The European Central Bank meets
on Thursday against a backdrop of heightened speculation over
when it will end its vast stimulus and signal a rise in interest
rates from record lows.
Bitcoin had lost a quarter of its
value in early Asian trading on Wednesday as fears grew of a
regulatory crackdown after reports that South Korea's finance
minister said banning trading in cryptocurrencies was still an
Indonesia's central bank has
issued a fresh warning about trading in cryptocurrencies like
bitcoin because of the risk of losses to the public and even a
potential threat to the stability of the financial system.
Bitcoin skidded on Thursday, after
South Korea's justice minister said a bill to ban cryptocurrency
trade was being prepared.
Investors are gaining confidence -
up to a point - that 2018 will be the year of oil stocks.
South African financial
markets opened at 0900 GMT on Wednesday after the resumption of
trading was delayed due to technical issues, exchange operator
JSE Ltd. said.
A 40 percent surge in world tech
stocks, a jump of almost a third in emerging markets and
double-digit percentage gains for top commodities have given
many investors their best year since the post-Lehman bounce of
Two-thirds of investors believe
U.S. tax cuts will boost equity markets, which are already
increasingly seen as over-valued, a monthly survey by Bank of
America Merrill Lynch showed on Tuesday.
China's main Shanghai stock
market ended slightly firmer on Monday, recovering from
earlier losses, while its main blue-chip Shanghai Shenzhen CSI
300 index also closed up on the day.
** The market was earlier weighed down by concerns over tight
year-end liquidity after the central bank lifted inter Full story
The surging price of
cryptocurrencies in global markets is catching the eye not just
of ordinary retail investors but a cybercrime gang with links to
the North Korean government, according to cyber researchers
tracing the group's activities.
As bitcoin raced to
another record high on Tuesday, one of the biggest providers of
digital currency wallets, Coinbase, went down under the weight
of traffic, leaving many of its more than 10 million customers
unable to access their funds.
A decade-long, post-financial
crisis deterioration in governments' credit ratings looks set to
end in 2018, S&P Global said on Wednesday.
Virtual currency bitcoin hit
another all-time peak on Tuesday, two days after the launch of
the first ever bitcoin futures on a U.S. exchange and ahead of
the start of another futures contract next week, as investors
grew optimistic that the $20,000-mark is within reach.
The European Union needs to
consider regulating bitcoin, European Central Bank ratesetter
Ewald Nowotny said on Monday, citing the risk of money
Bitcoin rocketed to a
lifetime high just shy of $16,000 on Thursday after climbing
some 60 percent in just over a week, intensifying the debate
about whether the cryptocurrency is in a bubble about to burst.
Britain wants to increase
regulation of Bitcoin and other digital currencies by expanding
the reach of European Union anti-money-laundering rules that
force traders to disclose their identities and report suspicious
Virtual currency bitcoin rose
to an all-time high above $10,000 on trading platform BitStamp
The relentless rise in global
stocks should extend in the short-term as investors pump record
amounts of cash into equities after a "super-frothy" start to
2018, strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on
Investors have raised their stock
allocations to two-year highs and cut cash positions to
five-year lows, with a majority expecting the equity bull run to
continue into 2019, a survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch
(BAML) showed on Tuesday.
Europe's financial markets
watchdog accused top credit rating agencies like S&P Global
<SPGI.N >, Moody's and Fitch on Thursday of not
providing enough clarity on the fees they charge.
Chinese bitcoin mining giant
Bitmain Technologies is expanding to Switzerland in a move that
will be key to widening its reach, the group told a Swiss
The rand is likely to weaken
over 12 percent this year, hit by doubts about how much the new
leader of the ruling African National Congress, Cyril Ramaphosa,
a promised reformer, can do for South Africa's ailing economy.
Israel's markets regulator
will propose regulation to ban companies based on bitcoin and
other digital currencies from trading on the Tel Aviv Stock
Exchange, he said on Monday.
The online brokerage firm E*Trade
Financial Corp will allow customers to trade bitcoin
futures from Cboe Global Markets Inc, the company said
on its website Wednesday, joining its rivals in opening the door
for more mainstream adoption of the cryptocurrency.
China stocks ended higher on
Tuesday, reflecting strength in Asian markets after a
record-breaking performance on Wall Street buoyed by
expectations of imminent tax reforms.
** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up
28.76 points or 0.88 percent at 3,296.68.
