Tokyo (January 11,2018): The New Year rally in Asian shares petered out on Thursday due to concerns about rising U.S. protectionism.
Bond markets nursed steep losses and Bitcoin fell more than 11 percent after moves in South Korea to ban trade in the crypto currency.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.5 percent, slipping further from Tuesday’s 10-year peak. Japan’s Nikkei also lost 0.5 percent.
Bitcoin dropped to $13,189 on the Bitstamp exchange, after South Korea’s justice minister said a bill was being prepared to ban cryptocurrency trading.“That should have been good news for the U.S. dollar, but it’s still trading very weakly – it’s a weak dollar story,” said Masashi Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.“The market seems to have been looking for one-sided news to sell the dollar, this week.”U.S. shares snapped their New Year rally on Wednesday while the Canadian dollar and the Mexican peso fell after a Reuters report said Canada increasingly believes that U.S. President Donald Trump will soon announce his intention to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement treaty.