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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Bitcoin finds a floor after worst sell off since 2015

Cryptocurrency posts Saturday gains after four-day sell-off 

Bitcoin recovered in Saturday trading after a four-day selloff. Sascha Steinbach / EPA
Bitcoin recovered in Saturday trading after a four-day selloff. Sascha Steinbach / EPA

Bitcoin clawed its way upward on Saturday along with most cryptocurrencies, halting a four-day tumble that drew worldwide attention to the unregulated US$500 billion market that’s frequently called a bubble.

The recovery coincided with a pause in bearish news that had snowballed since Monday and shaved 24 per cent off bitcoin’s value, its biggest four-day sell-off since 2015. Comments by central bankers, a decision by litecoin’s founder to sell all his holding, and a wish to reduce stakes before the holiday season fuelled the plunge, strategists said.

“With holidays approaching, some people want to step away from the table, and take their chips with them,” Marc Ostwald, global strategist at London-based ADM Investor Services International, said by phone from Warsaw. “Still, I wouldn’t want to put it down too much to rationality, because this is not a rational market.”

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Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, shook the nascent trading world of digital coins on Friday when its interlay plunge reached 30 per cent. The previous day, competitor litecoin recovered some of a 43 per cent intraday fall.

On Saturday, bitcoin rose 5.1 per cent to $14,625 at 10:08am London time, compared with 24 hours earlier, according to data on coinmarketcap.com. No. 2-ranked ethereum climbed 4.7 per cent, and litecoin was up 9.5 per cent.

In a late-week comment that undercut confidence, Michael Novogratz, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Fortress Investment Group LLC macro trader, said he’s shelving plans to start a cryptocurrency hedge fund. He predicted that bitcoin may extend its plunge to $8,000. Earlier this month he predicted it could reach $40,000 within a few months.