Asian Market Update – Tuesday: Cryptocoins continue downward trend after steep fall on Chinese ban

Investors fleeing bitcoin

The Big Question: Is China’s ICO ban a trigger for correction of coin prices?

It was not a good day for coin traders by any stretch of imagination. On Monday, following a ban on any type of cryptocoin fundraising, or ICO, by Chinese officials, prices for both bitcoin and ethereum tumbled as much as 20 percent.

The downward trend continued during the Asian trading session on Tuesday. Before midday, the price for bitcoin was still pointing lower, changing hands at around $4,000, down 6.2 percent. That’s a remarkable fall from a new high of $4,960 reached over the weekend.

Ethereum has also taken a dive since Monday, having fallen as much as $120 from about $395 seen over the weekend. The ethereum price was still down 6.69 percent to $276.61 around midday in the Asian trading session.

On Monday, after much speculation and preparation, the People’s Bank of China, along with six other government agencies issued a final ruling on initial coin offerings, or ICOs.

The agencies demanded that all ICOs have to be halted as of Monday, claiming that coin fundraising poses “multi-layer” risks and that platforms should barred from trading virtual currency with fiat currency.

Media reports said that the ruling has been passed on to local governments on the provincial level and a nation-wide crackdown will soon follow.

Following the ruling, China’s third largest coin fundraising platform ICO365 announced that all ICO activities would be suspended. Prior to the notice, two other major platforms – ICOINFO and ICOAGE – had already suspended their ICO activities.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan-Nikkei Stock Average 225 19,371.12 -0.7%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,368.19 0.2%
Australia-ASX 200 5,691.00 -0.19%
Hong Kong-Hang Seng 27,804.94 0.23%
South Korea- KOSPI 2,325.01 -0.2%

Major equity markets in the Asia Pacific continues to be rattled by tensions on the Korea Peninsula after major powers responded to the latest, most powerful nuclear test to date, by North Korea.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 went into a downtrend after market open. At midday, the benchmark was down 0.7 percent to 19,371.12.

In South Korea, the KOSPI index skidded 0.20 percent to 2,325 around midday.

Down under, the ASX 200 was still down 0.19 percent to 5,691.00 at midday after minor fluctuations in the early hours of the Asian trading session.

However, investors in Greater China appear to be shrugging off the tensions in a region that is already in a volatile situation. The Hong Kong Hang Seng index gained 0.23 percent to 27,804.94 at midday. The Shanghai Composite added 0.2 percent to 3,386.19 at midday.

Latest on the North Korea nuclear test on Sunday, which it claims to be a Hydrogen bomb or H-Bomb: At a UN Security Council Emergency Meeting on North Korea, US ambassador Nikki Haley said Kim Jung-un is “begging for war”, though she did not suggest any military response as suggested by some US officials; Chinese and Russian representatives to the UN called for peaceful resolution, with the Chinese envoy saying that China won’t allow “chaos and war” on the Korea Peninsula.

All indications so far points to some military drill by US, South Korean and Japanese forces in the region and tougher sanctions on North Korea. The North in its own response said another missile (ICBM) test could come soon.

Asian investors have tended to shrug off the North Korea factor quickly in the past, but some analysts say the North Korea situation could be the trigger for a global market correction period.


The Japanese yen gained 0.34 percent against the US dollar on Tuesday morning to 109.32 per dollar.

After weeks-long rally against the greenback, the yuan lost 0.16 percent to 6.5371 per dollar on Tuesday.

The Australian dollar strengthened 0.22 percent to 1.2554 per dollar on Monday morning.


WTI Oil was up 0.02 percent to $47.38 per barrel.

Brent Crude was down 0.12 percent to $52.11 per barrel.

Gold gained 0.22 percent to $1,336.35 an ounce.

Business News across Asia

In China, leaders of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have signed an action plan for further trade and economic cooperation, following an annual summit in Xiamen in East China’s Fujian Province. More deals are expected to come later in the day.

Take away: The result of the Summit had exceeded some expectations, some analysts say. The BRICS bloc had appeared to be losing momentum but it looks like it still holds up quite firmly, one Chinese analyst commented.

In South Korea: one of the closest US allies in Asia is worried that a rift is going to split the two countries at a critical time. Signs of disagreements have been dictated on trade and responses to North Korea provocations. US President Donald Trump have indicated that the US could end a free trade deal with South Korea and criticized South Korea’s negotiations with the North as “appeasement.”

Take Away: Though the two will likely keep their alliance, any movements could negatively affect trade and financial markets.

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.

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