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Bitcoin surges past US$30,000: ASX down 1.34% at noon

At noon, the S&P/ASX 200 is 1.34 per cent lower at 7,217.10.

Bitcoin has experienced a significant surge of over 6 per cent in the last 24 hours, surpassing the $30,000 mark. This surge is attributed by traders to the announcement of BlackRock’s plans to launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on bitcoin.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is traditionally associated with Capitol Hill in Washington and the US establishment. Earlier this year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) appointed BlackRock to oversee the sale of securities and bond portfolios from Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, with a combined value of around $27 billion and $87 billion respectively. However, information regarding this deal has been made public.

Despite increased scrutiny from US regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), other cryptocurrencies like ethereum, cardano, and solana are also experiencing positive momentum in the market.

The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 95 points.

Best and worst performers

All sectors are in the red. The sector with the fewest losses is Utilities, down 0.16 per cent. The worst-performing sector is Information Technology, down 3.64 per cent.

The best-performing large cap is Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), trading 2.58 per cent higher at $2.985. It is followed by shares in Meridian Energy (ASX:MEZ) and IGO (ASX:IGO).

The worst-performing large cap is (ASX:CAR), trading 4.27 per cent lower at $23.56. It is followed by shares in Technology One (ASX:TNE) and WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC).

Asian news

Asia-Pacific markets largely rose after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell forecast more rate hikes this year, saying that “the process of getting back down to 2 per cent has a long way to go.”

“Nearly all FOMC participants expect that it will be appropriate to raise interest rates somewhat further by the end of the year,” Powell said in remarks prepared for testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.19 per cent to extend its gains from Wednesday, while the Topix was up 0.66 per cent.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.2 per cent and the Kosdaq was 0.25 per cent up, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 saw a loss of 0.65 per cent, extending its losses from Wednesday.

Elsewhere, markets in Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as Taiwan are closed for a holiday Thursday.

Separately, crypto prices also surged in the last 24 hours, with bitcoin breaking above the $30,000 mark for the first time since April 26. Ether climbed to nearly reach the $1,900 mark, its highest level since June 4.

Company news

Estrella Resources (ASX:ESR) announced their next-generation geophysical program to commence at Carr Boyd. MD Chris Daws said: “the program will be funded through the recent equity provided by Radium Capital.” Shares are trading 50 per cent higher at 1.1 cents.

The Calmer Co International (ASX:CCO) announced the launch of its new e-commerce store in the United States for its FijiKava® brand. CEO Anthony Noble commented, “Seeing the FijiKava® range growing at circa 20 per cent quarter on quarter since 2022, underlines why we will now focus on e-commerce, which has lower and more scalable cost to service versus conventional retail channels.” Shares are trading 50 per cent higher a 0.3 cents.

Beston Global Food Company (ASX:BFC) intends to discontinue and divest its Provincial Food Group (PFG) meat and plant-based meats secondary process business, its Aqua-Essence water assets and business and its Technology business. The Chief Executive of BFC, Mr Fabrizio Jorge, said: “The decision will enable Beston to accelerate our profitability, and our cash flows.” Shares are trading flat at 1 cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1943.80 an ounce.
Iron ore is 2.0 per cent lower at US$112.40 a tonne.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a 0.9 per cent fall.
One Australian dollar is buying 68.03 US cents.