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Asian Market Update – Monday: Coins in negative territory; Asian stocks edge up on tax reform hopes

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Trump tax reform

Cryptocurrencies take breather, but for how long?

Prices of the main cryptocurrencies were in a negative territory on Monday after another week of strong gains last week.

Bitcoin took a relatively hard hit overnight in US trading, reaching as low as $18,200, before surging back up as Asian trading started. At midday in Hong Kong, the price of bitcoin was still down by about 2 percent for the day to 18,874.

Bitcoin futures made its debut on Sunday at the CME Group, the largest derivatives exchange operator in the world. Front-month futures opened at a hisoric level of $20,650, fell to $18,440, and then traded back up to 19,300.

Ethereum also sold off in early trading Monday morning, losing about $51 before moving up again. The virtual currency was still down 2.21 percent to $716 at midday in Asia.

Litecoin lost 3.15 percent to about $315 at midday on Coinbase, though it erased a chunk of the losses seen earlier in the morning, when it lost about 7.7 percent before bouncing back up again.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 22,861 1.37%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,262 -0.13%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 29,001 0.53%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,481 -0.02%
Australia-ASX 200 6,037 0.68%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,687 0.21%

Major Asian equities started off the week on a largely positive note with major gains seen in Tokyo, Sydney and Hong Kong and slight losses seen in China and South Korea. The prospect of the US tax reform being landed by Christmas might have boosted investors’ confidence.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index edged up 1.37 percent to 22,861 as of midday. Investors there are watching a meeting of the Bank of Japan later this week that will set monetary policy for the coming year. Recent indications show the BOJ is unlikely to make any major shift in its ultra-easy monetary policy and massive stimulus package.

Down under, the ASX 200 gained 0.68 percent to 6,037 at midday. The Aussie index was down for two straight days on Thursday and Friday last week, though it only lost about 0.4 percent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index moved up 0.53 percent to 29,001 at midday. The Hang Seng gained 0.73 percent last week, after seeing two straight weeks of losses before that.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was up 0.21 percent to 2,687.

Still, markets on the Chinese mainland and in South Korea were down slightly on Monday.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.13 percent at midday on Monday to 3,262. The benchmark has lost about 5.05 percent since November 13, when officials tightened financial regulations in an effort rein in risks.

In South Korea, the Kospi was down 0.02 percent to 2,481 at midday.

In the US, actions might finally come for tax reform talks that have propelled a strong stock rally in the US and beyond for the whole year. US lawmakers are scheduled to vote on the tax reform bill later in the week. If it passes, President Donald Trump could sign the bill into law by Christmas.

Currencies

The Japanese yen was down 0.09 percent against the US dollar at midday Monday, changing hands at 112.68 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan depreciated 0.03 percent against the US dollar at 6.6110 per dollar.

The Australian dollar firmed 0.23 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.3055 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.12 percent to $57.41 per barrel at midday on Monday.

Brent Crude gained 0.22 percent to $63.37 per barrel.

Gold was down 0.02 percent to $1,254 an ounce.

News across Asia

In China, an important meeting that sets the direction of economic policies for 2018 is underway in Beijing. The three-day Central Economic Work Conference is expected to set major changes in economic indicators to reflect more on the quality of the economic growth rather than mere growth speed, while tackling specific issues such as mounting debts, poverty and pollution.

Take away: The meeting, coming after a new leadership in the Communist Party was installed last month, and as China marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up policies, could prove to be much more important than previous ones.

In Japan, Japan Inc.” is under attack again. Japanese prosecutors has raided the headquarters of Shimizu Corp. and Kajiam Corp. – two of Japan’s largest construction firms – for alleged antitrust violations on a $80 billion contract for a magnetic levitation train line project.

Take away: Some of Japans largest companies have been embroiled in scandals for alleged wrongdoings such as data cheating in recent months, and the scandal appears to continue.

Featured image from Pixabay.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term trading.

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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Market Overview

U.S. Stocks Mostly Higher on FOMC Drift; Bitcoin Price Maintains Upward Trend

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U.S. stocks traded mostly higher on Tuesday, as the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting was officially underway in Washington. The cryptocurrency market notched a fresh 12-day high as bitcoin and its altcoin peers maintained their upward traction for most of the session.

