Asian Market Update – Friday: Coins Trading Up as Trump Leaves Beijing for Vietnam

Beijing

The Big Question: What’s next for US-China relations?

As Trump’s China visit is coming to an end, Chinese newspaper Global Times quoted President Xi Jinping as saying that China-US relations are “at a new historic starting point.” The two presidents are reportedly having a great relationship, which many experts attribute to softer criticism of China from Trump compared to previous US presidents.

Among other achievements, business deals including a $37 billion deal to buy airplanes from Boeing, a $12 billion deal to buy smartphone chips from Qualcomm, and a $43 billion deal that would help develop Alaska’s liquefied natural gas sector, were signed during the talks in Beijing.

Trump left Beijing this morning to head for Da Nang, Vietnam, where he will attend the APEC Summit along with other world leaders such as Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. However, a much discussed meeting between Trump and Putin still remains uncertain, according to Reuters.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin again gained some ground Friday morning following a tough day for traders yesterday, when the price shredded off about 4 percent. The loss in bitcoin yesterday was likely due to traders moving money from bitcoin and into altcoins following the cancellation of the bitcoin hard fork SegWit2x. As of midday in Asia Friday, the price of bitcoin was up 1.8 percent to $7,290.

Etherum was nearly unchanged in early morning trading on Friday, trading up by 0.08 percent to $321. The slow trading today comes after strong gains on Wednesday and Thursday, sending the virtual currency surging by more than 10 percent over two days.

Litecoin also gained Friday morning, trading up by 1.23 percent to $65.20. Litecoin has been in a strong uptrend since Tuesday this week, adding almost 20 percent to its price over the week.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 22,665 -0.89%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,428 0.02%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,544 -0.26%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 29,191 0.18%
Australia-ASX 200 6,029 -0.33%
S&P E-mini 2,585 0.07%

Stocks

Asian stocks were mixed in early trading on the last trading day of the week, partly due to apparent disagreement between Republicans on key parts of the US tax reform. Although only minor changes were seen, Japan’s Nikkei dropped the most, trading down by 0.89 percent to 22,665 after midday in Tokyo trading.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index gained a slight 0.02 percent to 3,428 shortly after midday. Shares in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also gained 0.18 percent to 29,191 after midday in Hong Kong trading.

In South Korea, the Kospi Index lost 0.26 percent to 2,544 in the morning session.

Down under, the ASX 200 Index lost 0.33 percent on Friday to 6,029 before the end of the trading day in Australia.

Meanwhile, S&P e-mini futures added 0.07 percent in the first half of the Asian trading session on Friday to trade at 2,585.

Currencies

The Japanese yen on Friday lost a slight 0.02 percent against the US dollar, after gaining earlier in the morning. USDJPY was trading at 113.49 after midday in Tokyo.

The Chinese yuan was unchanged on the dollar Friday morning.

The Australian dollar gained on the US dollar, trading up by 0.1 percent to 1.3011 per US dollar in Australian trading.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up by 0.18 percent to $57.10.

Brent Oil was up 0.05 percent to $63.81.

Gold was down a slight 0.03 percent to $1,284 after two days of gains.

Business News across Asia

In China, the huge online shopping spree known as 11/11 (or Singles’ Day) is coming up tomorrow. It has grown to become the biggest shopping day in the world, with a bigger shopping volume than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Online merchants offer steep discounts starting midnight Friday, with deals also available through Alibaba’s global platforms such as AliExpress.com.

Take-away: Sales numbers from this shopping day is often used as an indication of the overall shape of the Chinese economy. Strong numbers would indicate that the much talked about shift to a consumer-driven economy is succeeding.

Featured image from Pixabay.

Author:
Fredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.