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Service sector activity growth in Japan hits a 3-month low -PMI by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man stands at a tempura restaurant at Tsukiji Outdoor Market in Tokyo, Japan on June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Ise Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s services sector activity grew in November at the slowest pace in three months, as persistent inflation dented a part of the economy that was benefiting from the return of domestic and foreign shoppers and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The au Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a seasonally adjusted 50.3 from 53.2 in October, marking the lowest level since August.

However, the index remained above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction for the third consecutive month and was slightly better than the flash reading of 50.0 for November.

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Behind the weak headline number were inflationary pressures, “which remained noticeable with input cost rates and selling price inflation remaining well above their respective historical averages,” said Laura Denman, economist at S&P Global (NYSE:: Market Intelligence), which compiles the survey.

A separate government survey on Thursday showed that Japan’s consumer confidence index fell in November to the lowest level since June 2020 due to price inflation marking the fastest increase in 40 years.

However, the PMI survey showed that input costs for service operators rose at the slowest rate in November, indicating an easing of burdens on the consumer-facing sector.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that increased demand following the sustained recovery of COVID-19 and the launch of the National Travel Discount Program primarily led to the expansion of the sector,” Denman added.

The sub-index for new export firms hit a seven-month high, after Japan eased its border controls in October.

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The composite PMI, which is calculated by combining manufacturing and services figures, fell to 48.9 in November from a final 51.8 in the previous month, dragged down by a contraction in factory activity.

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.