Asian shares creep higher, oil surges to 3-year peak

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Asian shares nudged higher on Monday as risk sentiment turned for the better, though a surge in oil prices to three-year highs could inflame inflation fears and https://eatkekoa.com/ aggravate the recent hawkish turn by some major central banks.

In Europe, stocks seemed unfazed by the narrow victory of the Social Democrats in German elections with EUROSTOXX 50 futures up 0.5% and FTSE futures 0.6%.

Oil stormed past its July peaks as global output disruptions forced energy companies to pull large amounts of crude out of inventories, while a shortage of natural gas in Europe pushed costs up across the continent.

Brent added another 98 cents on Monday to $79.07 a barrel, while U.S.

crude rose 97 cents to $74.95.

“We forecast that this rally will continue, with our year-end Brent forecast of $90/bbl vs. $80/bbl previously,” wrote analysts at Goldman Sachs in a client note.

“The current global oil supply-demand deficit is larger than we expected, with the recovery in global demand from the Delta impact even faster than our above consensus forecast.”

Such an increase could stoke speculation that global inflation will prove longer-lasting than first hoped and hasten the end of super-cheap money, favouring reflation trades in bank and energy stocks while bruising bond prices.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan firmed 0.5%, though that followed three consecutive weeks of losses.

Japan’s Nikkei edged up 0.1% on hopes for further fiscal stimulus once a new prime minister is chosen. Japan will hold a leadership race on Sept.

29, and the winner is assured of becoming the country’s next prime minister.

Nasdaq futures rose 0.4%, and S&P 500 futures 0.5%.

Chinese blue chips gained 0.5% as the country’s central bank pumped more money into the financial system and investors dared to hope Beijing would limit the fallout from the troubled China Evergrande Group.

“We expect policymakers in China to allow deleveraging of property sector debt to take hold with an eye to reducing moral hazard, but are confident that they will actively manage the restructuring and effectively limit financial spillovers,” said analysts at JPMorgan in a note.

Eyes will also be on U.S.

fiscal policy with the House of Representatives due to vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill this week, while a Sept. 30 deadline on funding federal agencies could force the second partial government shutdown in three years.

The week is packed with U.S.

Federal Reserve speeches led by Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday and Wednesday, with more than a dozen other events on the calendar.

The latest hawkish shift by the U.S. central bank, and several others globally, saw bond yields seesaw before ending last week sharply higher.

The 10-year Treasury is at its highest since early July at 1.46% amid talk the reflation trade could be back on as the world braces for the end of super-cheap money.

The lift in yields underpinned the U.S.

dollar, particularly against emerging market currencies which compete with Treasuries for global funds.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was firm at 93.249 and just off August’s 10-month top of 93.734.

It even made some ground on the yen to briefly breach a major chart barrier at 110.79, before easing back to 110.57.

The euro was steady at $1.1723 as investors pondered the implications of a German government led by a centre-left party.

The Social Democrats claimed a “clear mandate” to lead a government for the first time since 2005, though it was not yet certain they could actually form a coalition.

“The likelihood of a political shift to the left suggests Germany’s fiscal stance could become less of a drag on the economy over the next few years than is currently projected,” said analysts at CBA in a note.

“This would ultimately benefit the euro.”

Bitcoin rebounded to $44,154, having taken a fall on Friday after Chinese regulators announced a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining.

The firmer dollar has weighed on gold, though the metal was a little higher on Monday at $1,758 an ounce and above a recent six-week low of $1,738.

(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

China's top regulators ban crypto trading and mining, sending…

By Alun John, Samuel Shen and Tom Wilson

SHANGHAI/LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – China’s most powerful regulators on Friday intensified a crackdown on cryptocurrencies with a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining, hitting bitcoin and other major coins and pressuring crypto and blockchain-related stocks.

Ten agencies, including the central bank, financial, securities and foreign exchange regulators, vowed to work together to root out “illegal” cryptocurrency activity, the first time the Beijing-based regulators have joined forces to explicitly ban all cryptocurrency-related activity.

See Explainer here website

China in May website banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions, and issued similar bans in 2013 and 2017.

