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Stocks even remotely connected to cryptocurrency close lower

Stocks even remotely connected to cryptocurrency close lower

Investors unloaded stocks that even had a whiff of cryptocurrency about them Friday, as blockchain-backed currencies took a tumble following a juggernaut 2017 rally, but those losses pared by the close as bitcoin and others rebounded off their lows.

Prices of the 40 largest cryptocurrencies including bitcoin BTCUSD, +1.15% and Ether, which runs on the Etherium network, fell in concert Friday. By Friday’s broader market close, bitcoin was down 9.6%, after dropping as much as 30%, and Ether was down 10.2%, after falling as much as 33% earlier in the session, according to CoinDesk.com.

On Wall Street, shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD, +0.33% sank 3.2% to close at $10.54, after hitting an intraday low of $10.20, as volume topped 50.6 million shares, making the stock the second most actively traded on the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.11% which for its part, closed down 0.1%. Friday’s drop puts AMD shares at a 7.1% loss for the year.

Shares of fellow graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp. NVDA, +0.30% finished down 0.3% at $195.27, after dropping to an intraday low of $191.25, but shares are still up 83% for the year.

Both stocks have benefited from the cryptocurrency boom as the companies’ graphics cards can be used to mine for blockchain-backed currencies. Both companies, however, have been quick to point out that cryptocurrency-based sales of their products account for only a small share, 10% or less, of total revenue. Last month, shares of AMD and Nvidia came under pressure on concerns that digital currency mining was moving toward a software, rather than hardware, based approach.

Shares of Square Inc. SQ, +0.12% finished down 2% at $35.14, after touching an intraday low of $34.14. The company said last month that it was allowing a “small number” of users of its mobile money-transfer service, Square Cash, to buy bitcoin from its app.

Meanwhile, newly created bitcoin futures XBTG8, +2.00% fell 8% to $14,180, trading between an intraday low of $10,600 and an intraday high of $15,890. And Bitcoin Investment Trust GBTC, -9.21% which invests in bitcoin and affords investors exposure to the currency without buying or safekeeping the digital currency, had been down as much as 35% earlier, but finished the day up 12.3%.

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