(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin plunged on Thursday in a sell-off that saw other digital assets fall as much as 27%, a slide likely to stoke speculation about the durability of the latest boom in cryptocurrencies.The largest token slumped as much as 13%, potentially heading for its worst day since the pandemic was declared in March.The rout began just hours after Bitcoin rose to within $7 of its record high of $19,511, the culmination of a 250% surge in past nine months. Fears over tighter crypto regulation and profit-taking after a frenetic rally were among the reasons cited for the sudden drop.The sell-off gathered pace late Wednesday after Coinbase Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong tweeted about speculation the U.S. is considering new rules that would undermine anonymity in digital transactions.“News that the Trump administration may clamp down on crypto might have been a trigger for the drop,” said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner of Nexo in London, which bills itself as the world’s biggest digital-coin lender. “But any asset that rallies 75% in 2 months and 260% from the March lows is allowed to undergo a correction.”Other coins including XRP tumbled as much as 27%, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg.After garnering more support from Wall Street money managers and fund providers, the rally in cryptocurrencies had looked over-heated. The fierce retreat could stir yet another debate over the their value in diversifying portfolios.“Conditions are very massively overbought and bound for a correction,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of business development with crypto exchange Luno in Singapore. “So I don’t think it’s unusual.”Crypto believers tout purchases by retail investors, institutions and even billionaires, as well as the search for a hedge against dollar weakness amid the pandemic, as reasons why the boom can last.Skeptics argue the cryptocurrency’s famed volatility portends a repeat of what happened three years ago, when a bubble burst spectacularly. Some see signs of retail investors piling in to chase momentum for fast gains, storing up an inevitable reckoning.Concern about potential U.S. crypto rules help explain Thursday’s price drop across most major digital assets, said Ryan Rabaglia, global head of trading at OSL brokerage in Hong Kong.“It’s also not unusual to see a short-term pullback following periods of significant, accelerated gains as traders look to take profits before resetting once volatility subsides,” he said. “Once the dust settles, we’re back to business as usual with all medium to long-term bullish indicators still in play.”Proponents of digital assets say the current focus on cryptocurrencies compared with three years ago is different because of growing institutional interest, for instance from the likes of Fidelity Investments and JPMorgan Chase & Co.Just this week, Van Eck Associates Corp. launched a Bitcoin exchange-traded note on the Deutsche Boerse Xetra exchange. In October, PayPal Holdings Inc. said it would allow its customers access to cryptocurrencies.There is also a buzz around Ethereum, the most-actively used blockchain in the world, which is set for a network upgrade that would allow it to process a similar number of transactions as Mastercard Inc. and Visa Inc. The shift to the new system could curb the total supply of Ether, whose price has quadrupled so far this year.Luno’s Ayyar said he expects Bitcoin to stabilize and achieve all-time highs. But that would be followed by a larger drop in the cryptocurrency, he said.(Updates prices, adds context on tighter regulations)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Hopes that vaccines will soon replace economic lockdowns as our best defense against the coronavirus have stirred speculation that value stocks will regain favor among investors. A guy who until recently oversaw $1.6 trillion has a strong argument that growth stocks will continue to be a better investment.Hiro Mizuno was chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund for five years until the end of March. Now a Tesla Inc. board member and special adviser to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, here’s what he tweeted at the weekend:Pitting the disruptive vision of entrepreneurs against the hopes of uncovering a real find amid the clutter of beaten down stocks provides a compelling way to frame the debate about whether growth stocks, classified as shares of companies with accelerating revenues, can keep outpacing value stocks, equities whose value is deemed not to reflect some measure of underlying worth.It seemed like the equation might be changing. Value stocks enjoyed a renaissance this month when vaccine euphoria prompted investors to rotate into shares trashed as the pandemic crimped the global economy. Their returns beat their growth counterparts by five percentage points in the first three weeks of November.That’s sparked talk of a global revival. On Tuesday, Bank of America Corp. strategist Savita Subramanian recommended U.S. financial and energy stocks as her top two “unapologetically cyclical and value-focused” sectors. Strategists at Barclays Plc, led by Emmanuel Cau, on Wednesday recommended investors in European shares should overweight value versus growth. And John Woods, Credit Suisse Group AG’s Asia Pacific CIO, said Asian value stocks will outperform in the next six months provided a vaccine becomes widely available.So could it finally be value stocks’ turn in the sun? Investment advisers who’ve called for a reversal of that trend have been proven wrong time and again.In the chart above, the biggest stocks in the Bloomberg Value Index include investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co., telecoms