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Asian Market Update – Thursday: Ethereum Extends Rally; Asian Stocks down After US Rates Hike

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Janet Yellen

The Big Question: Is ethereum finally catching up with bitcoin?

Bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin were all pointing higher on Thursday morning in Asia, with large gains seen in ethereum, and slight gains in bitcoin and litecoin.

By midday, ethereum had edged up 5.68 percent to $752. Although a bit more subdued than litecoin, ethereum has also made huge gains over the past a few days. Etheruem is now up about 67 percent over the course of the week.

Litecoin also surged 1.22 percent to $316 as of midday Thursday in Asia, following a correction yesterday that brought the prices on Coinbase and Bitfinex closer together.

Litecoin gained more than 130 percent on Monday and Tuesday, reaching as high as $420 at one point on Coinbase, before falling back. On Wednesday, litecoin dropped about 11 percent on Coinbase while it was up around 1 percent on Bitfinex.

Bitcoin was also up 0.66 percent to $16,799 at midday on Thursday. The slight gain came after big losses on Wednesday. The virtual currency dropped about 6 percent on Wednesday, after a 16 percent increase over the previous two days.

Outgoing US Fed Chair Janet Yellen voiced criticism against bitcoin on Wednesday, saying the cryptocurrency is a “highly speculative asset” and “not a stable source of value,” according to media reports.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 22,704 -0.24%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,296 -0.20%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 29,216 -0.02%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,503 0.92%
Australia-ASX 200 6,020 -0.02%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,670 0.06%

Major Asian equities were narrowly down on Thursday morning, following the US Fed delivering a much-anticipated US rate hike, but voicing concern over inflation next year and rate hikes in China and Hong Kong.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index was off 0.24 percent to 22,704 at midday. The loss, though small, came even after fresh data out on Thursday suggested positive signs in the Japanese economy.  The Markit/Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Flash Purchashing Managers Index rose to 54.2 in December, up from 53.6 in November – the highest reading in more than three years.

On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.20 percent at midday on Thursday to 3,296. That came after the People’s Bank of China raised the country’s short- and medium-term interest rate by 5 basis points on Thursday morning, in response to the US rate hike. Though the move was unexpected, the increase was minimal and will likely not make any significant impact.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.02 percent to 29,216 at midday. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority also raised the base rate by 25 basis points on Thursday after the US Fed’s rate hike.

Down under, the ASX 200 was down a slight 0.02 percent to 6,020 after midday in Australian trading.

Stocks in South Korea edged up on Thursday morning. At midday, the Kospi was up 0.92 percent to 2,503 at midday.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Future was up 0.06 percent to 2,670.

The Fed on Wednesday raised interest rates for the third time this year as expected, while maintaining a projection of three more rate hikes in 2018. However, the thing that got the attention of investors was concerns raised by the Fed about the low inflation, downplaying expectations for a tightening in 2018.

Currencies

The Japanese yen lost 0.04 percent against the US dollar at midday Thursday, changing hands at 112.56 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan firmed 0.07 percent against the US dollar to 6.62084 per dollar.

The Australian dollar firmed 0.43 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.3035 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil gained 0.09 percent to $56.70 per barrel.

Brent Crude edged up 0.22 percent to $62.79 per barrel.

Gold was up 0.24 percent to $1,258 an ounce.

News across Asia

In China, investment in the real estate sector cooled in November, following a slew of measures from the government to crack down on speculation in overheated real estate markets. New figures out on Thursday showed that property investments grew 4.6 percent in the month, slower than the 5.6 percent growth in October.

Take away: Though the government measures, which include tough mortgage rules and sales regulations, could contain the overheated housing market, it could also very well weigh on the overall economic growth in China.

In Japan, the government is reportedly expected to reduce new bond issuance for the fiscal year 2018. Total bond issuance could fall as much as several hundred billion yen in 2018 from the current 34.37 trillion yen, the Nikkei reported.

Take away: The decision is likely to have been supported by rising tax revenues from the government following a recovery in economic growth in recent months.  

Featured image from Flickr.

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

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 548 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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