Pound under pressure amid Brexit deadlock, but bitcoin zooms through $14,000 – business live

All the day’s economic and financial news, as City traders look for progress in the Brexit talks – and watch Bitcoin head ever higher

Newsflash: UK house prices kept rising last month, according to the latest data from Halifax bank.

Halifax: UK House prices rose by 0.5% between October and November, following a 0.3% increase in October marking the fifth consecutive monthly rise.

“The improved performance of the market in the latest quarter suggests the first interest rate rise in a decade may have ignited demand.

“On this evidence, the November rate rise has brought prospective buyers out into the open rather than sent them underground.

Currency traders may need to don their tin hats in the coming days, as the Brexit negotiations intensify.

Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at interactive investor, predicts plenty of volatility:

“Europe is the only show in town right now, and ongoing speculation around a solution to the Irish border issue has further dampened enthusiasm for sterling. A deal must be done by close of play Friday if Brexit talks are to move onto trade after next week’s summit.

Reality is, deadlines will likely get extended, whisper from Brussels will raise and dash expectations, and we may or may not get anything at the end of it. Prepare for a volatile couple of days on the currency markets.

Merger news: GVC, the gambling giant behind Foxy Bingo and PartyCasino, is in talks over a £3.9bn takeover of Ladbrokes.

Shares in both companies have jumped in early trading (Ladbrokes surged by over 25%).

Geopolitical issues are high on the market’s agenda today, says Marc Ostwald of ADM Investor Services:

Politics will again be to the fore as UK government attempts to find some compromise on the hypersensitive issue of the Irish border, while the fall-out from Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital threatens to escalate already enormous tensions across the Middle East, and quite obviously contradicts UN resolution 478.

Last night’s price surge was remarkable, even by bitcoin’s recent standards:

Bitcoin:
$0000 – $1000: 1789 days
* * *
$5000- $6000: 8 days
$6000- $7000: 13 days
$7000- $8000: 14 days
$8000- $9000: 9 days
$9000-$10000: 2 days
$10000-$11000: 1 day
$11000-$12000: 6 days
$12,000-$13,000: 17 hours
$13,000-$14,000: 3 hours

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

The pound is under pressure this morning as traders worry that Britain may not get a Brexit breakthrough before Christmas.

Related: Brexit: UK has 48 hours to agree potential deal or talks cannot progress

If talks do not move on to the next stage of discussions in December then the terms of a transition period will likely be pushed back until the next European council summit of leaders in March, by which time many businesses in the UK will have had to make decisions over their location and investments in the country.

DUP source. “We’re going to slow it all down. This is a battle of who blinks first — and we’ve cut off our eyelids.”https://t.co/JHO4rllO4r

Another day, yet another #Bitcoin record. The crypto-currency has now broken through $14,000#Bitcoin14K pic.twitter.com/RJO5wAvFzv

Bitcoin isn’t a bubble, it’s the pin.

Bitcoin is a transaction tool, not a store of value. I

Its price is rising because new entrants are paying more for it (but crucially not to use it) and that’s pumping the value of older participants.

This is – by any definition – a Ponzi scheme.

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