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Canadian Dollar Falls As Crude Oil Slumps, Keystone XL Pipeline Canceled

The Canadian dollar is weakening against its US peer to finish the trading week, paring most of its gains from recent sessions. The loonie is slumping amid declining crude oil prices and developments on the Keystone XL pipeline front. But positive…

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The Canadian dollar is weakening against its US peer to finish the trading week, paring most of its gains from recent sessions. The loonie is slumping amid declining crude oil prices and developments on the Keystone XL pipeline front. But positive economic data offset some of the bearish news. Could the currency’s push over the last several months come to a screeching halt?

According to Statistics Canada, retail sales advanced 1.3% in November, beating the market forecast of 0.1%. The retail trade reported gains in food and beverage and e-commerce, but declines for motor vehicles and automobile parts. On an annualized basis, retail sales surged 7.3% in November. Advanced estimates suggest retail sales slumped 2.6% last month.

Wholesale sales tumbled 1.7% in December, snapping a seven-month streak of gains. The statistics agency reported lower sales for machinery, equipment, supplies, and miscellaneous subsectors.

Earlier this week, it was reported that manufacturing sales dropped 0.6% in November. New housing prices jumped 0.3% last month. The consumer price index (CPI) fell 0.2% in December, but the inflation rate climbed 0.7% year-over-year.

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada (BoC) held its first monetary policy meeting of 2021. Policymakers left interest rates unchanged at 0.25% and maintained the central bank’s quantitative easing program of $4 billion per week. The BoC forecast that the Canadian economy would contract in the first quarter but rebound in the second quarter. Overall, officials anticipate that the economy will expand 4% this year and grow another 4.8% in 2022.

BoC Governor Tiff Macklem warned that the country is “moving in the wrong direction right now, so the hole is going to be a little bit deeper,” adding that a stronger loonie could throw a wrench in the economic recovery.

Canada’s economy had strong momentum through to late 2020, but the resurgence of cases and the reintroduction of lockdown measures are a serious setback.

The outlook for Canada is now stronger and more secure than in the October projection, thanks to earlier-than-expected availability of vaccines and significant ongoing policy stimulus.

The loonie is getting hammered by slumping energy prices. March West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures fell $0.69, or 1.3%, to $52.44 per barrel. March natural gas futures slipped $0.029, or 1.16%, to $2.468 per million British thermal units (btu).

Canada maintains a current account deficit, so the national economy relies on exports for growth. Since oil and gas remain the country’s top exports, any price change can impact the loonie and the broader economy.

Meanwhile, on the political front, President Joe Biden recently put the kibosh on the Keystone XL pipeline system that would have mostly transported crude from Alberta to Texas. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to speak with Biden about the situation during the president’s first telephone call with a foreign leader. The Keystone has been a contentious project for both Canada and the US, despite its enormous economic benefits for each country.

The bond market was mostly in the red to close out the trading week, with the benchmark 10-year bond tumbling 0.029% to 0.844%. The one-year note rose 0.015% to 0.135%, while the 30-year bond slid 0.024% to 1.476%.

The USD/CAD currency pair surged 0.77% to 1.2737, from an opening of 1.2637, at 17:49 GMT on Friday. The EUR/CAD soared 0.75% to 1.5496, from an opening of 1.5375.


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Economics

Is the US willing to give up the world’s reserve currency to fix its trade deficit?

2021.10.15
The balance of trade is an important barometer of a country’s economic health. A trade deficit occurs when the value of its imports exceeds…

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Is the US willing to give up the world’s reserve currency to fix its trade deficit?

2021.10.15

The balance of trade is an important barometer of a country’s economic health. A trade deficit occurs when the value of its imports exceeds the value of its exports, with imports and exports referring to both goods and services.

A trade deficit simply means a country is buying more goods and services than it is selling. This situation generally hurts job creation and economic growth, although it is good for consumers who are able to buy cheap imports due to the deficit-running country’s currency being stronger than its trading partners. 

The widening trade gap especially with China was a prominent theme in the 2016 US presidential election, and a primary reason that the former US president launched a trade war soon after taking office. Trump thought that cutting the trade deficit by slapping tariffs on goods imported from China, mostly, along with the EU and Canada, would bring back US jobs lost to out-sourcing, and strengthen the economy.

It didn’t work.

