CME Bitcoin futures


The launch of Bitcoin futures by CBOE delivered the wild ride that most expected. Trading was halted twice in the first few hours as prices rocketed, although volumes were pretty thin. In a sign of just how fragile and fractured the market can be, the spread between the underlying spot market and prices on futures contracts was as wide as $2,000 at times.

Following this, CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange, will launch its own futures contract on Monday, Dec 18th. CME Bitcoin futures will be based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), which aggregates trading activity across major spot exchanges between 15:00 and 16:00 London time.


Final GDP readings


On the data front, the third and final Q3 GDP readings for the US and the UK are due this week. Annual growth in the US surged to 3.3% in the third quarter, according to the second estimate, boosting the case for the Federal Reserve to continue on its hiking cycle. The second estimate for UK GDP showed Britain’s economy expanded by 0.4% in the third quarter, increasing 1.5% on a yearly basis.

Eurozone inflation


ECB watchers should tune in on Monday to the Eurozone CPI inflation data for November. Flash estimates put inflation at 1.5%, up from 1.4% in October, while core inflation remained subdued at just 0.9%.

Core inflation has slid back in recent months and makes the ECB’s exit from extraordinary monetary policy all the more complicated. If there is another sign of weakening in the core reading the euro could come under pressure if markets start to bet on the central bank taking an even more leisurely pace to taper asset purchases.

US inflation


The other big inflation release this week comes from the US. The Fed’s preferred gauge of underlying inflation, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE ) index, is released on Friday alongside the closely watched personal spending index and data on orders of durable goods.

Core PCE climbed by 0.2 per cent in October and was 1.4% higher on an annual basis. Although this is down from the 1.8% area achieved in the early part of the year, there are signs that the decline in the rate over the summer months has been arrested.

Economic Calendar

(All times GMT)

Sunday, 17 December

23:50 – Japan trade balance

Monday, 18 December

09:00 – Italian trade balance

10:00 – Eurozone final CPI inflation

13:30 – Canada foreign securities purchases

21:00 – New Zealand Westpac consumer sentiment

Tuesday, 19 December

00:00 – New Zealand ANZ business confidence

Tentative – Australia mid-year economic and fiscal outlook

00:30 – Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy meeting minutes

09:00 – German Ifo business climate

13:30 – US building permits, current account, housing starts

Tentative – New Zealand GDT price index

21:45 – New Zealand current account, trade balance

Wednesday, 20 December

04:30 – Japan all industries activity

09:00 – Italian unemployment

13:30 – Canada wholesale sales

15:00 – US existing home sales

15:30 – US crude oil inventories

21:45 – New Zealand GDP

Thursday, 21 December

00:01: UK GfK consumer confidence

Tentative: Bank of Japan monetary policy statement

06:30 – BoJ press conference

09:30 – UK public sector net borrowing

13:30 – Canada CPI inflation, core retail sales

13:30 – US final Q3 GDP reading, weekly unemployment claims, Philly Fed manufacturing index

Friday, 22 December

07:00 – German GfK consumer climate

07:45 – French consumer spending

08:00 – Swiss KOF economic barometer

09:30 – UK current account, final Q3 GDP reading

13:30 – Canada GDP

13:30 – US core durable goods orders, core PCE index, personal spending

15:00 – US new home sales, revised University of Michigan consumer sentiment

Corporate Calendar


Tuesday, 19 December

FedEx Corp (FDX) – Q2/2018, EPS estimate 2.889

Wednesday, 20 December

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) – Q3/2018, EPS estimate 0.371

Thursday, 21 December

NIKE Inc (NKE) – Q2/2018, EPS estimate 0.399

Source: Bloomberg/Companies


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