BIT­COIN PROVES NO SAFE HAVEN AMID MAR­KET SLUMP

Pretoria News - - UNPACKING INVESTMENT -

BIT­COIN is prov­ing to be no haven as­set amid the cur­rent global mar­ket melt­down. The price of the largest dig­i­tal cur­rency con­tin­ued to swing wildly in Asia on Fri­day as a rout that be­gan overnight in New York showed no signs of slow­ing. Bit­coin dropped as much as 32 per­cent to $3 915 (R63 270), its weak­est since March last year, be­fore claw­ing back most of that loss by mid­day in Hong Kong. Its drop of as much as 50 per­cent over the past two days is among the big­gest yet. The cryp­tocur­rency was down 7.8 per­cent to $5 280 in Hong Kong. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto in­dex track­ing a bas­ket of dig­i­tal as­sets hit a his­toric low in data go­ing back to Au­gust 2017, slid­ing as much as 49 per­cent over the two ses­sions. Ri­val to­ken Ether briefly flipped pos­i­tive to re­verse an ear­lier 30 per­cent loss, while XRP pared de­clines. “This sell-off has caused cas­cad­ing mar­gin calls with the vast ma­jor­ity of in­vestors shift­ing to ex­po­sure to cash,” said Wayne Trench, chief ex­ec­u­tive of dig­i­tal as­set bro­ker­age and ex­change op­er­a­tor OSL. “In this sit­u­a­tion, cor­re­la­tion con­verges to 1 and even im­pacts po­ten­tial ‘safe havens’ like gold and Bit­coin to vary­ing ex­tents.” Global mar­kets have been rocked in re­cent weeks by an es­ca­lat­ing num­ber of macro head­winds from the in­ten­si­fy­ing coro­n­avirus out­break to a shock plunge in oil prices. US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­dress to the na­tion on Wed­nes­day, which in­cluded curbs on most travel to Europe and un­spec­i­fied re­lief spend­ing, spurred fur­ther sell­ing in eq­uity mar­kets across the world with the S&P 500 sink­ing the most since 1987 on Thurs­day. I Bloomberg

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