• Stephanie Stojkoski

Market Roundup

Company spotlight: Coinbase


Given the prominence and success of the cryptocurrency market over the past a couple

years the debut on public markets of Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the

U.S., has been highly anticipated with shares rising to as much as $429.54 in the minutes

immediately after its opening trade on Wednesday. The company’s shares did however fall

towards the end of their first day of trading at $328.28 apiece, below their opening price of

$381.


Coinbase makes most of its money through transaction fees from trades on its platform by

retail and institutional users. After suffering a net loss of $30.4 million in 2019, Coinbase has

come back strong with now more than 43 million retail users and 7,000 institutions using the

Coinbase platform. As a result, the company made a profit of $322.3 million across 2020 and

this is likely to increase exponentially going forward with Meltem Demirors, chief strategy

officer at digital asset investment firm CoinShares claiming the company will soon be worth

more than Goldman Sachs. Whether this will be the case remains to be seen as Coinbase’s

growth opportunities are strongly intertwined with the demand for Bitcoin whose own growth

is subject to volatility.


FTSE 100


The past week has been filled with optimism for London’s leading share index as stocks in

banking, mining and industry rose as a result of economies begin to show signs of recovery

across the globe. This was accompanied by an increase in vaccine rollouts over the past

couple of weeks and increased spending support from various national governments in order to bring its economy back on its feet. Furthermore, the gains made in the mining sector could

also be attributed to strong economic data from China and rising oil prices. The banking

stocks Barclays and Natwest experience the greatest increase alongside British Airways

owner International Airlines Group.


On Friday, the blue-chip index rose above the 7,000 mark for the first time since the very start of the coronavirus pandemic in March last year. It currently stands 40% higher than at that low

point where it fell below 5,000 once the country was plunged into a lockdown.


S&P 500


This positive note was echoed across the channel with the S&P 500 crossing the 4,000

threshold on Thursday due to the announcement of the new President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. The plan includes roughly $2 trillion in spending across eight years and a

rise of 28% in the corporate tax rate would fund it. The index has seen its best month, since

November, with shares increasing by 4.3%.


The plan includes expenditure on roads, bridges, green energy and water system upgrades

and it marks the second major spending proposal for Biden after he signed a $1.9 trillion

relief and stimulus bill on March 11.


Asia


Stock indexes across Asia also had a fairly positive week with Hong Kong stocks climbing on

Friday as a result of strong GDP growth data for the first quarter of the year indicating at long

last there is a steady recovery in the Chinese economy. The Hang Seng index was up 176.57 points whilst the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index increased by 1.12%. This being said Chinese stocks did outperform the rest of Asia with other emerging countries in the region experiencing a mixed week. Indian shares did however close on a high on Friday with Wipro rising by 9% due to promising quarterly economic data. The NSE Nifty 50 index

closed 0.25% higher while the S&P BSE Sensex remained flat.

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