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Asian Market Update – Friday: Bitcoin Remains Above $7,000, Trump Nominates New Fed Chair

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Jerome Powell

The Big Question: Bitcoin remains steady, but where are the altcoins going?

Following a new record in the price of bitcoin yesterday morning, as well as a subsequent crash, the price of the digital currency has remained steady overnight and in the early hours of the Asian trading session on Friday.

As of midday in Asia, bitcoin traded at $7,185 on Bitfinex, up 2.4 percent for the day. That’s down from the high of $7,350 set yesterday, but still well above the $7,000 milestone, as more and more traders are eyeing $10,000 per bitcoin by year-end.

On the news front, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam is the latest banking and finance executive to claim that bitcoin is in a bubble. He was quoted yesterday as telling the New York Times that bitcoin today is “the very definition of a bubble.”

Ethereum, meanwhile, remains below the $300 level. Ethereum has struggled to escape the $280-$320 trading range, with many traders asking themselves what it will take for ethereum to finally break higher. As of midday in Asia, ethereum was trading up a slight 0.53 percent to $286.

Litecoin, on the other hand, appears to be in a healthy uptrend, with the price now trading near the low end of the trading range, indicating a good buy opportunity for longer-term investors. Litecoin is up 0.58 percent Friday morning to $54.40.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 CLOSED CLOSED
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,358 -0.74%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,542 -0.18%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 28,606 0.31%
Australia-ASX 200 5,959 0.46%
S&P E-mini 2,577 0.01%

Stocks

Asian stocks Friday were mostly up in a sign of relief after the formal nomination of Jerome Powell as the next Chairman of the US Federal Reserve. Powell is considered to be a centrist in monetary policy and the pick is widely regarded as a continuation of Janet Yellen’s policies.

A public holiday in Japan on Friday kept trading volumes lower than normal on an otherwise slow trading day in Asia.

The popular S&P e-mini future was barely changed by the news, trading up a slight 0.01 percent Friday morning to 2,577.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.74 percent to 3,358 around midday. Meanwhile, shares in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained a slight 0.31 percent to 28,606 as of midday in Hong Kong trading.

In Seoul trading, the Kospi index lost 0.18 percent on Friday, trading at 2,542 around midday.

Down under in Australia, the ASX 200 Index edged up by 0.46 percent on Friday to trade at 5,959 after midday in Australian trading.

Currencies

The Japanese yen on Friday gained 0.07 percent against the US dollar, trading at 113.98 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan lost 0.20 percent on the dollar, to 6.6180 per dollar.

The Australian dollar also lost on the US dollar, trading down by 0.3 percent to 1.300 per US dollar in Australian trading.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up by 0.16 percent to $54.80.

Brent Crude was up 0.36 percent to $60.89.

Gold was also up, gaining 1.12 percent to $1,277 per ounce.

Business News across Asia

In China, state-run newspaper Global Times has published an editorial warning Trump ahead of his Asia trip next week not to exert even more pressure on China regarding North Korea. According to the newspaper, which is closely linked to the Chinese Army and Communist Party, the only solution to the crisis is the so-called “dual track approach” proposed by China.

Take-away: The “dual track approach” involves the US withdrawing forces and weapons from South Korea while North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons. It is highly unlikely that Trump or other officials in his administration will allow that to happen and thereby “lose face” by giving in for North Korean demands. Therefore, don’t expect much to come out of the talks in Beijing when it comes to North Korea.

Featured image from Flickr.

 

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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4.3 stars on average, based on 37 rated postsFredrik Vold is an entrepreneur, financial writer, and technical analysis enthusiast. He has been working and traveling in Asia for several years, and is currently based out of Beijing, China. He closely follows stocks, forex and cryptocurrencies, and is always looking for the next great alternative investment opportunity.




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Analysis

3 Things You Need to Know About the Market Today: New High in Gold, Dow 26,000?, Euro Weakness

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1, Gold Jumps to 9-Month High, $1360 in Sight

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

We have been following the resurrection of gold in the past few months, and since fundamentals just got better for the precious metal, the current technical strength is great news for long-term investors. Today, gold quietly reached a new 9-month high, despite the still ongoing risk rally and the relative strength of the US Dollar.

