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Asian Market Update – Monday: Ethereum Rallies as Bitcoin Tumble; Asian Stocks Higher

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Ethereum goes berserk in the new year

Ethereum continued on its wild ride higher during the Asian trading session Monday. By 4 pm in Hong Kong, ethereum was up 7 percent to $1,196, after reaching an all-time high of $1,228 earlier in the morning.

The solid gain on Monday morning extended a strong uptrend that started at the beginning of the year. Since December 31, ethereum has gained more than 50 percent.

With no specific news or triggers evident that could explain the rally, the ethereum rally right now appears to be driven primarily by psychology, fear of missing out (FOMO), and trend-following traders jumping on the bandwagon.

While ethereum rallied, bitcoin continued to tumble. By afternoon in Asia, bitcoin was down 2.7 percent to $15,710 on Coinbase. Bitcoin lost about 5.4 percent on Sunday, ending a 5-day winning streak, which saw the virtual currency gaining around 21 percent.

Litecoin price also lost about 3 percent to $264 at midday in Asian trading. The virtual currency sold off about 2.6 percent on Sunday, after moving up by 15 percent since Friday.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 23,714 0.89%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,403 0.35%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 30,749 -0.04%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,513 0.62%
Australia-ASX 200 6,129 0.11%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,745 0.09%

Major Asian equity markets pointed higher on Monday, extending a New Year’s rally and shooting for new all-time highs. A brighter outlook for the global economy appears to be boosting investors confidence, while geopolitical and other market driving forces remaining quiet so far.

Japanese stocks led the way on Monday morning, with the Nikkei 225 index gaining 0.89 percent at midday to 23,714. The benchmark has gained nearly 500 points since Thursday, up from 23,225.

Japanese Prime Ministry Shinzo Abe called on the Bank of Japan to maintain efforts to prop up the Japanese economy, but remained mum about the appointment of the BOJ’s next chief. The current chief has advocated a continuation of ultra-easy monetary policies despite missed inflation targets.

In South Korea, the Kospi was up 0.62 percent to 2,513 at midday.

On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.35 percent at midday on Monday to 3,403. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.04 percent to 30,749 at midday.

The People’s Bank of China skipped a scheduled cash injection into the market through its open market operations for the 11th straight trading day, as the central bank has determined that liquidity levels were “relatively high.”

Down under, the ASX 200 was 0.11 percent higher at 6,129 at midday.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was up 0.09 percent to 2,745.

Market sentiment has improved by a slew of upbeat data last week, including manufacturing PMI in China and Japan, a solid US jobs report. This week, investors are waiting for China’s inflation data on Wednesday, US consumer prices and retail sales, expected on Friday, and global trade figures on Friday.

Currencies

The Japanese yen lost 0.14 percent against the US dollar at midday Monday, changing hands at 113.17 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan up gained a slight 0.01 percent against the US dollar at 6.4866 per dollar.

The Australian dollar lost 0.25 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2746 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.02 percent to $61.58 per barrel at midday on Monday.

Brent Crude gained 0.03 percent to $67.73 per barrel.

Gold was down 0.02 percent to $1,320 an ounce.

News across Asia

In China, French president Emmanuel Macron has arrived in the northwestern historic city of Xi’an for his first official visit to China. Macron is due to arrive in Beijing and hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Tuesday. As is customary for such visits, Macron’s trip is expected to see a slew of business deals between Chinese and French companies.

Take away: Chinese companies have already invested heavily in France, with about 6 billion euros of Chinese investments in France so far. Though Chinese investments overseas have declined in recent months, companies are still eyeing opportunities overseas.

In Vietnam, a campaign to crack down on fraud and mismanagement in state-owned energy companies and banks have gathered case, as the country started the high-profile trial of 22 executives of the state oil firm PetroVietnam on Monday. The executives are accused of mismanagement that resulted in severe losses for the oil firm, and some could reportedly face the death penalty.

Take away: Vietnam has been trying to crack down on fraud and mismanagement in its state-owned assets, amid wide-spread corruption in sectors such as energy and banking.

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

Switzerland Makes It Easier for Blockchain Companies to Open Bank Accounts

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Switzerland is making it easier for blockchain startups to access traditional financial services after several projects decided to leave the country over strict banking laws. The new guidelines are part of a wider initiative to help Switzerland maintain its status as the epicenter of cryptocurrency innovation.

