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Asian Market Update – Thursday: Asian stocks mixed after US Fed decision meets market expectation

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Janet Yellen

The Big Question: How will the Fed’s unwinding of its massive balance sheet affect equity markets?

Major Asian indexes were mixed at midday Thursday, as markets saw no surprises from a meeting of the US Federal Reserve, which left interest rates unchanged and set to wind down its balance sheet – both in line with earlier market expectations.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 surged 0.83 percent to 20,479.88 at midday.

In Greater China, stocks were also pointing higher. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.21 percent to 3,372.94 before midday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index edged up 0.11percent to 28,158.36.

In South Korea, the KOSPI index slipped 0.08 percent to 2,410.21.

Down under, the ASX 200 fell 1.21 percent to 5,639 at midday. Talks of a major correction ahead have been emerging in Australia, where many argue that the Australian stock market has not seen a major correction in six years and the recent bull run might have reached its peak.

The US Fed on Wednesday announced that it would start to wind down its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October. Much of the balance sheet was accumulated through its stimulus packages following the financial crisis in 2008.

The move marks first of such from the US Fed and markets are paying close attention of how things will unfold. So far markets appear to be calm as the Fed signaled that it will be a gradual process.

The Fed on Wednesday also left its interest rates unchanged, as was widely expected, but it signaled in its unmoved dot plot that earlier projections for another rate hike is still on track with three in the next year.

Today, markets are turning to Japan for potential changes in its monetary policy. The Bank of Japan is expected to end a two-day meeting on Thursday, which was focused on interest rates. Market expectation is that the BOJ will leave the rates unchanged given the low inflation rate.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan-Nikkei 225 20,479.88 0.83%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,372.94 0.21%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 28,158.36 0.11%
Australia-ASX 200 5,639.80 -1.21%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,410.21 -0.08%

Cryptocurrencies

Prices of cryptocurrencies pointed lower overnight during the Asian trading session on Thursday.

At midday in Asia, the bitcoin price dropped 1.40 percent to $3,820. The digital currency has been on a downward trend for three straight days, though at a small pace and with some support along the way, dropping from a recent high of about $4,100.

The price of ethereum also fell 1.32 percent to $279 at midday in Asia. The virtual currency saw a relatively big surge on Wednesday, rising from about $279 to a high of $292.

Currencies

The Japanese yen depreciated 0.22 percent against the US dollar at midday on Thursday. The USD/JPY rate was at 112.46. Following the Fed’s announcement on Wednesday, the dollar posted big gains from 111.381 to 112.543 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan lost 0.29 percent against the US dollar to 6.5890.

The Australian dollar also lost 0.42 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2498 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.84 percent to $50.23 per barrel.

Brent Crude was flat at $55.37 per barrel.

Gold was up 0.15 percent to $1,312 an ounce.

Business News across Asia

In China, the country’s largest smartphone maker Huawei Technologies has launched an ad campaign against Apple’s new iPhones before the Chinese brand’s new product launch set for mid-October. Huawei called iPhone’s new Face ID function “useless.”

Take away: Though still lagging Apple and Samsung in global sales, Huawei is rising fast. The ad shows that Huawei is aiming for top rivalry as it launches its new Huawei Note phone next month.

In India, a new report found that there is a “time bomb” in the country’s widely-cheered demographic dividend. The report, which was commissioned by the Reserve Bank of India and other regulators, found that most Indian workers are not saving for retirement. The author of the report called that a “ticking pension time bomb.”

Take Away: India’s young population has been frequently cited as a big boost for the country’s economy. But these would get old, and if they don’t have savings for retirement like the report suggested; it could indeed be a problem. The Indian economy has already showed lackluster growth in the first of this year.

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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Market Overview

Market Update: U.S. Stocks Fall on Trade, Emerging Market Tensions; Cryptocurrencies Recovers $20 Billion

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Stocks and commodities faced brisk selloffs Wednesday, as lingering risks on the trade and emerging-market fronts dampened investors’ appetite for riskier assets. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies staged a large relief rally led by bitcoin and Ethereum.

Stocks Decline

Wall Street’s major indexes finished well off session lows on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 137.51 points, or 0.5%, at 25,162.41. The broader S&P 500 Index declined 0.8% to 2,818.37. Both averages were down more than 1% earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the technology-driven Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.2% to 7,774.12.

Losses were spread out across seven major sectors, with energy shares falling 3.4% as a whole. Materials, tech companies and discretionary shares also fell more than 1%.

The CBOE VIX, also known as the fear index, rose by as much as 27% to reach 16.86. VIX settled at 15.05, gaining 13.1%.

Oil Prices Sink to Two-Month Lows

Crude plunged to more than two-month lows Wednesday after U.S. government data showed a large, unexpected jump in weekly inventories.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a stockpile rise of 6.8 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 10, confounding estimates for a 2.5 million-barrel drop. The jump was associated with a sharp rise in crude imports and a fall in exports. The world’s largest economy imported 1 million barrels per day, data showed.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures reached a session low of $64.51 a barrel, which would have marked the lowest settlement on the New York Mercantile Exchange since April. At last check, WTI was down $2.08, or 3.1%, to trade at $64.96 a barrel. ICE’s Brent contract declined $1.70, or 2.4%, to $70.76 a barrel.

Cryptocurrencies Rebound

Digital assets recovered tens of billions in lost market cap Wednesday, with bitcoin and Ethereum emerging as the biggest gainers. Bargain hunters scooped up ether at 14-month lows after following a 35% rout over seven days. At press time, the ether price had gained nearly 13% to $294.

