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Asian Market Update – Thursday: Bitcoin Rallies to $7,200; Asian Stocks Rebound in Cautious Trading

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Asian morning

The Big Question: Is the US tax reform falling apart?

Prices of main cryptocurrencies pointed slightly lower during early morning trading on Thursday, with bitcoin and ethereum prices falling slightly and litecoin posting minor gains.

Bitcoin dropped 0.8 percent to $7,235 shortly after midday in Asia. This followed a strong upswing on Wednesday that lifted the cryptocurrency’s price above $7,000 for the first time since Friday.

The price of ethereum was down 1 percent to about $330 before midday in Asia. The loss in the past two days erased part of the gains made on Tuesday and brought the virtual currency back to the same level seen yesterday morning.

Litecoin added a slight 0.22 percent to $63.58 at midday. The price of litecoin is now trading close to short-term resistance around $65 in the upper end of its trading range. Short-term traders could wait for price to fall back to the $57-$60 level before considering a buy.

Recent turmoil in Zimbabwe could prove to be a boon to bitcoin price. As CCN reported yesterday, an apparent military coup in Zimbabwe could send the bitcoin price even higher in that country’s domestic exchanges.

The Zimbabwe military on Wednesday entered the country’s capital and seized the state broadcaster and other government offices, in an apparent opposition to long-time ruler Robert Mugabe. The country is in the midst of a financial crisis, where cash is hard to come by and hard assets have been in high demand, but cryptocurrencies have begun to eat into gold’s market share in the country.

Also in the news: bitcoin mining is not banned, at least for now, in China, after news reports this week suggested that the country did ban bitcoin mining in its Southwest province of Sichuan.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 22,187 0.72%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,400 -0.07%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 28,957 0.38%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,523 0.25%
Australia-ASX 200 5,943 0.16%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,568 -0.15%

Most major Asian equities markets were showing signs of recovery from losses on Wednesday, but gains were small and the Chinese Mainland remains in red.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.72 percent to 22, 187 at midday on Thursday, erasing losses on Wednesday and bringing the index back to the same level as midday Wednesday.

On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.07 percent to about 3,400 before midday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.38 percent to around 28,957 before midday.

Talks of a slowing Chinese economy continues to send chill waves across the markets after disappointing industrial output and retail data for October.

In South Korea, the Kospi added 0.25 percent to around 2,532 shortly before midday.

Down under, the ASX 200 was up 0.16 percent to 5,943.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was down 0.15 percent to 2,568 at midday.

A renewed prospect of US tax reform has turned to grim after two Republican lawmakers voiced opposition to the two versions – one from the House of Representatives and another from the Senate. Democratic lawmakers also said they would not vote for the reform plan. Markets have been enjoying high hopes for the reform plans that are welcome on Wall Street.

The Republican lawmakers’ criticism of the tax reform plan came after the leadership appeared to try to include a bill to repeal Obamacare into the tax bill and handle the two key issues at once.

Currencies

The Japanese yen skidded 0.07 percent the US dollar at midday Thursday to 112.955 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan lost 0.22 percent against the US dollar at 6.6341 per dollar.

The Australian dollar firmed 0.21 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.3148 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.07 percent to $55.32 per barrel.

Brent Crude gained 0.06 percent to $61.91 per barrel.

Gold was up 0.06 percent to $1,278 an ounce.

Business News across Asia

In China, South Korean electronics giant Samsung is expanding its factory in Xi’an in Northwest China to build a global semiconductor base. Construction of the second phase of the memory chip facility has started, as reported by Chinese newspaper Global Times.

Take away: Though Samsung has been struggling in stiff competition with Apple and others, the South Korea firm appears to enjoy a strong position in the Chinese market.

In the Philippines, economic growth remains robust in the third quarter of 2017, beating expectations. The Philippine economy grew by 6.9 percent from a year earlier, the country’s statistics agency said on Thursday, beating a Reuters forecast of 6.5 percent growth.

Take away: The Philippines is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, but its stagnant wage growth has many in the country still in poverty. Still, it remains one of the best prospects for investing in South East Asia.

Fatured image from Pixabay.

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 Under Pressure Following Trump-Putin Summit as Oil Prices Hit Three-Month Low

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U.S. stocks finished mixed to lower on Monday, with sectors tied to commodities shouldering the majority of the losses following a major rout in oil prices.

Stocks Mostly Lower

The large-cap S&P 500 Index fell 0.1% to close at 2,798.43, with eight of 11 primary sectors finishing in the red.

Energy stocks were the worst performers, falling 1.2% as a cluster, as oil prices plunged to their lowest levels in three months. Materials and industrials followed suit.

Declining technology shares bumped the Nasdaq Composite Index from all-time highs. The index closed down 0.3% at 7,805.72.

Dow industrials bucked the downtrend, gaining 44.95 points, or 0.2%, to 25,064.36.

