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Plus500 bumps up expectations for the year after crypto boom boosts trading

Online trading platform Plus500 said this morning that its b..

Online trading platform Plus500 said this morning that its board had lifted its expectations for the year, as trading remains ahead of what was previously predicted, thanks to a cryptocurrency boom at the start of the year.

Plus500 had previously announced that a strong start to 2018 had come thanks to a period of "relative volatility" in the markets and high levels of trading in its cryptocurrency contracts for difference (CFDs) offering.

That, the board said, encouraged high levels of new customer sign ups, and as a result, delivered record trading for the first quarter of the year.

Shares rose more than six per cent on the news.

Read more: Plus500 sets course for main market after crypto surge and record quarter

Today, Plus500 said market conditions had returned to more normal levels in the second quarter, but trading had nevertheless been "materially ahead of management expectations".

Asaf Elimelech, chief executive, said:

We are pleased with the continued strong financial performance made despite market conditions returning to more normal levels during this period.

We remain confident about the future prospects for the company.

Plus500 said the full impact of new regulatory changes brought in by the European Securities and Markets Authority (Esma) are "difficult to assess".

Esma is banning retail investors from trading binary options, and applying limitations to CFDs to protect investors.

Plus500 said its performance could be impacted by the rate at which customers request to be reclassified, and are accepted, as elective professional clients.

It intends to assess the impact of the measures on current and future performance once they are fully bedded in.

Last month, the trading platform said it intended to step up to London's main market after the crypto boom has helped fuel a share surge, with retail investors looking to tap into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rising in popularity.

Read more: Plus500 to sideline Atletico Madrid if football is ruled offside

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