London IPO market could see positive effects from private equity takeovers and potential interest rate cuts, offering a ray of hope amidst the current struggles.


Monday: Home builder confidence index report for December.

Tuesday: Housing starts and building permits reports for November.

Wednesday: U.S. current account report for third quarter, and existing home sales report for November.

Thursday: Initial jobless claims for week ending on December 16, revised GDP report for third quarter, U.S. leading economic indicators report for November, and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey report for December.

Friday: Personal income and spending, PCE index, and new home sales reports for November, and final consumer sentiment report for December.

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