Listen to the audio:
What Moved Global Markets
1. US/Iran tensions update: At least 56 people were killed in a stampede as tens of thousands of mourners packed streets for the funeral of a slain Iranian military commander in his hometown on Tuesday. Iraq has received a letter from the U.S. Army concerning the withdrawal of its troops from the country, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday.
– French President Emmanuel Macron urged Iran on Tuesday to avoid any actions that could worsen tensions in the Middle East, while Germany’s foreign minister called for European powers to forge a joint response to Iran’s decision to scrap limits imposed on its nuclear enrichment under an arms control accord.
– As speculation mounts over Iran’s next moves, analysts say Tehran does not want to provoke an actual war with the U.S. despite its enflamed rhetoric.
2. Stocks: The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped on Tuesday, led by losses in oil and healthcare stocks, with investors nervously awaiting the latest in the U.S.-Iran standoff. The tech-heavy Nasdaq remained buoyant as chipmakers resumed their strong rally from 2019.
What moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
– Bitcoin’s price jumped $200 in an hour and a half on Monday, rising to a 30-day high of $7,800. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization climbed after data provider CoinMarketCap showed a sudden jump in the supply of stablecoin Tether (USDT).
– Telegram Saga continues! A court in New York has rejected the SEC’s attempt to compel Telegram to share full “bank records” related to its token sales worth $1.7 billion. There is, however, an option that the SEC will get access to at least some of the requested information.
Fintech: Singapore regulator says it received 21 applications for digital bank licenses. Applicants for those licenses included e-commerce firms, tech and telecommunications companies, crowd-funding platforms and payment services providers, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said Tuesday. The regulator said it will announce its decision in June and the winners are expected to start their businesses by mid-2021. Companies that have publicly disclosed their applications include Grab, Singtel, Razer and Ant Financial.
Healthtech: All amazing tech news come from CES these days. Samsung’s Neon, a venture from Star Labs, introduced the new NEON “artificial human” during CES 2020. Neon isn’t a voice assistant or a robot, but rather a video chatbot that can learn people’s preferences and respond to their queries in an unusually lifelike way, the company claims. Samsung hopes that companies and people will license Neons and says they can be used as yoga instructors, TV anchors, spokespeople, movie actors, financial advisors and more.
Al: Today, at Samsung’s keynote at CES, Samsung introduced Ballie, a small ball-shaped robot intended to help you around the house. It looks like a real-life mini BB8 robot and utilizes AI to be a security robot, a fitness assistant, a tool to help seniors connect with smart devices in their homes, and it can even be a friend to your kids and pets. In an onstage demo, Ballie followed Samsung consumer electronics division CEO H.S. Kim on the stage by rolling around, seemingly by using the camera to track Kim as he walked across the stage.
Smart cities: Smart drive! At its CES press conference, BMW today unveiled its new gaze detection system, which can track what you’re looking at outside of the car and then present relevant information about it. The German automaker is showing off this feature in its Interaction EASE concept car, which made its debut last October. The idea here is to demonstrate features that simplify the driver’s interaction with the car’s system, including touch control, gesture and speech recognition, with a special focus on what that will look like once our cars are drive autonomously.
Also, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will open a design and engineering centre in China. Musk said Tesla will “design an original car in China for worldwide consumption.” On Tuesday, Musk delivered the first Model 3 cars out of the Shanghai factory to the public.
NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
OKEx COO Resigns to Launch Blockchain Consultancy Institute