Bitcoin breaks through $20,000

The last time the cryptocurrency came close to breaking through the $20,000 level was in 2017

Bitcoin reached a record high breaking through $20,000 (£14,800), gaining more than 170 per cent this year amid market turmoil.

On Wednesday Bitcoin jumped 4.5 per cent to as much as $20,440 buoyed by demand from large investors.

In November Bitcoin passed $19,000 before dropping sharply.

The last time the cryptocurrency came close to breaking through the $20,000 level was in 2017 but it has also hit extreme lows and has fallen below $3,300 previously.

At the same time, world stocks reached new highs. S&P 500 futures rose 0.5 per cent to record highs after the Nasdaq’s record close on Wednesday.

However, the general risk-on mood sent the dollar to 2-1/2-year lows against major peers, while the MSCI world stock index reached a new high of 639.33. 

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The index has climbed 16 per cent since the end of October. 

European stocks and the euro rallied for the fourth straight session as investors bet on an economic recovery in 2021 due to wider vaccine rollouts.

The British pound hit May 2018 highs on hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6 per cent to a record high. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.2 per cent, just short of a 29-year peak. 

FURTHER READING: MassMutual buys $100m in Bitcoin

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