The repeated prohibitions highlight the challenge of closing loopholes and identifying bitcoin-related transactions, though banks and payment firms say website they support the effort.

Friday’s statement is the most detailed and expansive yet from the country’s main regulators, underscoring Beijing’s commitment to suffocating the Chinese crypto market.

“In the history of crypto market regulation in China, this is the most direct, most comprehensive regulatory framework involving the largest number of ministries,” said Winston Ma, NYU Law School adjunct professor.

The move comes amid a global cryptocurrency crackdown as governments from Asia to the United States fret that privately operated highly volatile digital currencies could undermine their control of the financial and monetary systems, increase systemic risk, promote financial crime and hurt investors.

They also worry that “mining,” the energy-intensive computing process through which bitcoin and other tokens are created, is hurting global environmental goals.

Chinese government agencies have repeatedly raised concerns that cryptocurrency speculation could disrupt the country’s economic and financial order, one of Beijing’s top priorities.

Analysts say China also sees cryptocurrencies as a threat to its sovereign digital-yuan, eatkekoa which is at an advanced pilot stage.

“Beijing is so hostile to economic freedom they cannot even tolerate their people participating in what is arguably the most exciting innovation in finance in decades,” top U.S.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey tweeted.

While U.S. regulators are closely scrutinizing website digital asset risks, they have said they also offer opportunities, including to promote financial inclusion.

‘SOCIAL ORDER’

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said cryptocurrencies must not circulate and that overseas exchanges are barred from providing services to China-based investors.

It also barred financial institutions, payment companies and internet firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading nationally.

The government will “resolutely clamp down on virtual currency speculation … to safeguard people’s properties and maintain economic, financial and social order”, the PBOC said.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission said it will work to cut off financial support and electricity supply for mining, which it said spawns risks and hampers carbon neutrality goals.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, dropped more than 9% before paring those losses.

It was down 6.6% at $41,937 around 12:00ET. Smaller coins, which typically mimic bitcoin, also tumbled.

China’s cabinet vowed website in May to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading as it sought to mitigate financial risks, without going into details website sending bitcoin tumbling 30% in a day.

Friday’s news dashed hopes among crypto-enthusiasts that the cabinet would fail to follow through on its threat.

“This is the manifestation of the crypto mining and trading crackdown announcement … back in May,” said NYU’s Ma.

BOUNCE BACK?

The move also hit cryptocurrency and blockchain-related shares, although they clawed back some of those declines in morning U.S.

trading.

U.S.-listed miners Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital and Bit Digital slipped between 2.5% and 5%, while San Francisco crypto exchange Coinbase Global fell just over 1%.

Despite the initial shock, analysts said they did not expect the crackdown to dent global crypto-asset prices long term as companies continue to adopt crypto products and services.

The exposure of major crypto exchanges and payment companies was not immediately clear, however.

Binance, the world’s biggest, has been blocked in China since 2017, a spokesperson said. A spokesperson for Coinbase declined to comment. Global payment company PayPal does not offer crypto services in China, a spokesperson said.

Crypto exchanges OKEx and Huobi, which originated in China but are now based overseas, are likely to be the worst affected since they still have some China users, analysts said.

Tokens associated with the two exchanges plunged over 20%. The exchanges did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

However, the Chinese government has struggled in the past to stop internet users from evading its controls.

“China’s actions haven’t held back crypto’s rise too much in the past so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it bounce back once more,” wrote Craig Erlam, an analyst at currency broker OANDA.

Virtual currency mining had been big business in China before May, accounting for more than half the world’s crypto supply, but miners have been moving overseas.

“The losers in all of this are plainly the Chinese,” said Christopher Bendiksen, head of research at digital asset manager CoinShares.

“They will now lose around $6 billion worth of annual mining revenue, all of which will flow to the remaining global mining regions,” he added, citing Kazakhstan, Russia and the United States. (Reporting by SHANGHAI newsroom; Alun John in Hong Kong and Tom Wilson in London; additional reporting by Krystal Hu in New York; writing by Michelle Price in Washington; editing by Nick Macfie, Carmel Crimmins, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Giles Elgood)