Market Loop - Bitcoin slumps

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10th May 2022

Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning Later today Prince Charles will step for the Queen in the State Opening of Parliament -  a lavish event that dates back to the 16th century, in which the monarch reads out a speech written by ministers on what the government plans to do in the coming months. 
Governments always try to give the speech a theme – this year’s will be growing the economy, easing the burden on families and levelling up.
Today's stories
  • Bitcoin slumps 
  • Uber prepares to cut back
Bitcoin slumps

What happened
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency Bitcoin has plunged to its lowest level in nearly a year. 

Yesterday it fell 7% to $33,000 - back to the level last seen in July 2021 and a drop of 50% from its all time high reached in November 2021.

Bitcoin has a market value of $635bn accounting for nearly a third of the $2tn cryptocurrency market.

What’s driving the fall?
This year markets have been worried by a laundry list of concerns including high inflation, central banks hiking interest rates and the war in Ukraine. 

All of this has pointed to a slowdown in the global economy which has dampened investor appetite for risky assets like stocks and cryptocurrency.

Yesterday European, Asian and US stock markets all fell by between 2 and 3%.  

It’s likely to get worse before it gets better
As a relatively new asset Bitcoin has yet to experience a world of double digit inflation and rising interest rates, factors which are not favourable to risky assets.

Analysts have pointed to $30,000 – another 10% drop - as a potential floor, having previously tested and recovered from that point several times in 2021 before going on its record-breaking run.

But there are some winners when the markets are down
As investors sold off risky assets they fled to so-called ‘safe havens’ like the US dollar. 

The US Dollar Index, which compares its value to six other currencies - British pound, euro, Swiss franc, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar and Swedish krona - just hit a 20-year high.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
Uber prepares to cut back

What happened
Yesterday the CEO of Uber told staff that the ride hailing app would be cutting spending on marketing and incentives as its “market is experiencing a seismic shift” and Uber must react “accordingly”. 

What are these “seismic” changes?
The pandemic led to a dramatic upheaval in the labour market with the ‘Great Resignation’ and lockdown giving workers the chance to either change sectors or leave the workforce completely.

That has left Uber scrambling to find drivers to meet growing demand now pandemic restrictions have lifted. 

Uber’s CEO said that, moving forward, the company will treat corporate hiring as a “privilege,” suggesting that Uber may be looking to freeze or even reduce its staff numbers as it aims to become a leaner operation.

Uber is not the only company feeling the pressure 
Uber is the latest company to commit to a hiring slowdown as the job market tightens and tech stocks have dropped sharply from their heights at the beginning of the pandemic as investors worry that the global economy is slowing. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, also said it would slow down the pace of hiring for mid-level positions.
Stat of the day

According to research by charity the Food Foundation, around one in seven adults live in homes where people have skipped meals, reduced meal sizes or gone hungry
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