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What Moved Global Markets
– Conflicts continue to arise in Hong Kong as the Hong Kong Police Force reportedly makes arbitrary arrests. Hang in there, dear Hongkongers! Protesters blockade universities, stockpile makeshift weapons. Schools closing down.
– Asian stocks and Wall Street futures fell on Wednesday, as confusing signals over the extent of progress made in U.S.-China trade talks and concern about intensifying unrest in Hong Kong hurt demand for risky assets.
– Oil prices edged up on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it saw no signs of global recession and rival U.S. shale oil production could grow by much less than expected in 2020.
– New streaming service, Disney+, reached 10 million sign-ups since launching the previous day from “extraordinary consumer demand,” sending shares up 3.5%.
– Alibaba Group launched the share sale for its Hong Kong listing on Wednesday, braving unrest in the global financial hub to try to raise up to $13.4 billion to fund its expansion plans.
– The US economy is the “prime market” for investment next year, according to the chairman of Switzerland’s largest bank.
What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– Bakkt, a provider of physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts, is now planning to offer a cash-settled version of the product due to customer demand. “We have the intention of offering a cash-settled contract as well,” Bakkt chief operating officer Adam White told at the Invest: NYC conference on Tuesday.
– Announcing the news on Wednesday, the PBoC said that news reports stating that the central bank has issued its digital currency are “fraudulent”.
– Telegram VS SEC! The game is still on. This time Telegram has made a new plea to a U.S. court to drop an action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleging the GRAM token is a security.
– In a filing to the district court of the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, Telegram broke down and refuted all the allegations made by the SEC in its case brought last month, barring some fundamentals such as the nature of the company and its team and uncontested details of its fundraising.
Fintech: Google is the latest big tech company to make a move into banking and personal financial services: The company is gearing up to offer checking accounts to consumers, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal, starting as early as next year. Google is calling the project “Cache,” and it’ll partner with banks and credit unions to offer the checking accounts, with the banks handling all financial and compliance activities related to the accounts. The initial financial partners that Google is working with include Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union.
Healthtech: UK’s NHS has rolled out the final phase of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). Now prescription processing is becoming digital as a result, saving NHS millions.
Al: An interesting TechCrunch article on how AI is going to change the retail industry, personalization in particular.
Smart cities: Real estate investment trust Bleutech Park Properties announced plans for a $7.5 billion futuristic mini-city project in the Las Vegas Valley that will showcase a range of smart city technology, from autonomous vehicles to internet of things (IoT) devices to smart buildings with “self-healing concrete.” The project will break ground in December and is projected to take six years to complete.
NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
China’s proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC) may provide Beijing with unprecedented oversight over money flows, but it isn’t a bid to gain control of the public’s information, an official said.