ASX set for positive start despite smooth advance; Bitcoin jumps to save

Stocks edged down on Wall Street on Wednesday (US time), dragged down by losses at major technology and communications companies.

By mid-afternoon, the S&P 500 fell 0.3%, the Dow Jones 0.5% and the Nasdaq fell 1.1%. The Australian equity market is off to a positive start, with futures pointing up 12 points, or 0.2%, to open.

Wall Street is set for another day of losses.Credit:PA

Losses by tech companies weighed on the market. Apple fell 1.3% and chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices lost 4.2%. The big communications companies have also slipped. Google’s parent company Alphabet fell 1.2%. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, fell 1%.

Firms that depend on direct consumer spending have gained ground. General Motors was up 2 percent and Under Armor was up 1.8 percent.

Investors received another disappointing update on rising inflation. The Department of Labor reported that prices for U.S. consumers jumped 6.2 percent in October from a year earlier, as soaring food, gasoline and shelter costs left Americans struggling with the highest rate of inflation since 1990. The rise in inflation has been bigger than economists expected and follows a report released on Tuesday that found wholesale prices to jump 8.6% in October, equaling a record annual gain.

Bitcoin has hit a new high and is flirting with US $ 69,000 for the first time after inflation data reinforced the argument that the cryptocurrency is a hedge against mounting cost pressures.

The largest digital asset by market value rose 1.9% to $ 68,991 on Wednesday, breaking the previous record set Monday night in New York City. Other coins rose as well, with the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index – which tracks major cryptos – gaining as much as 2.4% to hit its highest level since May.

Bond yields have risen significantly following the latest consumer price report. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.52% from 1.43% on Tuesday night.

The market as a whole is showing signs of cooling after weeks of solid gains as Wall Street continues to struggle against the impact of persistently rising inflation. Investors are also trying to assess how different industries will benefit as the pandemic subsides.

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