“Bitcoin Bloodbath Nears Dot-Com Levels as Many Tokens Go to Zero.”
Bitcoin’s meteoric rise last year had many observers calling it one of the biggest speculative manias in history. The cryptocurrency’s 2018 crash may help cement its place in the bubble record books.
Down 70 percent from its December high after sliding for a fourth straight day on Friday, Bitcoin is getting ever-closer to matching the Nasdaq Composite Index’s 78 percent peak-to-trough plunge after the U.S. dot-com bubble burst. Hundreds of other virtual coins have all but gone to zero — following the same path as Pets.com and other red-hot initial public offerings that flamed out in the early 2000s.
While Bitcoin has bounced back from bigger losses before, it’s far from clear that it can repeat the feat now that much of the world knows about cryptocurrencies and has made up their mind on whether to invest. Bulls point to the Nasdaq’s eventual recovery and say institutional investors represent a massive pool of potential cryptocurrency buyers, but regulatory and security concerns have so far kept most big money managers on the sidelines.
Bitcoin declined as much as 4.2 percent to $5,791.19 on Friday, the lowest level since November, according to Bloomberg composite prices. It traded at $5,860 as of 8:52 a.m. in New York, down 59 percent for the year and heading for a second-quarter loss of 14 percent. Other coins including Ether and Litecoin slumped more, while the combined value of tokens tracked by CoinMarketCap.com declined to $236 billion. At the peak of crypto-mania, they were worth about $830 billion.
While it was difficult to find fresh catalysts for Bitcoin’s drop on Friday, hacks at two South Korean exchanges and a regulatory clampdown in Japan have weighed on sentiment in recent weeks. Regulators around the world have stepped up scrutiny of cryptocurrencies on concern that they’re a breeding ground for illicit activity including money laundering, market manipulation and fraud.
“Deutsche Bank investors unshaken by U.S. stress test failure.”
Deutsche Bank investors took a largely long view on its failure in this year’s U.S. stress tests, with its shares recovering on Friday from a record low hit earlier this week. Goldman Sachs analysts said the U.S. Federal Reserve’s issues with Deutsche Bank were “long standing” and “not new”, while UBS said the failure was “not a total surprise.”
The Fed last year classified Deutsche Bank’s U.S. unit as troubled and Deutsche Bank’s shares had been falling in anticipation of the stress test verdict on Thursday. Shares in the German bank, which are down 42 percent this year, were up 1.4 percent at 9.19 euros at 1401 GMT, above Wednesday’s record low of 8.76 euros.
The test was the second stage in the Fed’s annual health check of banks. Deutsche Bank passed the first phase last week, but was the only lender to fail the second, in another blow to its fragile reputation as it struggles to revive profitability.
The Fed, which regularly checks banks’ financial strength, cited “widespread and critical deficiencies” in Deutsche Bank’s capital planning controls.
The Fed’s assessment follows months of turmoil at Deutsche, which abruptly reshuffled management in April after three consecutive years of losses. It then began plans to scale back its investment bank to refocus on Europe and its home market. It has flagged cuts to U.S. bond trading, equities and the business that serves hedge funds.
“Migrant crisis: EU leaders plan secure migrant centres.”
Secure centres for migrants may be set up in EU states to process asylum claims under a deal reached after marathon talks at a summit in Brussels. The controlled centres would be set up by EU states on a voluntary basis and migrants whose claims were rejected would be «returned». Refugees could be resettled in EU states which agreed to take them. The deal follows weeks of diplomatic wrangling over migrant rescue ships, and which country should take them in.
Coastguard officials said on Friday that around 100 people were thought to have drowned off the Libyan coast, with 14 rescued. They were found in waters to the east of the capital, Tripoli. There were no details on which countries might set up the secure centres or take in refugees, but French President Emmanuel Macron said they would be in countries where migrants first arrived in the EU.
«We have struck the right balance between responsibility and solidarity,» he said. Numbers illegally entering the EU have dropped 96% since their 2015 peak, the European Council says. Italy – the entry point for thousands of migrants, mainly from Africa – had threatened to veto the summit’s entire agenda if it did not receive help.
“Mnuchin Calls Report That Trump Wants to Withdraw From WTO an ‘Exaggeration’.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pushed back on a news report that President Donald Trump is discussing a withdrawal from the World Trade Organization, calling it «an exaggeration.»
«He has concerns about the WTO. He thinks there’s aspects of it that aren’t fair,» Mnuchin said during an interview on Fox Business Networks’s «Mornings With Maria» show. In addition, he said it’s «not breaking news.»
Trump has repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to withdraw from the trade organization, which he said isn’t always fair to the U.S., Axios reported, citing unidentified administration sources. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index and U.S. futures both wobbled before recovering following the report.
A WTO official said Friday the organization hasn’t heard from the U.S. on revisiting WTO membership.
The WTO, which oversees international trade between member nations, is designed to help producers of goods and services conduct business. It serves as a forum for negotiating trade deals as well as settling disputes. The collective counts 164 member nations, according to its website.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Trump has said the WTO is one of several international organizations the U.S. should revisit in terms of its membership.