Gold, bitcoin pull back from records as US stock markets slip

March 06, 2024 | 16:52
(0) user say
Gold prices and bitcoin hit all-time highs Tuesday before paring some gains, while a sell-off in some tech stocks led to a slump in many stock markets around the world.
Gold, bitcoin pull back from records as US stock markets slip
Gold, bitcoin pull back from records as US stock markets slip, illustration photo/ Source:

On Wall Street, the Dow and the S&P 500 both finished 1.0 percent lower, while the tech-rich Nasdaq composite ended the day down 1.7 percent, pulled down by firms including Apple and Tesla.

Despite the gloomy trading day in New York, US stock indices are still up sharply on the year.

Kurt Spieler, chief investment officer at FNBO, told AFP he thinks US markets can still climb slightly higher in the short term, but added: "I think we're getting closer to the end of the momentum run."

Gold on Tuesday hit a new record of $2,140 an ounce in early trading, before giving up some of its gains to trade close to $2,128 at around 4:30pm local time (2130 GMT).

The precious metal, whose twin drivers are jewelery and investment buying, has now gained about 15 percent in value since the same stage last year.

"Concerns surrounding global economic prospects, geopolitical tensions, and shifting expectations towards earlier interest rate cuts have fuelled increased demand for the precious metal," said ActivTrades analyst Ricardo Evangelista.

Among digital assets, bitcoin briefly hit a record high above $69,000 -- beating a record of $68,991 struck in November 2021 -- buoyed by the world's biggest cryptocurrency becoming more accessible for trading amid tight supplies.

However, bitcoin then plummeted by as much as 10 percent, to trade closer to $63,700 at around 2130 GMT.

Traders will be paying close to attention to testimony by Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell in Congress on Wednesday and Thursday, looking for signs of when the US central bank might start cutting rates.

Most analysts expect highly-anticipated Fed rate cuts to start later this year, as officials have voiced caution about trimming too soon while they await further inflation data.

The European Central Bank is expected to keep rates steady when it meets Thursday, and the US reports non-farm payrolls on Friday.

"Labor-market data will be centre-stage for markets this week," said Brock Weimer, an analyst at Edward Jones.

"Our view is that current labour-market conditions could ease, however, we don’t foresee a sharp rise in unemployment," he added.

In Europe, Paris and Frankfurt closed slightly lower on Tuesday while London was little changed.

German chemicals giant Bayer fell 7.6 percent after it revealed that it plunged deep into the red in 2023, weighed down by woes related to its glyphosate-based weedkillers.

On the eve of a key UK budget update, London won a slight boost from news that network testing firm Spirent Communications agreed to a £1-billion (around $1.3-billion) takeover from US communications equipment maker Viavi. Spirent rose 63 percent.

- Key figures around 2115 GMT -

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.0 percent at 38,585.19 points (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 1.0 percent at 5,078.65 (close)

New York - Nasdaq Composite: DOWN 1.7 percent at 15,939.59 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,646.16 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.3 percent at 7,932.82 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 0.1 percent at 17,698.40 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.4 percent at 4,893.07 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: FLAT at 40,097.63 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 2.6 percent at 16,162.64 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.3 percent at 3,047.79 (close)

Euro/dollar: FLAT at $1.0860

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 149.97 yen from 150.51 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2707 from $1.2691

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.44 pence from 85.54 pence

Brent North Sea Crude: DOWN 0.9 percent at $82.04 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.7 percent at $78.15 per barrel

Bitcoin's renewed euphoria as price keeps rising Bitcoin's renewed euphoria as price keeps rising

Bitcoin is forecast to keep on rising after hitting fresh two-year highs above $50,000 on Thursday, leaving analysts to wonder whether investors have moved on from recent cryptocurrency setbacks, including scandals.

Bitcoin tops $60,000, approaches all-time high Bitcoin tops $60,000, approaches all-time high

Bitcoin passed the $60,000 mark on Wednesday, approaching its all-time high and continuing its unbridled rise since the approval of a new type of investment indexed to the cryptocurrency.


What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional