In brief

  • Markets are back in the green as Trump returns from hospital.
  • Traders are increasingly betting on a Biden win which could trigger a bigger stimulus package.
  • Crypto markets remain steady, but trading volume is down.

What a difference a day makes. After the glum outlook on Monday, traders rebounded across the world to send markets back into the green. 

Asian equities lead the charge early on Tuesday, as they continued the rally started by their US counterparts. The Nasdaq ticked up 2% higher, the DOW just shy of that, and the Nikkei and Hang Seng are both up 0.5%. 

What’s got traders in such a bullish mood? Trump’s return from hospital allayed fears that the Presidential election would be delayed. But more importantly, it’s brought the stimulus talks between Republicans and Democrats back into focus as politicians wake up to the threat of COVID 19. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi are reportedly heading back to the negotiation table, with a call planned today. If approved, the aid package to American workers could help ease the recovery of the world’s largest economy. 

Bettors are increasingly seeing Biden as the overwhelming favourite to win the US election. Recent polls put the former Vice President 10-14 points clear of Trump. Such a lead would make a legal challenge difficult for the sitting President, helping to further ease jitters among global markets. 

Other traders are focused on a Democrat sweep of both houses of Congress, which could mean the $2.2 trillion relief package currently on the table, is revised up to the original $3 trillion and pushed through without much resistance. 

“The market seems to have settled on the idea that a Biden win is good for business as a return of big government spending outweighs worries of tax hikes,” says a spokesperson from AAX, the world’s first digital asset exchange powered by the London Stock Exchange.

Crypto pumps the brakes

In crypto meanwhile, prices are steady, but a flurry of reports point to lower activity in the past month. 

Nine of the top 10 cryptos saw lower trading volume across September according to a new report. 

As usual, Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP were the first, second and third most traded coins in September, holding their ranks from August. But despite maintaining their positions, all three experienced a drop in month-on-month trades by volume—down 43%, 48%, and 67%, respectively, according to eToro’s report.

The reason, says an analyst in the report, is investors have been cashing out after a strong summer, but remained confident trading volume would return. 

DeFi hodlers are hoping for a similar outlook as the prices of top decentralized tokens have fallen 50% in just over a month. 

DeFi’s decline, which began in mid-September, has continued over the past week, according to crypto analytics platform CoinGecko

High-profile projects such as Cream, yearn.finance, Sushi, Uniswap and Curve remain in a downtrend and have each lost roughly 27% to 55% of their value over the past week.

The slump in prices is reflected by the collapse in transaction fees on Ethereum. In the last three weeks, prices have dropped by 85%, which has been greeted with relief by projects who have been stuck in long queues, or having to pay high prices for using the Ethereum network during the DeFi boom. 

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