FTSE 100 finishes higher, bitcoin market cap breaches $1 trillion

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imageNews Markets13 hours ago (Feb 19, 2021 16:32)

© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 ended the week on a high, as miners and banking names lifted the index. NatWest Group PLC (LON:NWG) was one of the better performers following earnings pre-market. Although the company posted a pre-tax loss of £351mln it announced it would be paying a 3p per share dividend. Separately, the company said they would be exiting operations in the Republic of Ireland, winding down its Irish unit Ulster Bank.

Miners were strong as metal prices rose. Copper futures were up 4% while Platinum remains elevated and broke back above $1,300/oz. Antofagasta (LON:ANTO), EVRAZ plc (LON:EVRE) and Glencore (LON:GLEN) were some of the outperforming stocks in the FTSE 100.

Currencies

GBP was strong despite a raft of mixed UK data. Retail sales fell by their second most on record, the only worse month was April last year. Consumer confidence hit an 11-month high but government borrowing continued to soar, although less than some had forecast. The IHS Markit PMI survey showed a slight contraction in the UK economy but not as bad as some had feared and GBP/USD held steady above 1.4000, its highest level in three years. EUR/GBP was at its lowest level since March.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin’s market cap hit $1tln as the bull run in the world’s largest cryptocurrency continued. The rally in Bitcoin comes as companies such as Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) begin warming to it. However, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) analysts warned that crypto assets are a poor hedge for major drawdowns in equities. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop the march higher as the price approaches $55,000.

FTSE 100 finishes higher, bitcoin market cap breaches $1 trillion

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