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Bitcoin falls below $30,000 as Delta variant fears spread globally

Bitcoin falls below $30,000 as Delta variant fears spread globally

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 11:00 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2021 11:00 AM

Bitcoin fell below $30,000 again as investors worldwide fret about the Delta variant and what it means for the next stage of the coronavirus pandemic.

The cryptocurrency is down roughly 6% over the last 24 hours, according to Coindesk. Other cryptocurrencies also fell: Ethereum is down about 7%, while dogecoin, the crypto that started as a meme currency, also slid nearly 7%.

Bitcoin was last trading at about $29,800 per coin on Tuesday, its lowest level since last month.

The fall comes after Wall Street was hit hard Monday by anxiety over the recent spread of Covid-19 and the threat it poses to the economic recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted about 725 points, a drop of 2.1%. The S&P 500 ended the day down 1.6% and the Nasdaq was 1.1% lower.

Asian markets followed the skid on Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei 225 falling nearly 1%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 0.8%. South Korea's Kospi slumped 0.4%, while China's Shanghai Composite was flat.

"Bitcoin is the ultimate risky asset right now and it could see intense selling pressure if Wall Street enters into panic selling mode," wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the Americas at Oanda, in a Monday research note.

Bitcoin and other cryptos have had a tough year, having been gripped by extreme volatility in recent months. In June, bitcoin plunged below $30,000 for the first time since late January.

The latest drop came as investors worried about the impact of the Delta variant on the reopening of the global economy. Shares in airlines, cruise lines and energy stocks all took a dive in the United States on Monday. Long-term bond rates continued to slide as well, a sign that fixed income investors are now far more worried about a Delta variant-induced economic slowdown than they are about rising inflation fears.

European and US stocks were posed for a little bit of a rebound on Tuesday, though. Major indexes in Europe were up in early morning trade, with the FTSE 100 in London France's CAC 40 each gaining about 1%.

US stock futures also edged higher. Dow futures were last up about 0.7%, while futures for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were up about 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively.

-- Paul R. La Monica and Robert North contributed to this report.

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