Wall Street closed lower and digital currencies plunged ahead of Asia’s Wednesday trading day.
U.S. stock indexes closed in negative territory despite trading at record highs earlier in the session. The Dow Jones industrial average cracked the 26,000 barrier on Tuesday, but later reversed gains to finish the session lower by 0.04 percent, or 10.33 points, at 25,792.86.
Other major indexes also saw moderate losses: The SP 500 closed down 0.4 percent at 2,776.42 and the Nasdaq composite ended the session lower by 0.5 percent at 7,223.69.
Those declines came despite expectation-topping earnings reports as markets focused on the chances of a government shutdown stateside in the scenario Congress fails to pass a spending bill by Friday.
Back in Asia, futures pointed to a lower start to the session for Japanese equities after the Nikkei 225 touched a 26-year high in the last session. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were down 0.8 percent at 23,760 and Osaka futures were 1.01 percent lower at 23,710 compared to the benchmark’s previous close.
In Sydney, the SP/ASX 200 declined 0.44 percent in early trade.
Bitcoin falls 25%
Another notable market move was the broad sell-off in digital currencies on Tuesday, which saw bitcoin tumble more than 25 percent at one point. At 6:40 a.m. HK/SIN, bitcoin traded at $10,511.08, off a session low of $10,063.12, according to industry site CoinDesk.
Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, traded at $875.54 after falling around 30 percent earlier in the session.
The declines followed comments from South Korean authorities that indicated tougher regulation on digital currency trading was being considered. That said, there was no immediately apparent driver behind the most recent decline.
In currency markets, the dollar paused for breath after a tumble that began last week. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six currencies, was steady at 90.456 at 6:44 a.m. HK/SIN.
Against the yen, the dollar traded at 110.41.
Meanwhile, the euro pulled back slightly after touching three-year highs in the last session following news the European Central Bank might not adjust its policy stance at its January meeting. Doubts surrounding coalition talks in Germany also weighed on the common currency, which fell as low as $1.2193 on Tuesday before paring losses to trade at $1.2255.
On the energy front, oil prices retreated from their highest levels in three years, but remained broadly supported by robust demand. U.S. crude futures settled lower by 0.9 percent at $63.73 per barrel and Brent crude futures declined 1.6 percent to settle at $69.15.