The online magazine ‘Reason’ quotes Scott Lincicome at the Cato Institute stating “The tariffs that the Trump administration imposed on Chinese imports harmed U.S. consumers and manufacturers, deterred investment (mainly due to uncertainty), lowered U.S. GDP growth, and hurt U.S. exporters (especially farmers but also U.S. manufacturers that used Chinese inputs).”

Despite this, the tariffs remain and will likely be increased. In an end of September interview with Politico, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that the Biden administration plans to build on existing tariffs on many more billions of dollars in Chinese imports and confront Beijing for failing to fulfill its obligations under a Trump-brokered trade agreement.

Indeed the administration appears more focused on cultivating ties with other countries to present a united front against China, than returning to a (mostly) tariff-free arrangement with its largest trading partner.

Meanwhile, writes Reason, While tariffs are pitched to the public as a way to help domestic workers or boost U.S. competitiveness, they always penalize domestic consumers through fewer choices and higher prices.

As for the US trade deficit, is has gone up since Trump left office in January 2021. CNBC reported the deficit hitting a record-high $73.3 billion in August, boosted by imports as businesses rebuilt inventories drawn down during the pandemic.

The US trade deficit reached a record $73.3 billion in August. Source: YCharts

Goods imports rose 1.1% to $239.1 billion, led by consumer items such as pharmaceuticals, toys, games and sporting goods. Imports of services increased $1.3 billion to $47.9 billion in August. Overall, imports shot up 1.4% to $287B, the highest on record, CNBC said.

Forbes chipped in that the annual trade gap is on track to top $1 trillion for the first time, suggesting that Trump’s tariffs on China and Europe have had a limited impact on slowing US imports.

The article, by subject expert Ken Roberts, notes that Vietnam is a big part of the reason for the deficit increasing. America’s trade gap with its former Cold War adversary through June topped $42 billion, third behind China and Mexico. For every dollar of US-Vietnam trade, only 11 cents is a US export. 

The other reason is the unusual situation US consumers find themselves in. Prone more to spending than saving, a lot of Americans hunkered down during the pandemic, preferring to hold off on major purchases and pay down debt. Roberts explains:

There has been and still is a lot of money in the pockets of consumers and businesses, thanks to the largesse of the U. S. Congress and its efforts to stave off the ill effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, and to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate and other policies, with the same goals. Those efforts have succeeded, perhaps too well.

The economy continues to grow rapidly, though it is perhaps beginning to show signs of slowing, with demand outpacing the supply chain’s ability to keep up, leading to inflation.

The inflationary theme is one we at AOTH have picked up on and written a number of recent articles about.

The US Federal Reserve’s official line is that inflation is only temporary, however we see things differently

In June the US consumer price index (CPI) surged by 5.4%, the most since 2008, as economic activity picked up but was constrained in some sectors by supply bottlenecks.

The pandemic has put tremendous pressure on supply chains, and the prices of many agricultural commodities such as grain, corn and soybeans, have skyrocketed, as shown in the food inflation chart above.

Several industrial metals have enjoyed significant price gains, too, including copper, nickel, zinc, lead and aluminum.

Source: Kitco

The US government is reportedly stepping up efforts to relieve the “supply chain nightmare” that has led to shortages of some goods, higher prices, port congestion, skyrocketing freight rates, and now threatens to slow the economic recovery.

CNBC wrote Wednesday that the White House plans to work with companies and ports to alleviate bottlenecks. Measures include getting the Port of Los Angeles to operate 24/7, something its rival Long Beach already does, thereby increasing the time spent unloading ships and getting more vessels currently at anchor into available berths.

President Biden apparently told an audience of port operators, truckers’ associations, labor unions, and executives from Walmart, FedEx, UPS and Target, that “For the positive impact to be felt all across the country and by all of you at home, we need major retailers who ordered the goods and the freight movers who take the goods from the ships to factories and stores to step up as well.”

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, has committed to a 50% increase in moving goods during off-peak hours. FedEx and UPS will also increase their overnight operations.

To address the truck driver shortage that has added to supply chain woes, the Department of Motor Vehicles is expected to increase the number of commercial drivers’ licenses it issues.

This is all well and good. However I would argue it misses the point completely. The problem isn’t US supply chains, it’s not a shortage of containers, rail cars, truck drivers, nor is it the fact that there are 100 freighters sitting at anchor, waiting to unload. If the United States had done things differently, they wouldn’t have a $73-billion-dollar trade deficit closing in on $1 trillion annually, and there would be much fewer container vessels stacked with cheap Asian goods, certainly not the number currently clogging up the country’s port, rail and road infrastructure.

