Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Bitcoin Nears $7,000; Party Over for Asian Stocks
The Big Question: Has the Asian stock market rally ended?
Prices of main cryptocurrencies were in a mixed mode during the Asian trading session on Wednesday, with strong gains seen in bitcoin and litecoin prices and minor losses in the price of ethereum.
Bitcoin gained 4.37 percent to about $6,897 just before before midday in Asian trading on Wednesday. The virtual currency started moving up strongly at around 8 AM in Hong Kong, jumping more than $300 to near the $7,000 level over the next three hours. This marks the first in five days that the bitcoin price is close to the $7,000 level after dropping below that level on Friday.
China is back in news again, after rumors surfaced that a State-owned electricity firm is planning on cutting cheap power to bitcoin miners in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Though the company denied the rumors of such ban, it’s worth noting that it shouldn’t come as a surprise given that the Chinese government has taken a tough stance on cryptocurrencies, having already banned ICOs and trading activities.
The price of ethereum was down 0.95 percent to about $333 before midday in Asia, following strong gains in price yesterday.
Litecoin added a slight 0.92 percent to $62.56 at midday.
Also in the news: the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has warned against cryptocurrency CFDs, saying such derivatives are highly risky. The market regulator said that it has been watching the CFD market, and warned that only experienced traders should trade with leveraged products like CFDs.
Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session
|Indexes||Value at Midday||Daily Change|
|Japan- Nikkei 225||22,142||-1.06%|
|China-Shanghai Composite Index||3,404||-0.7%|
|Hong Kong –Hang Seng||29,005||-0.5%|
|S&P 500 E-Mini Futures||2,571||-0.27%|
Most major Asian equities markets were trading lower on Wednesday morning, following disappointing data out of China on Tuesday.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 1.06 percent to 22,142 around midday on Wednesday.
On the Chinese Mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.70 percent to about 3,404 before midday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dipped 0.50 percent to around 29,005 before midday.
In South Korea, the Kospi skidded 0.45 percent to around 2,515 shortly before midday.
Down under, the ASX 200 lost 0.30 percent to 5,951.
The S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was down 0.27 percent to 2,571 at midday.
Asian markets have been trading lower for the past few days, after earlier rallies that pushed indexes to record highs, raising the question of whether the party is over for Asian stocks.
Also, there is story of about the slowing of the Chinese economy making its impact on stock prices. Data out of Beijing on Tuesday showed that both industrial output and retail sales in the world’s second-largest economy missed market expectations, according to state-run newspaper Global Times.
The Japanese yen gained 0.2 percent on the US dollar at midday Wednesday to 113.21 per dollar.
The Chinese yuan firmed 0.04 percent against the US dollar at 6.6323 per dollar.
The Australian dollar lost 0.62 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.3181 per dollar at midday.
WTI Oil was up 0.24 percent to $55.09 per barrel.
Brent Crude gained 0.16 percent to $61.47 per barrel.
Gold was up 0.16 percent to $1,281 an ounce.
Business News across Asia
In Japan: data showed that the world’s third-largest economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter of the year, expanding 1.4 percent in July-September, according to official data on Wednesday.
Take away: The BOJ has refrained from changing its monetary policy despite missing the inflation target. Stable economic growth could reinforce this stance.
In Taiwan, Foxconn, the major Apple Inc. supplier, saw a 3 percent fall of its shares on Wednesday after the electronics producers reported a nearly 40 percent drop in quarterly earnings.
Take away: Foxconn’s earnings loss could be viewed as the performance of the Apple’s newest devices. A 40 percent drop could mean shipments of the new iPhones are not performing well, and Apple’s share price may suffer in the near future as a result.
Featured image from Pixabay.