Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has pleaded guilty to anti-money laundering charges, resulting in a $4.3 billion penalty and the resignation of its founder, Changpeng Zhao. The company admitted to failing to report suspicious transactions from sanctioned entities and serving American customers illegally on its global exchange post-2019, even with a US-based arm. The Justice Department's enforcement action, along with the FTX collapse, highlights federal crackdowns on crypto violations. Despite public trust plummeting, the blockchain community remains optimistic about Binance's future, as evidenced by Bitcoin stabilizing around $37,000.
Indexes closed lower Tuesday with the S&P 500 snapping a 5-day win streak as retailers flashed mixed confidence in Black Friday spending and the Fed stood pat on tight policy. Abercrombie shares rose on improved guidance, while Best Buy and Kohl's declined on trimmed outlooks. Nvidia earnings released after the bell came up better than expectations, which could drive chip stock higher.
Gold prices briefly touched $2,000 but dipped as the US dollar stabilised, but expectations of an end to Fed interest rate hikes put a floor under prices. Demand remains robust, with Swiss gold exports jumping in October on strong shipments to India ahead of festival season buying. However, gold continues to take cues from dollar and rate hike movements, lacking clear price direction and fresh economic uncertainty.
As OPEC+ considers more significant production cuts, crude oil prices rose for the third day, although they tapered in the Asian session. The enthusiasm for reduced oversupply was tempered by the substantial increase in US stockpiles. Although inventories might continue to rise in the short term, the possibility of prolonged production cuts could eventually tighten the markets, especially if there is a recovery in demand.
The euro plunged versus the pound as hawkish BOE testimony drove sterling up, while the dollar index found support near 3-month lows with Fed minutes reinforcing paused tightening bets. However, some see early signs of a dollar relief rally brewing, potentially aided by resilient U.S. growth trends extending the greenback's yield lead. The yen ticked up on cooling U.S. yields and optimism for a BOJ shift, although it still faces dollar headwinds from growth and rate differentials.