Had the federal government been focused on protecting American jobs and the US manufacturing base, the current trade flows might actually be reversed, with more goods leaving American shores than are piling up on them.

The reality is, the United States hardly makes anything of importance, it is primarily a services-based economy that sucks in cheap goods from Asia — that is the fundamental problem.

Moreover, don’t be fooled into thinking these supply bottlenecks are all about the pandemic and that once relieved, trade flows will increase and help alleviate the trade deficit.

Successive administrations one after the other have gutted America’s manufacturing base. Gung-ho on globalization, they let overseas merchants supply everything from t-shirts and golf clubs to critical minerals — future-facing metals such as rare earths, lithium, graphite and cobalt.

The result has been a surge in imports and a slowing of exports. According to The Balance, 2020’s trade deficit was much higher than that of 2019, $676.7B versus $576.3B. Last year the United States imported $2.3 trillion in consumer goods while exporting only $1.4T worth, creating a $909.9B goods deficit that was the highest on record. In 2020 the country had a half-trillion-dollar deficit with its five largest trading partners; imports from China, Mexico, Canada, Japan and Germany out-paced US exports to these countries by $551.2 billion.

Sounds like a lot, but what’s wrong with a trade deficit? As mentioned at the top, deficits generally hurt job creation and economic growth. The Balance adds that an ongoing trade deficit is detrimental to the US because it is financed by debt:

The U.S. can buy more than it makes because it borrows from its trading partners. It’s like a party where the pizza place is willing to keep sending you pizzas and putting them on your tab. This can only continue as long as the pizzeria trusts you to repay the loan. One day, the lending countries could decide to ask America to repay the debt…

Another concern about the trade deficit is the statement it makes about the competitiveness of the U.S. economy itself. By purchasing goods overseas for a long enough period, U.S. companies lose their expertise and even the factories to make those products. As the nation loses its competitiveness, it outsources more jobs, which reduces its standard of living.

Key to understanding the trade deficit is the rise and fall of the US dollar. Basically a weak dollar helps exports and a strong dollar helps imports. Exporting countries thus prefer to keep their currencies weaker in relation to their trading partners, while nations that rely more on imports want to keep their currencies strong, benefiting consumers by making imports priced in other currencies cheaper.

The United States is uniquely beholden to trade deficits because it has the world’s reserve currency. While many including US President Trump have used the trade deficit as a kind of punching bag, while advocating for a lower dollar, the reality is the US dollar’s reserve-currency status goes hand in glove with a trade deficit. Politicians don’t seem to know this, but economists do, as do we at AOTH. What does it mean? 

The Triffin Dilemma

The dollar as the world’s reserve currency can only go so low because it will always be in high demand for countries to purchase commodities priced in US dollars, and US Treasuries. Nor should it be allowed to go too low, because that would risk the dollar losing its “exorbitant privilege”. 

Because the dollar is the world’s currency, the US can borrow more cheaply than it could otherwise, US banks and companies can conveniently do cross-border business using their own currency, and when there is geopolitical tension, central banks and investors buy US Treasuries, keeping the dollar high – self serving act, keep the dollar high, your currency low. A government that borrows in a foreign currency can go bankrupt; not so when it borrows from abroad in its own currency ie. through foreign purchases of US Treasury bills. The US can spend as much as it likes, by keeping on issuing Treasuries that are bought continuously by foreign governments. No other country can do this.  

The cost of having this privileged status is the country that has it, must run a trade deficit with the rest of the world. It can’t have the strongest currency, and also keep the currency low in order to increase exports.  

This is explained in a previous AOTH article titled ‘The Triffin Dilemma Will Create a 3G World’. Here is an excerpt: 

When a national currency also serves as an international reserve currency conflicts between a country’s national monetary policy and its global monetary policy will arise.

In October of 1959, a Yale professor sat in front of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee and calmly announced that the Bretton Woods system was doomed. The dollar could not survive as the world’s reserve currency without requiring the United States to run ever-growing deficits. This dismal scientist was Belgium-born Robert Triffin, and he was right. The Bretton Woods system collapsed in 1971, and today the dollar’s role as the reserve currency has the United States running the largest current account deficit in the world.

By “agreeing” to have its currency used as a reserve currency, a country pins its hands behind its back. In order to keep the global economy chugging along, it may have to inject large amounts of currency into circulation, driving up inflation at home. The more popular the reserve currency is relative to other currencies, the higher its exchange rate and the less competitive domestic exporting industries become. This causes a trade deficit for the currency-issuing country, but makes the world happy. If the reserve currency country instead decides to focus on domestic monetary policy by not issuing more currency then the world is unhappy.