After a successful defense of $6,000, bitcoin rose 6.5% to $6,495. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap controls just over 53% of the total market. That figure approached 55% on Tuesday.

The total cryptocurrency market was worth $209.5 billion Wednesday, up more than $20 billion from Tuesday’s low. Total trade volumes averaged around $14 billion.

Despite the gain, analysts have warned that the price outlook for cryptos remains negative amid the recent cash-out of ICOs.

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 547 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

Pre-Market: Selling Resumes as Dollar Extends Rally

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Global stocks are sharply lower today after the US open, as a bearish Asian session was followed by a lackluster European showing, and the major US indices also opened lower, erasing yesterday’s gains. Emerging markets are still to be blamed for the current selloff, even as the underlying cause is still the global tightening cycle and the Dollar’s rally.

S&P 500, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Chinese stock market and the Yuan led the way lower today, with the Shanghai Composite getting close to hitting new bear market lows, and with the currency hitting fresh 13-month lows. European stocks also continued their relatively weak streak, with the DAX trading at the lowest level since the end of June. The undoubtedly leading US benchmarks are all down by more than 1% today, but they are still close to their all-time highs, even as the divergences are just getting deeper and deeper.

Shanghai Composite, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Turkish Lira is still in the center of attention, as the battered currency added to yesterday’s gains after the Turkish central bank intervened in the interbank markets. The bank made it harder to short the Lira, which in effect also make it harder to hedge against the decline of the currency, so basically the country started on the road of capital controls.

USD/TRY, Daily Chart Analysis

While preventing a run on the currency is a legitimate goal, by not changing its confrontative stance and not taking steps to clam the market, the risk of a massive capital flight is still very high. The broad rally in the Dollar is just making matters worse for the country, and contagion is far from being dodged by global markets at this point.

With several European markets being closed the large pre-market moves are not a surprise, even as the key economic indicators leaned bullish before the bell. The most awaited US retail sales report was a sizeable beat in both the headline, and the more reliable core figure, although the previous numbers were revised lower. The Empire State Index was also well above the consensus estimate, but US industrial Production missed, similarly to yesterday’s Chinese and European indicators in the segment.

Dollar Break-Out Continues

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The US Dollar’s surge is arguably the most important trend globally, and the reserve currency confirmed its break-out to new 13-month highs today, as the EUR/USD pair hit 1.13, the GBP/USD pair trading with a 1.26 handle for the first time in a year, and with commodities suffering heavy losses again.

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

We have been following copper’s struggle to stay above the key support zone near $2.7, and today’s Asian weakness sealed the faith of the commodity for a while as Dr. Copper hit a new 14-month low itself, signaling that more trouble is ahead for China and the commodity-complex.

Gold is also at levels not seen since early 2017, and crude oil gave up its recent bounce falling to an 8-week low, getting close to $65 per barrel with regards to the WTI contract.

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 318 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

Turkish Coffee Hangover

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Hi Everyone,

Hope you’re having a fine day. Thanks again to everyone sending me their thoughts, opinions and articles. It’s really amazing.

One thing that several people have asked me to comment on already is this story. So here goes.

Indeed, this is an exciting step towards the integration of blockchain technology into traditional finance. It’s nice to see such a reputable institution such as the World Bank using a private Ethereum network to monitor their new bond. However, we’re really just scratching the surface with this one.

In the realm of programmable money, the practical applications of this new tech are limited only to our imagination. So, to use it to manage bonds is nice but it somehow feels like we’re not living up to the full potential with this one.

As one pundit put it… this is almost like when the world celebrated the internet’s groundbreaking ability allowing people to order DVD’s from the comfort of their living room.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Turkish Coffee Hangover
  • Dollar is Strong
  • Crypto Support

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of August 15th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

The excessive energy that the financial markets received from the “emerging markets currency sell-off” seems to have faded by now. Indeed, the entire debacle felt kind of like a strange rush of exuberance similar to the experience of drinking some very strong coffee. What we’re left with is contained fatigue.

Volatility has now returned to normal and the Lira seems to be in retracement. This despite the fact that neither Trump nor Erdogan seem ready to give any ground. In fact, the Turkish president announced a boycott of American technology yesterday and specifically targeted the iPhone, advocating Samsung instead.

AAPL was notably unaffected.

One thing that might be worth watching is the EEM Emerging Markets ETF that lost significant ground over the last few days and is now testing the lows.

Looking at the stocks today, things do seem to be in the red again. Let’s see how things progress. Precious metals are also down so be careful out there.

Take a look at Copper for example, which is down more than 1000 pips in the last 48 hours.

Dollar is King

As we discussed in yesterday’s update, all these progressions seem to be a direct reaction to the strength in the US Dollar.

A tightening labor market mixed with creeping inflation is causing the Federal Reserve to take aggressive action.

The Dollar’s strength against other major currencies can be seen quite clearly since the start of the month.

As well, the Dollar Index seems to have experienced some sort of breakout in the last few days.

Crypto Support

The crypto market is rebounding today after yesterday’s sizable sell-off. This relief rally has many alternative investors breathing easier, as we have green across the board.

The range we’ve been watching on bitcoin has been holding rather well. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen buyers stepping in about halfway through the $5K handle (yellow line), which is approximately what analysts estimate is the cost to mine bitcoin.

On the upper side, resistance is being maintained by the 200-day moving average (blue line). While the stable range should be seen as a positive sign, a breakout in either direction is always a possibility.

Let’s have an awesome day 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 122 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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