Global markets steadied this week as the damage cause by Hurricane Irma was less than expected and the majority of markets within the US rebounded well after this weekend’s damage. Unlike Hurricane Harvey’s impact on oil refineries and pipelines causing investors to flee into safer havens, Hurricane Irma simply affected the largely irrelevant orange juice markets in which futures plummeted .
Apple (AAPL) announced its long-awaited iPhone X on Tuesday to celebrate the decade anniversary of its original model. The screen stretches the entire front face of the phone, replacing the home button once-and-for-all with facial-recognition technology. Starting at $999, the iPhone X is Apple’s most expensive model to date. Apple shares dipped following the unveiling of its new product.
Bitcoin fell for the 5th straight day Thursday as it continues its longest losing streak all year. After China announced on September 4th that it was halting all Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) until further regulation was determined, Bitcoin took another hit this week when one of China’s largest cryptocurrency trading sites, BTCChina Exchange, said it was suspending all trades by the end of the month. Continued government regulation has halted Bitcoin’s epic rise this year, so it will be interesting to see how the cryptocurrency bounces back.
Equifax (EFX), one of the largest and oldest consumer credit reporting agencies in the country, was hacked this past week. Nearly 150 million customers’ personal information was hacked by a single group of cybercriminals resulting in one of the largest breaches in US history. Equifax shares have been dropping heavily since the announcement. This incident brings to the light the flaws of hording mass amounts of information in one centralized database. After Facebook revealed earlier this week that nearly $100,000 worth of advertisements were purchased by a Russian source in an attempt to stir the election, it is clear that a move to decentralized platforms is inevitable. Will Blockchain’s decentralized technology continue to be regulated until its non-existent, or will it be the future of preventing historic hacks like these?
The Bank of England further hinted at an interest rate hike in the coming months after it voted in favor of holding the rate steady on Thursday morning. Although the Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 in favor of holding the interest rate at 0.25%, the Bank of England hinted after its announcement that its increase in rates may come sooner than expected as long as the pound continues to strengthen. The pound rallied heavily following the announcement.
The dollar weakened after an unexpected decline in August retail sales raised concern over the economy’s strength. The August decline in sales and downward revisions to the prior month make it more likely that consumption, the biggest part of the economy, will be hard-pressed to match the 3.3% growth pace of the prior quarter. With economic themes back in the foreground, markets are showing signs of becoming conditioned to provocative actions from North Korea, which has launched more than a dozen missiles this year and tested a nuclear device.