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20 Jul 2021
3 min read

Global Markets Slide on Virus Woes, Bitcoin Drops Below $30,000

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Key Takeaways

  • Global equities slipped sharply on Monday as investors feared another coronavirus wave
  • The price of bitcoin erased nearly all its 2021 gains as it dived under $30,000 Tuesday morning

The global stock markets were in steep decline on Monday after the threat of the Delta coronavirus variant increased the uncertainty surrounding the economic recovery of the world. European bourses endured their worst session of the year, while Wall Street equities dived to levels last seen in October.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 lost 2.30% and reached a two-month low as it ended the day at 444.29. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid more than 700 points, or over 2%, as investors sought safety in bonds, retreating from riskier assets like equities. Economically sensitive shares like airlines and leisure companies were among the worst performers as market participants feared another round of harsh restrictions might be on the horizon.

The aggressive equities sell-off was largely driven by renewed concerns that the Delta strain of Covid-19 would offset the rapid expansion of economic activity. Monday’s slide extended the losses for some major indexes, particularly those in the US.

Last week, all three main stock benchmarks in the US ended the week in the red, prompted by higher inflation expectations after the June consumer-price report showed inflation grew 5.4% in the last 12 months.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, declined 7.1% on Monday. The drop in oil prices dragged commodity-linked stocks to the downside. European companies like BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total were each down between 4% and 5% on the day

Crypto Proponents Remain Hopeful

Meanwhile on the cryptocurrency front, Bitcoin this morning dropped below $30,000 per token. The leading cryptocurrency has been trading steadily to the downside for the past few weeks. Continuing its downward spiral, bitcoin’s price earlier today reached a session low of $29,500. The bottom nearly erased all 2021-gains as the digital asset hovered 1% up for the year.

Crypto proponents, however, remain determined that the bearish cycle would come to an end and the flagship token would recover as it has done in the past. In its rather short history, bitcoin has seen several price meltdowns, but after each one, bitcoin has come out stronger and has pushed further to new highs.

On both sides of the Atlantic, a new wave of coronavirus is sweeping across nations. In the US, Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are growing at a rapid pace as the Delta variant takes hold of the back of decreasing vaccination rates.

Confirmed infections for the past week have moved higher in every state. The US reported an average of 32,287 new Covid-19 cases a day for the past seven days. The rate is more than double what the seven-day average was 10 days ago.

In Europe, governments struggle to control both the uptick in daily cases and the uprising of their nations. In France, more than 100,000 people went out to protest against mandatory vaccination for health care

workers. In addition, the French nation has opposed the government’s decision to require a “health pass” for anyone to access restaurants, malls, bars, and other public venues.

From the start of August, French authorities decided to introduce a health pass that would provide proof that a person has been vaccinated, has recently had a negative test, or has recovered from the virus. The UK, in sharp contrast, is almost entirely free of restrictions from yesterday. The day dubbed Freedom Day registered nearly 40,000 new cases.

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