Bitcoin hits its highest level since November after soaring above the $9,000 threshold

FILE PHOTO: An employee works on Bitcoin mining computer as a PC screen shows the fluctuations in Bitcoin exchange rates at Bitminer Factory in Florence Reuters
  • Bitcoin soared past the $US9,000 level in early Tuesday trading to hit its highest price since early November.
  • The coin jumped as high as $US9,176.38 Tuesday morning, jumping alongside other cryptocurrencies as investors view them as a safe haven from coronavirus-driven market turmoil.
  • The months-high price follows a slump late last week, as Lunar New Year celebrations in China contributed to weakened demand for the cryptocurrency.
  • Watch bitcoin trade live here.

Bitcoin tore through the $US9,000-per-coin level on Tuesday to hit its highest point since early November.

The coin jumped as high as $US9,176.28 in Tuesday trading, trading up alongside other cryptocurrencies. Bloomberg’s Galaxy Crypto Index jumped as much as 1.7% to its loftiest level in more than two months.

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has taken on the role of an unconventional safe-haven investment as coronavirus fears drag on traditional risk assets. US stocks on Monday dropped the most since October as the virus continued to spread around the world.

Major indexes traded higher Tuesday but sit below the record highs they enjoyed on January 17.

Popular safe-haven assets including US Treasury bonds, the Japanese yen, and gold have also rallied in the wake of the spreading Wuhan virus. The precious metal reached its highest point since 2013 on Monday as investors fled stocks and other plummeting assets.

Bitcoin’s Tuesday surge follows last week’s slump as traders worried Lunar New Year celebrations in China would hit demand for the digital coin, Bloomberg first reported. Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of the BitMex cryptocurrency exchange, correctly predicted the holiday would hit the coin’s price.

“The year of the rat starts this weekend. Time for #Bitcoin volatility and volumes to nosedive,” he wrote in a January 22 tweet.

Renowned for its volatility, bitcoin nearly doubled to $US7,193.60 from $US3,732.22 last year. The coin’s price at the end of 2019 still marked a roughly 50% drop from when it neared $US14,000 in late June.

Bitcoin traded at $US8,991.55 per coin as of 11:40 a.m. ET Tuesday, up about 25% year-to-date.

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