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Bitcoin could soar after Blockchain Week New York, crypto analyst says

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Blockchain Week New York is about to hit Manhattan and bitcoin may have its biggest breakout yet, according to a leading analyst.

“The regulatory risk, the fundamental risk around what’s happening with cryptos has hit a bottom and now we’re in a state of general recovery,” Robert Sluymer, managing director and technical strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, said on CNBC’s “Fast Money” Thursday.

He said bitcoin, which was trading just above $9,000 Thursday evening, “continues higher from here.”

Blockchain Week’s annual event kicks-off May 11 in New York City, another sign that bitcoin is on the rise, Sluymer said.

The week-long event includes some of the biggest movers and shakers in the cryptocurrency world, such as St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard, European Parliament member Eva Kaili and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, among others.

In 2015, the first Blockchain Week saw 1,500 people in attendance. The turnout the following year nearly doubled to 2,700 attendees. This year, the event is expected to attract about 8,000 people, half of whom are coming from outside of the United States.

Sluymer said, historically, bitcoin has increased each year after Consensus, one of Blockchain Week’s largest events, which includes a hackathon and blockchain job fair, had taken place.

In fact, in 2015, the digital currency increased 23 percent after Consensus.

“Not a huge amount considering how volatile cryptos are,” the technician said. “But then it moved up around year-end for about another 100 percent move.”

Bitcoin continued to edge upwards in 2016, about 10 percent after the Consensus event, and then an additional 80 percent by year’s end, Sluymer said. The large-cap digital coin soared even more — 69 percent — around 2017’s Blockchain Week.

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Evergrande’s electric car unit gets funding to compete with Tesla, Nio in China

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Evergrande Group Chairman Xu Jiayin attends Evergrande New Energy Auto Global Strategic Partners Summit on November 12, 2019 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Shares of the electric vehicle unit of Chinese property giant Evergrande surged as much as 67% on Monday after the company raised significant funding through a new share sale.

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group surged to an all-time-high of 50 Hong Kong dollars before paring some of those gains. Shares of the company closed at 45.35 Hong Kong dollars.

The stock rocketed after the Chinese electric car company issued 952.38 million shares to six investors at a price of $27.30 Hong Kong dollars and raised net proceeds of 26 billion Hong Kong dollars ($3.35 billion).

The funding is another sign that China’s electric car market is heating up, and Evergrande could pose a challenge to Tesla as well as domestic rivals such as Nio and Xpeng Motors.

Last year, Evergrande showed off six new electric vehicles under a brand called Hengchi, with the hope of starting production this year. The company has not sold a single car yet.

In September, the company raised around 4 billion Hong Kong dollars through the sale of shares to investors including Chinese internet giant Tencent and ride-hailing service Didi.

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group is also preparing for a listing on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style Science and Technology Innovation Board, or the Star Market.

China’s electric car companies have been aggressively raising capital to ramp up production and take a lead in the competitive market.

Xpeng Motors raised $1.5 billion in an initial public offering in the U.S. last year and this month secured a credit line of 12.8 billion yuan ($1.98 billion).

This month, BYD — the Chinese electric carmaker backed by American billionaire Warren Buffett — said it raised 29.9 billion Hong Kong dollars through the issuance of new shares.

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What PIMCO’s John Studzinski thinks of markets

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Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: New York Stock Exchange.

LONDON — Market valuations are strong but we’re “comfortable” with them, John Studzinski, vice chairman of asset management firm Pimco told CNBC, as they reflect expectations for an economic recovery in the second half the year.

“There’s no question the current market reflects what people feel is going to be a reasonable amount of fiscal and monetary purchasing program support,” Studzinski told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” Monday.

“The issue will be if the fiscal support continues well beyond this year — the impacts that might have on things like inflation, or asset valuations. But I think right now we’re comfortable that the valuations in the market, which are strong, reflect the recovery certainly in the third and fourth quarter of this year in the United States, really led globally, of course, by China.”

There have been some concerns that stock market valuations are currently too high, over-inflated by ongoing fiscal and monetary stimulus measures. Governments and central banks have been desperate to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted global trade and shut down businesses for extended periods of time.

However, others believe that the market rallies reflect optimism that the global economy will soon recover once restrictive measures are lifted and the pandemic is brought under control, particularly as coronavirus vaccines are rolled out.

U.S. stocks finished mixed on Friday, although all three posted a gain for the week. The Dow registered its fifth positive week in six, while the S&P posted its third positive week in four. The Nasdaq advanced 4.19% last week for its best week since November as shares of Big Tech names pushed the index to a new all-time high.

Nonetheless there has been a surge in coronavirus cases in recent months. This was partly expected, due to the winter season, but has also been attributed to more virulent strains of the virus that have emerged in the U.K. and Europe, South America and South Africa.

Despite highlighting expectations of a recovery later this year, Studzinski did concede that “it’s going to be an uneven recovery, it’s going to be fraught with uncertainty … over mutations (in the coronavirus) and uneven distribution of the vaccines around the world.”

His comments come as the World Economic Forum kicks off this week. The annual event usually takes place in the Alpine town of Davos in Switzerland, bringing together political leaders and heads of business with the aim of discussing global challenges, and trying to find solutions. This year, however, the event has gone virtual. In 2021, a key theme of the forum is rebuilding the global economy on a fairer footing.

Studzinski said there had so far been a lack of global cooperation in tackling the pandemic, but that there could be a renewal in multilateralism under U.S. President Joe Biden.

– CNBC’s Pippa Stevens contributed reporting to this story.

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What happened when one Chinese city shut down after new Covid outbreak

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Volunteers in protective suits disinfect in a residential area of Tonghua, China on January 24, 2021.

Visual China Group | Getty Images

BEIJING — One small Chinese city’s rush to control the coronavirus has left some residents without food, and some officials without jobs.

The fallout shows the extreme lengths to which local Chinese authorities will go to try to contain the coronavirus. While new cases in China so far this year remain far below that of other countries, the stringent prevention measures can quickly cause greater disruptions to work and daily life.

After a spike in Covid-19 cases in mid-January, Tonghua city, about a 10 hour drive northeast of Beijing, announced on Wednesday that no one could leave the city. Authorities added that all apartment complexes were essentially locked down.

People stuck at home and with little time to stock up on food turned to smartphone-based delivery apps, but many complained online that they couldn’t get their orders, according to posts on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

On Saturday, the local Communist Party discipline and inspection commission dismissed three officials for their poor performance in the oversight of the pandemic situation, state media said. Eleven other officials received severe warnings, the report said.

Then on Sunday, Tonghua city apologized to its roughly 500,000 residents for “untimely” delivery of daily necessities and general inconveniences. The city added there was a severe shortage of workers but sufficient food.

More than 11,000 people left mostly angry comments on a national state media post about the apology on Weibo. Some users described how they or neighbors were going hungry and hadn’t received their orders for three or four days.

Many user comments noted an inability to place orders on Eleme, a food delivery app backed by Alibaba. The company did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

Nasdaq-listed Dada, a grocery delivery company which saw a surge in growth during the lockdowns of the initial coronavirus outbreak last year, said neither of its two apps operate in Tonghua city.

Covid-19 first emerged in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Chinese authorities shut down more than half the country in February 2020, and the outbreak stalled domestically within several weeks. Meanwhile, the virus accelerated its spread overseas in a global pandemic.

In the last two months, new domestically transmitted cases have emerged in China amid cold winter weather and a continued trickle of visitors from overseas. The northeastern province of Jilin where Tonghua city is located has become the third-hardest hit region, reporting 273 new confirmed coronavirus cases for January alone.

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