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Trending tickers: Prudential

Aug 29, 2023Aug 29, 2023

Investment shop Prudential took a knock on Friday in London as investors were spooked by gloomy markets in China.

The financial planner's focus on Asia and Africa became a cause for concern as Chinese real estate giant Evergrande filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection.

“Whether it’s the brewing crisis in the Chinese property market, the surge in US bond yields on fears rates will stay higher for longer or the big drop in UK retail sales, things are starting to look a bit ugly out there,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

Read more: LIVE: FTSE and pound pull back amid lacklustre retail sales data

“News China real estate giant Evergrande has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US would have prompted some alarm in isolation but when you combine it with its peer Country Garden’s decision to suspend payments on some of its bonds and the words ‘dominos’ and ‘falling’ start to come to mind."

Prudential shares were down around 2% in early London trade.

Bitcoin has been characteristically volatile over the last 24 hours, as it fell to trade as low as $25,409 on Friday. The move wiped about $44bn off its market cap.

The downward pressure came as news hit that Elon Musk's SpaceX had reportedly written down the value of its crypto holdings.

The company wrote down the value by $373m according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, citing internal financial documents. SpaceX also sold bitcoin at some stage in the last two years, according to the report. It didn't say how much was sold or when the sale occurred.

SpaceX is a private company therefore its financials are not readily available, although Musk said it had bitcoin on its balance sheet in 2021.

Some traders put the move down to market structure and liquidations as the price dropped below $28,500, amid a relatively illiquid market.

As prices dropped, long traders sold their positions in order to avoid being liquidated.

Pharmacy giant CVS stock lost 8.1% last night in the US as news filtered through that Blue Shield of California had dropped the group as its benefit manager for drug prices and other services.

Blue Shield is reportedly pursuing partnerships with Amazon Pharmacy and Cost Plus Drugs instead.

Watch: Could China shut-down the Bitcoin network? | The Crypto Mile

Read more: LIVE: FTSE and pound pull back amid lacklustre retail sales dataWatch: Could China shut-down the Bitcoin network? | The Crypto Mile