Asian Market Update – Friday: #Bitcoin Surges as #Altcoins Lag Behind

  1. While the price of bitcoin surges to new highs, its younger siblings litecoin and ethereum are lagging behind with mixed performance in the Asian trading session Friday morning.

Bitcoin on Thursday went into a meteoric rise, surging almost 20 percent from the $4,800 level to just below $5,800 at the time of writing, around midday in Asian trading on Friday.

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In the news, JP Morgan’s CEO, who has previously said; “bitcoin is a fraud,” now was quoted as saying “…I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore” in an earnings call with financial reporters.

Also in the news, a team of analysts at New York-based investment firm Bernstein was quoted as saying that although bitcoin still is not money in the traditional sense, it is a “censorship-resistant asset class.” This is also evident from bitcoin’s continued rise despite numerous crackdowns around the world.

Major Asian stock indexes also saw gains on Friday morning, surging to 10-year highs in anticipation of the Communist Party Congress in Beijing that will commence next Wednesday. New policy is expected to be laid out, including economic policy, and we may see leadership changes, although Xi Jinping himself is expected to consolidate his power for a second term as president.

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By midday in the Asian trading session on Friday, bitcoin had declined slightly from the huge gains in the early morning, trading up 2.15 percent to $5,538.

Litecoin, on the other hand, took a hit Friday morning, trading down by 6.7 percent after midday to $54.88.

Ethereum traded on a more positive note, gaining 2.6 percent for the day to $309.


In the equity markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 1.13 percent to 21,192 at midday.

In Greater China, the Shanghai Composite Index edged up a slight 0.11 percent to 3,389 at midday, and the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index remained flat for the day, trading at 28,461.

In South Korea, the Kospi lost a slight 0.16 percent to 2,471 at midday, maintaining its big gains since the market reopened after a weeklong holiday last week.

Down under in Australia, the ASX 200 gained 0.34 percent to 5,814 after midday in Australian trading on Friday.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 21,192 1,13%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,389 0.11%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,471 -0.16%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 28,461 0.00%
Australia-ASX 200 5,814 0.34%


The Japanese yen gained 0.17 percent on the US dollar at midday Friday to 112.08 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan was down by 0.07 percent against the US dollar, trading at 6.5763 per dollar.

The Australian dollar gained 0.23 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.276 per dollar at midday.


WTI Oil was up 0.37 percent to $50.9 per barrel.

Brent Crude was also up, gaining 0.21 percent to $56.51 per barrel.

Gold was up 0.21 percent to $1,295 an ounce.

Business News across Asia

In Singapore, economic data was released today showing that the economy of the South East Asian city-state grew more than expected in the third quarter. Singapore’s GDP rose by 4.6 percent in Q3 compared to the same period last year. The median expectation among economists was 3.8 percent.

Take away: This is a remarkable growth rate for a country that by most measures would be considered a developed economy, and that does not rely on any form of natural resources to help propel its growth. Along with the shift in the housing market that was announced last month, this could be an ideal time to invest in Singapore again after years of mediocre growth.


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