Thai bitcoin miner shares tumble over crypto meltdown

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Bitcoin miners listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) saw their shares nosedive on Monday following the latest cryptocurrency meltdown, which saw the price of Bitcoin fall to its lowest point since December 2020. 

While the Thai stock exchange was recovering from a sharp drop the day before due to fears of the Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate hikes to combat inflation, companies involved in bitcoin mining continue to lose their value. 

As of the morning session, Jasmine Technology Solution Plc (JTS) plunged 12 per cent from its prior closing to 238 baht. United Power of Asia Plc (UPA) dropped 8 per cent to 0.35 baht. 

Bitcoin, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, fell below US$20,900 (730,000 baht) early Tuesday, the lowest price not seen since December 2020. The price of Bitcoin once reached its all-time high around US$69,000 in November 2021.  

The crash in the cryptocurrency markets was due to pressures from high inflation that forced investors to retreat from riskier assets, with some leading crypto exchanges such as Celcius Network and Binance temporarily halting withdrawals of Bitcoin networks.

Meanwhile, oil refinery stocks post some rebound after falling in the previous days due to concern on the government action to control refinery rates. 

Esso (Thailand) Plc (ESSO) surged 9.32 per cent from its prior closing to 12.90 baht, while Star Petroleum Refining Plc (SPRC) rose 3.17 per cent to 13 baht. 

Apart from fluctuations in the stock market, Thailand’s currency has weakened the most in five years against the US dollar, trading at 34.92 baht per US dollar. Analysts at Krungsri Securities viewed that this could trigger more outflows from the country. 

“This is positive for exporters, tourism, and healthcare counters,” said Krungsi analysts. “But, it could hurt stocks that import goods and those with large US-denominated debts such as PTT Group and power plays.” 

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