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Asian Market Update – Thursday: Cryptocurrencies Tumble; Asian Stocks Move Up

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Will cryptocurrencies end the year on a negative note?

Prices of the main cryptocurrencies tumbled on Thursday morning, with significant losses seen in bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin.

As of midday, bitcoin was down 7.43 percent to $14,189. The virtual currency is down for the second straight day, after gaining about 11.4 percent on Tuesday. The price lost about 2.7 percent on Wednesday. Thursday morning, the coin dropped to as low as $13,801 at one point, before it bounced back.

Ethereum was down 5.19 percent to $701 at midday Thursday in Hong Kong. The virtual currency lost about 2 percent on Wednesday.

Litecoin dropped 6.74 percent to $246 at midday on Thursday. The virtual currency is now trading at the lowest level since December 12.

In the news, the South Korean government said on Thursday that it would introduce more measures to rein in speculation in cryptocurrency trading in the country. The measures would include a ban on anonymous cryptocurrency trading accounts and legislation to shut down exchanges when deemed necessary, per Reuters.

Main Market Movers – Midday Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 22,896 -0.06%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,292 0.52%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 29,787 0.64%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,436 0.38%
Australia-ASX 200 6,080 0.18%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,686 0.05%

Stock markets in the Asia Pacific saw moderate gains on Thursday morning, led by markets on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.52 percent to 3,292. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index moved up 0.64 percent to 29,787.

Recent media reports suggest that the Chinese government is mulling new policies to further open up the country’s financial sector to foreign investors in 2018, though details of such opening have not yet surfaced. China has recently opened up the asset management market to foreign investors and lifted restrictions on foreign companies that act as stakeholders in Chinese joint ventures.

In South Korea, the Kospi edged up 0.38 percent to 2,436 at midday.

Down under, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.18 percent at 6,080.

Overall, the S&P 500 E-Mini Future was 0.05 percent higher to 2,661 at midday on Thursday.

However, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index was down 0.06 percent to 22,896 at midday. A debate over whether the BOJ should raise interest rates or lower purchases of exchange-traded funds has emerged within the central bank, as some board members advocating such measures as a response to recent improvements in the Japanese economy.

Currencies

The Japanese yen firmed 0.29 percent against the US dollar at midday Thursday changing hands at 113.01 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan also firmed 0.23 percent against the US dollar to 6.5409 per dollar.

The Australian dollar was up 0.26 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2831 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.25 percent to $59.73 per barrel.

Brent Crude edged up 0.23 percent to $66.04 per barrel.

Gold gained 0.29 percent to $1,2901 an ounce.

News across Asia

In Japan, the country’s industrial output and retail sales continued to post strong growth in November, offering fresh signals that the world’s third-largest economy remain strong and could continue to be solid in 2018. Industrial output grew 0.6 percent, while retail sales rose 2.2 percent in November.

Take away: Strong external demand boosted the industrial activities, while falling unemployment and higher wages fueled retail sales.

In China, the country’s Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that the European Union’s recent anti-dumping investigation into Chinese exporters of electric bikes is “disappointing” and against WTO rules.

Take away: This is just part of a broad trend of escalating trade tensions between China and the EU. Further escalation is expected in 2018, as the two sides are fighting a legal battle at the WTO over China’s market economy status. 

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 Rise as Fed Confirms Dovish Pivot

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U.S. stocks extended their gains Wednesday after the Federal Reserve offered further reassurance that it will hold off on raising interest rates for the time being. Cryptocurrencies reported a mixture of modest gains and losses as volumes backed off from their yearly highs.

Stocks Extend Rally

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 63.12 points, or 0.2%, to close at 25,954,44. The blue-chip index has risen in five of the past six sessions and looks poised to reach 26,000 this week.

The broad S&P 500 Index finished up 0.2% to 2,784.70. Materials stocks led six of 11 primary sectors higher, with most of the gains concentrated in primary industry.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index pared gains to finish flat at 7,489.07.

