March 13, 2020 / 2:03 PM / 22 days ago

Bitcoin surges a fifth as markets rebound, still down a quarter since Monday

Representations of virtual currency Bitcoin are seen in this picture illustration taken taken March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin surged by more than a fifth on Friday amid high volatility across rebounding global markets, reversing some of its heavy losses from a day earlier but still leaving the cryptocurrency down nearly 30% since the start of the week.

The biggest cryptocurrency soared 23.5% to $5,990, reversing heavy losses from earlier in the day and on course for its biggest one-day gain since December 2017, the peak of its retail investor-led bubble. It was last up 20% at $5,800.

The gains came as stock markets around the world jumped as investors hoped for central bank stimulus and government spending to stymie the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, bitcoin - notorious for its high volatility - suffered its worst daily loss in nearly seven years, losing almost 40% as the rout of major stock markets over the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak spread to cryptocurrencies.

Reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Tommy Reggiori Wilkes

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