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UK Registers Its First Omicron Related Death, U.S. Indices React to Upcoming Fed Meeting & Bitcoin Slips Below $50K

U.S. Indices lower ahead of Fed meeting

Indices in the United States were lower on Monday, as markets prepared for this week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The final Fed meeting of the year comes as figures recently showed that consumer prices had risen by their fastest pace since 1982.

Last week’s CPI confirmed that inflation in the U.S. had risen to an annual rate of 6.8% in November, putting further pressure on the Fed to act.

💡 The Fed’s dilemma
The U.S Federal reserve has faced a lot of backlash for calling the inflation ‘transitory’. Despite knowing that changes are coming many speculators suggest that rate hikes are months away.

Chair Powell, as well as other officials at the bank have consistently stated that rising inflation was transitory, however as time passes, they may begin to change their tune.

As such, some believe that we could see some action, or forward guidance during Wednesday’s meeting, which has led to investors taking a risk off approach.

Bitcoin prices slip below $50,000

The selloff within cryptocurrencies continued to start the week, as prices of Bitcoin fell below the $50,000 level.

BTCUSD hit an intraday low of $46,462 on Monday, as investors continued to trade with uncertainty.

This recent bear run which began on November 10th, has seen BTC fall by over $20,000 in the last month.

Prices now seem to be oversold, with some longer term Bitcoiners viewing this as an opportunity to “buy the dip”.

As of writing, BTCUSD was down over 5.7% in late day trading, with ETHUSD trading 7.43% lower.

GBPUSD slips, as UK report first Omicron death

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation, confirming that there has been an Omicron related death.

Speaking on Monday, Johnson stated that, “Sadly yes, omicron is producing hospitalizations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with omicron”.

💡 More on this
This patient is the first publicly confirmed Omicron variant death in the world so far. This brings even more fears as having only appeared on November 27th, Omicron will be the dominant variant in the UK by Tuesday.

This led the PM to push Britons to pursue a third dose of the vaccine, saying, “A tidal wave of Omicron is coming. And I’m afraid it is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need”.

GBPUSD fell to an intraday low of 1.3208 on the news, as the pair remained on the periphery of multi-year lows.

London’s FTSE 100 closed 0.83% lower on the news.

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Eliman Dambell

Senior Market Analyst

 

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