Dow drifts to record as bitcoin tumbles on South Korean curbs

Updated On : 2017-12-29 08:02:35
Dow drifts to record as bitcoin tumbles on South Korean curbs (File Photo)
Dow drifts to record as bitcoin tumbles on South Korean curbs (File Photo)
New York:

The Dow drifted to a fresh record on Friday in sleepy holiday trading, while bitcoin prices tumbled after South Korea announced new restrictions on cryptocurrencies.

Most of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced in a quiet session, the latest record on the heels of dozens of earlier all-time highs in US equities this year.

US stocks have been boosted all year by an improving labour market, anticipation of the massive US tax cut plan that was signed into law last week by President Donald Trump, and improving economic conditions in other key regions.

With many traders on holiday, the week between Christmas and New Year is traditionally a sleepy time for markets, among the least traded period of the year. That low volume can cause increased volatility.

"There wasn't much trading excitement in the stock market because there was a dearth of market-moving news, as well as a dearth of participants," said.

"For the third day running, extremely light trading volume reflected the fact that many market participants have checked out until the new year."

In Europe, London's FTSE ended the session flat, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 index lost 0.7 per cent and the Paris CAC 0.6 per cent as the euro strengthened on the dollar.

Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong rose 0.9 per cent and Shanghai gained 0.6 per cent, while Sydney put on 0.3 per cent.

But Tokyo finished 0.6 per cent lower after an afternoon sell-off fuel curbed by the strengthening yen, as traders fret over another possible North Korean missile test.

Bitcoin sank under USD 14,000 after South Korea said it would ban anonymous trading of virtual currencies and crack down on links to money laundering activities.

Also Read: Dubai's Pluto Exchange launches mobile app for Bitcoin trade

The announcement came as the hyper-wired market emerged as a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading, accounting for some 20 per cent of global bitcoin transactions, about 10 times the country's share of the world economy.

The new rules announced by Seoul include a ban on opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts and new legislation to allow regulators to close virtual currency exchanges if necessary.

The digital unit has seen stratospheric growth this year, rising more than 25-fold from January to hit a record around USD 19,500 earlier in December, according to Bloomberg figures.

First Published : Friday, December 29, 2017 07:49 AM


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