In brief

  • Stocks and shares ticked up over the weekend after Trump's health appeared to improve.
  • But the broader global economic outlook is looking bleak.
  • Crypto continues its steady march forward, despite a number of headline-grabbing stories.

Market watchers spent most of the weekend tuning in to Donald Trump’s tweets for insights into the President’s health. 

Stocks and shares took a tumble on Friday when Trump tweeted he had contracted COVID-19. But over the weekend his condition appeared to improve. As a result, European stock futures rose, along with S&P 500 contracts and Asian shares. 

But the news is of small comfort when looking at broader trends, says a spokesperson from AAX, the world’s first digital asset exchange powered by the London Stock Exchange. While governments across the world went big on trying to protect their economies from the impact of the global pandemic-to the tune of $10 trillion-the virus is far from beaten. 

The US government is in a partisan battle over a new round of aid to American business and workers–the Democrats want $2.2 trillion dished out, the Republicans a lot less. 

In the UK, Brexit talks are heaping pressure on Britain’s economy as it looks to prop up the economy as COVID cases continue to rise.  

While that’s all going on, airlines are struggling to avoid complete collapse, while global cinema chain Cineworld has shut all its picture houses in the UK and USA after the latest Bond film was pushed back six months. 

The VIX’s Volatility Index, known as the fear gauge, has investors bracing for multi-month volatility. 

Crypto holds its nerve

The same can’t be said of crypto. The weekend was quiet for traders, as Bitcoin and Ethereum saw prices move barely more than a few percentage points. The top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap also stayed steady, with XRP the only currency moving more than 5%. 

This is all in spite of the KuCoin hack, crypto exchange BitMEX facing charges in the US, and Trump’s troubles with COVID. 

Volatility in crypto, for now at least, has moved to the fringes, in particular DeFi.

Over the weekend, decentralized exchange Balancer’s coin increased by 9%, interoperability protocol Ren by 16%, non-custodial loans protocol Aave by 8% and synthetics asset platform Synthetix by 8%.  

Though the market caps of each are trivial compared to Bitcoin’s—never more than a billion dollars, compared to Bitcoin’s market cap of $195 billion—combined they represent a booming industry into which investors have poured in about $10 billion over the past four months. 

The rise is likely linked to investors’ increased appetite for risk on top of Bitcoin’s declining use as a cryptocurrency.

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