New York, Dec 29 (AFP) The Dow drifted to a fresh record Also Read - Joe Biden Administration 'Undecided' On Ending Trump-Era H-1B Visa Ban

today in sleepy holiday trading, while bitcoin prices tumbled Also Read - This 10-Second Video Clip Has Been Sold For a Whopping Rs 48.4 Crore, What's Special About It?

after South Korea announced new restrictions on Also Read - Joe Biden Revokes Donald Trump's Visa Ban On Many Green Card Applicants, Says US Businesses Harmed

cryptocurrencies.

Most of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial

Average advanced in a quiet session, the latest record on the

heels of dozens of earlier all-time highs in US equities this

year.

US stocks have been boosted all year by an improving

labour market, anticipation of the massive US tax cut plan

that was signed into law last week by President Donald Trump,

and improving economic conditions in other key regions.

With many traders on holiday, the week between Christmas

and New Year is traditionally a sleepy time for markets, among

the least traded period of the year. That low volume can cause

increased volatility.

“There wasn’t much trading excitement in the stock market

because there was a dearth of market-moving news, as well as a

dearth of participants,” Briefing.com said.

“For the third day running, extremely light trading

volume reflected the fact that many market participants have

checked out until the new year.”

In Europe, London’s FTSE ended the session flat, while

Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index lost 0.7 per cent and the Paris CAC

0.6 per cent as the euro strengthened on the dollar.

Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong rose 0.9 per cent and Shanghai

gained 0.6 per cent, while Sydney put on 0.3 per cent.

But Tokyo finished 0.6 per cent lower after an afternoon

sell-off fuel curbed by the strengthening yen, as traders fret

over another possible North Korean missile test.

Bitcoin sank under USD 14,000 after South Korea said it

would ban anonymous trading of virtual currencies and crack

down on links to money laundering activities.

The announcement came as the hyper-wired market emerged

as a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading, accounting for some 20

per cent of global bitcoin transactions — about 10 times the

country’s share of the world economy.

The new rules announced by Seoul include a ban on opening

anonymous cryptocurrency accounts and new legislation to allow

regulators to close virtual currency exchanges if necessary.

The digital unit has seen stratospheric growth this year,

rising more than 25-fold from January to hit a record around

USD 19,500 earlier this month, according to Bloomberg figures.

(AFP)

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.