Make it or Break it

Hi Everyone,

In the United States at the moment, there are nearly 39 million people on food stamps. We already know that government workers are not getting paid during the shutdown but what now seems unclear is how the shutdown affects the poor.

For those of you who are not familiar with food stamps, this is the US government’s welfare program that provides food to poor people by giving them coupons that they can take to the store.

The thing is, the system is quite complex and varies for different states and different retailers. A few stores have already been forced to stop accepting food stamps due to the shutdown and some states have given their citizens an advanced payment.

For now, it seems that only a small number of people have actually been affected but with some analysts predicting that the shutdown could last for several more months, the future seems incredibly uncertain and information is hard to come by. So it’s worth keeping an eye on this development as it could potentially affect several areas of the US economy and the broader market.

eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Shutdown: Day 28 | Days to Brexit: 70
  • 10 Year Challenge
  • Russia’s Real Crypto Plans

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 18th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

The markets were relieved yesterday by the news that…

This is a good indication that US-China trade talks are going well and seeing any sort of concessions from the White House, or even the indication that there may be concessions, is cause for celebration among investors.

The positive sentiment has carried through the Asian session and well into European trading.

Risk On

With the rise in stocks, we’re seeing some of the hallmarks that show investors are looking to take on more risk today.

Gold has managed to pull back from the $1,300 resistance level and oil is testing new highs, despite an IEA report that expects over-production to continue.

Perhaps the biggest indication of risk on sentiment today is coming from the USDJPY, which has now stepped over the 109 level as traders sell the Yen for the Greenback.

Next weekend is likely to start with a bang!

Just a few hours after markets open and before most western investors have opened their eyes, China will report some critical GDP growth data. As the China slowdown has become a prevalent theme in the markets recently this single data point can be a make it or break it moment.

Russia’s Real Crypto Plans

Last week, in one of our daily market updates (titled: Digital Reserves), we discussed a rumor that was circulating in the crypto community that the Central Bank of Russia may be planning to add bitcoin to its national reserves.

Well, it turns out Elina Sidorenko, the chairperson for the government committee for overseeing cryptocurrencies, has now clarified that while Russia might want to do this, it could be another 30 years before this becomes a reality.

As we correctly noted in the daily update at the time, the major setback here is that there is currently no legal framework for doing this. However, from what I understand, the idea of setting up a national CryptoRuble is being discussed among government officials and could very well happen within the next couple of years.

In any case, we do know that the government of Russia is watching the crypto space quite closely. Dimitry Medvedev was quoted just yesterday as saying that the bear market doesn’t spell the end of crypto.

Spoken like a true crypto advocate!!

Have an amazing weekend.

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

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Best regards,
Mati Greenspan
Senior Market Analyst

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