Asian Market Update – Tuesday: Ethereum rally continues; Asian stocks edge higher

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The prices of main cryptocurrencies edged up on Tuesday morning in Asia, with ethereum extending a 10-day winning streak, while bitcoin and litecoin recovered, though just slightly, from losses in the past a couple of days.

Around midday in Asia, ethereum gained 5.63 percent to $1,200. This is the 10th straight day of gains for the cryptocurrency, lifting its price by around 69 percent since the end of last year.

Bitcoin edged up 1.72 percent to $15,251 shortly after midday. It marked an end to a two-day losing streak for the virtual currency, which saw bitcoin losing 12.24 percent since Sunday.

Litecoin also moved into the positive territory on Tuesday morning, after staying in negative territory for two days. “Bitcoin’s silver” gained 0.31 percent to $256 at midday, after losing 6.2 percent on Monday and 2.8 percent on Sunday.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 23,843 0.54%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,412 0.08%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 31,033 0.43%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,517 0.15%
Australia-ASX 200 6,143 0.22%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,744 -0.08%

Major Asian equities edged higher on Tuesday, with Japanese stocks approaching new decade highs.

At midday in Asia, the Nikkei 225 index gained 0.54 percent to 23,843. The benchmark had gained as much as 0.8 percent in earlier trading, reaching the highest level since November 1991, according to Reuters.

The Japanese stock rally has been fueled by bright outlook for economic growth this year, with the Bank of Japan expected to continue its ultra-easy monetary policies.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.43 percent to 31,033 at midday. Hong Kong is expecting a slew of high-value tech IPOs this year, which could boost stock markets on the island. Alibaba’s Jack Ma said on Monday that the company will “seriously consider” a listing in Hong Kong.

In South Korea, the Kospi was up 0.15 percent to 2,517 at midday. Finally, some positive news out of the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday: the North and South are holding talks about how North Korean athletes could attend the Winter Olympics in the South.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.08 percent at midday on Tuesday to 3,412. The People’s Bank of China continue to refrain from injecting money into the market through open market operations for the 12th straight day. Instead, it has drained 1,060 billion from the market since December 21, 2017.

Down under, the ASX 200 was 0.22 percent higher at 6,143 at midday.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was down 0.08 percent to 2,744.

Currencies

The Japanese yen firmed 0.37 percent against the US dollar at midday Tuesday, changing hands at 112.66 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan lost 0.04 percent against the US dollar at 6.4995 per dollar.

The Australian dollar firmed 0.25 percent on the US dollar, changing hands at 1.2721 per US dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.48 percent to $62.18 per barrel at midday on Tuesday.

Brent Crude gained 0.44 percent to $68.18 per barrel.

Gold was down 0.15 percent to $1,318 an ounce.

News across Asia

In China, companies are reviewing their strategies on acquiring overseas assets, as Western countries grow increasingly suspicious of Chinese firms’ takeovers of high-tech companies in their countries, and have started blocking a number of mergers and acquisitions involving Chinese companies. The latest deal to be blocked was an investment by a Chinese firm in German aerospace parts supplier Cotesa.

Take away: Chinese companies have been eyeing overseas assets, especially those in the high-tech industries, though it is still far from the global shopping frenzy seen in 2016.

On the Korean Peninsula, a meeting between the North and the South is underway on Tuesday, as officials from the two rival states hold talks on how North Korean athletes can attend the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Take away: Though the meeting has been strictly focused on sports, signs indicate that the two sides might carry on such momentum for talks in other areas.

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.