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5 Things to Watch Next Week: Saudi Arabia and Iran, Bitcoin in Correction, Stocks Left Behind, Junk Bonds, and the Dollar Rally

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1.            A New King in Saudi Arabia and a New Order in the Middle East?

The restructuring of the Saudi Arabian leadership by crown prince Mohamed bin Salman entered the next stage in the last couple of weeks, and the implications of the “Game of Thrones” of the Middle East won’t stop on the borders of the country or the region for that matter. With the conflict between Iran and the Kingdom escalating in an accelerating pace in Yemen, Qatar, Syria, and now Lebanon, things could get chaotic quickly, especially if the prince fails to cement his power in the coming period.

The superpowers, the US, China, and Russia have vast interests in the region, and with Israel also thrown in the mix (as an ally for the Kingdom, for the time being), it’s not hard to imagine a broader conflict. As the Saudi-US relations are boiling under the quiet surface, with the ongoing shale oil war, the coalition-lines are blurred at best. Oil would be the knee-jerk bet to hedge against an escalation in the region, and sure enough crude prices are on the rise recently, but the questionable fundamentals in the energy segment could steer capital towards the traditional safe-haven of gold and the Yen.

2.           Bitcoin Tanks as Traders Run for the Exits (and into Bitcoin Cash)

Bitcoin spiked as low as $5600 today in early trading as the quick and deep correction that we have been anticipating in the coin arrived. This time around altcoins were mostly left out form the crash, with Bitcoin Cash being in the center of the action. The forked coin briefly surged past Ethereum in market capitalization as the tectonic shift away from its Big Brother fueled an unprecedented speculative rally in BCH, pushing its value above the $30 billion mark.

While the real value of Bitcoin Cash is questionable, the correction in BTC was baked in the cake, and the current trading-theme of BCH could evaporate quickly as selling dries out in Bitcoin. That said, the most valuable coin reached a severely overbought state and more downside is likely for it in the coming week. With that in mind, altcoins still look like a safer bet, even after the bullish move in several of the major coins.

BTC and BCH, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

3.           The Narrowest New All-Time High Ever

Last week marked another record high for the most important US stock indices, but there is a catch; the recent rally was the weakest in history regarding market breadth, with the fewest stocks above the 50-day Moving Averages. While passive investment funds and momentum players amplified the leadership of the most valuable companies, the self-reinforcing cycle is successfully hiding the weakness under-the-hood, at least for now.

That said, the end of this week brought an increase in volatility to Wall Street, and together with other signs, an important top might already be in. The constructive setup that developed in August in equities is a thing of the past, and now the short-term outlook is also negative, together with the hostile investment conditions. While outright shorting is not an easy strategy, further reducing one’s exposure to stocks and gravitating towards tangible assets is advised here.

 Stocks Above the 50-day MA, Daily Chart

4.           High Yield Bonds Smashed Lower but There is Much More to Come

Junk bonds, corporate bonds with the worst outlook, have severely underperformed the US stock indices lately, and that is usually an early sign of risk aversion among smart money investors. This coupled with the internal weakness is a major red flag, and a much more imminent one than the overvaluation that we have been observing for a long time now.

The epicenter of the current “everything bubble” is definitely the global bond market, with absurd valuations across the board. As an example, the European junk bond market now implies a -1.2% chance of default in the segment (yes, negative). Granted, another analyst says that the methodology is wrong, so it is actually 0.5%… Whichever is correct, the monster bubble that the central banks created will collapse, it’s only a question of timing.

HYG (Junk Bond ETF), Daily Chart

5.           Dollar Rally or Just a Bounce?

The Dollar recovered some of its deep losses in recent weeks, but the GOP’s struggle with the tax reform, and especially the likely delay of the corporate tax cut weighed on the currency this week. Despite the two days of losses the uptrend that developed this autumn remains intact, and the continued hawkish outlook regarding the Fed’s monetary policy could fuel another leg higher in the Greenback. Also, the Euro’s strength is at least in part, built on sand, as the structural problems are nowhere near solved in the monetary union, and the Dollar’s investment outlook still looks way more promising.

