NexChangeNOW Daily Briefing – Monday March 23, 2020

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What Moved Global Markets

  1. Coronavirus update: South Korea confirmed 98 more cases and two additional deaths as of Saturday, while China reported 46 new confirmed cases and six more deaths. Singapore will bar entry and transit to all short-term visitors starting from 11:59 p.m. on Monday. India started a 14-hour curfew as part of the efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Spain’s death toll rose to 1,720.
  2. The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has risen by 651 to 5,476, officials said on Sunday, an increase of 13.5% but down on Saturday’s figure when some 793 people died. The total number of cases in Italy rose to 59,138 from a previous 53,578, an increase of 10.4%, the Civil Protection Agency said — the lowest rise in percentage terms since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21. Of those originally infected nationwide, 7,024 had fully recovered on Sunday compared to 6,072 the day before. There were 3,009 people in intensive care against a previous 2,857.
  3. Pope Francis said on Sunday he will this week deliver an extraordinary “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing – normally given only at Christmas and Easter – and called for worldwide prayer to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
  4. Markets: The dollar strengthened Friday after a rally that put it on track for its biggest weekly rise since the 2008 financial crisis, as a global scramble for funding sent other currencies reeling. The dollar index rose slightly to 102.82 after weakening 0.7% to 102.00 earlier in the day on Friday. 
  5. Gold rose on safe-haven appeal, but was set for a weekly drop. Oil dropped 11% on Friday, giving back early gains, even as the world’s richest nations poured unprecedented aid into the global economy to stop a coronavirus-driven recession. European markets closed higher Friday, following a volatile week as central banks and governments around the world adopted a “whatever it takes” approach.

Crypto Prices (from CoinMarketCap)
Bitcoin: Down 5.62% to $5,929.47
Total trading volume (24h): $41.23+ billion USD

Ethereum: Down 7.00% to $125.13
Total trading volume (24h): $12.82+ billion USD

3 biggest movers 24 hours
Biggest Mover 1: Electrum Dark (ELD) is up 7,924.96 to $1.04
Biggest Mover 2: WhiteCoin (XWC) is up 252.28% to $0.076751
Biggest Loser: ArdCoin (ARDX) is down 58.70% to $0.000415

What Moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)

  1. Bitcoin’s correlation with the S&P 500 is at a 2-year high. This is a bearish sign for the cryptocurrency market.
  2. Meanwhile, Bank of China has continued its anti-crypto narrative in a long post titled “3.15 Protection of Financial Consumption Rights and Interests”. The post was published on the bank’s official WeChat account on March 22. In the post, bank officials warn the public about cryptocurrency investment, calling out the three main scams seen on crypto exchanges. The bank stated: “First of all, the amount of fraud transactions with bots is serious. The average turnover rate of the top three overseas cryptocurrency exchanges is much higher than that of foreign licensed exchanges. Second, market manipulation exists in these exchanges where forced leveraged trading eventually causes the exchanges to explode. Third, money laundering is a big issue.”
  3. The Italian Red Cross is now seeking Bitcoin donations to purchase emerging medical equipment after its first-crypto initiative surpassed its goal within three days. On March 12, Italy’s Red Cross launched a BTC fundraising campaign to purchase an advanced medical post for pre-triaging coronavirus cases.

Other Specialties
Fintech: Singapore financial-technology firm MatchMove has teamed up with homegrown finance company Singapura Finance Ltd. and two others to apply for a digital banking license in the city-state. The MatchMove-led consortium is the latest group to announce it’s submitted an application for a digital full banking license to the Monetary Authority of Singapore. That sets the firm against heavyweights including Sea Ltd., which is backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., and the Grab Holdings Inc.Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.consortium.
Healthtech: Google said on Saturday it launched a United States-focused website with information about coronavirus guidance and testing. The site (, which consists of resources and links focused on the potentially deadly respiratory illness COVID-19, will be available in more languages and countries in coming days, Google said in a blog post.
AI: Researchers have used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to train algorithms and predict tumour sensitivity in three advanced non-small cell lung cancer therapies which can help predict more accurate treatment efficacy at an early stage of the disease. The researchers at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center analyzed CT images from 92 patients receiving drug agent nivolumab in two trials; 50 patients receiving docetaxel in one trial; and 46 patients receiving gefitinib in one trial. To develop the model, the researchers used the CT images taken at baseline and on first-treatment assessment. “The purpose of this study was to train cutting-edge AI technologies to predict patients” responses to treatment, allowing radiologists to deliver more accurate and reproducible predictions of treatment efficacy at an early stage of the disease,” explained Laurent Dercle, associate research scientist at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Smart cities: Lyft Inc on Friday told drivers they could sign up for work driving deliveries under a new service as ride-hailing demand plummets during the rapid spread of coronavirus in the United States. In an email to drivers, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green said, “Those who would like to help neighbors get to grocery stores, workers to hospitals and caretakers to their jobs” can join a new “LyftUp Driver Task Force.” A link sends drivers to a Google doc sign-up sheet. Lyft said the service did not yet exist but will allow drivers to help out with direct on-the-ground needs in their community. Delivery would include medical supplies and test kits and meals for kids and seniors in need that would be picked up from distribution centers and dropped off without contact.

NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Canon Receives FDA Clearance for AI-Fueled MRI Technology