Bitcoin to online petwear: ‘Papa Musk’ lures investors

Bitcoin to online petwear: ‘Papa Musk’ lures investors
Bitcoin, meanwhile, riding on Musk’s tag, was up 10.2 percent to $36,901 by 1505 GMT on Friday. (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 January 2021

Bitcoin to online petwear: ‘Papa Musk’ lures investors

Bitcoin to online petwear: ‘Papa Musk’ lures investors
  • The cryptocurrency jumped over 300 percent last year

LONDON: A “#bitcoin” tag on Elon Musk’s Twitter profile page led to a 14 percent jump in the cryptocurrency on Friday, the latest in a series of market moves triggered by comments on his social media account.
The Twitter handle of the world’s richest person has joined the growing list of things to watch for those trading stocks for personal or professional purposes, and comes amid the rising prominence of the’WallStreetBets’ Reddit chat room that drove skyrocketing gains for GameStop shares.
That forum grabbed Musk’s attention too when he tweeted “Gamestonk!!” on Tuesday, along with a link to the Reddit stock trading discussion group behind the year-to-date 2,500 percent-plus rally in the video game retailer.
“Stonks” is a tongue-in-cheek term for stocks widely used on social media. His supporters in the Reddit forum affectionately refer to him as “Papa Musk.”
Justifiably, his tweets led to surges in other stocks too.
Shares of fast-growing Polish game developer CD Projekt soared 16 percent on Thursday after Musk tweeted: “The esthetics of Cyberpunk are incredible btw.....” Cyberpunk is the company’s flagship game.
Similarly, online retailing platform Etsy’s stock jumped 9 percent on Tuesday right after Musk tweeted: “I kinda love Etsy.” He said he bought a “hand knit wool Marvin the Martian helm” for his dog.
Shares of his own firm Tesla dipped 1.2 this week after a rally of nearly 700 percent over the last year.
Bitcoin rally
Bitcoin, meanwhile, riding on Musk’s tag, was up 10.2 percent to $36,901 by 1505 GMT on Friday.
The cryptocurrency jumped over 300 percent last year, as bigger US investors and corporations sought exposure to it, and touched an all-time high of $42,000 last month.
In December, Musk asked about the possibility of converting “large transactions” of Tesla’s balance sheet into bitcoin, in a Twitter exchange with a well-known advocate for the digital currency.
“That would be a very big deal,” said Christopher Bendiksen of digital asset manager CoinShares on Friday.
Traders also cited positive comments on bitcoin by hedge fund manager Ray Dalio as supporting sentiment.
The Bridgewater Associates founder wrote on Thursday that the cryptocurrency was “one hell of an invention,” adding that he viewed it as a “gold-like alternative asset.”
Smaller cryptocurrencies including ethereum and XRP that tend to move in tandem with bitcoin also jumped, as much as 5 percent and 8 percent respectively.


TASI closes 0.4 percent down at 11,758 points: Market Wrap

TASI closes 0.4 percent down at 11,758 points: Market Wrap
Updated 28 October 2021

TASI closes 0.4 percent down at 11,758 points: Market Wrap

TASI closes 0.4 percent down at 11,758 points: Market Wrap

RIYADH: The Tadawul All-Share Index was down 49 points on Thursday closing at 11,758 points.

That represent a 0.4 percent decline.

Some 185.9 million shares changed hands in 301,000 deals, with heavy trading in AlRajhi Bank, Petro Rabigh, Sipchem

The market's decline comes under pressure from Petrochemical shares, led by SABIC's share, which fell 3 percent, to continue its decline for the third session.

On the other hand, Leejam Sports rose 5 percent to SR113.60 ($30.28), recording the highest close since its listing.

The Saudi British Bank's shares fell 2.2 percent after the bank announced a 15.5 percent drop in profits in Q3 to reach SR886 million ($236 million).

“Saudi Aramco" recorded gains of 0.1 percent. The company's shares ended the day at SR37.75 ($37.75) — the highest closing level since December 2019.

Petrochem, Sipchem, Petro Rabigh, SABIC Agri-Nutrients, Chemanol and Maaden declined between 4 percent and 6 percent.

The parallel market index "Nomu" was up 343.62 points, or 1.44 percent. It closed at 24255.84 points, after 1,348 trades.

The shares of MEPCO, Maharah and Astra Industrial recorded gains in today's session between 3 and 5 percent, amid high trading for those shares.


Saudi banks' September claims on private sector grew by $7.8bn: SAMA      

Saudi banks' September claims on private sector grew by $7.8bn: SAMA      
Updated 28 October 2021

Saudi banks' September claims on private sector grew by $7.8bn: SAMA      

Saudi banks' September claims on private sector grew by $7.8bn: SAMA      

 

Commercial banks' September claims on the private sector grew by SR29.4 billion in a month, the biggest monthly increase since June 2021.

The claims now stand at SR1.986 trillion ($529.5 billion).

Commercial banks' claims on the sector rose by 1.5 percent from SR1.956 trillion in August, Saudi Arabian central bank data published today show.

Commercial banks' September total assets grew by SR34.6 billion in month to SR3.151 trillion ($840.3 billion). Banks' total assets grew by 1.1 percent from SR3.117 trillion in August, according to data published by Saudi Central bank today.


