Key Global Events that impacted the Markets last Week (6-10th Nov 2017)

Bitcoin Slumped

For cyptocurrency enthusiasts the price of Bitcoin was down last week from a high of $7,917.62 on Wednesday 8th November to $5532.04 on Friday – a 30% drop, but recouped some losses to close at $6,232.91, a 21% decline by close of trading on Friday 10th November, 2017.

The reason behind the sudden drop is that the developers for the software behind Bitcoin announced on Wednesday that the plans for the upgrade to the software would be suspended. The Upgrade target was to speed up transactions on the bitcoin network from one megabyte to two megabytes.

Mark you, the network as is, manages approximately 7 transactions per second, making it almost impossible for Bitcoin to join the normal payment processors that average over 1500 transactions per second, for example PayPal processes 193 transactions per second average while Visa processes approximately 1,600 transactions per second. Therefore, the need for Bitcoin to upgrade their network if they do intend to join the competitive mainstream payment system.

Saudi Arabia Arrests

The Saudi Arabia Arrests continued for most of the week including House Arrests. In addition, Saudi Arabia ordered its citizens out of Lebanon. Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman announced the set-up of a special anti-corruption force. More than a dozen princes and former ministers have been detained. Key among the arrests, was that of Saudi Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, acquired stakes in Twitter and Uber rival Lyft in addition to other brands listed on the NYSE. His fortune is reported to have dropped by over 2.4billion dollars according to Forbes since his arrest.

Oil Prices were quite unfazed amid the Saudi tension. The short term outlook is bullish as the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is seen as a key supporter for the OPEC continued production cuts and the arrests seen as his consolidation of power.

On November 30 OPEC will be meeting in Vienna, where an extension to production cuts is expected to dominate the agenda.

Expected U.S. Corporate Tax Cuts

On Thursday Stocks plummeted on the New York Stock Exchange courtesy of news that the anticipated corporate tax cuts from 35% to 20% would take effect in 2019.

By Irene Kariuki

An independent currency(forex) trader, specialising in International Majors.