Bitcoin Clocks Small Gains as Summer Takes Hold

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Bitcoin edged up smaller gains today as the slow summer season takes hold. We opened at $279.79, fell to $276.89 before rallying to $282.18. Prices closed off the session at $281.52, a gain of $1.73 dollars. We are currently quoted somewhat weaker at $280.52 on BTC-E.


On rival exchange OKCoin BTC/USD opened at $282.59, fell to a low of $280 flat before rallying to a daily high of $286.54. One coin is selling for $286.28 on OKCoin’s main exchange. Futures also gained ground, with the September 25th contract closing higher by $1.20 dollars, after a low of $291.54 and a high of $297.09. This contract continues to trade at a sizable $10 premium compared to spot, quoting $296.15 at the moment. You can find a quick snapshot of futures prices on the OKCoin website.

Bitcoin has been trading in a tight $9 dollar range for the past five days. Extrapolating things a little further back, we haven’t moved much since the major crash day on July 13th. Back then BTC/USD rallied to $318 (OKCoin) and $310 (BTC-E) only to surrender most gains after panic selling in the aftermath of a Greek deal. From July 14th onward, BTC stayed within a $30 dollar range on OKCoin, $269 on the low end and $299 on the high end.

A breakout above $300 may re-ignite some of the lost momentum. But the problem is right above here we find a rather large resistance area that stretches  from $310 to $318 dollars (BTC-E) and from $314 to $321 dollars (OKCoin). A decisive breakout beyond this resistance level is needed for more gains. On the lower end, a move below $269 (OKCoin) and $265 (BTC-E) would end the current rally.

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Puerto Rico defaults on bond payment

Puerto Rico has confirmed that it failed to make a debt payment at the weekend, in the latest sign of the economic crisis in the US territory.

The government said it did not have the funds available to pay more than $50m (£32m) due on bonds.

The ratings agency Moody’s said it viewed the development as a default.

Puerto Rico’s governor said in June that the island’s debts of more than $70bn were unpayable and that its finances needed restructuring.

The US commonwealth paid only $628,000 of a $58m payment due on its Public Finance Corp (PFC) bonds, Government Development Bank President Melba Acosta Febo said in a statement on Monday.

She said the reason was because the legislature did not appropriate sufficient funds.

Economists say that Puerto Rico’s financial woes run deep and will take years to sort out

As businesses continue to close, Puerto Rico is by far the most indebted territory or state per capita in the United States

The government said on on Friday that although it would not complete the full payment, it should not be considered a default under a technical definition of the phrase. But that argument has been discounted by Moody’s and other financial institutions.

Puerto Rico has $72bn (£46bn) of public debt. That makes it by far the most indebted territory or state per capita in the United States.

Unemployment is at almost 14% – more than double the national average – and over the last decade there has been little or no growth, resulting in the economy teetering on the brink of oblivion.

The island has been losing 1% (around 30,000 people) a year to Florida and other parts of the US. And it is mainly the economically active young who are leaving.

The government has rejected recommendations made by some economists from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that employers should pay less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

There is also resistance to cutting the bloated public sector, which accounts for almost 20% of the workforce.

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