Facebook gains, beating peers, after crypto

Facebook also plans to step up its marketing spending in its consumer-facing advertising strategy. (AFP pic)

NEW YORK: Facebook gained as much as 2.5%, making it one of the few tech names moving higher in early Friday trading, after reports that it’s making progress toward its cryptocurrency ambitions.

A group of payments and other companies, including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Uber, agreed to invest about US$10 million each in a consortium to oversee the digital coin Facebook plans to unveil next week, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

The social-media giant has also hired a UK bank lobbyist as its director of public policy in London, the Financial Times said.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal also reported Facebook plans to step up its marketing spending in a shift in its consumer-facing advertising strategy.

Facebook shares climbed as much as 2.5% to US$181.84 at 9:35 am in New York. It was the best-performing stock in the Nasdaq 100 Index, which fell 0.7% as concerns over semiconductor demand weighed on the benchmark.