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Dec
06

Markets hit by geopolitical worries, but bitcoin surges through $12,000 – business live

All the day’s economic and financial news, as equities in Asia and Europe fall but bitcoin hits a new high

Introduction: Markets are down
European in the red after Asian lossesWorries over Trump, Brexit, US debt ceiling all blamed
Bitcoin hits new highs – can it really last?
Australian growth missed forecasts

8.50am GMT

Brexit angst is weighing on the pound again this morning, following reports of a new cabinet split.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Theresa May is facing a Cabinet revolt led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, who fear the Prime Minister is trying to force through a soft Brexit.

NEW Boris Johnson and Michael Gove ‘could lead revolt amid fears of soft Brexit’ https://t.co/Wuk7ypSvGR

8.43am GMT

As feared, European stock markets have fallen in early trading, following the losses in Asia.

London’s FTSE 100 is down 24 points, or 0.3%, partly dragged down by mining stocks following the fall in Chinese metal prices today.

Optimism on US tax reform has given way to concern on Friday’s deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

There have been no public developments on the UK’s position on the Irish border and reports suggest that EU officials are maintaining the line that the “deadline of deadlines” for the UK’s proposals is this Friday.

8.31am GMT

The AFP newswire has a good take on today’s selloff. Here’s a flavour:

Technology and energy firms were the biggest losers as Asian markets tumbled on Wednesday, extending a retreat across Europe and New York.

A global equity rally has hit the buffers this week as the US probe into Russia’s alleged election meddling sows uncertainty, Britain struggles to reach a Brexit deal with the European Union and traders remain cautious about Washington’s ability to push through tax cuts.

8.28am GMT

Former Republican congressman Ron Paul (a libertarian and long-time critic of central bankers) uncovered plenty of support for bitcoin among his followers:

It’s come to this pic.twitter.com/VH4Y74JvK9

8.22am GMT

Is Bitcoin going to keep climbing, or is a crash around the corner?

Naeem Aslam of Think Markets thinks we’ll see more record highs, as investors will soon be able to trade bitcoin derivatives (allowing them to profit without actually owning the asset itself).

It appears that the momentum is unstoppable and we do think that the 14K level could reach before the bitcoin futures start trading at the CBOE which is on the 11 December. Principally, investors are thoughtful that when institutional money (hedge funds) will be involved, the chances are that the price would move higher. Large investment funds have not been able to take the piece of the pie yet and that would be their opportunity to get on board.

Bitcoin futures trading on the major stock exchanges would provide more assurance for retail investors that the derivative is trading in a regulatory frame work. This would provide tail wind for bitcoin.

I have done a quick informal survey of 30 businesses asking if they would take bitcoin as payment for my groceries, haircut, electricity and the like.

26: “WTF are you talking about”
3: “You have to be kidding”
1 asked: “I was thinking of buying bitcoin. Should I do it now?”

8.18am GMT

Although the markets are down, Bitcoin is maintaining its charge upwards.

The cryptocurrency has gained almost 6% this morning, bursting through the $12,000 mark to hit $12,488. Quite remarkable, given it started this year at $1,000.

Bitcoin today https://t.co/zUZLffH6A5 pic.twitter.com/EGVZdcx6Jv

7.58am GMT

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

There’s an edgy mood in the financial markets today, as investors worry about geopolitical issues and the state of the global economy, and wonder if a correction could be looming.

Having seen some decent gains so far this year there appears to be increasing evidence that markets are starting to look a little tired. The first clues appeared yesterday when US markets after racing out of the blocks on Monday found it difficult to hold onto a lot of their gains, even if the Dow did manage to finish the day higher. The S&P500 on the other hand declined for the third day in succession, its worst run of losses since August.

This declining momentum has been something that has been particularly notable in European markets since the peaks back in early November, and while we have managed to find some level of support for most of the past week or so, the subsequent rebounds have been getting shallower.

Related: Private investment helps Australia’s economy grow by 2.8%

Chinese stock markets staged a big reversal. #Shanghai Composite managed to narrow its loss to 0.3%, closed at 3294, after slipping by over 1.2%; Nasdaq-style #Chinext rebounded strongly before close, up 1.5% after dipping 0.8% at one point. pic.twitter.com/qP7E8P7BWM

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