Bitcoin drops to lowest since February as collapse accelerates

Bitcoin tumbled to its lowest level since February as the meltdown in the world’s largest digital currency accelerated, renewing concern about the long-term viability of the much hyped alternative to traditional currencies. The price of the digital coin fell as much as 4.6% Tuesday to $6 450.01, bringing the slide for the year to more than 50%. It’s down from a record high of $19 511 reached in December, the culmination of the more than 1 400% surge seen in 2017 as Bitcoin burst on to the mainstream. “I don’t…

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Big days are all bad ones as stocks punish optimists again

None of the narratives floating around the market make any sense. Bond yields are too high, and too low. Politics don’t matter, then they do. There’s excessive inflation, or not enough. But one message the market keeps sending: don’t get comfortable, because around the corner is pain. Stock traders have been chained to their screens in a year when the average down day is 24% bigger than the average up one, the biggest gap since 1948. It played out again Tuesday as investors were treated to a session of price…

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This Bitcoin Pizza Day, remember not to spend bitcoins on pizza

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts everywhere set aside May 22 to celebrate the anniversary of the first ever Bitcoin transaction: Two pizzas for 10,000 coins bought exactly eight years ago. If you stacked the pizza boxes you can get for that many Bitcoins today, they’d rise to outer space. At today’s price near $8,200 per Bitcoin, you could get about 6.5 million $12.50 pizzas. If you stacked those pizza boxes, they’d climb almost 200 miles (300 kilometers) into the air, according to data from Forex Time, a foreign exchange broker. Its animated infographic…

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African wave of easing mostly ends as price pressures build

Rate decisions across Africa in the next two weeks are likely to confirm the continent’s biggest economies have mostly ceased a wave of easing that’s been going since last year. Factors from sticky inflation to rising crude prices may persuade central bankers to freeze borrowing costs. Institutions in Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Kenya and Mauritius will probably keep key rates unchanged at their forthcoming meetings — and only Ghana’s is seen by some economists as open to a potential cut on Monday. Slowing price growth and tepid economic expansion in…

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Crypto bull Tom Lee owns up after bitcoin prediction goes awry

It’s pretty difficult to accurately predict what the price of just about anything is going to do in a week’s time, let alone a in month or a year. It’s also tough to admit you’re wrong. One researcher may deserve some credit for owning up after his latest Bitcoin forecast failed to pan out. Thomas Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, predicted on May 7 that Bitcoin would rally during Consensus, the cryptocurrency conference this week that drew thousands of enthusiasts (and some Lamborghinis) to a packed hotel…

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European shares post best weekly streak since 2014

European shares ended down on the day on Friday but posted their eighth straight week of gains thanks to a rally in energy shares and despite concerns about Italian anti-establishment parties promising to increase state spending in a planned new government. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.3% but remained near its highest level in more than three months and was up 0.5% on the week. “Profit-taking has set in after a strong run this week, with investors keen to lock in some gains ahead of the weekend,” said CMC…

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Crypto wealth sinks $52bn in one week

So much for the Blockchain Week bounce. With thousands of cryptocurrency diehards swarming into Manhattan for this week’s Consensus 2018 conference, the prediction from Bitcoin bulls like Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors was that the hype-filled gathering would trigger a market rally. Alas, not even a trio of (rented) Lamborghinis, a 1,000-person yacht party and a performance by 46-year-old rapper Snoop Dogg could prevent the value of virtual currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap.com from sinking by $52 billion since May 11. Bitcoin, the most popular of the bunch, dropped 5.2%…

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A warning signal for global stock markets is flashing in Japan

Morgan Stanley calls it “the end of easy,” that witching hour in global stock markets when economic growth is slowing, the Federal Reserve is tightening, and inflation is ticking up. After a long bull run, strategists the world over are getting nervous — and watching for the top. And over in Tokyo, a warning is starting to flash. A feared rotation is taking hold, as investors dump the shares that propelled the good times, such as industrials and technology companies, in favor of an entirely different class of firms: those…

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Emerging markets face their moment of truth

Ask most any smart investor what could cause the next crisis in markets and the likely answer would be a sharp rise in borrowing costs brought on by a selloff in the bond market. But the thing about markets is that the pain usually originates in places where it’s least expected. That may be the case now with emerging markets.  The fact is, investors have had a few years now to prepare for the inevitable rise in bond yields that is currently underway. That’s seen in the record bets against US…

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