05.12 - Stocks mixed, Bitcoin nears $12,000 level
Markets are mixed this Tuesday as tech shares continue their bad form. Europe stocks are also slightly lower after a deadlock in Brexit talks raised uncertainty about the future relations on the EU and the UK. In Crypto news, Bitcoin continues to rise, closing in on the $12,000 level for the first time ever. Here are the most important things to know for today’s trading.
Global stock markets were mixed, weighed down by a plunge in high-flying tech shares, as a sell-off that started on Wall Street reached Asia and Europe.
Most Asian-Pacific markets ended lower, as investors' rotation out of technology shares took a toll on some of the region's tech heavyweights.
In Europe, most of the continent's bourses were slightly lower in mid-morning trade, as the topic of Brexit continued to shake up sentiment.
On Wall Street, U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed open, with the blue-chip Dow futures and S&P 500 futures in positive territory, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated more losses at the open.
The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 1% on Monday as investors fled technology stocks and shifted to banks and retailers, which are seen benefiting from the expected corporate tax cuts.
Fresh uncertainty over the first phase of Brexit talks sent the British Pound falling. Concerns over a deadlock in Brexit negotiations mounted after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and British Prime Minister Theresa May failed to reach an agreement in a Monday meeting, with Irish border issues proving a sticking point.
The currency dropped 0.7% against the dollar to 1.3385, on track for its worst fall in a month. Sterling had reached a two-month high of 1.3550 on Friday amid expectations that Brexit negotiations were beginning to bear fruit.
The pound was also lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP climbing 0.6% to 0.8854.
Besides Brexit, market players responded to data showing that activity in the UK's giant services sector dropped more than expected in November, as price pressures intensified.
Bitcoin prices surged to another record high, closing in on the $12,000 threshold.
The cryptocurrency, which trades 24 hours a day and seven days a week, climbed as high as $11,842 on the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, the most in its nine-year history. It was last at $11,755, up 1.4% on the day.
It was not clear what caused the move higher other than new investors joining the upstart market, despite growing fears of an asset bubble.
Bitcoin, which started 2017 at about $1,000 and broke through $5,000 in October has risen almost 1,200% so far this year.
Investors looked ahead to key U.S. economic data due later in the session for fresh clues on the likely trajectory of monetary policy.
The highlight of Tuesday's economic calendar will be the ISM non-manufacturing survey for November due at 15:00 GMT. There is also international trade data at 13:30 GMT.
Meanwhile, tax reform legislation will remain on the agenda, as Congress works to push through a bill that could give President Donald Trump his first major legislative accomplishment of his presidency.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rival currencies, was a shade higher near the 93.20-level.
- by Roger Gain