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Weekly news summary for December 10 to December 16

Friday, Dec. 10: US CPI Rises to 39-Year High in November

US inflation rose to its fastest since 1982 in November, as people spend more on food and other goods, creating a political concern for President Joe Biden’s administration and strengthening prospects of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in 2022.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that the US’s consumer price index (CPI) was up 6.8% in the previous month from 2020, marking the fastest rate in almost 40 years, and a significant increase from the 6.2% reached in October.

Monday, Dec. 13: SenseTime Pauses Hong Kong IPO after US Blacklist

SenseTime Group Inc. on Monday announced that it had put its $767-million Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) on hold after the Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) startup was added to the US’s investment blacklist over alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang.

The Treasury Department’s move came on the same day SenseTime was set to price its shares in Hong Kong, ahead of its IPO, with the firm aiming for a $17-billion valuation, although the pricing did not take place.

Tuesday, Dec. 14: Dogecoin Surges as Tesla Will Accept It for Merch

The price of dogecoin climbed as much as 23% to over $0.20 per coin on Tuesday, after Tesla Inc. chief executive Elon Musk said the electric vehicle (EV) maker would accept the meme-inspired crypto as payment for a few of its merchandise on a trial basis.

Musk made the announcement on Twitter, but he did not specify which Tesla merchandise will be buyable with dogecoin, which he called the people’s crypto, but the products run from $50 to $1,900.

Wednesday, Dec. 15: Wells Fargo, HSBC Settle FX Trades with Blockchain

Wells Fargo & Co. and HSBC Bank have struck an agreement to utilize a blockchain-based product to reconcile bilateral foreign exchange (FX) transactions, bypassing the CLS utility that central banks recommended to avoid particular trade failure risks.

The partnership would allow Wells Fargo to use HSBC’s FX Everywhere platform to settle and pay out on interbank transactions in US dollars, British pound, euro, and Canadian dollars.

Thursday, Dec. 16: Gold Prices Rise, Dollar Weakens on Hawkish Fed

Gold prices edged higher on Thursday after hitting a two-month low following the Federal Reserve’s decision to accelerate the asset tapering program and raise the benchmark interest rate.

Gold futures gained 1.2% to $1,786.20, while the US dollar shed 0.2% to $96.25 as the Fed said it would quicken its asset tapering to $30 billion per month, while it kept interest rate unchanged at 25% but forecast a three quarter-point rate hikes in 2022, three in 2023, and two in 2024.

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