Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Major coins point higher led by bitcoin

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The Big Question: Is bitcoin getting ready for another run?

Prices of the main cryptocurrencies were pointing higher on Wednesday morning, led by bitcoin, which has seen a steep correction over the last couple of weeks. Etheruem and litecoin prices also surged this morning, though to a lesser extent than bitcoin.

Bitcoin gained 4.02 percent to $15,375 during the Asian trading session on Wednesday. The cryptocurrency gained nearly 10 percent on Tuesday, following losses over the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, ethereum edged up 1.74 percent to $880 on Wednesday afternoon. The virtual currency gained more than 14 percent during an extraordinarily strong trading day yesterday.

The strong gains in ethereum comes after the Ethereum Foundation, which is responsible for the development of ethereum, has announced millions in grants for research on how to boost transactions on its platform, according to media reports.

Litecoin price was up 0.5 percent to $254, after gaining more than 12 percent in the previous day.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 Closed Closed
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,366 0.56%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 30,496 -0.07%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,488 0.34%
Australia-ASX 200 6,070 0.15%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,696 0.07%

Most equity markets in the Asia Pacific continued on a positive trend on Wednesday, as investors’ risk sentiment improved by a slew of strong manufacturing data and optimism about further improvement of the global economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.56 percent to 3,366 during Wednesday trading, following a gain of more than 1 percent on Tuesday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down a slight 0.12 percent to 30,480 on Wednesday, after gaining 1.65 percent in the previous session.

In South Korea, the Kospi tacked on 0.34 percent to 2,488 on Wednesday.

Down under, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.15 percent at 6,070.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was 0.07 percent higher, trading at 2,696.

Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday on Wednesday.

Figures on manufacturing activity in China and India and industrial output in Japan showed that major economies in Asia remained solid at the end of 2017 and that the global economy is set for another year of steady recovery.

Currencies

The Japanese yen was flat against the US dollar at midday Wednesday, changing hands at 112.26 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan was down 0.21 percent against the US dollar to 6.50.46 per dollar.

The Australian dollar lost 0.10 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2784 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.08 percent to $60.38 per barrel.

Brent Crude edged up 0.12 percent to $66.55 per barrel.

Gold was down 0.30 percent to $1,313 an ounce.

News across Asia

In China, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the country’s reform and opening up efforts that largely lifted China out of poverty and into the global economy. China is set to introduce a fresh round of reform and opening up this year, with market access expected to be eased for foreigners in the financial sector, state-run media reported on Tuesday.

Take away: Talks of opening up the financial market and other services sectors have emerged and top experts and officials indicate that this year will see more substantial market opening than what has been seen in the past few years.

In South Korea, officials are considering measures to boost capital outflows as the local currency, the won, continues to rise against other major currencies, according to Reuters. The move could help South Korean authorities to tame the constantly rising won without direct intervention, the report said.

Take away: South Korea has been included by the US on a “monitoring list” of countries for its foreign exchange policies, which the US alleges could amount to currency manipulation.

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.