operator AT&T Inc. and energy company Exxon Mobil Corp. The growth index is dominated by the FAANGS: Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google’s parent, Alphabet Inc.The picture doesn’t change no matter the time period. So far this year, growth stocks have gained about 24%, while value stocks are down by 5%. In the past 12 months, growth is up by 28%, value down by 2.5%. Over three years, growth delivers 66% versus just 12% for value. And since early 2007, when the index histories begin, growth is up more than fourfold while value has a bit more than doubled in value.But hope for value stocks seems to spring eternal. A net 24% of investors overseeing $526 billion expect value to outperform growth the coming year, according to Bank of America’s November survey. That’s the most bullish call for value in the monthly poll since February 2019.Mizuno says that investment style fails to capture disruptors that sacrifice earnings early on to build a dominant market share. Jeff Bezos’s Amazon is probably the best example of that kind of company. “Growth investing for me is to bet on the ability of CEO and his/her staff to deliver more than people (including myself) can imagine,” Mizuno also tweeted.By contrast, trying to identify value stocks takes a cocky — and risky — self-assurance that the wisdom of the investing crowd has missed something fundamental about a company’s worth. If a share is cheap, it’s probably cheap for a reason.You could even stretch the argument to cover the recent enthusiasm for Bitcoin versus gold. As my colleague Lionel Laurent recently pointed out, the digital currency barely figures in buying and selling in the real world and yet its gains have rapidly outpaced the yellow metal this year.Gold has real-world applications that make it inherently valuable, but many investors still view it as nothing more than a pet rock, limiting the potential universe of buyers. To its fans, Bitcoin represents a transformative technology with the potential to dislodge fiat currencies as a means of payment. In effect, it’s a bet on the future of finance with a side wager that its momentum will continue apace — like a disruptive growth stock.The current enthusiasm for value stocks may well have further scope to run. But in the longer term, the trend that’s been your friend seems likely to persist. Even once the pandemic is over, backing entrepreneurs will prove more profitable than buying allegedly undervalued equities in the hope that mean reversion will rescue them from the bargain basement.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Storm Nivar over the Bay of Bengal is likely to turn into a “very severe cyclone” by Wednesday night and may cause widespread damage to crops, mud houses and electricity poles in some southern Indian states.The storm, which is likely to have a sustained wind speed of 120 to 130 kilometers (75-81 miles) per hour, will cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Wednesday midnight and early hours of Nov. 26, according to the India Meteorological Department. The wind speed may even rise to as much as 145 kilometers, it said in a statement.Heavy rain is expected in some areas of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for two days from Wednesday, the weather office said. The cyclone will be intense enough to damage crops, plantations, trees, mud houses and communication and electric poles, the statement said, advising fishermen to suspend their operations in the region.Nivar will likely strengthen to become equivalent to a category 2 hurricane before striking India on Wednesday night, Jason Nicholls, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, said in a Twitter post.Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured all possible support to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry state governments.The Tamil Nadu government opened sluice gates of a lake near Chennai as a precautionary measure, raising concerns about partial flooding in some parts of the metropolitan city, according to regional television news channels. It also declared a public holiday on Thursday.Flights CanceledAt least two dozen flights were canceled on Wednesday, according to the Chennai airport. IndiGo, India’s biggest airline, said its operations to and from four Southern Indian cities, including Chennai, are likely to be affected by the cyclone. SpiceJet and Vistara also warned of flights getting affected in some cities. Several trains in the region were also canceled, the Southern Railway said.Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s biggest fuel retailer, said it had already built reserves of LPG, gasoline and diesel to ensure supplies in areas along the cyclone’s path. The company has also set up a crisis control room in Chennai to monitor the situation, according to a spokesman. Indian Oil has an LNG terminal, while its unit Chennai Petroleum Corp. operates two refineries in Tamil Nadu.The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, India’s upstream oil regulator, has asked drillers in the path of Nivar to take all safety protocols for men, materials and operations.About 22 teams from the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry, while eight others were ready in reserve, according to S.N. Pradhan, director general of the agency. Another 20 teams are also on standby, it said.Nivar is the third cyclone to hit Indian coasts since May, when storm Amphan, the biggest cyclone to hit South Asia in two decades, affected millions across the region and killed about 100 people. Cyclone Nisarga crossed the coast near Alibag in neighboring Raigad district in the state of Maharashtra in June.(Updates to add flight cancelations, preperation details from seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.