Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.
1.Facebook is banning all ads related to cryptocurrencies, from ICOs to bitcoin. The social network says the ban, which includes both Facebook and Instagram, is to crack down on scams.
2.US stocks traded lower overnight on Tuesday, putting the market on track for its weakest two-day performance in at least six months. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 362 points, or 1.37%, in its third biggest single-day point drop since Brexit.
3. Asian stocks eased on Wednesday, pulling further back from record highs, as the recent rise in global bond yields weighed on equities. Japan’s Nikkei share index closed down 0.71%, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng is down 0.01% at the time of writing (6.30 a.m. GMT/1.30 a.m. ET), and China’s Shanghai Composite is down 0.74%.
4. Eurozone inflation and unemployment figures are coming. Eurostat will report preliminary figures for January at 10.00 a.m. GMT (5.00 a.m. ET). Inflation is forecast to dip to 1%, while unemployment is expected to hold steady at 8.7%.
5.Startups and projects raised $US5.6 billion (£3.9 billion) last year through so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to a new report. Venture capital fund Fabric Ventures and cryptocurrency data provider TokenData shared the figure in their “State of the Token Market” report, which was shared with Business Insider ahead of publication this week.
6. Samsung Electronics posted a record quarterly profit, as expected, for the three months through December, led by strong demand for memory chips. Operating profit for the world’s biggest chipmaker was 15.15 trillion won ($US14.1 billion, £9.9 billion) in the fourth quarter, up 64.3% from a year ago and in line with the 15.1 trillion won the company had estimated.
7.Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has invested $US300 million (£211.3 million) in dog-walking startup Wag. Hilary Schneider, who most recently led LifeLock through its $US2.3 billion (£1.6 billion) sale to Symantec in 2016, is taking over as Wag’s CEO.
8.Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase are creating a new business designed to lower healthcare costs for US-based employees in a move that could shake up the managed-care industry. The companies were not specific about what kind of enterprise they aim to create, noting only that they wanted to improve employee satisfaction while reducing costs, according to a joint release.
9.The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued subpoenas to Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange, and Tether, the company behind a digital coin that claims to track the US dollar, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Tether says its cryptocurrency, called USDT, is pegged to and backed by the dollar. It is meant to function as a “stablecoin,” a cryptocurrency that allows you to avoid the volatility of bitcoin but still have the operability of a cryptocurrency.
10.South Korea has uncovered cryptocurrency crimes worth 637.5 billion won ($US594.3 million, £418.6 million), which includes illegal foreign exchange trading, a statement released by the country’s customs service said on Wednesday.The statement said domestic investors bought 1.7 billion won worth of cryptocurrencies, which they sent to overseas partner companies through virtual wallets.
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