US and European stock markets gain into the weekend
DE30: EC may reject Siemens-Alstom rail merger
Stock of the week: Volkswagen
Sterling hits fresh 11-week high against the buck
Jamaica Stock Exchange considers listing security tokens
The final session of the week for US stocks has begun on the front foot with all major US indices trading firmly higher. Despite the recent gains the US500 is still slightly lower on the week, but price has recovered pretty well from consecutive attempts to break lower on Tuesday and Wednesday and now it appears that the bulls will have a chance to ramp higher into the weekend. Most markets in Europe are also high with the Dax breaking above the 11300 level and taking out last week’s high to the upside.
According to L’Echo report, the European Commission is said to reject the European rail merger of Alstom (ALO.FR) and Siemens (SIE.DE). The report states that five European antitrust authorities submitted their objections to the tie-up. The information was not confirmed by the EU authorities yet.
Car makers all around the world had a hard time last year as trade wars and concerns over the global economic slowdown spoiled sentiment towards the industry. Growing environmental damage awareness pressures regulators to favor electric vehicles. Surprisingly, Volkswagen, the company associated with the biggest emission scandal in history, seems to be a front runner to take the lead in the EV shift thanks to newly announced global alliance as well as its own ambitious plans. To read more on our stock of the week, please view here.
There’s been further gains seen in sterling this week, with the pound moving up to its highest level since early November and closing in on the $1.32 handle once more. The GBP/USD rate is now higher by almost 4% since the low made shortly after PM May’s deal was comprehensively rejected in parliament and the markets are clearly of the belief that the chances of a no deal have diminished significantly. Tuesday will see the PM put what is essentially the same deal back before the Commons and, unsurprisingly this is likely to be met with a firm rebuttal once more.
Friday's trading on the cryptocurrency market does not seem to be especially fascinating and different compared to previous days. Major cryptocurrencies - including Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum - have not experienced more sizeable price movements so far. According to CoinMarketCap, the capitalization of the whole crypto market stands a little below the $120 billion handle while the capitalization of the largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin sits nearly the $63 billion mark. The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) and Blockstation, which is a technology partner of the JSE, announced that the first part of blockchain trading pilot had been finished. The JSE was teamed up with the Toronto-based company called Blockstation in August 2018. The mentioned part of the blockchain pilot lasted 60 days and it allowed selected market participants to trade digital currencies live. Marlene Street Forest (the Managing Director of the JSE) said that they are “looking forward to moving to the next stage of pilot which would eventually include the listing of security tokens”, as Jamaica Observer reported. Moreover, the final aim of this project is to “demonstrate the complete lifecycle of the digital asset ecosystem”, as we could read in a Blockstation’s announcement concerning the mentioned completion.