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Bitcoin Extend Gains as US-China Tariffs Take its Toll

Bitcoin posted modest gains in its September debut as the US introduced additional tariffs of 15 percent on $112 billion of Chinese goods.

Bitcoin trending higher gradually | Image Credits: TradingView.com

The benchmark cryptocurrency added 0.20 percent to trade at $9,800 in early Monday morning, bringing its local net rebound up by as much as 5.8 percent – as measured from Friday’s low of $9,321.73. The first signs of a positive month followed three weeks of depression, wherein the bitcoin erased about $2,300 off its spot rate. Long traders called it a technical correction, but short sellers believe the reason for the downside was investors’ lack of interest. They did not treat bitcoin as a safe-haven asset against slowing economic growth.

“Bitcoin has again failed the safe-haven test,” said Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Management. “On Friday, as escalating trade tensions sent global stock markets plunging, investors sought refuge in monetary safe-havens. The Japanese yen, Swiss franc, and especially gold all moved higher. Bitcoin plunged by more than stocks.”

Bitcoin started moving higher in late Sunday session shortly after Argentina announced strict capital controls in an attempt to stabilize its dwindling economy. The cryptocurrency rose from $9,615 to $9,840 on a 4H timeframe, as noted on San Francisco-based Coinbase exchange. The sentiment flamed across the Monday session, with bitcoin holding majority of its earlier gains, and hinting to extend its weekend gains as US-China tariffs take its toll.

Rival Assets Up, Stocks Down

Bitcoin’s rival asset Gold was also trading slightly higher following the European market open. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent to $1,522.17 per ounce as of 0920 UTC after falling to its one-week low of $1,517.12 in the last session. US Gold Futures were also up by 0.1 percent, trading at $1,531 an ounce.

bitcoin, gold

Bitcoin and Gold Recent Correlation | Image Credits: TradingView.com

Japanese Yen, another perceived safe-haven asset, chartered into a sideways territory after testing crucial support against the US dollar last Friday.

Hedging assets attracted capital as investors continue to lose confidence about a positive outcome from the ongoing trade conflict. The global stock market suffered on Monday, with MSCI’s All-Country World Index, which tracks equities across 47 countries, down by 0.1 percent.

“Despite the market’s sanguine take, we believe the ultimate outlook for the trade dispute has become harder to predict with confidence,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “Since trade tensions have become the major driving force for stocks, even greater than monetary policy, we advise against adding significantly to equity exposure – particularly for those who have an adequate strategic allocation.”

What’s Next for Bitcoin

Against what Schiff said, speculators are willing to trust bitcoin as a hedge against liquidity crisis. The assumption finds support in a string of catalysts that might push the cryptocurrency’s value up. That includes Bakkt, an Intercontinental Exchange-backed digital assets platform, which will start offering its daily and monthly physically-settled bitcoin futures – effectively from September 23 this year. Analysts think the launch would bring a flood of Wall Street investors into the cryptocurrency market.

Some naysayers think Bakkt is merely attracting more speculation into the bitcoin market – and that a cryptocurrency rally would fizzle upon the futures’ launch.

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