Shares In Asia-Pacific Market Mixed; Bitcoin Touches Record High

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Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday trade following overnight gains on Wall Street that took the major indexes to record closing highs. Meanwhile, bitcoin touched a record high.

Shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group soared 10.24% after the firm announced Monday a plan to buy back up to one trillion yen ($8.83 billion) of its own shares. SoftBank on Monday reported a 398 billion yen ($3.5 billion) net loss in the three-month period ended Sept. 30.

Japan’s broader Nikkei 225 dipped 0.66% while the Topix index traded 0.65% lower.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite slipping fractionally while the Shenzhen component hovered above the flatline. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined around 0.1%.

South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.28%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.1%.

Bitcoin surges to record high

Bitcoin rose to a record high during Asia trading hours, with the cryptocurrency trading at $68,400.88 as of 11:05 p.m. ET Monday, according to data from Coin Metrics. Ether also hit an all-time high, trading at $4,814.55.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.038 after a recent decline from above 94.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 112.82 per dollar, stronger than levels above 113.5 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7401, still off levels above $0.75 seen last week.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.1% to $83.35 per barrel. U.S. crude futures were mildly lower at $81.90 per barrel.

Wall Street record highs

All three major indexes on Wall Street advanced to record closing highs following the approval of an infrastructure spending package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 104.27 points to 36,432.22 while the S&P 500 gained nearly 0.1% to 4,701.70. The Nasdaq Composite advanced fractionally to 15,982.36. Monday’s gains left all three major indexes closing at record highs.

The U.S. House of Representatives late Friday passed a more than $1 trillion infrastructure bill. First passed by the Senate in August, the package would provide new funding for transportation, utilities and broadband, among other infrastructure projects.

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