Stocks are in the midst of an eight-week rally, but the following chart spells trouble for the S&P 500 Index.

Fed Puts on the Brakes

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday provided more details as to why it decided to be patient with normalizing monetary policy. In the official transcript of last month’s meeting, Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members cited stock market volatility and weaker global economic growth as the main obstacles standing in the way of policy normalization.

According to the minutes, there were a “variety of considerations that supported a patient approach.” Additionally, “a patient posture would allow time for a clearer picture of the international trade policy situation and the state of the global economy to emerge and, in particular, could allow policymakers to reach a firmer judgment about the extent and persistence of the economic slowdown in Europe and China.”

The Fed’s dovish pivot last month allowed the stock market to extend a bullish revival that began just after Christmas. Central bankers will hold their next policy meeting next month. The March interest rate statement will be accompanied by a revised summary of economic projections covering GDP, unemployment and inflation.

Crypto Markets Flatline

The combined value of all cryptocurrencies hovered north of $135 billion on Wednesday, where it was little changed compared with the previous day. Markets succumbed to a fresh wave of selling overnight, as bitcoin and the major altocins reported modest declines. By the early morning, most of the losses had disappeared.

Trading volumes dipped below $30 billion but were well off the highs from Tuesday. An influx of capital into the crypto ecosystem could make for volatile trading conditions in the near term.

Bitcoin was last seen trading at $3,983.49, according to CoinMarketCap, an aggregate data provider. The bitcoin price is trading hands well north of $4,000 on Bitfinex.

Ethereum’s price was little changed at $147.83. XRP edged down 1.7% to $0.30275. EOS extended its rally, climbing 5.3% to $3.84. Read more: Litecoin, EOS, Binance Coin, Maker: Altcoins Leading the Charge.

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 773 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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Market Overview

USA is Ready to Invest in Crypto

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Hi Everyone,

In our ongoing effort to bring crypto to the general public, we’ve done yet another survey, this time focusing on online traders in the USA.

The results are clear as day, the United States is more than ready to invest in crypto.

Definitely make sure to read the full report with all the jaw-dropping stats and the methodology of the poll. This is extremely encouraging.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • US-China trade deadline: 9 days | Days to Brexit: 37
  • Unsustainable Trajectory
  • Crypto Rally Stalls

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of February 20th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Everyone will stop what they’re doing at 2:00 PM New York time today to take in the FOMC‘s meeting minutes. During their last meeting, the Fed did a complete 180 on policy, which many have pointed to as a complete capitulation to the market’s desires. So, when they release the minutes of that meeting it will be extremely interesting to hear what they have to say.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that there will not likely be any final deal between the US and China by March 1st. It’s also becoming increasingly clear that this deadline was never very significant in the first place. Trump has indicated that he’s willing to let the deadline slide if significant progress is being made, and many feel that it is, however, until we get final confirmation of that it will remain in our countdown above. It wouldn’t be the first time Trump changed his mind at the last moment.

As well, I’ve decided to leave the Brexit countdown timer set for March 29th, the day Article 50 kicks in, rather than the new self-imposed deadline that Parliament put on their Prime Minister.

Markets are now returning to their normal levels of volatility.

Trajectory Unsustainable

After crashing in January and making a huge comeback in January, financial markets are now remarkably average.

The 200-day moving average (blue line) shows us the average price of the last 200 days and is one of the most widely watched indicators among technical analysts. Here we can see that the Nasdaq 100 is now at this level.

Many analysts were quick to point out that if we ignore 2018 and look only at the stock market performance from January 1st, we’re actually seeing stellar results.

Some pundits even take this a step further. Here’s a graph posted by @StockCats who pointed out that the current trajectory of the markets does look a bit unsustainable.

Crypto Rally Stalled – Where to Next?

