Register
Login:
Share:
Email Facebook Twitter


Exclusive: Hardman & Co call the lithium market: is a change in trend happening?
Tower Resources identify 18 million barrels of contingent reserves worth $118M in Cameroon


Finance & Stock Market News


UPDATE 2-Bitcoin crashes to lowest this year, losses top 25 percent in a week

Tue, 20th Nov 2018 11:05


* Latest tumble takes Bitcoin's one-week losses to 30 pct

* Sell-off started at leveraged Asian exchanges -traders

* "Hard fork" in bitcoin cash also to blame

* Rival coins ether, XRP also fall heavily

* Analysts say downward pressure is building (Writes through; Adds quotes, context; updates prices)

By Tom Wilson and Tommy Wilkes

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Bitcoin slumped on Tuesday to its lowest this year, tumbling as much as 10 percent to breach $4,300 and taking losses in the world's best-known digital coin to 25 percent within a week.

Other smaller coins also skidded sharply as a broader cryptocurrency sell-off, said by traders and market makers to be rooted in heavy selling at leveraged Asian exchanges, gathered steam.

The fall followed a sudden plunge last week that shook bitcoin out of a period of relative stability, where prices had hovered around the $6,500 mark for several months.

Bitcoin sunk as far as $4,327, its lowest since October 2017. By mid-afternoon, it was trading around $4,750 on the Bitstamp exchange.

"We'd been waiting for a break-out," said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro. "When you have the price moving so steadily you had lots of stop-loss orders building up - and now you are seeing them being liquidated."

Ripple's XRP and Ethereum's ether, the second and third-largest coins, fell as much as 14 and 16 percent respectively before clawing back losses in U.S. trading hours.

Tuesday's falls coincided with broader drops in financial markets. European shares fell as poor retail results and weakness in Apple Inc dragged down Wall Street.

Bitcoin has plummeted over 75 percent this year from a peak of $20,000 touched in December as retail investors piled into a one of the largest bubbles in history.

"CASINO MENTALITY"

Traders and market makers blamed bitcoin's slide on heavy selling at leveraged exchanges in Asia such as Hong Kong-based OKEx and Bitmex. Few exchanges in the West lend bitcoin to traders, making the Asian venues popular with speculators.

"The presence of leverage makes day traders attracted to Asian markets," said Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Global Trading in New York, one of the biggest over-the-counter trading desks.

"Folks who are risking 100X type of leverage, it’s really difficult to think of that as an investment – it’s a casino mentality."

Others blamed fears that last week's "hard fork" in bitcoin cash, where a software upgrade split the fourth-biggest coin into two separate currencies, could destabilise others.

The price of bitcoin tends to be sensitive to debates over how its underlying network evolves. Last year the suspension of hard fork planned by major developers and investors proved a major catalyst to its breakneck rise.

TOUGH BILLING

Mainstream investors have stayed clear of bitcoin, with concerns over scant regulatory oversight and undeveloped market infrastructure compounded by frequent swings in price.

That lack of involvement has seen bitcoin struggle to live up to its billing as something that will revolutionise world finance. Its usage as a payment currency has shrivelled this year.

At the same time, bitcoin's plunge in value has calmed the fears of regulators and central bankers that it could one day pose a risk to financial stability.

According to industry tracker Coinmarketcap.com, the total value of cryptocurrencies is now around $154 billion, down from a peak of around $800 billion in January.

Cryptocurrency advocates say bitcoin is still young and price volatility is to be expected. Many predict the need for virtual currencies that operate beyond mainstream banking will outlast any short-term price falls.

By late afternoon, XRP and ether were trading around $0.45 and $142 respectively on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

"The euphoria has died and prices have consolidated with lower lows and lower highs," said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at Forex.com. "A lot of people have lost interest." (Reporting by Tom Wilson and Tommy Wilkes, Editing by Saikat Chatterjee and Ed Osmond)



(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018. Click For Restrictions - https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html




Back to Finance News


Share Price, Share Chat, Stock Market news at lse.co.uk
FREE Member Services
- Setup a personalised Watchlist and Virtual Portfolio.
- Gain access to LIVE real-time Regulatory News (RNS).
- View more Trades, Directors' Deals, and Broker Ratings.
Share Price, Share Chat, Stock Market news at lse.co.uk




Datafeed and UK data supplied by NBTrader and Digital Look. While London South East do their best to maintain the high quality of the information displayed on this site,
we cannot be held responsible for any loss due to incorrect information found here. All information is provided free of charge, 'as-is', and you use it at your own risk.
The contents of all 'Chat' messages should not be construed as advice and represent the opinions of the authors, not those of London South East Limited, or its affiliates.
London South East does not authorise or approve this content, and reserves the right to remove items at its discretion.