U.S. Durable Goods Orders Jump 1.3% In October, More Than Expected

Bitcoin falls 6% in Asian trade

FILE PHOTO: A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in this illustration taken November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

TOKYO (Reuters) – Bitcoin dropped to $17,657.53 on Thursday, down 5.74 percent on the day, after losing $1,074.9 from its previous close.

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known crypto-currency, has risen 358.6% from the year’s low of $3,850 on March 13.

Crypto Boom Shaken as Bitcoin Plunges Along With Other Coins

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Bitcoin and other digital currencies plunged Thursday, a slide likely to stoke speculation about the durability of the boom in cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin slumped as much as 8.7%, the most since early August, while other digital coins like Ether posted double-digit percentage declines. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index at one point slid more than 6%.

“Conditions are very massively overbought and bound for a correction,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of business development with crypto exchange Luno. “So I don’t think it’s unusual frankly. I still believe we’ll see all-time highs before a larger drop/correction.”

Even with the retreat, Bitcoin has more than doubled this year and until recently was knocking on the door of the record high of $19,511 set in 2017. Crypto believers tout purchases by retail investors, institutions and even billionaires, as well as the search for a hedge against dollar weakness, as reasons why the boom can last.

Skeptics argue that the cryptocurrency’s famed volatility portends a repeat of what happened three years ago, when boom turned to epic bust.

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Climb To 778,000

Fist-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended November 21st, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 778,000, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 748,000.

The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to drop to 730,000 from the 742,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also edged up to 748,500, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 743,500.

Meanwhile, the report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, slumped by 299,000 to 6.071 million in the week ended November 14th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also tumbled to 6,615,250, a decrease of 438,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 7,053,250.

Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of November.

European Economics Preview: UK Spending Review Announcement Due

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to unveil spending review for the financial year 2021-22 on Wednesday.

Due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Sunak has reduced the review period to one year from three years. The announcement is due at 7.00 am ET.

The chancellor is also slated to provide the forecasts for the economy and public finances prepared by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Other major economic data due for the day are as follows:

At 2.00 am ET, unemployment from Norway and retail sales from Denmark are due. Norway’s jobless rate is seen unchanged at 5.3 percent in September.

At 3.00 am ET, Spain’s INE releases producer price data for October.

At 4.00 am ET, the European Central Bank releases the Financial Stability Review.
In the meantime, unemployment data is due from Poland. The jobless rate is forecast to remain unchanged at 6.1 percent in October.

Supreme Court Backs Churches, Synagogues on N.Y.C. Covid Curbs

A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court blocked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from reimposing strict attendance caps at worship services at some synagogues and Roman Catholic churches in parts of Brooklyn and Queens that have become Covid hotspots.

With Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority, the court voted 5-4 to bar Cuomo from enforcing his Oct. 6 “Cluster Initiative” against houses of worship that sued to challenge the restrictions. The initiative was aimed at stemming the outbreak in New York City areas that were experiencing a surge in cases.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing in dissent.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will quarantine after learning he was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Polis was tested Wednesday night with results coming back negative, he said in a tweet.

According to the CDC and CDPHE guidance, Polis will be monitored closely while in quarantine and will be tested again in later this week.

— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) November 26, 2020

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Jump 1.3% In October, More Than Expected

New orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods increased by more than expected in the month of October, the Commerce Department revealed in a report on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders jumped by 1.3 percent in October after spiking by 2.1 percent in September. Economists had expected durable goods orders to climb by 0.9 percent.

Excluding an increase in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders still surged up by 1.3 percent in October after jumping by 1.5 percent in September. Ex-transportation orders were expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

The report showed significant increases in orders for computers and electronic products and fabricated metal products.

Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a key indicator of business spending, also rose by 0.7 percent in October after spiking by 1.9 percent in September.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed the spike in gross domestic product in the third quarter was unrevised from the initial estimate.

The Commerce Department said GDP skyrocketed by an annual rate of 33.1 percent in the third quarter after plunging by 31.4 percent in the second quarter. The unrevised reading on GDP matched economist estimates.

The report said upward revisions to non-residential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, and exports were offset by downward revisions to state and local government spending, private inventory investment, and consumer spending.