SBA Issues New Guidelines

On Friday, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) announced new guidelines for financial institutions looking to do business with blockchain startups. The rules will make it easier for banks to service the blockchain ecosystem and for the companies themselves to set up bank accounts in the country.

“We believe that with these guidelines, we’ll be able to establish a basis for discussion between banks and innovative startups, making the dialogue simpler and facilitating the opening of accounts,” SBA strategic adviser Adrian Schatzmann said in a news conference, as quoted by Reuters.

The new measures provide “more clarity not only to banks, but also to startups,” said Oliver Bussmann, head of the Crypto Valley Association.

Although blockchain companies are not barred from opening up Swiss bank accounts, existing regulations make it difficult for them to quality for corporate banking services. Swiss banks have been hesitant to serve the growing sector over fears of violating know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) obligations.

Banks are especially concerned over initial coin offerings (ICOs), the controversial crowdfunding system that allows companies to raise millions of dollars by issuing tokens. Several ICOs have raised funds without conducting AML checks on their investors. Banks that service such firms would be at risk of falling out of line with existing AML guidelines.

Switzerland’s fourth largest bank,  Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB), has already closed the accounts of more than 20 blockchain firms. According to Reuters, only a small handful of the country’s 250 banks ever allowed blockchain companies to deposit the cash equivalent of their token raises.

Under the new guidelines, banks will have the opportunity to distinguish between blockchain firms that carry out ICOs and those that do not. For token projects, KYC and AML guidelines are still enforced.

Crypto Valley Switzerland

Switzerland quickly emerged as a leading hub for the blockchain industry after a government-sponsored institution launched Crypto Valley, an ecosystem based in Zurich and Zug that incubates new cryptocurrency startups. Hacked shined the spotlight on Crypto Valley last October after several dozen high-profile firms set up shop in the region.  Crypto Valley is now home to roughly 530 blockchain companies.

Despite offering a more liberal environment for cryptocurrency startups, Switzerland clamped down on the market in February by issuing more stringent ICO guidelines. This seems to have triggered a mass exodus of cryptocurrency startups, which have since made their way to Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and Cayman Islands. The new rules categorized ICOs into three separate buckets: payment, utility and asset.

SBA is hoping to stem the outflow of blockchain projects by giving them more avenues to traditional banking services. However, with several countries liberalizing their blockchain laws, it remains to seen whether Crypto Valley can maintain its leadership pace.

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 609 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Analysis

Stocks Pull Back From Highs as Pound Plunges

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After yesterday’s record-breaking session, US stocks once again broadly opened at all-time highs, even as the momentum of the global rally waned. Chinese stocks kick-started the day by extending their relief rally off their 4-year lows and Europe also ticked higher, although the major indices couldn’t hold on to their early gains. Since the US open stocks are drifting lower, but with no major events scheduled for today, a calm afternoon session is likely on Wall Street.

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The slight weakness came on the heels of the weaker than expected European flash Manufacturing and Services PMIs, while Theresa May’s Brexit ultimatum also weighed on local equities. The Great British Pound fell sharply on the news too, erasing yesterday’s lofty gains and briefly getting close to the 1.30 level, as the Dollar rallied across the board.

NASDAQ 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Nasdaq has been lagging the Dow and the S&P 500 from a short-term perspective and the tech benchmark is once again leading the way lower today. The worse than expected guidance by Micron (MU) from yesterday is weighing on the segment and the market-leading tech giants are also weaker than average.

10-year US Treasury Yield, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

All eyes are still on the bond market, as Treasury yields are near multi-year highs concerning almost all maturities, and with the 10-year yield being very close to signal a trend change in the multi-decade structural downtrend.

While next week’s rate hike by the Fed is near certain, the outlook for the next year will likely be crucial, and given the positive US economic trends and the trade wars’ contained impact, the market’s rate hike expectations are rising across the curve.

Futures and Option Expiries Lead to Choppy Trading

Today is an important day for futures and options traders, as the quarterly contracts are expiring across asset classes, and that has a huge effect on stock and commodity markets as well, with high volumes and volatile trading especially around the key strike prices. Strong trends are rare on these sessions and day-traders should be cautious of sudden volatile spikes in even the most traded assets.

