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KostiaForexMart
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January 06. Trump bans transactions with Chinese payment services

US President Donald Trump signed a decree banning financial transactions with Chinese companies. The list of these companies includes corporations that control and develop applications for eight payment systems.

In particular, the ban included: Alipay, owned by Jack Ma's Ant Group, WeChat Pay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate and WPS Office.

Trump explained his decision by the fact that these applications get access to confidential information of users, which can then be used by the Chinese authorities for their own purposes. However, the decree will enter into force only 45 days later, after the president leaves the White House. Moreover, the newly elected President of the United States, Joe Biden, has the power to revoke Trump's decree on the first day of his presidency, that is, January 20.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 11. Oil has renewed its February 2020 high

On Monday, March Brent oil futures surpassed $56 per barrel for the first time since February 25, 2020. During the day, quotations decreased slightly, but still remained above the $55 per barrel level. March futures for the Texas WTI reached $51.56 a barrel.

The oil market began its growth last week, after Saudi Arabia announced its intention to reduce oil production by 1 million barrels per day in February and March. Earlier at a meeting, the OPEC+ countries decided to keep the current production restrictions. At the same time, Russia and Kazakhstan were allowed to increase oil production in aggregate by 75 thousand barrels per day.

Today, pressure on quotes continues to be exerted by investors' fears about the prospects for global economic growth and demand for raw materials amid the further spread of coronavirus in many regions of the world. Traders are confident that a worsening epidemiological situation will inevitably lead to a slowdown in economic activity.

Additional pressure on the oil market was provided by the Baker Hughes report, according to which the number of operating oil rigs increased by 8 units to 275, which corresponds to an 8-month high.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 12. European markets decline amid doubts about vaccine effectiveness

European stocks on Tuesday traded in different directions, reacting to the statements of the US Federal Reserve officials about the likelihood of a reduction in monetary stimulus at the end of this year.

The German DAX index traded at 13.916 today, shedding 0.14%. The CAC 40 in France also declined to 5.654, while the UK FTSE fell to 6.744, shedding 0.66%.

Major global indices have recently shown gains thanks to incentives from central banks and local governments, as well as against the backdrop of the start of mass vaccinations against coronavirus. However, now investors are beginning to doubt the effectiveness of vaccination due to the emergence of new highly infectious strains of the virus.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 13. Bitcoin shows worst dynamics since March 2020

On Wednesday, the most popular cryptocurrency drops in price, showing the worst trading dynamics since March 2020. Since the beginning of the new year, bitcoin has been showing increased volatility: until recently, the currency was updating its historical highs in the area of ​​$42 thousand, and today it is already trading near $34 thousand.

At the same time, JPMorgan bank experts previously said that the cost of bitcoin could jump up to $146 thousand if the cryptocurrency acts as a competitor to gold as a «safe haven».

The jump in the price of bitcoin at the end of 2020 came as a surprise to the markets. The previous sharp rise in the digital currency was recorded at the end of 2017, when quotes rose to the level of $20 thousand. After that, there was a certain lull in the cryptocurrency market, and bitcoin entered a period of a protracted depression that lasted until the spring of 2020.

In the spring, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for bitcoin grew along with the appetite for risky assets amid massive injections from the US Federal Reserve and central banks of other countries.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 14. The yield on Italian government bonds rises due to political chaos in Rome

The yield spread on Italian and German 10-year government bonds reached its highest level in a month amid political turmoil in Rome and slowdown in economic growth in the country – 116 basis points.

Italy has faced political chaos after the party of former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi left the government, stripping the ruling coalition of its parliamentary majority.

As a result, the yield on Italian government bonds rose by 4-7 basis points. The underlying 10-year yield rose 6 basis points to 0.617%.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 15. German economy shrank by only 5% in 2020

According to preliminary data from the German Federal Statistical Office, the country's economy contracted by only 5% in 2020, less than expected. This was facilitated by the decisive measures of the German government, which made it possible to minimize the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fall in GDP turned out to be less than the forecast of 5.1% and less serious than the record economic contraction in 2009 during the global financial crisis. The agency also noted that the German economy faced stagnation in the IV quarter of 2020, but analysts are still expecting positive dynamics in the new year.

Recall, that in March last year, the government of Angela Merkel took a number of measures to rescue and stimulate the largest economy in Europe. Specifically, incentives included helping companies struggling with the pandemic, job protection schemes for employees, tax cuts, and cash disbursements to boost domestic demand. The government also invested in green technologies and infrastructure.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 18. German economy faces significant decline if restrictions are extended

The Bundesbank said today that the German economy still manages to stay afloat, but it could also face a «tangible blow» if the country extends restrictions to combat the coronavirus.

As early as autumn, Germany introduced tougher measures, such as the closure of some schools and shops, to restrict the movement of people and prevent the spread of Covid.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in favor of taking very quick measures to avoid mass morbidity. German authorities will meet this week to discuss tougher restrictions. However, the German central bank fears that if the measures are extended, the country's economy could be seriously affected.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 19. Important macroeconomic publications of the day

Macroeconomic calendar on Tuesday does not differ in the variety of publications, however, attention should be paid to the following reports that can affect the dynamics of trading in the single European currency.

According to the report of the German Institute ZEW, the index of business sentiment in Germany, assessing business expectations, amounted to 61.8 points in January against 55.0 a month earlier. Analysts predicted the value of the January indicator at 55.1.

A similar report on business sentiment in the eurozone showed an increase in the indicator from 54.4 points in December to 58.3 points in January. Experts had expected the value of the January indicator at 54.1.

The German Federal Office for Statistics Destatis presented its final inflation report today. The consumer price index in Germany rose 0.5% in December, in line with preliminary data and analysts' forecasts. In annual terms, consumer inflation in December decreased by 0.7%.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 20. Joe Biden takes over as President of the United States

Today is a very important day for the United States of America – the inauguration of the new President-elect Joe Biden. The 78-year-old Democrat will become the oldest president in U.S. history and lead a country plagued by the coronavirus pandemic and political divisions.

Biden's companion Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, will become the first black, first woman, and first Asian American to be elected US Vice President.

The inauguration ceremony will take place at the Capitol Building, where the unprecedented storming of the building by supporters of Donald Trump was organized on January 6. As a result of this «action», the US House of Representatives last week impeached the incumbent president for the second time, which also has never happened in the history of the country.

Contrary to tradition, the outgoing president will not be present at the inauguration of his successor: this morning D. Trump left the White House and Washington without admitting defeat in the elections.
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KostiaForexMart
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January 21. ECB expectedly kept the base rate at zero level

The Board of Governors of the European Central Bank (ECB) at its meeting today kept the base interest rate at a record low zero, as expected by most experts. The rate has been at this level since March 2016.

The deposit rate was also left unchanged – at the level of minus 0.5%, while the margin rate remained at 0.25%.

The European regulator noted that it will keep all rates at (or below) the current level until inflation approaches the target level of 2%.

In addition to rates, the ECB left unchanged the parameters of the special asset purchase program Pandemic emergency purchase program (PEPP). At the moment, its volume is 1.85 trillion euros. The program will run at least until the end of March 2022.
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