A slowdown in economic growth in the US; unemployment falls in Western Europe: Economic wrap

A slowdown in economic growth in the US; unemployment falls in Western Europe: Economic wrap
Updated 28 October 2021

A slowdown in economic growth in the US; unemployment falls in Western Europe: Economic wrap

A slowdown in economic growth in the US; unemployment falls in Western Europe: Economic wrap

Economic growth in the US slowed to an annualized 2 percent in the third quarter of 2021, dropping from the 6.7 percent expansion it experienced in the second quarter, an advance estimate by the country’s Bureau of Economic Analysis showed. 

This is the lowest rate since the second quarter of 2020 when the economy suffered a historic contraction.

Consumer spending faced a setback due to shortfalls in some commodities as a rise in Covid-19 infections meant that the global supply chain underwent disruptions.

US jobless claims

Initial unemployment claims in the United States declined to 288,000 in the week ending 23 October, data released by the US Department of Labor showed. This is fewer than last week’s figure of 291,000 claims and is the lowest level since 14 March 2020.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 1.7 percent for the week ending 16 October, falling by 0.1 percent from the previous week’s level. This rate measures the percentage of the number of people receiving unemployment insurance.

Unemployment in Western Europe

The German unemployment rate tapered off slightly in September, falling to 3.2 percent down from 3.3 percent in the previous month, Germany's Federal Statistics Office said. However, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Spain’s unemployment rate declined to 14.57 percent in this year’s third quarter, falling from 15.26 percent in the previous quarter, official data revealed. 

Japan's interest rates on hold

Japan’s central bank kept its rates unchanged for the short-term interest rate and 10-year government bond yields at -0.1 percent and around 0 percent respectively during its October meeting. 

The bank also cut its forecast for the rate of GDP growth for the current financial year to 3.4 percent down from July’s expectation of 3.8 percent.

Weak consumption and a slowdown in exports were mainly responsible for the downward revision.

As for 2022, the economic growth rate forecast was favorably altered to 2.9 percent compared to the previous 2.7 percent as vaccination rollouts gain momentum.

In addition, the bank slashed its consumer inflation estimate for the year ending March 2022 to zero compared to an earlier prediction of 0.6 percent, due to the impact of cellphone fee reductions and the change in the price index’s base year.

Looking at next year, the consumer inflation forecasts were the same at 0.9 percent.

Moreover, Japanese retail sales slipped by 0.6 percent year-on-year in September, compared to the previous month's much steeper fall of 3.2 percent. 

Spain’s inflation

Spain's annual inflation rate likely rose to 5.5 percent in October, according to a preliminary estimate by Spain's National Statistics Institute. This is a noticeable rise from the previous month’s 4 percent.

This is the biggest jump in consumer prices since September 1992 and was driven by soaring energy prices.

The annual core inflation rate, which excludes changes in volatile items, is also expected to reach a record 1.4 percent in October up from 1 percent in the previous month, a preliminary estimate showed.

In addition, consumer prices are predicted to rise 2 percent month-on-month, the highest since January 1986, after a 0.8 percent increase in September.

Brazil’s interest rate decision

For the sixth time this year, Brazil's central bank raised its interest rate by 150 basis points to reach 7.75 percent. At the start of the year, the interest rate in the country was just 2 percent.

This comes at a time when the country is grappling with double-digit inflation rates. The annual inflation rate for the country reached 10.3 percent in September. This is the second highest inflation rate among G20 countries, behind only Argentina.

Italy’s manufacturing and consumer confidence 

Italy's National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) said that the manufacturing confidence index rose to 114.9 points in October compared to 113.2 points in September. Outlook for orders and future production improved while expectations for inventory levels were more pessimistic.

Additionally, the consumer confidence index went down by 1.2 points in October to 118.4, down from 119.6 in the previous month.


Universities are ‘late to act’ on climate change, says KAUST president

Universities are ‘late to act’ on climate change, says KAUST president
Updated 28 October 2021

Universities are ‘late to act’ on climate change, says KAUST president

Universities are ‘late to act’ on climate change, says KAUST president

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has raised $10 million to invest in technology to make plants grow with seawater, the institution’s president confirmed as he called on educational establishments to do more to tackle climate change.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Forum in Riyadh, Tony F. Chan said the business of running universities has changed in many ways in recent years as he talked up KAUST’s achievements.

He said that working with FII, KAUST scientists have developed technologies to grow agricultural produce with sea water, and its spin off on the Red Sea farm has acquired $10 million in investment.


Saudi Central Bank assets rise $4.86bn in September

Saudi Central Bank assets rise $4.86bn in September
Updated 28 October 2021

Saudi Central Bank assets rise $4.86bn in September

Saudi Central Bank assets rise $4.86bn in September

Assets held by Saudi Arabia’s central bank (SAMA) increased month-on-month by SR18.24 billion ($4.86 billion) to reach SR1.891 trillion ($504.1 billion), the bank’s latest statistical report showed. This was accompanied by a monthly growth rate of 0.97 percent.

Looking at the assets’ composition, the central bank’s deposits with banks abroad underwent the largest rise, increasing on a monthly basis by SR42.45 billion or 16.1 percent to SR306.54 billion. This might be because it offers higher earnings and is a more liquid asset compared to others. Other miscellaneous assets, on the other hand, fell considerably by SR20.15 billion.

The central bank's net foreign assets also grew by SR41.09 billion month-on-month in September to reach SR1.68 trillion. This is a 2.5 percent jump from August's SR1.639 trillion, according to data published on SAMA's website on Thursday.        

In addition, when compared to the same month last year, the bank’s assets, in total, grew by SR68.36 billion or by 3.75 percent.