Copper, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities already experienced volatile swings throughout the day, with especially gold being tossed around the $1200 level that has been in the center of attention in the past weeks. Shorts in copper have been squeezed heavily before the end of the week, with the crucial metal surging above key support with the rally in Chinese stocks, while WTI crude oil retreated from a more than two-month high above the $71 per barrel level as the Dollar rallied.

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 351 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

Rapid Delays Bring a Blessing

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Hi Everyone,

For what seems like the first time in forever, crypto prices are on the rise again.

There was some excitement on social media yesterday as the SEC took the expected step to delay the decision on a bitcoin backed ETF.

The decision to delay is actually coming 10 days ahead of schedule, which moves the entire timeframe forward a bit. The next deadline is December 29th, right between Christmas and New Year, which means if they delay again before then, we could be looking at a final decision date of mid-February rather than the second week of March, as was previously expected.

Cryptotrading on Wall Street now seems one giant step closer.

In other news, Brazil’s largest broker has finally buckled to the pressure and will now be offering crypto-assets. This comes as around 3 million Brazilians are holding Bitcoin, compared to just 600,000 who invest in stocks.

Cryptocurrencies are rapidly proving their place as the preferred asset class of the millennial generation.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Enter Weaker Dollar
  • Dash on Weed
  • XRP Flys with the Crows

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of September 21st. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

The emerging market currency rout that began with the Turkish Lira in early August seems to have lost moment. The US Dollar now seems to have lost momentum.

The trend comes as yields on the US treasury bonds continue to grind higher. Here we can see the US 10-year yield over the last month. Remember, higher yields were largely considered to be the catalyst for the market dip in early February.

However, the above dynamic doesn’t seem to be hampering the stocks at all. Both the Dow Jones and the SPX500 have marked fresh all-time highs yesterday and Asian markets are following their lead this morning.

The Dollar weakness is also allowing some much-needed breathing room for the precious metals, which have been battered badly over the last few weeks.

Here we can see the Platinum and Silver over the last six months suffering from Dollar strength and the comeback over the last few days.

Digital Cash for Marijuana

In light of the recent movements in cannabis-related stocks and the launch of the new eToro @CannabisCare CopyPortfolio, we’ve been talking a lot about the budding marijuana industry and the possible investment opportunities.

Here we can see a map of all the states in the USA and their legalization status. As we can see, the map is now quite green but there’s still a lot more room for growth if other states join the trend and decide to legalize it.

The issue is the Cannabis has yet to be legalized at the federal level in the US making it difficult for vendors and entrepreneurs to open a bank account. Therefore, despite its new legal status in many places the industry is still heavily reliant on cash.

Enter Dash…

Obviously, cash has its pitfalls and no self-respecting businessman really wants to be walking around with bundles of bills. This is why the Dash foundation in partnership with the Alt Thirty Six payment processor aim to make Dash Cryptocurrency the go-to medium of exchange for the cannabis industry.

We know that Dash has been making strong headway in places like Venezuela. To me, it just seems like this reigning crypto industry leader has their hands in several markets with plenty room for growth.

XRP & Everything After

The recent crypto rally can very much be seen in the context of the weakening Dollar trend highlighted above. As we’ve been saying, the reverse correlation between the USD and the crypto market has been striking over the last few months, so it’s no surprise to the latest rally in crypto assets coming on the back of a weaker Greenback.

In this chart, we can see the US Dollar index in purple and Bitcoin in blue.

The surge in XRP however, cannot be explained by this phenomenon though. A surge of nearly 80% in less than four days needs to have a deeper explanation.

Given the nature of these rapid movements, my gut tells me these fluctuations are more than just speculation. Nevertheless, the main chatter surrounding this move is all about the launch of the xRapid software next month, which aims to use XRP for international settlements. As well as Ripple’s Swell Conference on October 1st and 2nd, which will host Bill Clinton as the keynote speaker and bring in the Counting Crows for entertainment.

Wishing you an amazing weekend ahead!

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

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

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

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 | LinkedIn: MatiGreenspan | Facebook:MatiGreenspan

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 129 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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