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Asian Markets Mixed Amid Crypto Selloff

Asian Markets Mixed Amid Crypto Selloff

Shares were mixed in Asia on Thursday after benchmarks closed broadly lower on Wall Street in a third day of retreat.

The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies declined further. Stocks rose in Tokyo and Sydney but fell in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Japan’s government reported that exports rose 38% in April from a year earlier while imports climbed nearly 13%, indicating a recovery in overseas demand even as the country weathers its worst bout of coronavirus outbreaks so far.

Exports to the U.S. rose 45% while those to China jumped nearly 34% in a strong rebound after last year’s shocks from lockdowns and other precautions taken to curb the pandemic.

The Nikkei 225 regained lost ground, edging 0.1% higher, while Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 surged 1%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng skidded 0.7% while the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.3%. Seoul’s Kospi declined 0.5%. Shares rose in Singapore and Jakarta but fell in Taiwan

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 index dropped 0.3% to 4,115.68 after recovering from a 1.6% slide earlier in the day. The benchmark index is on track for its second weekly loss in a row.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5% to 33,896.04. The Nasdaq fared better than the rest of the market, shedding less than 0.1%, to 13,299.74.

Digital currencies fell sharply after China’s banking association issued a warning Wednesday over the risks associated with digital currencies.

Bitcoin’s price was down 6.2% to $38,140, well below its all-time high of over $64,800 reached a month ago, according to the crypto news site Coindesk. It swung in a huge range of as low as $30,202 and as high as $43,621 over the course of the day.

That the headline out of China rattled crypto investors suggests the market was already weak, said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at All Star Charts.

“If bitcoin had been holding up better, a headline like that would be dismissed more readily, but it comes at a time when bitcoin was already well off its highs,” he said. “It gave people who were looking for a reason to sell cover.”

In other trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil added 11 cents to $63.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped $2.50 on Wednesday to $63.35 per barrel. Brent crude the international standard for pricing, rose 9 cents to $66.75 per barrel.

The dollar fell to 109.14 Japanese yen from 109.23 yen on Wednesday.

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