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Weekly news summary for September 24 to 30

Friday, Sept. 24: China’s New Crypto Ban Hits Wood’s ARK ETF Again

China’s crackdown on Bitcoin trading has again struck Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation exchange-traded fund (ETF), which beat all other US equity funds in performance in 2020 after regulators announced a blanket ban on all cryptocurrency transactions and mining.

The news led to a selloff in Bitcoin, resulting in a loss of more than 5% to $42,475, while Coinbase Global Inc., a cryptocurrency company that represents about 4.7% of Wood’s $21.7-billion ETF, declined over 1.5% and Ark Innovation shed 1.4% in midday trading.

Monday, Sept. 27: Senate Republicans Block US Debt Ceiling Increase

US Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a House-passed bill that would have kept the government funded through December 3, 2021, and put the debt ceiling on hold through December 16 of next year, leaving Democrats racing to avoid a potential economic catastrophe.

Lawmakers need to approve government funding before Friday to avert a shutdown and a default that, according to the Treasury Department, could occur in October if Congress still does not raise the federal borrowing limit by that date, leading to a self-inflicted recession and financial crisis in the US.

Tuesday, Sept. 28: Brent Oil Hits 3-Year High, Rises Above $80

Global oil benchmark Brent rose in early trading on Tuesday, coming in above $80 per barrel for the first time since October 2018 before easing to trade in the red, as five straight days of gains, driven by recovering fuel demand due to tight supplies, lose momentum.

Brent crude oil futures were down 0.6% to $79.09 per barrel after posting a three-year high of $80.75 earlier, while US oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 0.2% to $75.29 per barrel, having reached a two-month high of $76.67.

Wednesday, Sept. 29: Evergrande to Sell $1.5B Stake in Shengjing Bank

Troubled property developer Evergrande Group announced on Wednesday that it would sell a CN¥9.99-billion ($1.5 billion) stake in state-owned commercial bank Shengjing Bank, having earlier already sold off CN¥1 billion worth of shares in the firm in an effort to ease its cash crunch.

Evergrande stated in an exchange filing that Shengjing Bank requested all net proceeds from selling 1.75 billion of the shares it owns in the bank, which amounts to 19.93% of the Chinese asset manager’s issued share capital, be used to take care of its financial liabilities due to them.

Thursday, Sept. 30: Dollar Near One-Year High on Possible Fed Tapering

The US dollar traded close to a one-year high against other major currencies on Thursday, following two consecutive days of gains amid hopes for a tighter Federal Reserve stimulus from November and a potential interest rate increase next year.

The US dollar index weakened by 0.02% to $94.338, slightly changed from Wednesday, when it reached $94.435 for the first time since September 2020, while the greenback acquired 111.86 yen, taking a small dip after hitting 112.05, a level not booked since February of last year.

 

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