Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Bitcoin Resurges From Brief Correction

Shanghai dawn

The Big Question: Bitcoin seems to be out of correction territory, but for how long?

Bitcoin prices rebounded overnight during Asian trading hours, shrugging off earlier losses, suggesting that the virtual currency might be out of the correction the followed earlier peaks, at least for now.

Bitcoin started to spike in the early hours of the Asian trading session on Wednesday. It was trading at around $4,100, above the $4,000 level. That was a significant rebound from the day earlier, when the Bitcoin price dropped below the $4,000 mark and briefly traded below $3,700.

Wednesday’s surge comes as the blockhchain network might finally get technical upgrades that could solve the scaling issues. However, uncertainties remain as the effort to solve the issue could see a fight between Bitcoin and Segwit2X, which is used by traditional Bitcoin participants.

There was also other good news for Bitcoin or the broader blockchain technology. On Tuesday, former Bitcoin skeptic and American billionaire investor Mark Cuban decided to back cryptocurrency venture 1confirmation, which is looking to raise $20 million.

Also, IBM has partnered with several of America’s largest food suppliers, including Wal-Mart, Dole and Unilever, to use blockchain to reduce food contamination.

Meanwhile, Ethereum saw a slight increase in price overnight. After dropping to as low as $309 on early Tuesday night, the Ethereum price bounced back and was trading at around $316.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan-Nikkei Stock Average 225 1,9473.17 0.46%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,282,79 -0.23%
Australia-ASX 200 5732.80 -0.3%
India-Mumbai Sensex 31,426.27 0.43%

Most major Asian indexes stalled after opening higher on Wednesday morning.

Stock markets in Tokyo, Sydney and Seoul opened higher on Wednesday, following gains on Wall Street. Around midday however, most major indexes were down.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.46 percent, trading at around 19473.17.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index was slightly down, having lost 0.23 percent to 3,282.79.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 skidded 0.3 percent to 5,732.80.

In India, the Mumbai Sensex rose 0.43 percent to 31,426.27.

Though the Dow spiked 196 points on Tuesday and Nasdaq was up 1.4 percent, as political tension in the US seemed to cool off a bit following Donald Trump’s speech on Monday night about Afghanistan and reemergence of talks about tax reforms in the US, uncertainties remain.

Watch out for these events: 

  1. A gathering of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA. Look out for clues on monetary easing.
  2. Korean Peninsula tensions. The US on Tuesday announced new sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies and individuals with ties to North Korea. Look out for responses from the rogue government in the North.
  3. Developments of US tax reforms. The Republican party seemed to be divided over racial tensions but tax reforms is one thing they relentlessly push for. Watch out for talks.

Currencies

The Japanese yen gained a slight 0.12 percent against the US dollar at Midday on Wednesday. The USD/JPY rate was at 109.43.

The Chinese yuan lost 0.01 percent against the greenback, trading at 6.6602 per dollar. The yuan has been trading lower since it reached a peak in mid-August when it strengthened to as high as around 6.69 per dollar, but has in recent days traded up again and is approaching its previous high. The longer term uptrend in the yuan that has persisted since early June is still intact, and there is potential for a further rise in the yuan if it can break through the previous swing high.

CNYUSD uptrend

The Australian dollar gained 0.28 percent against the US dollar. The Australian dollar was trading at 1.2671 per dollar.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.21 percent to $47.71

Brent Crude also gained 0.21 percent to $51.72 per barrel

Gold was up 0.1 percent to $1,285.38 an ounce

Business News across Asia

In China, business news is focused on sanctions from the US on several Chinese companies that the US claimed to have ties with North Korea, and thus helping the country in its missile and nuclear program.

Take away: No official responses yet from China, but it will likely to further increase tension between the world’s two largest economies over trade, especially after the US launched a probe into Chinese trade practices. 

In Japan, legendary boss of Japanese tech giant Softbank, Grou Masayoshi Son, is reportedly going after a wide range of hot technologies, including robots and satellite technology, with his $100 billion fund created earlier this year. Son has recently traveled a lot to Silicon Valley to look for opportunities.

Take Away: The fund has not announced specific figures for its investments yet, but it will be focused on the hot artificial intelligence industry.

In South Korea: The country’s electronics giant Samsung is scheduled to release its Galaxy Note 8 this week, ahead of a highly anticipated release of its US rival Apple Inc’s new iPhone.

Take Away: By releasing the Note 8 ahead of Apple’s usual release time in September, Samsung is really taking on Apple. Keep an eye on the new technologies Samsung will introduce.

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.