Let’s face it, these last few days have been amazing. However, even within this longest crypto bear market of all time, there have been rallies before that ended up fizzling out. So, even though it’s possible we go to the moon from here, it certainly pays to be cautious.

One thing that’s interesting to me is the different spins that some of the mainstream media are putting on this. The Independent is saying that it’s because of the Galaxy S10 Crypto Wallet…

…while Bloomberg is saying that…

Forbes, on the other hand, seemed to focus on the altcoin markets.

For me, it’s pretty clear that this whole thing began due to a shortage in Ethereum creation. As I explained in an interview with BlockTV yesterday, the creation of new Ether tokens has been severely limited lately. Especially for those of you who are less inclined to look at graphs and charts, feel free to watch the recording here.

For hose of you who do like charts, check this out. This supply shortage while demand remained consistent caused Ethereum’s price to rise dramatically and the rest of the cryptos followed. By today, we’re going on sheer momentum. After months of depressed prices, it’s about time we had a real rally in this market.

As I’m writing, it does seem that we may be getting a continuation of the rally but it’s still too early to tell. Let’s see where the day brings us.

Wishing you an excellent day. As always, please continue sending in your valuable feedbacks, questions, comments, and insights. It is always useful and always appreciated.

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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Walmart Earnings Propel Stocks Higher; Crypto Market Cap Hits $135 Billion

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U.S. stocks extended their rally on Tuesday, as a positive earnings surprise from Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) propelled the major indexes higher. Cryptocurrencies maintained their upward edge with EOS, Stellar and Binance Coin leading the gainers.

Relief Rally Continues

The major indexes overcame a tepid start to finish sharply higher on Tuesday. The broad S&P 500 Index rose 0.2% to 2,779.76, its seventh gain in the past eight sessions. Eight of 11 primary sectors finished in positive territory, led by materials. Consumer stocks also outperformed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up most of its gains to finish only moderately higher. The index closed at 25,891.32, having gained 8.07 points, or 0.03%.

Shares of Walmart Stores rose 2.2% after the retail giant reported better than expected quarterly results. For its fiscal fourth quarter, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company reported per-share earnings of $1.41 on sales of $133.79 billion. Both figures topped analysts’ median estimate.

Steady performances for information technology and communication stocks lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index to higher ground. The tech-heavy benchmark climbed 0.2% to 7,486.77.

The Dow extended its winning streak to eight weeks on Friday. Read more: Stocks Surge on U.S.-China Trade Optimism; Dow Notches Eighth Consecutive Weekly Gain.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Resume

China’s trade envoy has arrived in Washington to resume high-stakes negotiations with the Trump administration this week. Both the U.S. and China are upping the ante ahead of a self-imposed trade-deal deadline on Mar. 1. President Trump says he may let the deadline “slide” if both sides make progress toward a new deal.

The latest round of talks between the U.S. and China wrapped up on Friday in Beijing. The White House said the two-day meeting was “detailed and intensive.”

“Both sides will continue working on all outstanding issues in advance of the March 1, 2019, deadline for an increase in the 10 percent tariff on certain imported Chinese goods,” the White House said Friday in a statement.

Return of the Crypto Bulls?

Crypto markets flashed green on Tuesday, as bitcoin clawed back above $4,000 for the first time since early January. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap and trading volume reached a session high of $4,083.50 on Bitfinex. To negate the downtrend, bitcoin’s price must cross above $4,200.

In terms of percentage gains, Binance Coin was the best-performing major on Tuesday. It rose 12.7% to $10.88, where it held firm to tenth spot on the market-cap index.

EOS climbed 5.5% to $3.66. Stellar Lumens advanced 12.7% to reach $0.0912.

At the time of writing, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $135.5 billion. Trade volumes have surged to $33.9 billion, with all major exchanges reporting a significant increase in turnover since Sunday.

Read more: Crypto Markets are Up $16 Billion Since Sunday; What’s Behind the Rally?

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 773 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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