Becoming a reserve currency presents countries with a paradox. They want the “interest-free” loan generated by selling currency to foreign governments, and the ability to raise capital quickly, because of high demand for reserve currency-denominated bonds. At the same time they want to be able to use capital and monetary policy to ensure that domestic industries are competitive in the world market, and to make sure that the domestic economy is healthy and not running large trade deficits.

Unfortunately, both of these ideas – cheap sources of capital and positive trade balances – can’t really happen at the same time.” — ‘How The Triffin Dilemma Affects Currencies’, investopedia.com

Conclusion

For the United States, the only way out of the Triffin Dilemma is for the US to quit the dollar being the world’s reserve currency. That would give the central bank the freedom to raise or lower interest rates, and increase or decrease the money supply, without fear of denting the value of the dollar in relation to other currencies which also lessens the government’s ability to borrow from its trading partners (through issuing Treasuries) to finance its debts and spending.

An analysis of reserve-currency alternatives is beyond the scope of this article, however suffice to say there are essentially three options, explained in detail in this Wall Street Journal piece: 1/ muddle along under the current “dollar standard”; 2/ turn the International Monetary Fund into a global central bank that issues “special drawing rights”, a kind of international reserve asset; 3/ adopt a modern international gold standard.

I’m not suggesting the country is anywhere close to dropping the dollar as the reserve currency. I only wish to point out there is a fundamental disconnect, in the United States, between domestic policy and the international monetary order.

Consider: despite everything that Trump did to try and lower the dollar, including badgering Fed Chair Jerome Powell and accusing China of devaluing the yuan, yet failed, Biden is attempting to do the same thing.

A New York Times article explains how Biden, like Trump, wants to revive American manufacturing. To deliver, he has to do something about the strength of the dollar, which according to a US dollar index chart DXY below, has mostly moved higher. Starting the year at 89.14, DXY currently sits at 94.00.

The president has reportedly hired a handful of senior economic advisers who are concerned about the dollar’s strength and have explored ways to reduce it. Sound familiar?

The Times notes the dollar’s strength over the past few decades has bloated the trade deficit which tripled as a share of gross domestic product in the 1990s and has remained high.

At its simplest level, the trade deficit represents a kind of leakage from the U.S. economy: Americans buy more in goods and services from abroad than the rest of the world buys from the United States, and the country takes on foreign debt to pay for the difference. If Americans bought more domestically made products and fewer imports, the spending would create jobs for U.S.-based workers and require less debt.

The above paragraph more or less summarizes my position, which is that the United States can’t continue to hold the world’s reserve currency if it wishes to devalue the dollar, thereby returning lost manufacturing jobs, increasing exports, and lessening the trade deficit which, at nearly $1 trillion, is getting as out of control as the $28 trillion national debt.

It can do one or the other, but it can’t do both. Time to stop seeing the dollar as a means of instant gratification and look to a more permanent solution that will allow the US to escape the Triffin Dilemma.

Richard (Rick) Mills
aheadoftheherd.com
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Precious Metals

Prices Rising, New Dangers Point to Hard Assets

A big week for precious metals markets as inflation pressures push consumer prices to painful new heights. On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department reported…

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Welcome to this week’s Market Wrap Podcast, I’m Mike Gleason.

A big week for precious metals markets as inflation pressures push consumer prices to painful new heights.

On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that inflation at the wholesale level is up 8.6% from a year ago. That’s the steepest annual advance since the data started being reported.

Of course, Americans who have shopped at a grocery store recently or tried to rent or buy a car don’t need to read a government report to discover that prices are surging. In many respects, inflation is even worse than reported officially.

The economy was supposed to get back to normal this year. But instead, supply disruptions are spreading and driving shortages of various consumer products from office furniture to computer chips.

News Report #1: Massive supply chain disruptions, empty shelves in stores all across the country and rising prices for what's in stock.

News Report #2: The supply shortages and the consequent shortage of goods delivered everywhere has caused prices to spike up.

News Report #3: Annual inflation now at a 13-year high. Prices for beef and bacon, used cars, gas, even furniture, all up double digits.

News Report #4: This year has seen record-breaking price jumps for children's shoes, up nearly 12% furniture, up more than 11%.

News Report #5: All these things are going up too: car rentals, they're up already almost 43%, if you can even find one. Gas, that's true. Gas up 42%. Steak is up 22%. Lodging is up almost 20%.

