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Asian Stocks Mixed as Bitcoin Volatility Continues Ahead of U.S. Data

Stock MarketsMay 23, 2021 23:35
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By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed Monday morning following the cryptocurrency market volatility and as concerns about the slowdown of stimulus measures continued.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.37% by 11:21 PM ET (3:21 AM GMT), with Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda due to speak later in the day.

South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.24%, as investors await the Bank of Korea handing down its interest rate decision for May on Thursday.

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched up 0.10%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 0.33%. China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.17% while the Shenzhen Component was down 0..41%.

China makes efforts to temper prices as it remains concerned about the recent boom in commodity prices. “Credit is a major driver for commodity prices, and we reckon prices peak when credit peaks,” said Alison Li, co-head of base metals research at Myste.

Cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, face further volatility following China’s latest crackdown on the trading and mining of the largest digital token to prevent speculative and financial risks. Bitcoin plunged 50% from a record high reached earlier the year on Monday, after edging down 13% the day before.

While some countries continue their economic recovery from COVID-19, investors remain concerned that governments could start scaling back stimulus measures as well as about the COVID-19 outbreaks in parts of Asia.

“It’s going to be a very mixed market over the next several months until we get more information on what’s really going to happen with inflation and how the stimulus in the U.S. affects spending there, but also how the coronavirus really progresses,” JoAnne Feeney, a partner at Advisors Capital Management LLC, told Bloomberg.

The U.S. will release a slew of data, including CB consumer confidence on Tuesday and initial jobless claims, GDP, and pending home sales figures on Thursday.

Several U.S. Federal Reserve officials will make speeches this week, including Fed Governor Lael Brainard.

Also on the central bank front, the Bank of Indonesia will hand down its interest rate decision Tuesday, followed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand a day later.

Asian Stocks Mixed as Bitcoin Volatility Continues Ahead of U.S. Data
 

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