EU Says Rift Over British Payments To EU Still Key In Talks

The European Union says not enough progress has been made in Brexit discussions with Britain, particularly over what London has to pay as part of its departure, to allow discussions to move onto future trade arrangements.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a session at the European parliament that more needs to be done on the withdrawal issues for EU nations to agree moving to the next phase of future relations later this month.

Financial issues appear to be a key stumbling block to an orderly British withdrawal from the EU.

Juncker said “the taxpayers in the EU 27 should not pay for the British decision” to leave while the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said “serious differences remain.”

Jim Rogers: The Economy Does Not Seem To Be Booming. Why Are Stock Doing So Well?

The U.S. stock market is hitting all-time highs, which is a bit peculiar given the state of the world and the state of the economy. The economy does not seem to be booming, it’s all based on expectations. (SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK), Health Care SPDR ETF (XLV), Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE))

Stocks Mixed Ahead Of US Vote Seen As Trump Bellwether

Global stocks were mixed Thursday, as investors awaited a vote in the U.S. Congress on health care legislation that is seen as a bellwether for President Donald Trump’s ability to deliver on campaign promises of tax and regulatory reforms.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX was up 0.4 percent at 11,949 and the CAC 40 in France rose 0.2 percent to 5,003. Britain’s FTSE 100 was flat at 7,325. U.S. markets looked set for a tepid start with Dow futures up less than 0.1 percent and S&P 500 futures up 0.2 percent.

HEALTHCARE VOTE: Republican leaders in Congress were looking to Trump to help win over a crucial bloc of conservatives in supporting the American Health Care Act before a House of Representatives vote on Thursday. Earlier in the week, shares fell on doubts over the outlook for Trump’s agenda of tax cuts and higher infrastructure spending.

ANALYST’S VIEWPOINT: “The implications of the health care reform bill vote may be more pronounced when the results arrive and I would not be surprised to find the market using this vote as a proxy in their expectations for future policies to be passed,” Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.2 percent to 19,085.31. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat at 24,327.70 and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.2 percent to 2,172.72. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 percent to 3,248.55 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 was up 0.4 percent to 5,708.00. Shares were higher in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

ENERGY: U.S. crude oil gained 30 cents to $48.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 20 cents the day before. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 32 cents to $50.96 a barrel. It fell 32 cents on Wednesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 111.05 yen from 111.17 yen. The euro fell to $1.0788 from $1.0797.

Nearly $2 billion has been wiped off bitcoin’s value in three days all because of a fork

Just under $2 billion has been wiped off the value of bitcoin in under three days as a fight over the future of the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency wages on.

Bitcoin was trading at around $1,142.60 at time of publication, giving it a market cap of $18.53 billion, according to CoinDesk data. This is down from highs of $1,255.32 on Tuesday, which valued the total bitcoin pile at $20.36 billion.

Meanwhile, rival cryptocurrency ether is up over 84 percent from highs of $29.87 on Tuesday to trading at all-time highs of around $55 on Friday, according to The market captilization shot from $2.68 billion to $4.95 billion. It is the only other cryptocurrency to be valued at over $1 billion.

Much of the inverse price movement stems from traders’ worries over the future of bitcoin and the underpinning blockchain technology.

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