Weekly news summary for February 24 to March 2

Friday, Feb. 24: Coinbase Introduces Ethereum Layer-2 Network Base

Coinbase Global Inc. has revealed its new Ethereum layer-2 network Base, aimed at offering low-cost and secure space for developers to create decentralized apps (dApps) on the blockchain.

The US cryptocurrency exchange has started the testnet of Base, which was built on Optimism’s open-source OP Stack, and stated that the network would provide access to layer 2 networks like Optimism and other blockchain ecosystems such as Solana, in addition to Ethereum.

Monday, Feb. 27: German 10-Year Yield Posts New 12-Year High

The German 10-year bond yield surged on Monday to hit a new 12-year high as investors expect more persistent inflation and the European Central Bank (ECB) to continue with higher interest rates.

The benchmark 10-year yield added four basis points to 2.58%, its highest since August 2011, with money markets briefly priced in the eurozone interest rates peaking about 3.8% later this year, while a market gauge of the bloc’s long-term inflation expectations climbed to a nine-month high of 2.48%.

Tuesday, Feb. 28: Musk Hires AI Researchers to Create ChatGPT Rival

Tesla Inc. and Twitter Inc. chief executive Elon Musk have reportedly recruited artificial intelligence (AI) researchers to set up a new lab to potentially create a rival for OpenAI’s text-based chatbot ChatGPT.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said Musk has reached out to Igor Babuschkin, a former researcher of Alphabet Inc.’s DeepMind AI unit, to head the effort, although the project is still in the early stages and currently has no definite plan to develop products.

Wednesday, Mar. 1: Apollo Global Reportedly Planning to Buy Arconic

Apollo Global Management Inc. is reportedly in talks to US acquire aluminum products manufacturer Arconic Corp. further signaling the thawing of a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) freeze that troubled the financial sector since late 2022 as banks struggled to divest unwanted leveraged buyout debt.

Shares of Arconic rose 19.8% following the news, with people familiar with the matter saying the New York-based private equity firm buying Arconic, which is currently worth 2.69 billion dollars, could include a substantial premium if a deal is established.

Thursday, Mar. 2: Asian Currencies Slide as Yields Hit Record Highs

Most Asian currencies weakened on Thursday after US manufacturing prices unexpectedly rose 51.3 from the previous 44.5 in February and as short-term Treasury yields hit a 16-year high on expectations of the Federal Reserve maintaining higher interest rates for a longer period.

The Chinese yuan fell 0.4% against the US dollar and was one of the worst performers for the day after a 1% rally on Wednesday, while the Taiwan dollar and South Korean won shed 0.3%, and 0.6 respectively, and the Japanese yen declined 0.3% as the country’s capital spending stayed firm in the fourth quarter.


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