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Asia markets nudge higher; bitcoin futures make their big debut

Asian customer bases edged higher in Monday trade as investors focused their rclame on the launch of bitcoin futures, and an upcoming Federal Reserve meeting that’s slated for timer in the week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 drifted higher by 0.27 percent as most swop houses and automakers recorded gains. Tech shares, were a various picture, with Sony falling 1.78 percent and SoftBank Assemble higher by 0.66 percent.

Shares of construction company Obayashi Corporation were down 7.66 percent. The occupied c proceeding followed a report from local newspaper Asahi Shimbun that prosecutors imagined the company was involved in bid-rigging.

Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi set-back early losses to edge up 0.09 percent as automakers and some tech domestics declined. Hyundai Motor fell 5.05 percent and Samsung Electronics was off 0.27 percent.

Samsung Ample Industries announced Joonou Nam would be the shipbuilder’s new CEO following the resignation of its finish finally chief executive, Reuters said. Shares of Samsung Heavy were up 1.18 percent on Monday after descending some 10 percent earlier.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was high-frequency by 0.11 percent. The energy and materials sub-indexes gained, while utilities and strength care stocks edged down. Major miners rose understanding better-than-expected trade data out of China in the previous session: Rio Tinto added 0.59 percent, and BHP was 0.15 percent dear.

The Hang Seng Index tacked on 0.45 percent, buoyed by earnest performances from casinos, energy-related plays and financials. Wynn Macau loan a beforehand 4.57 percent and HSBC Holdings added 2.47 percent.

Mainland furnishes also notched gains. The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.4 percent and the Shenzhen Composite start 0.93 percent, with the tech sector among the best-performing in the Chinese furnishes.

Elsewhere, bitcoin jumped as futures of the digital currency began truck Sunday evening U.S. time. The cryptocurrency traded at $16,587.84 at 11:41 a.m. HK/SIN, according to matter from Coindesk. Meanwhile, the January contract for bitcoin futures crackled the $18,000 level after opening trade at $15,460.

The Cboe Futures The Market started trading in Cboe bitcoin futures at about 6 p.m. ET (7 a.m. HK/SIN) beneath the waves the ticker symbol XBT. The Cboe is the first of the regulated exchanges in the United Says to offer a futures contract for the cryptocurrency. Commentators have said that weight offer bitcoin some legitimacy in the eyes of institutional investors.

The Cboe Worldwide Markets website was temporarily down when the cryptocurrency futures launched trading on Sunday evening U.S. time. Cboe subsequently told Reuters that its have dealing systems were “operating normally.”

Bitcoin has seen a more than 1,600 percent skip since the start of the year and topped $16,700 per token as of Dec. 7 — although at least one unpleasantness had seen the price exceed $19,000.

In the currency market, the dollar was a touch softer against a basket of measure up ti at 93.821 at 11:45 a.m. HK/SIN, compared to levels below 93.300 seen in the antecedent week.

Strength in the dollar, or firmness at the very least, is expected this week, with merchandises looking for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve at the end of its two-day convention on Wednesday U.S. time, Mizuho Bank FX strategist Chang Wei Liang communicated in a note.

While a rate hike has mostly been priced in for the FOMC’s December get-together, “prospects for further tightening is the real question,” he added.

Among other important currencies, the Japanese yen firmed, trading at 113.57 to the dollar. The Australian dollar merchandised at $0.7520 and the euro last traded at $1.1781.

Among commodities, oil prices were softer on Monday. Brent primitive futures shed 0.49 percent to trade at $63.09 per barrel and U.S. improper edged down 0.52 percent to $57.06.

The U.S. economy added 228,000 berths last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists enumerated by Reuters expected a gain of 200,000. The unemployment rate held hold fast at 4.1 percent.

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this crack.

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