Bitcoin surges after Tesla move

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Major US stock indexes registered all-time closing highs on Monday amid optimism over US fiscal stimulus, and bitcoin jumped after Tesla revealed it had purchased $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency and would soon accept it as a form of payment.

The world’s most widely-held cryptocurrency, bitcoin touched a record high following the Tesla Inc disclosure, which was seen as significant since Tesla is the fifth most-valuable US company, and its CEO, Elon Musk, is among the world’s richest people.

Tesla shares were up 1.3 per cent, while cryptocurrency miner Riot Blockchain jumped 40.2 per cent and Marathon Patent Group climbed 42.4 per cent.

“Musk getting involved in Bitcoin, to those investing in Bitcoin, will be used as a way to tell others that this is a real asset, you can actually do something with it. They will support it as an argument of being the way of the future,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth Management.

The S&P 500 closed up for a sixth straight session in its longest streak of consecutive higher daily closes since a seven-day run from Aug. 20 to Aug. 28 last year. MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe also hit another record high.

Feeding the optimism were comments on Sunday by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who said that if Congress approves President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, the country would get back to full employment next year.

Congress on Friday approved a budget outline that would allow a stimulus bill to muscle through in the coming weeks without Republican support.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 237.52 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 31,385.76, the S&P 500 gained 28.76 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 3,915.59 and the Nasdaq Composite added 131.35 points, or 0.95 per cent, to 13,987.64.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.30 per cent, while MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.74 per cent.

Oil prices rose 2 per cent to their highest in over a year, with Brent nudging past $60 a barrel, boosted by supply cuts among key producers and hopes for US economic stimulus.

Brent rose $1.22, or 2.1 per cent, to settle at $60.56 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate rose $1.12, or 2 per cent, to settle at $57.97 a barrel. Both benchmarks were at the highest since January 2020.

Benchmark US Treasury yields held near 11-month highs as US fiscal stimulus was seen boosting economic growth and spurring inflation.

Benchmark 10-year yields were last at 1.167 per cent, after earlier reaching 1.200 per cent, the highest since March. Thirty-year yields US30YT=RR were last 1.953 per cent, after earlier rising above 2 per cent for the first time since last February.

The dollar was flat to slightly lower.

The dollar index fell 0.035 per cent, with the euro up 0.05 per cent to $1.2048.

Spot gold added 1.1 per cent to $1,831.13 an ounce.