The metal topped the $1330 level, and with the next major resistance level being found near $1360, a quick surge to the vicinity is in the cards in the coming days. We continue to advise holding gold for the long run, and for now, the short-term technicals also remain bullish. Should the risk rally finally roll over, the uptrend could even accelerate, with longer-term targets being found near $1400 and $1550.

2, US Stocks Drift Lower After Long Weekend as Trade Talks Resume

Dow 30 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

US stocks are having a quiet start for the day, with the major indices drifting slightly lower following the long weekend. The US economic calendar is empty today, and all eyes will be on the trade talks with China which are set to resume today in Washington in the wake of the unexpected extension of last week’s round of negotiations in Beijing.

The Dow, which approached the 26,000 level last week during the Friday surge to new 9-week highs, is lower today, in-line with the market-wide trends. The mega-cap index could get a lift in early trading thanks to the better-than-expected quarterly report by Walmart (WMT). The firm’s holiday-quarter sales topped estimates, despite the reports regarding the widening growth-gap between online and brick-and-mortar stores, and in light of the positive guidance by the company, the pre-market surge in the stock is no surprise.

With the week’s main economic releases coming in the second half of the period, today we could be in for another choppy session on Wall Street. That said, the momentum of the recovery-rally continues to be suspicious, and especially given the weakness in the Nasdaq, investors should pay close attention to the Volatility Index (VIX), market internals and other under-the-hood indicators for signs of negative divergences.

3, Euro Under Pressure Again, Despite Sentiment Beat

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the Dollar’s break-out to new multi-year highs still didn’t happen last week, technicals continue to agree that the long-term uptrend in the reserve currency will continue. The Euro, on the other hand, is still showing signs of broad weaknes, drifing lower against the Dollar and the Pound today, despite the better-than-expected German Zew Economic Sentiment report.

The indicator is still deep in negative territory, and together with the recent weakness in the Eurozone PMIs and industrial production, recessionary fears seem to be legit in Europe.

We will have a new batch of PMIs coming out tomorrow, and together with the Fed minutes a huge day could be ahead for forex markets and especially for the EUR/USD pair. The 1.12 level could be tested in the case of another negative surprise in the PMIs, while the Fed minutes will be under scrutiny even more than usual following the sharp dovish shift by the Central Bank.

ChartBook

Major Stock Indices

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

VIX (US Volatility Index), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

DAX 30 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

FTSE 100 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EuroStoxx50 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nikkei 225 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Shanghai Composite Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EEM (Emerging Markets ETF), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Forex

USD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EUR/GBP, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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 466 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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Market Overview

Pieces of April

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Hi Everyone,

An 86-year-old lady returns to work today after fracturing three ribs and removing several cancerous nodules from her left lung.

She isn’t a victim of social or economic injustice though. Ruth Ginsburg is a Justice on the United States Supreme Court and she is arguably holding the balance in a fragile legal system. So there’s a lot riding on her ability to perform. In fact, this was her first notably absence in 25 years.

President Trump has already managed to appoint two conservative Justices to America’s highest court. So there are now 5 conservative and 4 liberal judges serving. Should Ginsburg retire now or otherwise be unable to continue her work, it would give Trump the opportunity to sway the Supreme court to a 6 – 3 majority. Something that could very well shape US laws and policy for decades to come.

In this graph from The Economist, we can see conservatives enjoying a slight judicial bias since 1980. We would like to wish Ruth the best of success, may she live a very long and healthy life!

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • US-China trade deadline: 10 days | Days to Brexit: 38

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of February 19th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Now that a shutdown has been successfully averted…

Sixteen states have already formed a coalition to ask the courts to block the President from proceeding and this battle could play out for some time to come. However, as the amount of money they’re squabbling over is relatively small, this partisan bickering probably won’t have much impact on the markets, short of any major breakthroughs or escalation.

