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Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Elon Musk has the crypto markets at his beck and call

Elon Musk has the crypto markets at his beck and call: Crypto traders appear to be hanging on the bn’aire tech tycoon’s every word, with Musk’s tweets causing huge gyrations in the price of BTC and other crypto assets over the past week. BTC hit new three-month lows yesterday after Musk hinted that his EV company Tesla may dump its holdings only to lurch back later in the day after he claimed not to have sold any, Bloomberg reports. The cryptocurrency clawed back some of its losses as of dispatch time, rising 0.5% to USD 44,978.38. BTC plunged more than 16% last week after Musk tweeted that the electric car company would no longer accept the digital asset as payment, citing the carbon emissions involved in BTC mining.

This came the same week that Musk whipsawed BTC rival Dogecoin, driving the price down after calling the meme-based cryptocurrency a “hustle” on SNL. A day later Musk announced that his company SpaceX would use Dogecoin to fund its mission to the moon in 2022, helping it rise by a quarter on Friday.

Can it really be lawful for Musk to almost single-handedly move crypto markets? Yes, according to regulatory experts, who tell Reuters that nebulous market rules and the absence of evidence of intent to gain from market manipulation make it difficult for regulators to hold him to account.

“Have we reached peak market absurdity?” LA Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik wonders. The increasing unreality of NFTs, Dogecoin and GameStop, coupled with the disappearance of risk-off sentiment, may be the inevitable conclusion of the so-called “Fed Put,” which has conditioned investors to always expect monetary policymakers to bail them out, he writes.

Wait, you mean crypto may not be a riskless asset class? All of the hoopla has “raised new doubts among institutional fund managers over the future of cryptocurrencies as an asset class,” the Financial Times writes with characteristic understatement.


The SPAC market is continuing its slow death: Share prices in special purpose acquisition companies are dropping on takeover announcements, marking a reversal of the surge in enthusiasm witnessed over the past 12 months, the Financial Times reported. Only one of 13 SPACs that announced M&A activity in May is trading above the USD 10 SPAC shares are originally priced at. Just two months ago in March, this number was nine out of 10, according to research seen by the salmon colored paper. Market experts attribute the downturn to dwindling appetite among institutional players and a lack of interest from retail investors.

Up EGX30 10,675 -0.9% (YTD: -1.57%)
None USD (CBE) Buy 15.63 Sell 15.73
Up USD at CIB Buy 15.62 Sell 15.72
None Interest rates CBE 8.25% deposit 9.25% lending
Up Tadawul 10,396 +0.7% (YTD: +19.6%)
Up ADX 6,478 +0.8% (YTD: +28.4%)
Up DFM 2,673 +0.3% (YTD: +7.3%)
Down S&P 500 4,163 -0.3% (YTD: +10.8%)
Down FTSE 100 7,033 -0.2% (YTD: +8.9%)
Up Brent crude USD 69.68 +0.3%
Up Natural gas (Nymex) USD 3.13 +0.6%
Up Gold USD 1,873.80 +0.3%
Up BTC USD 44,978.38 +0.5%

The EGX30 fell 0.9% yesterday on turnover of EGP 1.6 bn (22.9% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 1.57% YTD.

In the green: Fawry (+5.0%), GB Auto (+4.0%) and Oriental Weavers (+2.9%).

In the red: CIB (-3.9%), ElSewedy Electric (-3.5%) and Orascom Development (-2.2%).

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