Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Ripple crash continues; Asian stocks mixed

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Coins fall in heavy trading session

Cryptocurrencies were largely mixed on Wednesday morning in Asia, as ethereum continued to extend its 10-day winning streak on Wednesday, and bitcoin, litecoin, and Ripple XRP extended their losing streak.

Around midday in Asia, ethereum gained 2.79 percent to $1,326. This is the 11th straight day of gains for the virtual currency. Ethereum is now trading in all-time high terriotory, after moving past the $1,000 mark last week.

As CCN reported today, many would argue that ethereum, and its currency ether, is one of few blockchain projects that has a justifiable market cap. Ethereum’s platform is being used every day to make transactions related to all sorts of ICOs and other blockchain projects.

Bitcoin, meanwhile, was down 1.07 percent to $14,326 as of midday in Hong Kong on Wednesday – its fourth straight day of losses. The virtual currency is now down about 28 percent from its all-time high of nearly $20,000 seen in mid-December.

Ripple XRP also sold off once again, falling more than 20 percent during the Asian trading session on Monday. The number two coin in terms of marketcap has seen a sharp correction over the past few days, after experiencing a surge in popularity since the beginning of December. The cryptocurrency is now down about 50 percent from its all-time high of $3.3 on Bitfinex.

Litecoin also extended a multi-day losing streak on Wednesday morning, losing 1.54 percent to $243 at midday. Litecoin is now down for a fourth consecutive day.

Main Market Movers – Midday Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 23,796 -0.22%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,424 0.30%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 31,075 0.21%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,498 -0.46%
Australia-ASX 200 6,105 -0.49%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,750 0.00%

Asian stocks traded in a mixed mode on Wednesday morning, as markets in Japan, South Korea and Australia were down and stocks in China were up.

As of midday in Hong Kong, the biggest mover was the ASX 200 in Australia. The benchmark was down 0.49 percent to 6,105. That came after upbeat jobs figures on Wednesday. Official data showed that Aussie job vacancies rose 2.7 percent to 210,300 in the quarter ended in November – the highest level on record since 1979, according to Reuters.

South Korean stocks also saw relatively big loss on Wednesday. The KOSPI Index was down 0.46 percent to 2,498 as of midday.

Positive news emerged out of a talk between the North and the South Koreas on Tuesday, with the two sides agreeing on an arrangement for North Korean athletes to attend the Winter Olympics in the South.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index was also down 0.22 percent to 23,796 at midday.

Stocks on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong were pointing slightly higher Wednesday morning.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.3 percent at midday on Wednesday to 3,424. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.21 percent to 31,075.

Currencies

The Japanese yen firmed 0.34 percent against the US dollar at midday Wednesday, changing hands at 112.25 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan up gained 0.05 percent against the US dollar at 6.5231 per dollar.

The Australian dollar firmed 0.01 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2778 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.06 percent to $63.49 per barrel at midday on Wednesday.

Brent Crude gained 0.04 percent to $69.21 per barrel.

Gold was down 0.07 percent to $1,311 an ounce.

News across Asia

In China, a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron saw a slew of big business deals between Chinese and French companies, including a 10-billion-euro deal between French energy giant Areva and its Chinese counterpart CNNC for a joint nuclear waste management facility.

Take away: Macron and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping also agreed to further expand cooperation, though details are still elusive. More business deals are expected to follow.

In Japan, two Japanese automobile companies – Toyota and Mazda – announced that they will build a 1.6-billion-dollar plant in the US state of Alabama, which is expected to hire about 4,000 people and have an annual output of 300,000 cars, per Reuters. The new plant is expected to open in 2021.

Take away: This is a huge win for US President Donald Trump, who has been pressuring foreign companies, including carmakers, to bring jobs to the US. The site of the new plant, Alabama, is a deep-red state that Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016.

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.