Thursday is looking like a bad day for the U.S. Dollar as the currency hits a 3-months low level. Also on the downside, the world’s favorite crypto – Bitcoin has lost about 15% of its value in the last trading session. On asset who’s performing better is Gold, which rose to 1-month high. in stocks, markets are mixed on a light holiday trading day. Here’s all you need to know for today.
The short-term recovery in bitcoin evaporated on Thursday after the South Korean government announced that it would take several steps to combat speculation in digital currency trading.
South Korea, where approximately 20% of bitcoin transactions take place, approved measures that include a ban on opening anonymous cryptocurrency accounts, along with new legislation to allow regulators to close virtual coin exchanges if needed.
“Cryptocurrency speculation has been irrationally overheated in Korea,” the government said in the statement. “The government can’t leave the abnormal situation of speculation any longer.”
On the Bitfinex exchange, Bitcoin was last trading down $2,257.00 or 14.37%, to $13,448.00 by 11:09 GMT.
The number one cryptocurrency is off nearly 30% since its all-time high of $19,891 on December 17, from is still on track for monthly gains of about 42% and has rallied more than 1,300% in 2017.
The dollar remained under pressure on Thursday, dropping against major rivals for a third consecutive session in light holiday trade to hit its lowest level since the end of September.
Some observers suggested that the dollar weakness was primarily due to market participants taking money off the table after U.S. President Donald Trump officially signed the tax overhaul into law.
Of particular note, the euro also continued to scale positions against the greenback and was on track in 2017 for its best annual rally in 14 years.
The move lower came ahead of several economic reports stateside with market focus likely centered on weekly jobless claims at 13:30 GMT Thursday.
Also on the docket, markets will digest the November trade balance, wholesale inventories and the Chicago purchasing mangers’ index (PMI) for December.
At 11:09 GMT, the U.S. dollar index lost 0.24% at 92.44.
The dollar weakness benefitted gold on Thursday with prices hitting a one-month high ahead of the day’s economic reports. A weaker greenback makes the precious metal more affordable for holders of foreign currency.
Comex gold futures rose 0.27% to $1,294.90 a troy ounce by 11:10 GMT Thursday, just off its intraday high of $1,296.10 which was its highest level since November 29.
Futures were on the rise for a third straight session and were on track for weakly gains of more than 1%.
U.S. futures pointed to another day of slight gains ahead of economic data, but trading volumes remained near their lowest of the year in holiday trade.
European shares drifted lower in early deals on Thursday with company news and macro events scarce in holiday-thinned trading, while Britain's FTSE 100 hovered just under a record high.
Earlier, Asian shares showed mixed trade on Thursday but were generally hovering near a decade high. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed down around 0.6%, while China’s Shanghai Composite rose by about the same amount.
Elsewhere, Oil prices registered slight gains on Friday after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a 6 million drawdown in weekly crude stockpiles. That compared to forecast for a decline of 3.8 million barrels.
Market participants looked ahead to the official government data at 16:00 GMT Thursday, amid expectations for a draw of 3.97 million barrels.