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Bitcoin blow as fund drops U.S. exchange application

The shares are nonetheless trading up 508 percent this year, more even than the meteoric rise of the digital currency, which JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon this month called “a fraud” that will blow up.

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An effort to allow investors to trade digital currencies as easily as stocks in the United States stumbled when the backer of a bitcoin fund said an application to list on an exchange had been withdrawn.

Grayscale Investments LLC said Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s (ICE.N) NYSE Arca exchange withdrew a request with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to list its Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC.PK), in the latest setback to the digital currency.

“Although digital currency market regulation continues to rapidly evolve, at this time Grayscale does not believe there have been enough regulatory developments to prompt the SEC to approve the … application,” the fund’s issuers said in a statement. They said they would continue their dialogue with regulators, but could not predict when they may get approved.

The Bitcoin Investment Trust is currently traded “over the counter” in less formal exchanges than those used for typical stock transactions and at far higher prices than the bitcoin it holds. On Wednesday, shares closed at $739.50, while the bitcoin it holds were worth less than $373, according to the issuer.

The shares are nonetheless trading up 508 percent this year, more even than the meteoric rise of the digital currency, which JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon this month called “a fraud” that will blow up.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that can be used to move money around the world quickly and with relative anonymity, without the need for a central authority, such as a bank or government.

Approval from the SEC could bring more investors into the asset, yet the regulatory agency has expressed doubts over the fact that the bitcoin market is unregulated.

In March, the SEC denied two applications to list bitcoin products on exchanges, including one backed by investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins best known for a feud with Facebook Inc (FB.O) founder Mark Zuckerberg which was dramatized in the 2010 film “The Social Network.”

CBOE Holdings Inc’s (CBOE.O) Bats exchange, which wanted to host the Winklevoss-backed exchange traded fund (ETF), has appealed the SEC’s ruling.

A proposal to list a product based on ether, a rival digital currency, was pulled earlier this month.

Regulators have not yet weighed in on two other efforts to bring a digital currency to U.S. exchanges. Similar products already trade in Europe and one is being considered in Canada.

NYSE and the SEC were not immediately reachable for comment.

Source : Reuters

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US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

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New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump

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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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