Gold, Stocks, and Bitcoin: Weekly Overview — August 12
This week’s price movements for Bitcoin (BTC), gold, and our stock picks PayPal and Facebook.
Bitcoin (BTC) has continued its fortuitous streak over the past two weeks. On July 21, Bitcoin was trading around $30,000, but by July 28, it had risen to $40,000. Going into August, the figure rose further to $42,000. However, it stumbled thereafter, falling to $37,000 on August 4, but life sprang back into it on August 6, up to $41,000. By August 7, it had become $43,000, and by the next day achieved $45,000. Despite slipping briefly to $43,000 going into August 9, BTC has been trading around $46,000 the past few days. It is currently trading just below $45,000.
In its fastest 21-day advance since February, Bitcoin is up four weeks straight and is on pace for its second monthly advance. The cryptocurrency is defying criticism over its toll on the environment. This also flies in the face of logic, as regulators around the world are promising tougher crackdowns. The rally also comes despite potential new tax reporting requirements. Meanwhile, Blockchain Association’s Kristin Smith said she was surprised the coin advanced during the infrastructure bill debate, thinking the opposite would have happened. “I do not understand prices; I thought prices would be tanking because of the bad language that some suggested out there,” she said.
Despite starting August in solid shape, the price of gold took a hit last weekend. On July 28, gold was still flying high around $1,800. By July 30, it had reached $1,830. Alas, this was to be its recent peak. From there it mostly cruised at $1,810 until August 5. At this point the price dipped to $1,800, but thereafter plummeted on August 6, reaching as low as $1,680 going into the weekend. Opening low on August 9, the price recovered to $1,750, before finding better support at $1,730 over the next few days. It is currently trading around $1,750.
Gold skidded as much as 4.4% to a more than four-month low August 9, as robust U.S. jobs data stoked fears that the Federal Reserve would raise rates quicker than expected, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing bullion. While considered a hedge against higher inflation, it is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates. At this point, gold prices had broken below their bull-market defining trendline for the first time since 2019, fueling significant stop-outs and melting gold’s prices, TD Securities said in a note.
PayPal seems to have struggled coming into August. Flying high at just over $300 on July 28, and earnings report brought PYPL down to $288 on July 29. However, things only got worse from there, tumbling down to $270 by August 3. Things then looked up a bit, the price rising to $280 by August 5. It lingered there until August 10, at which point it fell to $274. It is currently trading around $276.
After launching “Checkout with Crypto” earlier this year, PayPal also enabled customers of its payment platform Venmo to purchase cryptocurrency through the app. Recently, PayPal extended this offering further. Venmo customers can now automatically acquire crypto from their Venmo account using cash back earned from purchases with “Cash Back to Crypto”. Venmo enabled the new feature this week, and will be more widely available in the coming weeks. Darrell Esch, senior vice president and general manager of Venmo at PayPal, added that this feature “offers customers a new way to start exploring the world of crypto.”
Facebook also seems to have struggled with an earning report coming into August. FB was trading around $374 on July 28. After the earnings report, FB opened the next day at $360. It also faced a tough following few days, falling to $350 by August 3. However, at this point, it seemed to develop a second wind, pushing up into August 4, reaching $362 by August 5. Although FB rose to $364 over the next few days, it glided back down and is currently trading around $360.
The social network giant is still determined to issue a digital currency, after having to scale back its initial plans for Libra. In fact, after renaming the projects, Facebook established a team dedicated to its development, the Facebook Diem Association. Based in Switzerland, earlier this year it announced it would be relocating to the United States. Meanwhile, this past week, The Facebook Diem Network partnered with compliance and monitoring firm K2 Integrity to combat illicit financial activity on its network.
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