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Asian Markets Mixed Amidst Rising U.S Taxes

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Friday, with the price of bitcoin tumbling below $49,000.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.57% to close at 29,020.63, while the Topix index shed 0.39% to finish the trading day at 1,914.98. Earlier during the session, the Nikkei 225 had fallen more than 1%. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.27% higher at 3,186.10.

Asian Markets
Nikkei 225 Index Performance chart

Mainland Chinese stocks nudged higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.26% to 3,474.17 while the Shenzhen component gained 1.002% to around 14,351.86. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.85% as of its final hour of trading.

Shares in Australia edged higher as the S&P/ASX 200 climbed fractionally to close at 7,060.70.

Over in India, the Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex both slipped fractionally, as of about 1:07 p.m. local time. Investors continued to monitor the coronavirus situation in India as cases continue to climb, with more than 332,000 new daily infections registered on Friday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.59%.

Meanwhile, bitcoin has fallen beneath the $50,000 psychological support line hitting its lowest point in 48 days.

Bitcoin (BTC) is currently exchanging hands at $49,254.83 as of 10.00 A.M East African Time, a 9% drop over the last 24 hours. Ether also followed behind, plunging more than 10% on Friday to as low as $2,140 a day after reaching a record high of $2,645.97.

The losses stateside came after reports from multiple outlets that U.S. President Joe Biden is seeking an increase in the tax on capital gains to 39.6% from 20% for Americans earning more than $1 million.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.067, following an earlier high of 91.298.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.91 per dollar, still stronger than levels above 108.4 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7735, following its slip yesterday from around $0.776.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.64% to $65.82 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.88% to $61.97 per barrel.