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Recap December 19: Omicron Lockdowns begin, Elon Musk sells record Tesla stock, Record Inflation (Recap Ep154)

In this week’s recap, global markets are mostly lower for the week, with a sharp fall in shares of tech companies, pushing major indexes lower, continuing a turbulent stretch for some of the biggest firms in the market. Asian markets were mixed.

The European Central Bank further cut its bond purchases Thursday but vowed to continue its unprecedented monetary policy support for the Euro-zone economy into 2022. It left the benchmark refinancing rate unchanged at 0%, while the rate on its marginal lending facility remained at +0.25%. It follows the U.S. Federal Reserve decision that will accelerate the reduction of its monthly bond purchases, after which, the central bank then expects to start raising interest rates.

The London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, is being switched off at the year’s end, ceasing its pricing role in derivatives & loans ranging from mortgages & student loans to business funding & credit cards, which totaled $265 trillion globally as of the start of 2021. The rate is being scrapped a decade after banks were caught trying to rig it, in what will be the biggest shake-up to markets since the 1999 introduction of the Euro.

Sprott Physical Uranium Trust didn’t exist 6 months ago. It now holds near 1/3 of the world’s annual supply & it’s getting larger. The fund’s arrival & enormous growth, is sending waves through the market for nuclear fuels & have helped produce a 50% rally in uranium this year. Sprott reports that its assets have swelled to $1.9B, forcing it to almost double its financing limit 2 weeks ago to $3.5B, the 2nd time it’s had to raise it in 2 months.

Oil prices fell on growing expectations that supply growth will outpace demand growth next year; the U.K. raised its pandemic threat level; Turkish lira falls -7% due to Erdogan’s risky economic policies; Bank of England raises interest rates for the first time in almost two years; economists predict China will start adding fiscal stimulus in early 2022; Pfizer buys Arena Pharmaceuticals valued at $6.7B; Putin says his country is the global leader in hypersonic missiles.

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