Dollar Index (DXY), Daily Chart

Key Economic Releases Next Week

Day Country Release Expected Previous
Monday JAPAN BOJ Governor Kuroda Speaks
Tuesday AUSTRALIA NAB Business Confidence 7
Tuesday CHINA Industrial Production 6.3% 6.6%
Tuesday GERMANY Prelim GDP 0.6% 0.6%
Tuesday UK CPI Index 3.1% 3%
Tuesday UK PPI 0.8% 0.4%
Tuesday EUROZONE ECB President Draghi Speaks
Tuesday EUROZONE Flash GDP 0.6% 0.6%
Tuesday GERMANY ZEW Economic Sentiment 19.8 17.6
Tuesday US PPI 0.4% 0.1%
Wednesday JAPAN Prelim GDP 0.4% 0.6%
Wednesday AUSTRALIA Wage Price Index 0.7% 0.5%
Wednesday UK Average Earnings 2.1% 2.2%
Wednesday UK Unemployment Rate 4.3% 4.3%
Wednesday UK Claimant Count 2,400 1,700
Wednesday US CPI Index 0.1% 0.5%
Wednesday US Core Retail Sales 0.2% 1.0%
Wednesday US Retail Sales 0.00% 1.6%
Wednesday US Crude Oil Inventories 2.2 mill
Thursday AUSTRALIA Unemployment Rate 5.5% 5.5%
Thursday AUSTRALIA Employment Change 18,900 19,800
Thursday UK Retail Sales 0.2% -0.8%
Thursday CANADA Manufacturing Sales -0.4% 1.6%
Thursday US Unemployment Claims 236,000 239,000
Thursday US Philly Fed Index 24.3 27.9
Thursday US Capacity Utilization 76.3% 76%
Thursday US Industrial Production 0.5% 0.3%
Friday EUROZONE ECB President Draghi Speaks
Friday CANADA CPI Index 0.1% 0.2%
Friday US Building Permits 1.25 mill 1.23 mill
Friday US Housing Starts 1.19 mill 1.13 mill

Featured image from Shutterstock

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 469 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Litecoin Leads Pullback in Majors

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The major cryptocurrencies are all lower today following the test of the recent swing highs. Yesterday, the early leader of the current short-term uptrend, Litecoin hit the key $51 resistance, and today the coin pulled back sharply, triggering a broad correction in the segment. The leaders of the rally are all notably lower, but they are still holding on to the bulk of their recent gains, and the rising short-term trendlines are all intact.

From a short-term technical perspective, the current pullback is orderly, and as the coins clear the overbought momentum readings, traders could re-enter smaller, speculative positions with strict risk management rules. The long-term technical picture continues to warrant caution, and bear market rules still apply despite the consolidation of the recent months.

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Litecoin’s performance continues to be an important tell for the whole segment, and after yesterday’s downgrade in our trend model, the coin’s pullback is weighing on the whole market today. That said, volume patterns and price action in general, are still in line with a short-term uptrend, and traders could be looking for re-entry points and the overbought momentum readings get cleared.

The key $51 resistance level, which halted yesterday’s move, could be in focus again in the coming days, while a deeper correction could see the test of the $44 level. For now, our trend model remains on a neutral short-term signal, while the long-term signal is still clearly negative, with further support levels found near $44 and $38, and with strong resistance also ahead near the $56 level.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin remained within its short-term consolidation pattern, as the $3850 level provided support, so far, during the broad pullback in the segment. The MACD indicator is now pointing to an ongoing short-term correction, but the relatively weak short-term uptrend is still clearly intact.

Traders could hold on to their positions here despite the pullback, as the momentum indicators haven’t reached extreme overbought levels, leaving our trend model on a short-term buy signal, but we would with entering new positions until the pullback runs its course. While the long-term technical outlook is clearly negative for BTC here, a move above the key $4000-$4050 zone could lead to a test of the next major zone near $4450, while support below $3850 is still found near $3600 and just above $3450.

Ethereum and EOS Remain Stable as Ripple Fails to Show Strength

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ethereum continues to trade in a bullish short-term correction pattern near the $145 resistance level. The uptrend is clearly intact in the coin, and although the short-term momentum indicators continue to show overbought readings the rally could soon continue, with the $160 price level still being in sight. Support levels are still found near $130 and $112, while the next major resistance zone is found near $180, and the long-term downtrend is still in no danger here.

EOS/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EOS, which has also been among the leaders of the rally, continue to show stability amid today’s pullback, but as it got severely overbought during the recent upswing, our tend model is on a neutral signal. Traders should wait for the correction to run its course before re-entering their positions, since the long-term setup in EOS still warrants caution. Support is found near the current price level at $3.80, at $350 and near $3, while resistance is now ahead near $4 and $4.50.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple remains the primary concern for bulls here, as the relatively weak coin failed to show signs of stability falling back to the vicinity of the $0.32 level. The coin got stuck below the dominant bearish short-term trendline, and our trend model is now on a short-term sell signal, despite the broad rally in the segment.

With the long-term technicals still being hostile even in the case of a new swing low in the coming week, traders should remain cautious with XRP and focus on the stronger currencies with regards to trading positions. Below $0.32, further support zones are found near $0.30, $0.28, and $0.26, while short-term targets are still ahead near $0.3550, and $$0.3750.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 469 rated postsTrader and financial analyst, with 10 years of experience in the field. An expert in technical analysis and risk management, but also an avid practitioner of value investment and passive strategies, with a passion towards anything that is connected to the market.




