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Bitcoin seduces institutional investors as coronavirus spreads

The cryptocurrency has surged in 2020, as investors worry that coronavirus-exposed equity and bond markets are set to crash.


Read all Euromoney coronavirus coverage

In Asia and Europe, stock markets were selling off at the start of the last week in February, after a rise in reported cases of coronavirus in Korea, Italy and Iran.

Investors fled to classic risk-off trades, with the yield on 10-year US Treasury notes falling below 1.4%.

What has been the best place for an investor to put their money so far, this year?

Amid the spread of coronavirus, concerns about slowing global economic growth and simmering trade tensions, the US stock markets had still performed strongly from the start of 2020 to mid-February.

By Wednesday, the tech-heavy Nasdaq had risen 8.5%, with the S&P 500 up 4.3%. Other national stock markets had done well, too: Australia up 6.9% and Italy up 7.3%.

Bonds haven’t returned quite so much, though UK gilts managed to put on 3% in the same period, with the Barclays Bloomberg US government/credit bond index up 2.5%.

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