Japan, South Korean stocks drop 1%; investors watch bitcoin prices

SINGAPORE – Stocks in Asia-Pacific fell early on Monday, while investors will be keeping an eye on bitcoin prices after they fell sharply over the weekend. Oil prices jumped at the start of trade with Asia.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.1%, while the Topix was down 0.67%. South Korea’s Kospi also fell about 1%.

The Australian S & P / ASX 200 lost 0.3%.

The largest MSCI index for Asia-Pacific equities excluding Japan plunged 0.24%. Stocks in the region and the world have seen turbulent trading since last week amid fears surrounding the new variant of the omicron.

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In Hong Kong markets, four new stocks, including Chinese tech giants JD and Netease, will be added to the benchmark Hang Seng. The latest update increases the number of stocks in the main index to 64, from the current 60.

At the same time, ailing Chinese real estate developer Evergrande will be removed from the China Enterprises index.

Evergrande, embroiled in debt problems, warned in a document filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday that he had received a demand for repayment of around $ 260 million.

“In the event that the Group is not able to meet its guarantee obligations or certain other financial obligations, this could lead the creditors to demand an acceleration of the repayment”, he declared.

Bitcoin volatility

Investors will continue to monitor the crypto after bitcoin prices have been volatile throughout the weekend, falling sharply on Saturday afternoon during Asian hours. Bitcoin initially lost around 17%, or $ 10,000, falling to almost $ 43,000. It has since reduced some losses to around $ 48,780, according to Coin Metrics. Still, the cryptocurrency has lost more than 13% since Friday.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.205, continuing to rise from levels around 96.1 from the previous session.

The Japanese Yen was trading at 112.95 per dollar, little change from earlier. The Australian dollar was at $ 0.7012, up slightly from previous levels of around $ 0.69.

Oil prices jump

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