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5 Issues to Look Out for This Week - 15/2/21

Tesla & Elon Musk Drive BTC Price Sky-High

Bitcoin is the talk of the town after its price hit a historic high earlier this month, surpassing the $48,000 mark per coin.

What exactly drove this impressive spike?

Well, Elon Musk invested $1.5 billion in BTC and announced Tesla would start accepting payments in the cryptocurrency.

Will other companies follow and invest in Bitcoin, pushing prices even further up? Would Apple invest part of its $200 billion liquidated cash at hand?

For one, Twitter’s CFO Ned Segal told CNBC that the social media giant is thinking about adding Bitcoin to its balance sheet, looking for ways to incorporate it more generally into its daily operations.

Whatever the answer to the questions above, Bitcoin’s rise since the start of 2021 is there for your taking!

BNY Mellon & Mastercard to Start Handling Cryptos

Adding to Tesla’s move on Bitcoin, the Bank of New York MellonCorp., the oldest financial institution in the United States, announced that it was diving into the world of cryptocurrencies, being the first large custody bank in the country to do so.

On Thursday of last week, BNY Mellon said it would lend a hand to its asset-management clients by holding, transferring and issuing cryptocurrencies on their behalf.

With this announcement, money managers working with BNY Mellon won’t have to worry about using a different custody bank to keep track of and handle their crypto assets.

Similarly, Mastercard released a statement saying the company would start accepting certain cryptocurrencies directly on its network and not only via third-party platforms.

According to Mastercard’s Executive VP of Digital Asset Products, Raj Dhamodharan, this decision will “cut out inefficiencies, letting both consumers and merchants avoid having to convert back and forth between crypto and traditional to make purchases.”

Both companies said they will start accepting a small group of cryptocurrencies later this year.

Is this a sign cryptocurrencies are ready to make the leap into the mainstream and not remain just a speculative asset?

US Aims to Vaccinate Entire Population by July 2021

In a bold move, US President Joe Biden announced last week that the country has procured 600 million COVID-19 vaccines with the plan of inoculating 300 million Americans by the end of July 2021.

The US government reached an agreement with both Pfizer and Moderna to supply this much needed boost following the Trump administration’s failure to reign in the pandemic.

This initiative could be wrapped up even sooner if the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is currently undergoing clinical trials. 

Pending its approval, Johnson & Johnson has offered to deliver an extra 100 million vaccines to the US.

This news might bode well for both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s stock prices moving forward, especially if they manage to deliver on time and help quell the current crisis. 

Regardless of this, with all the movement going on in the medical and health world, now is a great time to trade pharma stocks!

Will US Retail Sales Rebound at the Start of 2021?

COVID-19, the lockdowns and rising unemployment have taken their toll on US retail sales during the past few months. 

Retail sales in December dropped by 0.7% while 140 thousand jobs were lost during that same period, the first negative month since the pandemic picked up steam back in April of last year.

Will January’s results be any different? Or will President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, which includes relief checks for individual Americans, help the retail sector bounce back?

Pay close attention to the release of the US Census Bureau’s report on retail sales, which will be issued on Wednesday, February 17th, at approximately 13:30 GMT, and have your trades ready as the US dollar will certainly make a move!

Germany and France’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) to Be Released

On Friday, February 19th, between 8:00 and 9:30 am GMT, both Germany and France will release their manufacturing and services Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), an important indicator of the overall health of their economies.

For the past few months, both countries have continued to battle COVID-19, which has been detrimental to their services sectors.

Growth for both German and French manufacturing has also slowed down as a result. 

Despite this weak start to 2021, German manufacturing remains somewhat strong thanks to an increase in the export of goods, while France has seen employment move out of the negative and resume growth.

Will this month’s PMI reports determine whether Europe’s economy has improved or do plenty of difficulties still lie ahead for the Euro?

Check in on these reports first thing Friday morning and prepare your EUR trades prior to the weekend!

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*Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices or other information contained here are provided as general market commentary and do not constitute investment advice. FXPRIMUS does not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of or reliance on such information.


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