U.S. Stock indices were flat on Wednesday as Retail Sales figures came in lower than expected. This came as American consumers continue to shop with caution as COVID-19 cases rise.

Data released today by the commerce department showed that Retail sales figures fell by 1.1% last month, compared to the expected fall of 0.3%.

Today’s release means that sales have been down in both October and November, which is the first back-to-back decline since April, when lockdown measures to control the first wave of coronavirus cases were introduced.

As of writing, the Dow Jones up 0.02%, whilst the S&P 500 was marginally higher rising 0.23%.

Bitcoin breaches $20,000 for the first time

Bitcoin is once again in the headlines, as the Cryptocurrency today rallied over the $,20,000 mark for the first time in history.

BTCUSD was up close to 5% in trading today and quoted an intraday high of over $20,600, as it was reported major hedge fund names like Paul Tudor Jones were investors in the coin.

The latest record high is reminiscent of a similar move close to $20,000 in 2017. Investors now wait to see if it will be followed by a sharp pullback, similar to three years ago.

Some Crypto bulls are eyeing even further highs as we end the year.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Sterling jumps to 2-year high as Brexit progress is made

Sterling climbed to its highest level in 2-years against the US Dollar, as European leaders continue to talk up chances of a Brexit deal.

GBPUSD hit an intraday high of 1.3553 as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that, “We have found a way forward on most issues, but two issues remain outstanding: the level playing field and fisheries”.

In her comments on Wednesday, she went on to say, “I am glad to report that the issues linked to governance now have largely been resolved. The next few days are going to be decisive”.

Today’s move in cable was the highest rates have been since May 2018.

Quote of the day – “Trading is very competitive and you have to be able to handle getting your butt kicked.”

Paul Tudor Jones

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Eliman Dambell

Senior Market Analyst