Bloomberg Commentor: Unless you embrace the analytically meaningless phase of persistently transitory, which I've heard, persistently transitory, this inflation round is not transitory.

Things will likely get even worse for Americans struggling with costs of living heading into the winter. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects households will see a jump of over 50% on their heating bills compared to last winter.

Those who use propane, heating oil, or natural gas to keep their homes warm will likely see the sharpest increases. Prices for energy commodities have been rising relentlessly over the past few months.

Precious metals markets may now be ready to play catch-up, although they are taking a breather here on Friday.

This week gold is up 1.0% to bring spot prices to $1,780 per ounce, despite it pulling back a good bit here today. Silver shows a weekly gain of 3.1% trade at $23.46 an ounce. Platinum prices are pushing higher by 2.9% to check in at $1,069. And finally, palladium is essentially unchanged now since last Friday’s close to command $2,113 an ounce.

Metals markets reacted positively to minutes released Wednesday from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting. Officials signaled they may begin tapering back their $120 billion in monthly bond purchases as soon as November.

They will have to start making at least some gestures toward reducing monetary stimulus if they want to retain whatever credibility they have left when it comes to inflation.

Although some investors fear Fed tapering will crash the markets, the early stages of a Fed tightening campaign tend to be favorable. Metals markets in particular often rally as the Fed begins hiking rates – contrary to what many expect to be the case.

Of course, right now central bankers are merely contemplating pulling back on bond purchases. Rate hikes aren’t even on the table yet.

The time for metals investors to be fearful of the Fed is when it may be getting ready to push interest rates above the inflation rate. If that ever occurred, rates would turn positive in real terms.

Dollar-denominated debt instruments would be viable, at least theoretically, as a place to preserve wealth. Hard assets as alternative stores of value would be vulnerable to being dumped by investors who could get compensated for holding paper instead.

But at the moment low-yielding debt instruments are more like certificates of confiscation. They are virtually guaranteed to take away purchasing power from holders when measured against current inflation realities.

Inflation risks and other risks face holders of deposit accounts at banks. For one. the IRS is pushing a sweeping plan to track all funds over $600 flowing into and out of bank accounts.

The agency’s supposed objective is to identify wealthy tax cheats. But IRS snooping at this level could lead to harassment of millions of Americans who have committed no tax fraud.

That’s just the beginning of the Biden administration’s plans for a “Great Reset” of the banking system. President Joe Biden’s nomination to the head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Saule Omarova, wants to “end banking as we know it.”

She advocates a form of socialized banking in which private bank deposits would be brought under the direct control of the central bank.

She calls her radical new banking regime “the People’s Ledger.”

Also dubbed “FedAccounts,” they would presumably be denominated in "FedCoin" – the central bank digital currency being developed behind the scenes at the Federal Reserve to enable greater tracking of and control over citizens’ financial transactions.

Although socialized banking may seem like a remote possibility in the United States of America, a financial crisis could quickly turn a central planner’s pipe dream into reality.

For example, a cascading series of bank failures that threatens to bankrupt the FDIC and wipe out millions of depositors could give the Fed all the impetus it needs to take over the entire banking system.

Holding hard assets outside the banking system may be the best form of insurance against risks within the banking system. And precious metals, being tangible forms of money, are at the foundation of any strategy to protect against risks inherent in the fiat currency regime.

Long before the Federal Reserve System came into being in 1913, gold and silver backed the U.S. dollar. And if at some point the Fed and its unlimited supplies of unbacked dollars lose all credibility with the public, precious metals will again provide people with ledgers of real value.

Well, that will do it for this week. Be sure to check back next Friday for our next Weekly Market Wrap Podcast. Until then this has been Mike Gleason with Money Metals Exchange, thanks for listening and have a weekend everybody.

      
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Economics

Crypto roundup: Bitcoin hits US$60K amid ETF approval chatter; Senator Lummis living on a BTC prayer

The cryptoverse is abuzz today on the strength of a rumour of a rumour of a rumour that Bitcoin futures … Read More
The post Crypto roundup: Bitcoin…

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The cryptoverse is abuzz today on the strength of a rumour of a rumour of a rumour that Bitcoin futures ETFs are set to be approved next week. It’s enough to make one US senator praise a higher being of some sort.