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Altcoins

Stellar Price Analysis: XLM/USD Bulls Run into Resistance and Profit Taking Following IBM Boost

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  • Stellar’s XLM price was seen cooling in the session on Thursday, as the bulls ran into a barrier of resistance.
  • IBM detailed it has several letters of intent from banks to leverage IBM-Stellar technology.

Stellar’s XLM price has managed to pick itself up from the recent low area, where it was moving within the total abyss. The decent falling for XLM/USD was pushing it into totally unknown territory, where the price has not traded before. A low was produced down at $0.07330000 before the bulls kick-started the recovery. It has now gained a chunky 30% over the last two weeks, with upside momentum particularly gathering decent pace in the past four sessions.

The most recent jump north came following the price escaping a nine-session range-block formation. The low of the mentioned range was observed down at $0.07590000, with the high up at $0.08330000; the bulls forced a breach of this level on 18th February. Upon the move above, a fresh wave of buying pressure came into play, with XLM/USD moving to its highest level in almost four weeks. At the time of writing a pullback can be observed, which could be potential profit-taking after the decent run.

Several Banks to Join IBM’s Stellar-based Service

According to a representative from IBM, several confirmations have been received from banks on their intent to incorporate digital assets, including their own stablecoins via IBM World Wire and Stellar. The head of Blockchain at IBM Jesse Lund said:

“We’ve got a launch announcement coming out soon. We’re going to be supporting more than 50 countries out of the gate, 30-40 currencies, and enough market makers to drag along 30 or 40 banks. So we’ll have a significant portion of the world covered. Our goal is to continue to expand that network and to provide global coverage within 3-5 years where you can actually send remittances in a consistent way, immediately, at a very low cost, from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world.”

Several banks have confirmed their plans to release digital assets, including their own stablecoins, based on IBM World Wire and Stellar. According to the IBM representative, the company has already received several letters of intent from a number of banks around the world.

Technical Review – XLM/USD

XLM/USD daily chart.

Given the recent price cooling, eyes will be on a possible return down to the breached range-block area. A move as described would complete the technical breakout and retest of the mentioned zone. Should this fail to provide necessary comfort to the falling price, then eyes will be on another test of the low, $0.07330000. If a further breach is observed here, then this opens the door once again to a move within an unknown territory, moving within the abyss.

Looking to the upside, if XLM/USD completes the break retest scenario and the bulls capitalize on this, then a decent push back north may be seen. A near-term supply area tracks above from around $0.09350000 up to $0.0980000. Should the bulls force a break above the mentioned supply, then a retest of the 2019 high area would be eyed. In other words, a move back within the range of $0.13-0.1400000.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

 Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 125 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Altcoins

Bitcoin Cash Price Analysis: Bullish Pennant Pattern Confirmed

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  • Bitcoin Cash price remains very much elevated, as the bulls continue to run north.
  • BCH/USD price action has formed a bullish pennant pattern formation, subject to a breakout higher.

BCH/USD: Recent Price Behavior

The Bitcoin Cash price has been a notable out-performer over the past few sessions, with the BCH/USD pair rallying as much as 23% since 17th February. In doing so, it reached its highest levels in over six weeks. The aggressive move north came after a prolonged period of range-bound trading via the daily chart view.

Between 8th – 17th February, BCH/USD was moving within an extremely narrowing range-block formation. This represented a lack of commitment from both camps after being confined within a range low of $117 to a high around $125. On 18th February, the bulls managed to force a breach and daily closure above the confines of the mentioned range.

Coinbase Adds Bitcoin Cash Support to Wallet App

Coinbase, a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service provider, announced it has added support of BCH to its Coinbase Wallet.

“The new Wallet update with Bitcoin Cash support will roll out to all users on iOS and Android over the next few weeks,” the company said in an official blog post.

The app will facilitate support for both CashAddr and legacy addresses. Private keys will be encrypted on the mobile device by the Coinbase mobile wallet. Last week Coinbase announced the following: “users can now back up an encrypted version of your Coinbase Wallet’s private keys to your personal cloud storage accounts, using either Google Drive or iCloud This new feature provides a safeguard for users, helping them avoid losing their funds if they lose their device or misplace their private keys.”

Technical Review – BCH/USD

BCH/USD 4-hour chart.

At the time of writing, the BCH/USD price is still holding at elevated levels, with gains in the session amounting to 2.5%. Over the last two sessions, between 19-20th February, the price action has somewhat moved within a range. The detailed price behavior has seen a bullish pennant pattern formation, which is subject to a further potential move north.

Near-term resistance is eyed at $145.50, where the upper acting trend line of the pennant is tracking. Should the bulls manage to break this down, then expect a fresh wave of selling pressure to kick in. To the upside, eyes will then be on supply observed up within the $160-$165 price range.

In terms of near-term support, the lower acting trend line of the pennant which is tracking at $140 is the next major target; a breach could then expose critical daily support at $137. Lastly, if neither safety nets protect the price from falling, then there runs the risk of a full reversal of the recent gains.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 125 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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