** The blue-chip CSI300 index w Full story
France will propose that the G20
group of major economies discuss regulation of the bitcoin
virtual currency next year, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said
A South Korean blockchain
association announced on Friday measures to boost transparency
in trading of cryptocurrencies, agreed by 14 exchanges in the
country including the world's busiest virtual currency exchange,
Germany is carefully monitoring
the impact of cryptocurrencies on markets, a finance ministry
spokesman said on Wednesday, as bitcoin surged and
the futures of the best known cryptocurrency made their world
debut on a U.S. stock exchange.
Japan's army of retail investors,
no strangers to high risk bets in the past, have emerged as a
major force in bitcoin's spectacular rally, now accounting for
an estimated 30-50 percent of trading in the cryptocurrency as
it spikes to record highs.
Israel's markets regulator
said on Tuesday bitcoin-based companies would not be included in
any indexes on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) but that does
not mean they should be banned from trading.
Bitcoin lost almost a
fifth of its value in 10 hours on Friday, having surged more
than 40 percent in the preceding 48 hours, sparking fears the
market may be heading for a price collapse.
In a hectic day on Thursday, bitcoin leapt from below
$16,000 to $19,500 in less than an hour on the U.S.-b Full story
Bitcoin extended its rally
on Wednesday, breaking above $13,000 to a record high despite
questions about the cryptocurrency's real value and worries
about a dangerous bubble.
The main U.S. derivatives
regulator said on Friday it would allow CME Group Inc
and CBOE Global Markets Inc to list bitcoin futures
contracts, opening the door to added regulation and more
mainstream adoption of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin soared to an all-time
high above $10,000 on Tuesday in some smaller exchanges and
digital currency indexes, but remained just below that milestone
in major trading platforms such as Luxembourg-based BitStamp and
India has sent tax notices to
tens of thousands of people dealing in cryptocurrency after a
nationwide survey showed more than $3.5 billion worth of
transactions have been conducted over a 17-month period, the
income tax department said.
South Korea said on Monday that
its plans to ban virtual coin exchanges had not yet been
finalised as government agencies were still in talks to decide
how to regulate the market.
Sales of 'Panda' bonds in China
slumped almost 40 percent last year as Beijing's tighter money
transfer rules and rising market borrowing costs reduced their
appeal, but there are some signs sales may get a modest bounce
The powerful rally in global
stocks and other markets is likely to persist until higher
borrowing costs and a stronger dollar force investors to back
off, Bank of America Merrill-Lynch's analysts said on Friday.
Hackers have stolen millions,
lawmakers are pushing for new taxes and regulations, and a
leading financial official has called them a "Ponzi scheme".
The passage of a sweeping U.S.
tax reform bill investors have been anxiously anticipating for
months caused large redemptions in equities and bonds this week
as a building consensus in the market suggested any benefits had
already been priced in.
Bitcoin fell more than 10 percent
on Wednesday to a one-week low of $15,800 at cryptocurrency
exchange Bitstamp, losing almost one- fifth of its
value from a peak hit just three days ago.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso
said on Tuesday that bitcoin has not been proven to be a
credible currency and that he would watch its developments in
European Union states and
legislators agreed on Friday on stricter rules to prevent money
laundering and terrorism financing on exchange platforms for
bitcoin and other virtual currencies, the EU said in a
Mexico's finance ministry
and central bank warned on Wednesday that cryptocurrencies were
risky investments and said fundraising programs known as initial
coin offerings (ICOs) could potentially violate Mexican
India's federal tax authority
is investigating bitcoin exchanges to try and find a way to tax
transactions, an official said on Wednesday, even as its central
bank has warned against dealing in virtual currencies.
South Korea said on Wednesday it
may tax capital gains from cryptocurrency trading as global
regulators worried about a bubble, with Australia's central bank
chief warning of a 'speculative mania" that has seen the digital
asset making rip-roaring gains.
The Seoul-based operator of the
world's busiest virtual currency exchange Bithumb said on
Tuesday it will fully comply with potential regulations from the
South Korean government and adequately capitalize itself to
protect its clients.
Investors looking for the U.S.
Republican tax bill to prompt multinational companies to convert
foreign profits into dollars and end the worst slide in the
greenback in a decade may have to temper their hopes for a
Bitcoin dipped back under $11,000
on Monday, coming off a record high just shy of $11,800 it hit
on Sunday after a surge from less than $1,000 at the start of
Bitcoin zoomed past
$11,000 to hit a record high for the sixth day in a row on
Wednesday after gaining more than $1,000 in just 12 hours,
stoking concerns that a rapidly swelling bubble could be set to
burst in spectacular fashion.