Bitcoin has broken the $6,700 mark after a few days of hovering above the $6,500 mark. This price level is particularly significant given that it was the first drop level after the 10% dip in mid-June 2018. Many analysts had identified $6,700 and $6,900 as crucial resistance points in the march towards $7,000 (Bitcoin).
The big question now is whether the recent gains in the cryptocurrency market signal the start of a sustained bull run or whether it is only a relief rally as some analysts have claimed. The cryptocurrency market has endured a tough 2018 declining by more than 50% of its all-time high set in the last days of 2017 (Bitcoin).
Savings help Britain keep on spending
Households have significantly depleted their savings, bringing them to their lowest level since 2005, official figures have revealed. A rise in consumer spending was behind the sharp decline in savings, according to the Office for National Statistics. The amount tucked away for a rainy day fell by £68.9bn between 2015 and 2017. Now, UK households are £8.4bn in the red. The saving ratio – the amount of money households have available to save as a share of their disposable income – also fell to the lowest level on record.
The price of freedom
Pensions freedom has overwhelmed some savers (and cost others far more than they should have) but new rules are possibly on the way. Tens of thousands of savers may have their money invested in expensive and inappropriate retirement products, says the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – In fact the FCA identified 44 separate types of fee levied across the market. The most expensive plans are four times as costly as the cheapest alternatives, with annual charges of around 1.6%, compared with 0.4% at the most cost-effective providers. The FCA is now mulling new rules forcing pension providers to issue savers with clearer information before they choose how to cash in their savings. This could include a requirement to encourage savers to shop around, while savers would have to choose cash funds deliberately rather than being placed in them as a default option. The regulator may also insist on “investment pathways” – standardised approaches to drawdown that savers could opt for if they aren’t receiving any independent advice.
Help for small businesses
A new £8m Business Basics Fund was announced in a speech to the CBI at the end of June. The Business Basics Fund aims to boost the productivity and performance of small businesses in England. Run by BEIS in partnership with Innovate UK, the Business Basics Fund will help businesses, charities, trade organisations and public sector organisations support small businesses in adopting tried and tested technologies and management techniques. Once the projects are launched, the Government will then work with leading experts to evaluate the effectiveness of each project in boosting productivity, helping to inform future policies.
The beginning of the end for buy-to-let tax breaks?
Private landlords are putting home ownership beyond the reach of at least 2 million families, that’s the conclusion of a radical new report from a new Conservative think tank “Onward”. The Conservatives are concerned about the “unbalanced” nature of the housing market and how it may affect future voting patterns. With now approximately one-fifth of voters – predominantly young voters – living in rented accommodation, and likely to vote for an alternative government, the Conservatives see an urgent need for rebalancing! The report published by the Onward group recommends ending, or severely curtailing, all tax breaks for buy-to-let and private landlords.
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