After weeks of global equities tumbling, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite has finally entered a bear market, down 20% from its record high in November 2021. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, surging global inflation, and the still-ongoing pandemic has affected risk appetites, prompting massive sell-offs in the high-growth tech sector. However, there were differences within the index constituents, with big-name tech stocks holding steady while smaller cap stocks plunged.
Biden administration signs Digital Asset Executive Order
The Biden administration has signed a long-awaited executive order recognising the cryptocurrency industry. The order gives the go-ahead for further study, and the development of a regulatory framework for the crypto ecosystem. This includes the creation of a central bank digital currency. The cryptocurrency industry has greeted the news positively, saying that it gives the industry clarity on how to proceed in a regulatory environment that had been increasingly critical of cryptocurrencies. However, there are others who are less receptive of the order, which failed to mention decentralisation or Bitcoin.
JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs exit Russia
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are the first major banks to lead the retreat from Russia. This comes after widespread sanctions against Russia were enacted in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, making it difficult for financial institutions to operate in the Russia. US banks still have significant exposure in Russia, approximately 14.7 billion. This comes in the wake of the exodus of other major US companies from Russia, including Macdonald’s Corp, Coca-Cola Co., and Starbucks.
Didi to halt Hong Kong listing
China ride-hailing app Didi has had to halt its upcoming listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange after seemingly failing to meet Beijing’s requirements for its handling of user data. The company previously decided to de-list on the NYSE not long after its IPO after running afoul of the Chinese government. Beijing has become increasingly watchful of Chinese tech companies that have been perceived to have too much power over the data of the Chinese people, prompting a crackdown that has also affected companies like Ant Group.