A Bitcoin logo is seen on a cryptocurrency ATM in Santa Monica, California, US. Reuters
Bitcoin pulled back from 18-month highs on Monday after jumping more than 10% over the weekend, with analysts ascribing the spike to growing optimism over the adoption of cryptocurrencies after Facebook unveiled its Libra digital coin.
The biggest cryptocurrency touched $11,247.63 on the Bitstamp exchange on Sunday, its highest since March last year. On Monday morning it had pulled back from those highs, and was last down 0.5% at $10,786.
Mati Greenspan, an analyst at eToro, said the gains underscored optimism among retail investors over moves by major companies to adopt cryptocurrencies.
“Traders are speculating on future involvement of large players like Facebook,” he said. “They believe that Libra will create mass awareness of cryptocurrencies and act as a gateway to adoption.”
Facebook announced ambitious plans last week to launch a new global cryptocurrency called Libra.
US President Donald Trump on Thursday criticised Bitcoin, Facebook’s proposed Libra digital coin and other cryptocurrencies and demanded that companies seek a banking charter and make themselves
Bitcoin slumped more than 10 per cent over the weekend to a two-week low as fears of a crackdown of cryptocurrencies grew on mounting scrutiny of Facebook’s planned Libra digital coin.
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG: China’s state planner wants to eliminate bitcoin mining in the country, according to a draft list of industrial activities the agency is seeking to stop in a sign of growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector. China is the world’s largest market for computer hardware designed to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, even though such activities previously fell under a regulatory grey area.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 was down 0.1%, The mid-cap FTSE 250 dipped 0.3%, with losses in industrial, energy and tech-related stocks.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 17 cents, or 0.41%, to $41.78 a barrel by 0651 GMT, while Brent crude fell 17 cents, or 0.38%, to $44.92. Both contracts had traded higher earlier in the day.
Global equity markets slipped and bond yields fell on Thursday as investors awaited an agreement on a US aid package to mitigate the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, with poor corporate earnings reports also weighing on European shares.