By Joseph Mennaro – 1 October 2017LONDON (Reuters) – Litecoin rose to a five-week high on Friday, with investors betting that the cryptocurrency would strengthen its position against the U.S. dollar and help it to take advantage of an uptick in demand for digital currencies.
Bitcoin was trading at $2,099.10 an ounce (1,715.50 euros), its highest since May 17, according to CoinDesk, the bitcoin price index.
Litecoin’s value is closely linked to the price of Bitcoin, which has surged to more than $3,000 a coin in recent days.LTC, which was trading lower at $1,872.70 ($1,924.50), gained about 8 percent to $1.6167 on Friday.
On Tuesday, the cryptocurrency gained about 4 percent in a day to $2.2 billion.
“We believe the rise in Litecoin will help to increase Litecoin’s market share against the dollar and the euro,” said Chris Johnson, managing director at investment firm Guggenheim Securities.
“Litecoins market cap is still significantly less than the U:D.
but it is likely to keep climbing as the dollar has fallen over the last 24 hours.”
The digital currency is trading at a premium against the euro, which it competes against in the euro zone, in the first half of 2018.
The dollar’s strength has forced banks to stop lending to customers in the region, which accounts for about 15 percent of the world’s GDP.
A U.N. report released on Friday said the euro-zone economy had contracted by 0.3 percent in the second quarter from the previous quarter, leaving the bloc without a full-year growth rate since the end of 2015.(Reporting by Joseph M. Bennet; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)