Stocks Recover

Wall Street recovered modestly after plunging on Monday to their lowest levels of the year.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82.66 points, or 0.4%, to close at 23,675.64. The industrial benchmark fell more than 500 points on Monday.

The large-cap S&P 500 Index trimmed all of its gains to finish flat at 2,546.16. Gains were concentrated in six sectors, with consumer discretionary and information technology companies among the biggest gainers. Losses were primarily concentrated in energy and consumer staples.

A strong performance in technology-related industries pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index firmly higher. The index climbed 0.5% to settle at 6,783.91. On Monday, the Nasdaq joined the S&P 500 and Dow in negative territory for the year.

FOMC Drift

The relatively strong performance in stocks ahead of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy verdict has a well established historical precedent. Since 1994, gains in the 24 hours before the FOMC meetings represent 80% of excess returns in the market, according to CNBC. The average S&P 500 gain during that stretch is 0.5%.

Policymakers are widely expected to raise interest rates at the conclusion of the FOMC meeting on Wednesday. The accompanying rate statement and quarterly economic projections could shed light on the central bank’s future path at a time when President Trump is pressuring officials to end the tightening cycle.

Based on Fed Fund futures prices, the chance of a liftoff tomorrow is 71.5%. That’s down slightly from Monday and is well below levels seen last month.

Cryptocurrencies Show Stability

The cryptocurrency market traded mostly higher on Tuesday, as bitcoin and the major altcoins avoided a reversal following a strong start to the week.

The market cap for all cryptocurrencies peaked at $115.6 billion, the highest since Dec. 6. At press time, the market came in just shy of $114.1 billion.

Among top-ten cryptocurrencies, bitcoin cash (BCH) was the best performer, gaining 8.6% to $99.36. EOS climbed 4.2% to trade at $2.50. XRP rose 1% to trade at $0.3308. Bitcoin’s price was little changed at $3,552.12.

Stable market prices were accompanied by a sharp rise in trading volumes. Crypto exchanges processed nearly 50% more volume on Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap. Total market turnover rose above $17 billion, based on latest available data.

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 704 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Analysis

Forex Update: Dollar Drifts Lower With All Eyes on the Fed

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Forex Market Snapshot

Asset Current Value Daily Change
EUR/USD 1.1368 0.19%
GBP/USD 1.2648 0.20%
USD/JPY 112.55 -0.23%
AUD/USD 0.7201 0.34%
GOLD 1,250 0.14%
WTI Crude Oil 48.53 -1.32%
BTC/USD 3,565 1.96%

With just one day left until the week’s main event, the Fed’s rate decision, it’s no surprise that forex markets are having a very choppy session, with the Dollar and the main safe-haven assets being in focus. The USD has been under pressure in the last couple of days amid the louder and louder critiques regarding the Fed’s rate hikes, and although economic numbers continue to be positive in the US, and the consensus still points an increase tomorrow, leaving the rates unchanged wouldn’t be as shocking as one week ago.

Economic numbers were mixed today, with the German IFO index missing the consensus estimate, but with the US housing market showing stability for the second month in a road. Building permits and Housing Starts both bounced back more than expected amid the pullback in Treasury yields in November, pointing to a still relatively healthy economy in the US.

While the Dollar only managed a small pop higher following the releases, as Treasury yields plunged to new multi-month lows again, the underlying bullish trend seems safe for the reserve currency.

Technical Analysis

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Great British Pound is having another active session, and although it briefly surpassed the crucial 1.27 level against the Dollar, it fell sharply later on, leaving last week’s key technical breakdown intact.  While choppy trading is expected across the forex segment up until tomorrow’s key Fed announcements, the Pound could remain active, with the Brexit chaos and Theresa May’s shaky position still causing headaches for traders.

EUR/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While risk assets rebounded today after yesterday’s volatile and bearish session, the main safe-haven assets, such as the Japanese Yen and gold continue to perform well, especially compared to the risk-on currencies. The EUR/JPY pair which has been trading in a broad bearish consolidation pattern since October is testing the key support zone between 127.50 and 127.75, threatening with a key breakdown in the coming weeks. While the short-term momentum indicators are slightly oversold, the pair is clearly bearish both short- and long-term and traders should be looking for entry points on the short side.

