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- US stocks traded near all-time highs, Europe’s Stoxx 600 kept making fresh records
- Ethereum’s network underwent a milestone upgrade, Ether surged over 15% in two days
Financial markets across the globe experienced another volatile week, filled with economic data, earnings reports, and elevated hopes and fears. While investors were largely optimistic the global economic expansion will continue, data suggested markets across the world could be running ahead of the economic recovery.
Stocks on Wall Street wobbled throughout the week with the S&P500 rallying to a record on Thursday. Overall, the three major US equity indexes were trading sideways over the week, hovering around the flatline as market participants digested a flurry of earnings reports and economic news.
On the earnings front, companies such as Under Armour, General Motors, Lyft, and Ralph Lauren, delivered better-than-expected revenue figures but predicted a slump in second-half financial results.
Quiet Trading Characterizes Cryptocurrencies
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida became the first highest-ranking Fed official to provide a glimpse over the expected timeline for a rate hike by the US central bank. Mr. Clarida said he believed the US economy could reach “substantial further progress” by the end of 2022, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise the interest rate by early 2023.
While investors remained hopeful the economy is healing, the Delta strain of the coronavirus reappeared in China’s city of Wuhan for the first time in over a year. Moreover, the highly transmissible virus has been found in 16 provinces in China.
The US reported a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases this week. The surge in coronavirus infections in the states could not dissuade investors from betting on stocks even after health authorities reported new cases on a seven-day basis averaged over 95,000 per day.
European markets performed well as the region-wide Stoxx 600 Europe kept pushing higher and breaking to new highs throughout the week.
Cryptocurrencies over the week traded relatively quietly. Bitcoin floated in the range between $38,000 to $42,000. Ether surged in the second half of the week as the crypto community witnessed a major upgrade to the Ethereum network. The upgrade, code-named the London hard fork, aims to reduce the token supply by employing a coin burn mechanism that would guarantee a part of every transaction fee is burned, or removed from circulation. The Ethereum token advanced over 15% Wednesday through Thursday.
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