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08 September 21

PayPal heats up buy now, pay later race with $2.7 billion Japan deal

U.S. payments giant PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) said it would acquire Japanese buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Paidy in a $2.7 billion largely cash deal, taking another step to claim the top spot in an industry experiencing a pandemic-led boom.
The deal tracks rival Square Inc (NYSE:SQ)’s agreement last month to buy Australian BNPL success story Afterpay Ltd for $29 billion, which experts said was likely the beginning of a consolidation in the sector.
“The acquisition will expand PayPal’s capabilities, distribution and relevance in the domestic payments market in Japan, the third largest ecommerce market in the world, complementing the company’s existing cross-border ecommerce business in the country,” PayPal said in a statement on Tuesday.
Fuelled by federal stimulus checks, the BNPL business model has been hugely successful during the pandemic and has upended consumer credit markets. These firms make money by charging merchants a fee to offer small point-of-sale loans which shoppers repay in interest-free instalments, bypassing credit checks.

Dollar Up, Remains Near One-Week High Ahead of ECB Policy Decision

The dollar was up on Wednesday morning in Asia, remaining near a one-week high. A weaker euro ahead of Thursday’s policy decision from the European Central Bank (ECB) gave the U.S. currency a boost.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.03% to 92.543 by 12:01 AM ET (4:01 AM GMT). It remained just below Tuesday’s high of 92.571, last hit on Sep. 1.
The USD/JPY pair inched up 0.02% to 110.30.
The AUD/USD pair inched up 0.05% to 0.7389 and the NZD/USD pair edged up 0.14% to 0.7107.
The USD/CNY pair inched down 0.04% to 6.4636 and the GBP/USD pair inched down 0.03% to 1.3779.
Investors now await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision for September, where the central bank is widely expected to hold off announcing that it will begin asset tapering.

Gold Up, but Gains Capped by Strengthening Dollar, Rising U.S. Treasury Yields

Gold was up on Wednesday morning in Asia. The yellow metal steadied after slipping 1.6% during the previous session, alongside a strengthening dollar and rising U.S. Treasury yields that capped gains.
Gold futures inched up 0.04% to $1,799.15 by 12:31 AM ET (4:31 AM GMT) hovering slightly above the more than one-week low of $1,791.90 hit on Tuesday. The dollar, which normally moves inversely to gold, inched up to remain near a one-week high on Wednesday.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose up to 1.385% on Tuesday, the first time it has done so since mid-July 2021.
On the data front, Japan’s GDP grew a better-than-expected 1.9% year-on-year and 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of 2021, according to data released earlier in the day.
The Bank of Canada will hand down its policy decision later in the day, followed by the European Central Bank a day later.

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