We’ll get to these hopes and prayers in a sec, but first, let’s see what’s happening with the price action…

At the time of writing, the overall crypto market cap is US$2.55 trillion, up 1.6 per cent from this time yesterday. Crypto’s pace setter (that’s Bitcoin) cracked the US$60K mark a short time ago. It’s up 4.5 per cent in the past 24 hours.

Coin360.com

As you can see from the Coin360 overview above, other top coins are largely sitting back and letting the OG crypto run the show. That said, the leading “altcoin”, Ethereum (ETH), is also travelling pretty well at present, up 6.51 per cent over the past week.

 

Bitcoin ETF ‘pretty much a done deal’

Bitcoin breaching US$60K for the first time in six months comes on the back of strengthening rumours that a crop of BTC futures exchange-traded funds are just days away now from getting the official seal of approval.

According to a Bloomberg report, which cited unnamed sources apparently close to the matter, the first Bitcoin futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are set to be greenlit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission as early as next week, and possibly Monday.

Even though the CME futures ETFs are not the “physical”, spot-backed products the crypto market has been seeking, approval on this variety could still be seen as a watershed moment for the industry.

Due to a sense of official legitimisation, it could open the floodgates for even more institutional players to buy into Bitcoin, and subsequently gain exposure to other cryptos. BTC is, after all, a pretty potent gateway drug for the likes of Ethereum, Cardano, Solana and others.

It’s probably wise to not get too overconfident about the effect it could have on the price of Bitcoin and the rest of the market just yet, though. There are at least some within the crypto bubble who are keeping a reasonably circumspect view on these ETFs.

But amid the bullish sentiment, Bitcoin has rallied 12 per cent this week, and about 35 per cent so far this month. It’s only about an eight per cent rally again from its all time high of around US$64,800.

The SEC has been processing several Bitcoin futures ETF applications, with a decision on four due this month. And, reportedly, the financial regulator’s boss, Gary Gensler, has no objections to approving them. First cab off the rank for approval looks like ProShares, which is shaping to get the nod on Monday or Tuesday.

And it looks like the Nasdaq has given its approval for the Valkyrie ETF, which should come not long after the ProShares one next week, provided Gensler and pals don’t have a last-minute change of heart.

 

 

‘Thank God for Bitcoin’

Meanwhile, with reference to the US debt raise just announced by the Biden administration, the pro-crypto Republican senator and noted Bitcoin HODLer Cynthia Lummis has described Bitcoin in holy terms.

President Joe Biden this week signed legislation to raise the US government’s already seam-busting debt limit to a scarcely fathomable US$28.9 trillion.

And Senator Lummis’ response?

“Time and again, presidents of both parties have run up the debt irresponsibly, with no plan to address it. So thank God for Bitcoin, and other non-fiat currencies that transcend the irresponsibility of governments, including our own.”

Dem’s fightin’ words.

Although it’s not a black-and-white Democrats vs Republicans issue as such, there have certainly been some vocal senators in the traditionally more conservative party speaking out in favour of Bitcoin just recently.

Along with fellow Republican senators Pat Toomey and Ted Cruz, Lummis is one of the most vocal advocates for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies occupying the US Senate.

Lummis is also known for putting her money where her mouth is, so to speak, accumulating a good amount of BTC, with a recent purchase worth somewhere in the vicinity of US$100K, as reported by Cointelegraph.

 

Mooners and shakers

Before we get outta here for the week, let’s take a quick look at some top winners and losers up and down the market cap list today…

Doing well: obviously Bitcoin (BTC) now +6%, having just surged higher to US$60,712; Polygon (MATIC) +15.3%; Keep Network (KEEP) +80%; BarnBridge (BOND) +47%; and Death Road (DRACE) + 16%, which was recently mentioned in a Stockhead interview with Illuvium founder Kieran Warwick.

Illuvium (ILV), incidentally, hit a new all time high of US$714 about 10 hours ago. It’s currently changing hands for US$702.

Polygon is faring well today on the back of this solid news – a fresh listing with the large, regulated Korean crypto exchange Upbit…

Not having the best day, however, and that’s an understatement, is the crypto index project Indexed Finance (NDX) -32%, and its associated crypto-basket index tokens CC10, -100%, and DEFI5, -96%.

The protocol has suffered a crippling exploit with US$16 million worth of funds being drained from index pools by a hacker. The Indexed Finance team has yet to announce a plan to compensate users for lost assets. 

The post Crypto roundup: Bitcoin hits US$60K amid ETF approval chatter; Senator Lummis living on a BTC prayer appeared first on Stockhead.

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