Article / 11 December 2017 at 8:00 GMT

Morning Markets: Bitcoin futures steal the show

Head of Editorial Content / Saxo Bank

Morning Markets


  • Norway: CPI (0700 GMT)

Investor sentiment in Asia posted a strong start to the week with bourses in Japan, China, and South Korea all advancing in the wake of the US' strong nonfarm payrolls result Friday. The USD, meanwhile, retreated somewhat into broad expectations of a Federal Open Market Committee interest rate hike this week while financial shares gained at the expense of their tech-sector counterparts on same.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong maintained its notable recovery after a prolonged slump, rising by 0.5% with financials up 1.2%.

The launch of Bitcoin futures trading saw prices surge by 25% and two "circuit-breaker" halts triggered while extraordinary levels of activity resulted in delays and outages. The move, which brings Bitcoin exposure within the reach of millions of traditional investors looking to trade the cryptocurrency via conventional exchanges, is likely to bring even more attention to the blockchain currency's astonishing 2017 rally.

Trading was subdued in the sovereign bond, G10 forex, and crude oil spaces overnight while gold rebounded slightly into the European bell after slumping due to the strong nonfarm payrolls print and its monetary policy consequences; prices currently stand at $1,249 79/oz.

Market signals

Asian session

  • Upbeat nonfarm data, with 228,000 jobs added in November, gave Wall St a lift on Friday
  • The EU and Japan have agreed on the world's largest trade deal, to start up in 2019
  • The pact brings together the 28-nation bloc and the world's third largest economy
  • China's PPI was a subdued 5.8% in November, down from 6.9% in October 
  • China's CPI figure for November was 1.7%, below the expected 1.8%
  • Today's launch of trading in Bitcoin futures attracted plenty of market attention
  • RBNZ acting governor Grant Spencer says the cryptocurrency resembles a bubble
  • The Nikkei rose after fluctuating early, and Hang Seng and Shanghai also rose
  • Australia’s ASX added 0.1%, while South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2%
  • Markets are keenly awaiting the FOMC announcement, which is due on Wednesday
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4% to $57.15/b
  • Gold was steady at $1,248.87/oz

Forex ahead

  • The USD fell less than 0.1% against major currencies after last week's 1.1% lift.
  • JPY was down 0.13% into the EU bell at 113.43 per dollar.
  • EURUSD traded at $1.1787, up 0.1%

From the Floor

All eyes on BTC. "Bitcoin has been stealing the show from gold and particularly silver," says Hansen.

Get all the latest from Saxo Bank's trading floors in From the Floor, within the hour.

In opinion

China boosts crude, copper

A rebound in China's oil imports has helped lift pessimism about crude, and a jump in China's copper imports has helped support the red metal, says Saxo Capital Markets Australia

Fix is in
Asian markets were never going to be that fixated with the impending hike from the FOMC - it's been expecting it for ages, says Saxo APAC Sales Trading

Macro review

In his final Macro Monday piece for 2017, Saxo's macro and crypto strategist Kay Van-Petersen looks at the Fed hike, the launch of Bitcoin futures, and issues to watch this month. 


Japan and the EU have turned their backs on protectionism by signing a pact that will deliver what Prime Minister Abe calls a "free, fair and rules-based economic zone". Photo: Shutterstock

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