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Stocks shattered by Spain terror attacks as investors flee to gold & cryptocurrencies — RT Business

Stocks shattered by Spain terror attacks as investors flee to gold & cryptocurrencies — RT Business

European stock markets plunged on Friday following deadly terror attacks in Spain. Fourteen people were killed and over 100 injured after a terrorist drove a van into crowds in Barcelona.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was down 0.29 percent, rebounding from a 0.9 percent loss. Tourism and airline industry stocks took the hardest hit.

Easyjet, Ryanair, British Airways owner IAG, and Lufthansa were all in the red, down from 1.9 to 2.7 percent.

Spanish airport company AENA was down 1.52 percent, recovering from a two percent drop.

“As we’ve seen over the last couple of years in Europe, these kinds of atrocities affect tourism and will hit airline earnings,” said Neil Wilson, an analyst at ETX Capital, as quoted by Reuters.

Spanish stocks are leading the selloff in Europe with the IBEX in Madrid down one percent. The British FTSE100 was down 0.98 percent, Germany’s DAX dropped 0.58 percent, and French CAC40 slid 1.06 percent.

The US stock market closed with big losses on Thursday but is set to open in the green.

S&P futures are up 0.05 percent, Nasdaq futures 0.25 percent, and the Dow was up 0.01 percent.

“The Barcelona attack is just one catalyst for the selling, with issues in Washington also causing investors huge concern,” said Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor told CNBC.

Investors are hesitant whether US President Donal Trump is able to realize his ambitious economic goals, such as tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

As usual after such events, gold surged. Bullion was up 0.65 percent, trading at $1,300 per troy ounce.

Cryptocurrencies, which are now considered by some experts as another safe haven, also rose on Friday.

Bitcoin is up over two percent, trading at $4,407 per token, while its main rival ethereum is over six percent higher.

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Technology behind bitcoin could replace physical gold trading — RT Business

Technology behind bitcoin could replace physical gold trading — RT Business

The bitcoin revolution has caught the attention of traditional banks and hedge funds. Financial companies are working on a platform that will use blockchain technology to verify and record transactions in gold trading.

Exchange owner CME Group, TradeWind Markets, and financial technology firm Paxos are working to make the $27 billion-a-day gold market digital.

The companies say it will add more transparency and security to the gold market.

“Digital gold would take market share away from other gold instruments: futures, physical gold bullion, gold ETFs,” Ebele Kemery, head of energy investing at JPMorgan Asset Management told Bloomberg.

Blockchain can be quite handy in gold trading, as it is safe and fast, says Pierluigi Paganini, CTO at CSE Cybsec Enterprise.

“It is quite secure from the technical perspective, but you have to trust the entire system. It is for sure faster than traditional trading, and it is cost-effective,” he told RT.

“It overcomes the difficulties like moving gold around or transporting it quickly,” Paganini added.

James Turk, the founder of GoldMoney and Lend Borrow Trust, told RT that people will still stick to traditional gold bullion, as it is physical, unlike bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Also, blockchain will not solve the problem of the physical delivery of gold.

“Physical gold is a product of nature that has served as money for 5,000 years. Bitcoin is a man-made product with less than ten years of history. Also, gold is something you can hold in your hand, whereas bitcoin is essentially just a mathematical formula,” he said.

READ MORE: $1 in bitcoin seven years ago is valued at over $1.4 million today

Bitcoin, one of the first digital currencies to use blockchain, has more than quadrupled in price this year to more than $4,300. A single token is worth 3.3 troy ounces of gold as of Friday.

“Prices for bitcoin depend exclusively on the relationship between offer and demand. If we consider these aspects, then it makes sense. There is no centralized organization that establishes the price of this cryptocurrency,” Paganini said.

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Posted by Bitcoinist in News