Asian Market Update: Bad Day for Coins – Both Bitcoin and Ethereum Are Down

The Big Question: Has Bitcoin Reached a Temporary Peak?

Investors might be losing confidence over a recent rally that saw a few record highs in Bitcoin price.
After trading above $4,300 on Thursday, the price for Bitcoin fell sharply, and is currently trading below $3,700, well below the $4,000 mark.

Some traders are reportedly losing confidence in the recent rally and believe that a correction is in order after bitcoin prices fell under the $4,000 mark several times since it first surpassed it. Others believe bitcoin will consolidate around $4,000.

Meanwhile, Ethereum also took a steep fall on Tuesday. After having gained sharply the day before, Ethereum quickly went into a dive, trading as low as 295 at one point. As of time of this writing, Ethereum was trading just above the 300 level, where it appears to have found some support.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Market Update

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan-Nikkei Stock Average 225 19,406.61 0.07%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,289.75 0.09%
Hong Kong-Hang Seng Index 27,437.92 1.04%
Australia-ASX All Ordinaries 5,801.70 0.83%
India-Mumbai Sensex 31,258.85 -0.84%

Major Asian indexes saw minor gains on Tuesday, led by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which saw a 1.04 percent increase.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 reversed a loss on Monday as it edged up 0.07 percent to 19,406.61.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index was also slightly up, having gained 0.09 percent to 3,289.75.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX All Ordinaries was up 0.83 percent to 5,801.70.

India’s Mumbai Sensex was down 0.84 percent.

With little broad economic data expected this month, investors are playing close attention to developments in the Korea Peninsula and an upcoming meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Tensions are high in the Korea Peninsula as US and South Korea militaries continue on a drill in the region. Though the number of US troops participating in the drill is down from previous drills, the drill, coming at a sensitive time, could further escalate the tension. The rogue North Korean government is showing no sign of backing down, calling the drill “reckless” and threatened nuclear war again.

In the short term, though, the gathering of global central bankers could be the main force in moving markets. The focus will be on a scheduled speech by US Fed Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole, as the US is still under a tepid inflation cloud.

US President Donald Trump’s speech on Afghanistan, in which he raised the possibility of increased US military presence in Afghanistan without giving any details, did not appear to bother Asian markets much on Tuesday.

Currencies

The Japanese yen lost 0.25 percent against the US dollar. The USD/JPY exchange was at 1.09.2500 as of press time at 11:50 am.

The Chinese yuan strengthened 0.12 percent against the greenback, trading at 6.6577 per US dollar.

The Australian dollar gained 0.03 percent against the US dollar. The AUD/USD was trading at 0.7941.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.36 percent to $47.54

Brent Crude gained 0.33 percent to $51.83 per barrel

Gold was down 0.18 percent to $1,294.40 an ounce

Business News across Asia

In China, the market is still talking about a restructuring plan from China Unicom, the second-largest telecom carrier in the country. The State-owned company announced a $11.7 billion ownership reform plan, under which private companies such as Alibaba Group and Tencent acquired a total of 35.19 percent. Stocks of China Unicom in Shanghai jumped more than 10 percent immediately after market open, while shares in Hong Kong dipped 1.6 percent.

Take away: The China Unicom move could mean more gigantic State-owned firms could pursue similar ownership shake-up in the coming months.

In Japan, the Bank of Japan is expanding its stock purchase as regional tensions and stagnating domestic economic growth plagued the Japanese stock market. The BOJ bought 3.58 trillion yen of stocks so far in 2017, while foreign investors only purchased 301.6 billion yen, per Nikkei Asian Review.

Take Away: The BOJ has 2 trillion yen more in buying power but negative side effects might surge.

In India: A nation-wide strike at public banks is taking place after unions called for the strike to protect against a government proposal to privatize public sector banks.

Take Away: Though operations at public banks remain open on Tuesday, services might get affected.

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