What Moved Global Markets
– Global cases cross 1,013,100
– Global deaths: At least 52,700
– US cases: At least 243,400
- Oil prices skyrocketed on Thursday, Reason for that: President Trump said he expects Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to announce a deal on an oil production cut, which shall end a price war that has contributed to crude’s massive plunge.
- Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen Thursday that he spoke to President Putin yesterday and Saudi Crown Prince Thursday and expects them to announce an oil production cut of 10 million barrels and could be up to 15 million.
- As oil prices jumped, Stocks rose in volatile trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 401 points higher, or 1.9%. The S&P 500 was up by 2.1% while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.6%. The 30-stock Dow briefly rose more than 500 points earlier in the day.
- In the US, where the presidential election is set for November this year, the Democratic National Convention, which was set for July, has been delayed until August.
- Mainstream adoption leads to unforeseen consequences. Zoom’s daily users ballooned to more than 200 million in March from a previous maximum total of 10 million. However, the app is being criticized over privacy concerns. On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston office even issued a warning about Zoom, telling users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely after it received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, a phenomenon known as “zoom-bombing.”
- Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX has banned its employees from using Zoom, citing “significant privacy and security concerns.” Notably, after Zoom CEO apologised for security lapses and said that the company would freeze future development, Zoom stock fell as much as 16%.
What Moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
- Binance has confirmed that it is acquiring CoinMarketCap. The Block reports that it is primarily in the form of equity as well as BNB. It was previously reported that the deal’s value varies from $300 to $400 million. Zhao said in an interview with CoinDesk Thursday that he had no immediate plans for CMC. Zhao said the domain will remain independent from Binance under a holding company, perhaps staving off concerns over potential conflicts of interest.
- Global money-laundering watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), has said that the U.S. is not fully compliant with its crypto recommendations.
- “Minor deficiencies” remain, said the FATF in a report published Tuesday. For instance, U.S.-registered money services businesses (MSBs) keep detailed records for transactions of $3,000 or more, as opposed to $1,000 required in the FATF recommendations. Further, the U.S. does not specifically identify “higher risk” virtual asset service providers (VASPs), as they are largely covered under the broader MSB regime, according to the FATF.
Fintech: Fintech TransferWise has revealed that the number of its users surpassed 7 million. People across the globe are using the company’s services to move money from one country to another. The company claims that 23% of its total transfers are now instant.
Healthtech: The US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai pulled back the curtain on a $200 million program that would combat the COVID-19 crisis by bankrolling telecommunications equipment and services for qualifying healthcare providers. The plan is fueled by funds appropriated in the $2 trillion CARES Act signed by Congress and President Donald Trump late last week. If approved after review by the agency’s five commissioners, Pai wrote, the plan could bring additional telehealth services to more patients and provider organizations.
AI: IKEA has acquired Geomagical Labs, an AI imaging startup based out of Mountain View. It has been developing a number of computer vision-based technologies. Its first product — which allows a user to quickly scan a room using any smartphone, render that into a panoramic 3D picture in a few minutes, remove all the furniture in it, and then, in the words of Geomagical’s founder and CEO Brian Totty, “play dress-up” by adding in new items to scale — will be implemented by Ikea into its website and apps to let people start to create more accurate visualisations of their spaces, and how they would look with Ikea pieces in them.
Smart cities: While the human toll can’t be underestimated, cities are now also facing the financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. For example, the City of San Francisco estimates a budget shortfall of up to $1.7 billion over the next two fiscal years. The Atlantic reports that New York City could lose $4.8 billion to $6 billion in tax revenue.
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