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Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Asian stocks mixed as investors await Fed’s monetary policy clue

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Asian stocks mixed

The Big Question: Will the US Federal Reserve keep rates steady?

Major Asian indexes were mixed at midday in Asia on Wednesday, as investors adopted a wait-and-see mood ahead of a meeting of the US Federal Reserve set for Wednesday afternoon US Eastern time, when the FOMC will announce its monetary policy stance on a press conference.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.04 percent at 20,306 at midday.

In Greater China, stocks made slight gains. The Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.17 percent to 3,362 before midday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index gained 0.31 percent to 28,137.

In South Korea, the KOSPI slipped a slight 0.09 percent to 2,413.

Down under, the ASX 200 slid 0.13 percent to 5,706.

The US Fed is scheduled to announce its monetary policy at 6 PM GMT time press conference, following a two-day meeting. At the moment, market expectation is that the Fed will not change the current interest rates. Still, until the decision is announced, investors will wait before make any big moves.

Also, investors will try to find clues in the Fed’s dot plot about projections of rate hikes for December.

Another thing that most investors would look for is a possible unwinding of the Fed’s massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet, mostly Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities accumulated during the financial crisis in 2008.

Expectations are high that the Fed will start to unwind its balance sheet, but investors would look for more details. Some analysts warn things could go wrong as well, depending on how the Fed is going to do it.

Also let’s not forget the lingering geopolitical tension on the Korean Peninsula. Though markets remained calm, investors likely paid much attention to a speech by US President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Trump threatened that the US military would “totally destroy” North Korea and its “Rocket Man” if forced to do so. Trump’s “Rocket Man” don’t take such threats well. Previous cases show that Kim Jong-un will respond, probably fire another missile and that could rattle markets at least for a short period of time.

Main Market Movers – Midday Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan-Nikkei 225 20,306.53 0.04%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,362.55 0.17%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 28,137.17 0.31%
Australia-ASX 200 5,706.00 -0.13%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,413.79 -0.09%

Cryptocurrencies

Prices of cryptocurrencies were flat overnight during the Asian trading session on Wednesday.

At midday in Asia, the bitcoin price was up by 0.15 percent, changing hands at $3,894. The digital currency has been on a downward trend since Monday night, dropping from its most recent high of about $4,100.

Meanwhile, Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, reportedly said that there is a bubble in the bitcoin market.

The price of ethereum was down 0.43 percent to $281.40 at midday in Asia. Tracking closely the price of bitcoin, the virtual currency has also been on a downtrend since Monday, when the price fell from a high of about $298.

Cryptocurrencies still face looming regulatory uncertainties, though they have shown strong resistance against regulatory tightening out of China.

Regulatory uncertainties are still lingering, as US regulators are schedule to discuss blockchain technology at a meeting in mid-October.

Currencies

The Japanese yen gained 0.12 percent against the US dollar at midday on Wednesday. The USD/JPY rate was at 111.46.

The Chinese yuan strengthened 0.19 percent against the US dollar to 6.5674. The yuan has been rising against the greenback since early morning Wednesday, after a four-day depreciation.

The Australian dollar gained 0.07 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.2474 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, A logistics firm is making headlines as it announced its initial public offering in the US. Best Inc, which is backed by China’s Alibaba Group, is set to raise about $450 million in the US.

Take away: The firm had to price its IPO at the bottom of expectations because investors are not very attracted by some fast-rising firms after big losses in recent high-profile IPOs.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly going to push back on a decision to balance the country’s primary budget in order to achieve a surplus in March 2021. Abe had proposed to raise sales tax from 8 percent to 10 percent in 2019 to pay the debt.

Take Away: The move is a key step for Japan to reduce its debt, which is about twice the size of its economy, according to Reuters.

Featured image from Max Pixel.

 

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 35 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

Fed Tests Big Banks & Adds Support for Crypto

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Hi Everybody,

Every year since the financial crisis the Federal Reserve creates a simulated crisis to see which banks are healthy enough to survive in the event of an emergency.

The tests were particularly difficult this year because the economy is doing well, but it does seem that a few U.S. banks passed by the skin of their teeth.

Here we can see the results for some of the top banks.

It’s important to note that this simulation is not indicative of a real world situation. Next week the Fed will perform a few more tests that should give us a better understanding of the situation.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Greek Debt Deal
  • Win for Mom & Pop
  • Fed Adds Ethereum

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of June 22nd. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Greek Debt Deal

The negotiations have been going on for far too long and have brought the markets to their knees several times already. Today the crisis has finally been declared over.