USD/CNH, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Some analysts call the Dollar/Yen pair “most important currency pair of 2019”, and the pair continues to trade in the close vicinity of its October low, despite the recent trade-related optimism. A clear dovish surprise tomorrow could send the Yuan soaring, even in light of the recent weak Chinese economic data, but for the coming months, new highs are very likely (meaning new lows for the Yuan), and a drop to 6.85 would be an optimal entry point for traders.

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Oil continues to be in a steep broader downtrend, and despite the deeply oversold long-term momentum readings, the crucial commodity only managed to consolidate in a sideways trading range after dipping below the key $50 per barrel price level in the WTI contract.

Yesterday, the price of the contract fell below its prior low, and today the commodity plunged by more than 5%, violating the $47.50 per barrel level for the first time since mid-2017. Barring a quick recovery, the breakdown could extend to the $44 per barrel level but a strong support zone is already found between $46.50 and $47.

Key Economic Events Tomorrow

ChartBook

Forex

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

USD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EUR/GBP, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

GBP/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

USD/CHF, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Major Stock Indices

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

DAX 30 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nikkei 225 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Shanghai Composite Index CFD, 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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Market Overview

The Ghost of Crypto Anarchy

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Hi Everyone,

Today we bid farewell to the Godfather of the Cypherpunk movement, which gave birth to bitcoin.

If you’ve never heard of Tim May (may he rest in peace), I refer you to his words of 1992. This short passage was so ahead of its time that it may as well have been written last Tuesday.

Quick read: The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Sell Off Continued
  • Breakouts Forming
  • Bounce off the Floor

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of December 18th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

The global sell-off in the stock markets continues. For a brief moment after the bell rang at the New York Stock Exchange, it did seem like there would be some sort of bounce, but by the end of the session, the major indices were back at the lows.

The S&P500 index fell within a single point of its lowest rate this year (yellow line).

The negative sentiment has carried through into Asia, but it seems the Europeans are a bit more optimistic today, especially in Germany where the DAX is in green.

The feeling is that we could be getting some much-needed relief from the US Federal Reserve as they head into their two-day meeting today. So things might calm down as we approach the announcement tomorrow evening.

Breakout Time

Looking at some of the other assets out there, volatility has increased over the past few sessions. Here we can see the VIX Volatility Index making a move to the upside over the last few days along with the selloff in the stocks.

With that, it pays to take a look at the US Dollar, which continues to push the highs with some upward facing consolidation. This will be critical going into the Fed meeting, where they are largely expected to raise rates.

However, since the rate hike is expected to be dovish, we could just as easily see a downward breakout. Watch this space.

Gold is also looking for a breakout of the psychological barrier at $1,250 an ounce.

Ever avantgarde, crude oil has already broken below $50 yesterday, a staunch indication that the oversupply issues aren’t quite behind us.

Just for good measure we’ll add in the USDJPY as well here. Especially if the dovish rate hike does indeed do the Dollar in, and Asian traders look for safety in the Yen, we could see 112.22 give way.

Crypto Bounce Acquired

Yesterday, on the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin’s all-time high, we did manage to see a strong push off the floor. Though it’s not clear what exactly caused the bounce, it does appear to be a short squeeze that took out a few of the high-risk traders. I did put up a few charts on Twitter as it was happening.

Ever since the break below $5,000 we’ve been talking about light support at $3,500 and heavy support at $3,000, so this bounce off the $3,000 level couldn’t be more picture perfect.

The biggest winner emerging from this move was EOS, which rose a total of 29% within a few short hours. Yet still nowhere near its all-time high of $23.33.

Though it is possible that we do continue downward from here, this type of movement is very encouraging for technical analysts and may just end up creating a bottom for this battered market possibly even giving way to a bullish trend in 2019. Who knows… maybe we’ll get a Santa Claus Rally after all.

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies, as well as trading CFD assets.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework.

Best regards,
Mati Greenspan
Senior Market Analyst

Connect with me on….

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

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 139 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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