Binance CEO Zhao: Crypto Overall Is Fine Despite FTX Fallout
Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem was in the hot seat late yesterday as he appeared before the House Finance Committee to field questions over the bank's efforts to drive inflation back down to target. Main Street seemed to be on the mind of the committee, with pointed questions over the bank's plea for businesses and workers to not create a “wage-price spiral” by baking current inflation levels into wage demands, along with the impact of rate hikes on overall employment. Now, this always seemed like the inevitable path Macklem would have to tread - criticism from consumers (and their public representatives) who are growing increasingly frustrated at feeling they're squeezed in a vice between both a rapidly rising cost of living and of debt servicing. That said, Macklem reiterated the bank's commitment to getting price pressure under control and again said the bank knows it will cause some pain for consumers. In all, bears wondering if the central bank will face more ire until consumers start to feel some relief.
U.S. FED SEES SLOWDOWN IN RATE HIKES
Speaking of central banks, we got some fresh insight into the thinking over at the U.S. Federal Reserve. The minutes from its latest meeting showed that most members of the U.S. central bank concluded it would be appropriate to slow the pace of interest rate increases in the near future, signalling the bulk of its tightening cycle could be in the rearview mirror. As of now, markets are pricing in a half percentage point rate increase from the Fed when it meets for the final time this year in mid-December, something of a downshift from the prior 75-basis-point hike.
TSX TAKES THE SPOTLIGHT
Toronto's S&P/TSX Composite Index is hogging the limelight today with markets south of the border closed in observance of American Thanksgiving. That gives us time to take stock of the TSX's performance so far this year – while it's down a little more than five per cent, that's still nothing to sneeze at when you compare things to its U.S. counterparts. To wit, the S&P 500 is down nearly 16 per cent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has felt the brunt of higher rates, shedding 28 per cent of its value. The root of the outperformance here at home isn't hard to find – the energy index is far and away the top dog, gaining 34 per cent so far this year.
OTHER NOTABLE STORIES
- A new report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says small business confidence has plunged to one of its lowest levels ever ahead of the key holiday shopping season.
- Politico is reporting the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is likely going to try to block Microsoft's US$69 billion deal to buy videogame-maker Activision Blizzard.
- China is reporting a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, raising concerns Beijing will again re-impose harsh lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus.
- Notable data: Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours
- U.S. Markets closed for American Thanksgiving