The CBOE Volatility Index, also known as the VIX, jumped more than 5% on Monday to close at 12.83. The so-called “fear index” briefly traded at six-month lows on Friday.

Trump-Putin Summit a “Good Start”

U.S. President Donald Trump says his meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was a “good start” in normalizing strained relations between the two superpowers.

Prior to the meeting, President Trump blamed previous administrations for the worsening relationship between both countries. Trump doubled-down on that message in a joint session following the meeting.

“I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think that we’ve all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time, frankly, before I got to office,” Trump said.

Although it’s not entirely clear what the two leaders talked about, various news sources have confirmed that talks went into a working lunch after two hours of closed-door talks. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton confirmed that the meeting had no set agenda.

Many within the Washington camp wanted the meeting to be cancelled after 12 Russian military agents were charged with hacking the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Cryptocurrency Market Recovers

Bitcoin and other crypto-assets swung back into positive territory Monday amid reports that BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, has assembled a working group to explore digital currency adoption.

Cryptocurrencies added $15 billion in market capitalization over 24 hours, with the bulk of the gains occurring shortly after the BlackRock report hit the airwaves. The total market peaked near $271 billion, according to CoinMarketCap, as trade volumes spiked 34% to $13.8 billion.

The bitcoin price reached a high near $6,690 as trade volumes topped $4.9 billion. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is closing in on last weekend’s swing high near $6,900. Prices have failed to breakout of the $7,000 ceiling in well over a month.

In terms of percentage growth, bitcoin cash was the best performer in the top-ten, rising 9.5% to $795.

Ethereum prices jumped 5.6% to $477 while EOS gained 8% to $8.02.

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 497 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

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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Slowly but Surely

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Hi Everyone,

In a country that has seen an estimated 99% devaluation of their currency over the last year, even $1 is seen as a lot of money.

These images that recently surfaced on Reddit are reportedly showing a donation of just $230 that has been channeled into Venezuela through a cryptocurrency called Nano.

Of course, it’s incredibly difficult to verify the authenticity of such photographs, but having the username and subreddit written on paper in some of the shots helps things.

As we’ve stated before, the real world adoption of cryptocurrencies is happening now on the ground in places where it’s needed most, and Venezuela is argua bly one of those places. The success story highlighted above is hardly an isolated incident. The group Eat BCH has been doing this since last year.

A quick look at the Local Bitcoins volume there shows another spike in peer to peer transactions over the past week. Notice how volumes peaked in April of 2017, then died down during the peak of the bitcoin hype in November/December but are now rising again steadily.

The last bar on the chart shows a total of 590 BTC, which at today’s prices is $3.8 million, which may not seem like much but in the current economy of Venezuela is actually huge.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Trump Meets Putin
  • China Growing Slowly
  • Quiet Crypto

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of July 16th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

All eyes on Helsinki this morning as President Trump prepares for his closed-door meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Putin is still beaming after hosting a very successful World Cup and President Trump is coming from a rather controversial European tour. The fact that they’re even having this one on one meeting is emboldening critics who say that the two are in collusion.

One of the things to watch out for is crude oil. Trump has been rather critical of OPEC’s efforts, urging them to do more to push down the price. The price of gas in the United States has been rising lately and it is putting pressure on his base.

Russia has so far maintained that the surge in pricing is due to Trump’s new sanctions on Iran, which have reduced supply in the market.

Last Wednesday, oil slid 4.8% (purple circle) from the top of its massive bull run that has been playing out over the last year.

China Slowly

Markets in Japan are closed today in observance of Marine Day. Perhaps it’s for the best as Asian stocks are taking a hit.

For a change, the narrative isn’t necessarily about the trade war either, at least not on the surface. China’s GDP growth figures announced early this morning highlighted the lackluster economy. Here we can see GDP growth rate since 2003. What’s clear from this graph is that a reading of 6.7% is really on the low end.

However, even though low, the numbers weren’t unexpected. As indicated by the brown bar in the above chart, the numbers were exactly as forecasted. The China50 index is currently 24% off of its peak from January 24th, so today’s action isn’t that much of a hit in the grand scheme of things.

The Nasdaq, on the other hand, hit another new all-time high on Friday, while the precious metals resumed their descent.

Quiet Crypto

Prices in the crypto market have remained stable over the weekend. In fact, the price of bitcoin hasn’t moved much at all since early June.

As we’ve stated before, slow-moving prices are a good thing for cryptocurrencies. The more you can count on a stable exchange rate, the more likely people are to use the asset as a store of value.

The downward sentiment on Bitcoin is also showing signs of abating. As we can see in the graph below, the strongest trendline from this pullback (dotted blue line) was broken in early April, and the second strongest (yellow line) has been broken at the start of July.

Some chartists theorize that we could be in for another leg down towards $5,000 a coin, which wouldn’t surprise me if it does happen but could also be done in a calm manner that would not indicate any further downward pressure.

As always, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions, comments, feedback, or additional insight.

Wishing you an amazing weekend!

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 114 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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