Friday, 2nd February: If you hadn’t already noticed, which is unlikely unless you don’t watch the television, don’t read newspapers, or don’t engage in any type of human interaction, the Bitcoin bubble was on the verge of bursting. In fact, it may have already done so by the time I conclude this piece of writing, or it could have shot back up to peculiar and unexplainable highs, which sums up the alarming volatility of the cryptocurrency and the direction it has taken in the last 24 hours. Having reached highs of almost $20,000 in December, it was back down to $8,300 at around 09:07 GMT. A constant regulatory backlash has sent Bitcoin down around 45% when compared to the start of 2018, in addition to the Facebook announcement this week that all cryptocurrency advertisements are to be banned from appearing on the social media site or app.
FTSE members have had a fairly difficult week too, however obviously not to the same extent as the cryptocurrencies, but results and trading updates this week have been fairly disappointing. To add to the list today was BT, down almost 6% in the afternoon to 241p after their Q3 trading update which demonstrated a rise in revenue and profit which fell short of expectations which the market consequently reacted badly to and thus placed the group at a five-year low.
On the other end of the spectrum, Amazon shares were up circa 6.0% after the group released record high Q4 results, including a sales increase of 38%, net income which more than doubled to $1.86 billion, profits close to $2 billion, and a provisional sum of $789 million which was a result of the tax bill passed in December. However, one of the key beneficiaries of growth was the advertising segment, which grew a staggering 62% to $1.74 billion.
By the end of the day, only 15 stocks out of the FTSE 100 were in green, and the index as a whole was down 0.63% at 7443, bringing it back down to early December levels. At the same time this was noted, GBP/USD was down 1.04% at $1.4117, and GBP/EUR was down 0.53% at €1.1345.