Asian Market Update – Friday: Coins point higher after turmoil on Thursday following platform closure in China
The Big Question: Will cryptocurrencies be able to offset recent losses?
Prices of cryptocurrencies climbed overnight during the Asian trading session, trimming heavy losses from the previous day as investors appears to be shrugging off the impact of the closure of a major trading platform in China.
Bitcoin prices gained 6.3 percent to $3,431 before midday. That’s a remarkable comeback for the digital currency, which dropped as much as 10 percent in the previous day to a low of around $3,227, the lowest level since mid-August.
Bitcoin has now been on a steep downtrend for nearly two straight weeks, though there were slight recoveries along the way. In particular, since last Friday, the digital currency has been in decline until early this morning, losing more than $1,380 during the week.
Ethereum also tracked bitcoin prices overnight, surging 7.06 percent to $238.27. Ethereum also dropped near the $220 level in early morning trading, the lowest since August 2. Etherum has also been on a downward move for two weeks, dropping from around $390 down to near the $220 level.
The last two weeks has not been good for digital currencies, which faced scores of attacks from not just governments, but prominent figures such as the CEO of JPMorgan Chase.
Late on Thursday, Bitcoin China said it has stopped registering new accounts with the platform and will suspend all trading activities at the end of September.
The move confirmed earlier reports of Chinese officials mulling to shut down commercial trading of virtual currencies.
Though other main platforms such as huobi.com remain active, they will likely follow Bitcoin China, as Chinese regulators are determined to crack down on what they consider a risky industry. China has already banned ICO’s.
Apart from China, the Russian government is reportedly also mulling measures to regulate digital currency trading.
This week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon also made headlines after describing bitcoin as a “fraud.” He told CNBC that “[bitcoin] is just not a real thing, eventually it will be closed.” But Dimon said he is not suggesting investors to go short bitcoin.
Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session
|Indexes||Value at Midday||Daily Change|
|Japan-Nikkei Stock Average 225||19,826.84||0.1%|
|China-Shanghai Composite Index||3,362.06||-0.28%|
|Hong Kong –Hang Seng||27,639.65||-0.50%|
Again, North Korea has launched another missile test this morning, putting major equity markets in a risk-off mode in early morning trading before they later regained some ground.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 started off lower, but later bounced back. Before midday, the benchmark index was up 0.1 percent to 19,826.84.
In Greater China, stocks were lower mainly due to weaker-than-expected economic data on Thursday. The Shanghai Composite Index skidded 0.28 percent to 3,362 before midday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.50 percent 27,639.
In South Korea, the KOSPI index lost 0.32 percent to 2,370 around midday.
Down under, the ASX 200 dropped 0.76 percent to 5,695.
Though the majority of the indexes were down, most analysts believe investors in Asia Pacific are used to North Korean missile launches by now.
In response to a fresh round of UN sanctions, the rogue regime in North Korea fired off a missile over Japan, landing in the Pacific Ocean. Friday’s launch followed repeated threats to hit the US and Japan.
The Japanese yen gained a slight 0.06 percent against the US dollar at Midday on Friday. The USD/JPY rate was at 110.14.
The Chinese yuan strengthened 0.05 percent to 6.5502 per dollar, after a four-day depreciating trend against the greenback. The yuan has been on a downtrend since Monday following changes in foreign exchange regulations, allowing the yuan to float more freely.
The Australian dollar lost 0.06 percent against the US dollar. The Australian dollar was trading at 1.2507 before midday.
WTI Oil was down 0.02 percent to $49.71 per barrel.
Brent Crude lost 0.02 percent to $55.28 per barrel.
Gold was also up 0.18 percent to $1,330 an ounce
Business News across Asia
In China, the world’s second largest economy showed surprising signs of cooling down, after industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment all slowed in August, prompting concerns that the Chinese economy might be cooling after positive signs earlier this year.
Take away: While the cooling signs are alarming, most Chinese analysts believe that the set of data were mainly due to controls on production and environmental control ahead of a big Communist Party meeting set for mid-October, and that fundamentals of the Chinese economy remain solid.
In India, a planned IPO of a matchmaking website has triggered wide-spread enthusiasm from investors. The IPO of Matrimony.com of up to $78 million was reportedly subscribed 4.4 times so far.
Take Away: Analysts believe this is a tip of the iceberg in India’s booming IPO market. More new online services could follow suit and announce IPOs.
Featured image from Pixabay.