Markets were up earlier during the Asian session but by now they are decidedly down. Brexit concerns, US-China Trade, and an apparent European slowdown are taking their toll, despite pledges from the central banks to prop them up.

The United States will come back from their long weekend today so the first few minutes after Wall Street rings the opening bell will be fairly significant.

Gold Surges

The shiny yellow metal has reached fresh highs this morning and is now at levels not seen since last April.

Precious metals such as Gold, Silver, Copper, and Platinum are increasingly being seen as a viable hedge against all the geopolitical tension mentioned above.

Crypto Optimism Continues

The crypto market is once again capturing the imagination of traders across the globe as volumes have now reached levels not seen since last April.

One of the cool things is that the number one gainer over the last 24 hours is EOS. As I mentioned in a YouTube session with Thinking Crypto last week, EOS is the number one coin in my portfolio, simply based on the token economics.

Though it’s easy to get excited. Please remember that we’re still very much in a bear market. So please trade with caution. Always remember to diversify your portfolio with other assets in order to keep your risk to a minimum.

Special thanks to Three Dog Night for the title of today’s market update.

Have an amazing day ahead!!

Best regards,

Mati Greenspan
Senior Market Analyst

Connect with me on….

eToro: @MatiGreenspan Twitter: @MatiGreenspan LinkedInMatiGreenspan |Facebook:MatiGreen

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 152 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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Market Overview

U.S. Stock Futures Point to Tepid Tuesday Start as Democrats Vow to Fight Trump’s Emergency Declaration

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U.S. stock futures headed for modest gains on Monday, as the President’s Day holiday kept trade volumes subdued ahead of what’s expected to be an active week in the market. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies exploded to the upside as trade volumes reached new highs for the year.

Stock Futures See Modest Gains

The U.S. futures market traded slightly higher in the holiday-shortened session. The Dow Jones mini futures contract edged up 14 points to close at 25,902.00. The benchmark Dow Jones index surged 1.7% on Friday en route to fresh three-month highs.

S&P 500 mini futures ticked up 1.25 points to settle at 2,778.25. The Nasdaq 100 mini contract rose 17 points to 7,080.75.

The New York Stock Exchange was closed on Monday for President’s Day. Regular trading hours are set to resume on Tuesday.

Further reading: Does this Chart Spell Doom for the S&P 500 Index?

Trump vs Democrats (Again)

As CCN reported earlier today, Democrats have vowed to fight President Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a new steel barrier on the southern border with Mexico. Trump exercised his executive powers on Friday shortly after signing $333 billion in new funding agreements that avoided a second costly government shutdown.

The new budget includes $1.38 billion in additional border funding, which is far less than the $5.7 billion Trump requested. By declaring a state of emergency, the president can divert funds from other programs to construct his new steel barrier.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the state of California has already announced plans to sue the Trump administration over the declaration. Xavier Becerra, the state’s Attorney General, told CNBC this weekend that he “definitely and imminently” planned to pursue legal action.

Crypto Bulls Ignite New Rally

Crypto markets put on a show Monday, as the asset class rallied more than $12 billion in the span of a few hours. The combined value of all cryptocurrencies peaked at $133.2 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s the highest level in over five weeks.

The rally was sustained by an incredible surge in trade volume. Turnover spiked more than 66% to $33.4 billion, far exceeding the the volume surge that accompanied the mid-November selloff.

The top 40 cryptocurrencies all reported gains. Bitcoin, the largest of the digital assets, rose 8.4% to $3,932.72. Ethereum climbed 14.4% to $146.89. XRP climbed to $0.3232, having gained 7.6%.

EOS was the standout performer, as the price rocketed 23.5% to $3.48. The cryptocurrency is trading at its highest level since November.

Litecoin maintained its bullish posture, as the price surged 12% to $48.48. Bitcoin cash rallied 19.1% to reach $145.44.

For more on the Monday crypto rally, read: Cue the Crypto Recovery: Coins Surge $9 Billion Overnight as Ethereum, EOS Break Out.

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 772 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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