Asian Market Update – Friday: Ethereum blasts through $1,000, Asian stocks near record highs

Fighters

Ethereum extends strong rally.

Bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin all pointed higher Friday morning, with ethereum once again leading the gains and bitcoin barely moving.

After midday in Asian trading, ethereum was up by another 5 percent, taking it above the $1,000 mark for the first time ever. Although ethereum’s position as the second most valuable coin recently has been overtaken by ripple, it is an open question whether or not that will last.

Meanwhile, bitcoin rose more than 4 percent to $15,790 on Coinbase, marking the fourth straight day of gains for bitcoin. Today’s gain comes after a period of consolidation for bitcoin as altcoins have taken a more prominent position in the cryptocurrency universe.

Litecoin Friday morning also traded up by nearly 4 percent on Coinbase to $247.

Main Market Movers – Midday Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 23,714 0.89%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,391 0.18%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 30,815 0.25%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,497 1.26%
Australia-ASX 200 6,122 0.74%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,727 0.10%

Asian stocks on Friday traded up in a strong way, with gains seen across the board.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose to a 26-year high, according a report from Reuters. At the end of Tokyo trading on Friday, the index stood at 23,714, up 0.9 percent for the day, following several rounds of positive economic data releases in recent days.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index also rose, trading up by 0.18 percent by the end of the day to 3,391. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose by a quarter of a percent to 30,815.

In South Korea, the Kospi Index was up a strong 1.26 percent to 2,497 on Friday, after signs that tensions on the peninsula are easing again ahead of the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in February.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was 0.74 percent higher, trading at 6,122 at the end of the trading day in Australian.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Future was up 0.10 percent to 2,727.

Currencies

The Japanese yen lost 0.42 percent against the US dollar on Friday, changing hands at 113.22 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan was up 0.06 percent against the US dollar to 6.487 per dollar.

The Australian dollar lost 0.18 percent on the US dollar, changing hands at 1.2743 per US dollar.

Commodities

WTI Oil was down 0.82 percent to $61.37 after strong gains since the beginning of December.

Brent Crude also lost 0.78 percent to $67.42 per barrel.

Gold was down 0.38 percent to $1,317 an ounce.

News across Asia

In South Korea, the situation between the North and South has improved significantly after an unexpectedly positive New Year’s speech from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, where he appeared open to talks with the South regarding participation in the upcoming Olympic Winter Games in South Korea.

Take-away: The South Korean stock market is already up in a strong way as a result of these new signs. However, the reality is that the North is now speaking from a position of strength. They have already obtained nuclear weapons capable of reaching the US mainland, which is likely the reason why they are now willing to talk.

Featured image from Pixabay.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term trading.

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.