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JUNE 23, 2023


Bitcoin is making significant gains this week, fueled by optimism that exchange-traded funds could bring new sources of demand for the digital asset. The gains of 13% this week, the highest since March, have been attributed to the filings for ETFs. These developments have the potential to reduce the barriers for financial advisors to offer exposure to Bitcoin, leading to changes in the market structure. Another factor contributing to the positive outlook is EDX Markets, the digital asset exchange backed by Citadel Securities, Fidelity Digital Assets, and Charles Schwab Corp. Despite regulatory news and comments from central bankers about higher interest rates and decreased liquidity, the long-term outlook for Bitcoin remains strong.


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has addressed concerns over new rules that would require banks to hold more capital, stating that these rules are expected to mainly apply to larger institutions, while smaller banks are likely to be exempt. Powell emphasized that banks with assets under $100 billion will not be affected by the forthcoming changes. Furthermore, Powell has also expressed concerns about the potential impact of higher capital requirements on lending. These statements came during Powell’s second day of testimony on monetary policy, where he faced questions about the future of regulation and supervision following the tumultuous events in the industry in March.


According to U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, the chances of the country falling into a recession are now lower. Yellen has based her positive outlook on the strong performance of the labor market, the decreasing rate of inflation, and the unexpected resilience demonstrated by home construction and retail sales in May. Although Yellen admitted that the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hikes are a risk factor, she remains confident about the current state of the U.S. economy. Moreover, Yellen has suggested that slowing down consumer spending may be the necessary cost of keeping inflation rates under control.


With concerns over higher interest rates and weak economic activity in the Euro zone, investors are seeking safety in bonds as global stocks headed for their most significant weekly drop in over three months. In response to the threat of more rate hikes and fears that the full impact of aggressive rate increases has yet to be realised, investors are turning away from stocks and are instead moving towards bonds. As a result, European and U.S. bond prices are rebounding, causing yields to drop, with five-year German yields set for the biggest drop since April.


Oil prices are currently declining despite Saudi Arabia’s efforts to boost them, due to concerns about the global economy and an oversupply from sanctioned producers. These challenges have led to a decrease in demand for economic and structural reasons in developed countries, as well as uncertainty about China’s future demand. Moreover, the recent increase in crude oil exports from Iran has added more instability to the oil marker as it shipped 1.5 million barrels of crude and condensate each day in May. Nevertheless, while this is 400,000 barrels more than the 12-month daily average, Iranian exports may not stay at these levels for long because the number of new tankers joining the Iranian trade is likely to decrease.

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