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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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4.6 stars on average, based on 292 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

US Opens New Front in Trade War as Oil Plunges

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Financial markets are relatively calm today, with most of the major stock benchmarks being virtually unchanged after the weekend. The energy segment is experiencing the most activity as the volatile correction in crude oil prices continues. Besides that, the Euro’s relative strength is notable, but summer trading conditions remain dominant across the board, with low volumes and choppy intraday price action in most of the asset classes.

Shanghai Composite, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

There seems to be no stopping in the global escalation of trade tensions, as amid the Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin, the US launched an official probe concerning the retaliatory tariffs of its largest trade partners. The move could deepen the standoff not just between the US and China, but the EU and its other allies as well, and global growth is already weakening, so with further trade troubles growth could grind to a halt.

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While global stocks are still well off their highs, and Chinese equities remain in bear market territory, the main US indices are holding on to their recent gains, with the Nasdaq being the by far the strongest benchmark globally. The slightly weaker S&P 500 is also trading at a 4-month high despite trade war fears, and as the first earnings reports of the second quarter were slightly better than expected, with Bank of America beating today before the bell, bulls are still in control on Wall Street.

As for economic news, the much awaited US Retail Sales report delivered a small positive surprise, and last month’s figures were also revised higher. The report helped risk assets during the US session, even as the disappointing Chinese Industrial Production number weighed on investors sentiment earlier on.

Dollar Index, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Despite the bullish numbers, the Dollar lost a bit of ground against its major peers, although forex markets were less active today than recently and the most traded pairs traded in relatively tight ranges after Friday’s hectic session.

Oil Back Below $70 per Barrel as Commodities Remain Weak

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Crude oil prices are sharply lower yet again, with the WTI contract leading the way lower as tight short-term supply conditions got better in Canada, and the general weakness in the global commodity segment infected the market oil. The IMF’s report on weakening global growth, and the chatter about the release of some of the global strategic oil reserves also weighed on oil, and the WTI contract is now at $68 per barrel after trading as high as $75 just one week ago.

Copper, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Elsewhere in the commodity space, it has been a quiet Monday session, with gold drifting slightly lower after a weak rally in early trading, as selling pressure is still apparent among precious metals. Copper, which also has been suffering in recent weeks as Chinese assets got slammed lower, is still consolidating above the strong long-term support zone that we pointed out last week.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 292 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: Qtum’s Price Contraction Hints at a Massive Bull Run

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Qtum/Bitcoin (QTUM/BTC) is one of the biggest losers in cryptocurrency investing. It shred more than 76% of its value in seven months when it dropped to 0.001192 on July 12. With such a sharp slide, there’s no denying that the market is deep in bear territory. Nevertheless, long-term investors can find hope in the market’s habit of rallying after a deflating bear run.

In this article, we show how Qtum/Bitcoin uses price contractions and oversold conditions to stage massive rallies.

Falling Wedge in the Last Quarter of 2017

QTUM/BTC was bearish in September, October and November of 2017. The pair traded in a wide range between September to late October 2017 while generating lower highs and lower lows. However, the range got more and more tight until December 14. In three and a half months, the pair created a falling wedge.

2017 Fourth Quarter Daily chart of QTUM/BTC

The pair was able to break out of the pattern on December 15 after it recovered from extreme oversold readings. The selling relief combined with price contraction conspired to ignite a rally that rewarded bottom pickers with over 300% profits in less than a month.

Falling Wedge in the First Quarter of 2018

Gravity also works in financial markets. Often, the case is the greater the rise, the harder the fall.

As QTUM/BTC pulled back from its meteoric rise, the pair created another falling wedge structure on the daily chart. The market plummeted until the trading range was so tightly squeezed that there was no more room to go but up. Again, the market flashed extreme oversold readings before breaking out of the pattern.

2018 First Quarter Daily chart of QTUM/BTC

Falling Wedges in the Third Quarter of 2018

History repeats itself; that’s one of the main principles of technical analysis. So far, QTUM/BTC adheres to that tenet. It appears to be creating a third falling wedge as it respects key support of 0.0012. While doing so, it has recently given off extreme oversold signals.

2018 Third Quarter Daily chart of QTUM/BTC

But wait! There’s more!

A broader and more in-depth look at the daily chart of QTUM/BTC reveals that all three falling wedges mentioned above appear to be parts of a massive falling wedge. What’s astonishing is that the narrowest point of this gigantic falling wedge is at key support of 0.0012.

Daily chart of QTUM/BTC

Based on previous price movements, it is not difficult to imagine that this extreme price contraction can be the catalyst of a massive bull run.

Bottom Line

QTUM/BTC is in deep bear territory. However, history tells us that the pair might be out of the woods real soon. The formation of three falling wedge patterns reveal that the market has a habit of rallying after extreme price contraction. More importantly, the emergence of the large falling wedge on the daily chart suggests that QTUM/BTC may be on the cusp of a massive bull run.

 

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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3.7 stars on average, based on 191 rated postsKiril is a financial professional with 4+ years of experience in financial writing, analysis and product ownership. He has passed all three CFA exams on first attempt and has a bachelor's degree with a specialty in finance. Kiril’s current focus is on cryptocurrencies and ETFs, as he does his own crypto research and is the subject matter expert at ETFdb.com. He also has his personal website, InvestorAcademy.org where he teaches people about the basics of investing. His ultimate goal is to help people with limited knowledge of finance and investments to create investment portfolios easily, and in line with their unique circumstances.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Bulls Hold Their Ground as Coins Settle Down

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Trading volumes and volatility declined substantially in the cryptocurrency segment this weekend, as the major coins are trying to hold the key support levels that are just below the current prices. For now, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple all managed to avoid a break below the June lows and the technical damage is limited among the smaller coins as well, despite the still dangerous setups on the long-term charts.

That said, the general character of the market is still bearish, with high correlations between the majors, and robust resistance levels capping the rally attempts in most cases. With all of those in mind, and given the still active short-term sell signals in our trend model, traders should still not enter new positions here, as a test of the lows is likely in the coming week.

The market is still missing a leadership that could turn the short-term trend around, and the relatively weak coins that have been leading the way lower in the recent period are still not showing signs of strength, despite the occasional short squeeze rallies.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

BTC tried to get back above the $6275 support/resistance level several times since falling below it on Thursday but the attempts all failed so far. The coin is still in a clear downtrend, although the previous lows haven’t been tested yet.

From a long-term perspective, a durable break below $5850 would signal a structural bear market, so the coming period will be crucial for the whole segment. Primary support is at $6000, while resistance is ahead at $6500, $6750, $7000, and $7350.

Still No Real Momentum Among Altcoins

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The basic setup among the largest altcoins is unchanged similarly to BTC, with Ethereum trading between the $400-$420 support zone and the $450 resistance level since the Monday plunge. The coin is holding up above the June low, and it’s still relatively strong from a longer-term standpoint compared to Bitcoin.

On the contrary, ETH is looking weak short-term, and that also points to the continuation of the declining segment-wide trend. ETH is facing further resistance near $500, while support below $400 is found at $380 and $360.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple barely managed to avoid a break below the June lows, and the third largest coin remains very weak from a technical standpoint, and strong selling pressure is apparent in its market. The coin should stay above the $0.42 level to avoid major technical damage, and he coming days could be crucial for bulls, with strong resistance ahead around $0.45 and $0.51.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 292 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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