Asian Market Update – Tuesday: Ethereum Surges as BTC Dominance Hits All-Time Low

Fading light

Bitcoin is barely moving as dominance fades.

The top coins in terms of market cap were all up on the second day of 2018, with many traders and analysts around the world coming back from their holidays today.

During afternoon trading in Asia, ethereum was the big gainer among the major coins, trading up by more than 12 percent on Coinbase. As CCN reported yesterday, the bitcoin dominance index has now reached an all-time low with the combined market cap of the top four altcoins – ripple, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and cardano – now surpassing that of bitcoin.

Bitcoin meanwhile was pretty much flat Tuesday morning, trading down from the early hours of Asian trading before it surged back up. Investors are now speculating what path bitcoin will take in 2018 as it becomes increasingly difficult to use as a payment method, but still serves its purpose as a form of ‘digital gold’. However, it is speculated that 2018 will be the year when altcoins take on a bigger role and bitcoin’s dominance in the market fades.

Litecoin also surged Tuesday morning, trading up by nearly 8 percent by the afternoon in Asian trading. Litecoin has been on the rise again since New Year’s Eve, after taking a hit during the last week of 2017.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 22,764 -0.08%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,348 1.24%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 30,515 1.99%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,467 1.26%
Australia-ASX 200 6,080 -0.06%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,678 0.37%

Most of the main equity markets in Asia Pacific posted strong gains on Tuesday, led by markets on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and South Korea, while markets in Japan and Australia were down slightly.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 1.24 percent to 3,348. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 1.99 percent to 30,515.

Positive sentiment was boosted by better-than-expected manufacturing activity on the Chinese mainland. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 51.5 in December, up from 50.8 in November and higher than a 50.6 percent forecast by Reuters.

In South Korea, the Kospi tacked on 1.26 percent to 2,467 on Tuesday.

Overall, the S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was 0.37 percent higher at 2,678.

However, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index was down 0.08 percent to 22,764.

Down under, the S&P/ASX 200 was off 0.06 percent at 6,080.

Currencies

The Japanese yen firmed 0.15 percent against the US dollar at midday Tuesday changing hands at 112.42 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan also firmed 0.16 percent against the US dollar at 6.4956 per dollar.

The Australian dollar was up 0.41 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2753 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.67 percent to $60.48 per barrel.

Brent Crude edged up 0.41 percent to $66.88 per barrel.

Gold gained 0.61 percent to $1,310 an ounce.

News across Asia

In India, the country’s manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in five years in December, boosted by rising output and new orders, according to a private survey out on Tuesday. The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 54.7 in December, up from 52.6 in November, reaching its highest level since August 2012, per Reuters.

Take away: Under a sweeping program dubbed “Made in India,” the Indian government has been pushing for an industrial upgrade and improvement of its manufacturing capabilities. However, so far the upgrade has had little affect on economic growth, as the Indian economy has continued to slow down.

In Indonesia, officials are expecting direct investments to grow 10 to 14 percent for 2018, with investment in e-commerce and the services sector expected to expand by up to 80 percent and 40 percent, respectively, according to a report by Reuters.

Take away: Indonesia has been one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia Pacific region with a huge demand for investment in infrastructure and other sectors. Foreign investment, including large amounts from China, are expected to grow significantly in the country over the next few years.

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.

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