Though the Greeks didn’t get anything close to the deal that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras advocated in his famous 2015 election campaign, they did win a number of concessions from the European Union that will make it easier to operate the country and start borrowing money from the public again.

Much of the €96 billion owed will be pushed back by 10 years, which should allow the country to breathe and grow the economy in the meantime.

The Euro is gaining a bit of ground this morning on the news (purple circle), although hasn’t quite recovered from Draghi’s announcement last Thursday.

Win for Mom & Pop

A landmark case has now passed the US Supreme Court that could have an impact on your portfolio going forward.

Until now, online stores in the United States were exempt from local sales taxes in states where they do not have a physical presence.

Bricks and mortar stores claim that they have been disadvantaged by this for the last 25 years. Some even say that this has been a major contributing factor to the retail apocalypse of the last decade.

Going forward, online retailers will be subject to the same taxes that everyone else is, which should level the playing field a bit, but won’t necessarily reverse the online shopping trend.

The clear winners here are the state governments because they’re about to get billions more in tax revenues. This may be a good time to look at the stocks you’re holding as bottom lines for both online and offline retailers will be affected by this.

Fed adds Crypto

While many old school financial institutions see cryptocurrencies as a threat, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is extremely supportive of them.

They have already released a significant amount of research detailing how the introduction of a new form of decentralized money can have a stabilizing effect on the global economy.

This week, the Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) website, run by the St. Louis Fed, has taken a massive step towards legitimizing cryptocurrencies in the eyes of the financial world by adding price tracking graphs for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Here’s bitcoin on FRED…

…and Ethereum


Though the United States has been more skeptical about ICOs lately, they’re certainly looking a lot more friendly towards the more established cryptocurrencies.

What Else?

Remember that today is the much anticipated OPEC meeting. Watch for volatility in crude oil throughout the day.

Also, the Turkish elections will be held on Sunday. A month ago this looked to be a clear win for Erdogan the incumbent. Today, the scales have tipped just a little showing a slightly more favorable outlook for the opposition. Don’t get your hopes up too much though. Just keep an eye on the USDTRY.

Wishing you and yours an outstanding 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,

Best regards,
Mati Greenspan
Senior Market Analyst

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 105 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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Analysis

Italy Spooks markets Again as Stocks Remain Under Pressure

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European stocks Led the way lower today despite a bullish start in Asia, as equities gave back their gains when Daimler published a surprising profit warning, which was deeply affected by the recent trade war developments, reigniting fears of a tariff-driven downturn in global trade.

DAX, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Old Continent got into more trouble later on, when two anti-EU officials were named in Italy, resurrecting fears of a clash between the systematically crucial country and the core of the Eurozone. Italian yields rose in European trading, and although they are still shy of the levels hit during the May scare, the periphery could be in trouble as the ECB pledged to exit the market by the end of the year.

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The main European indices were smashed lower during the session, with the DAX hitting a two month low, still being very weak relatively speaking compared to its US peers. US stocks sold off heavily following the opening bell and they failed to recover, unlike two days ago, and the major benchmarks traded well below yesterday’s levels just before the close.

The Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 lost some of their recent mojo, pulling back heavily of the all-time highs during the day. All in all, the risk off shift continues to dominate across the board, as we expected and we remain negative on risk assets here, especially regarding emerging markets, even as the Dollar’s rally could be over for a while.

Dollar Pulls back as Pound Surges

USD/CAD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Dollar took a beating as the Philly Fed Index came in much worse than expected, and as the Bank of England sent hawkish signals, pushing the Pound and the Euro higher. The central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged at 0.5%, but a rate hike this year got much closer, with a key member of the bank voicing inflationary concerns.

The Greenback fell more than what the events would imply, so a larger scale consolidation could have already started in the currency following the recent gains and the marginal new high yesterday. With the EUR/USD pair nearing the 1.1450-1.15 support zone, the USD/CAD hitting 1.33 and the AUD/USD touching 0.7350, a meaningful counter-trend move would be timely in the surging reserve currency.

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Gold continued to drift lower before the Dollar’s reversal and it hit $1262 for the first time since lat December before bouncing back above the $1270 level in late trading. Crude oil also fell sharply in early trading, and the WTI contract traded with a $64 handle before rallying back to $66 per barrel.

The OPEC meeting, which is expected to result in a supply increase by the cartel made the crucial commodity very volatile in recent days, but we expect the bearish trend to continue, with a likely dip to the $60 level in the coming weeks.

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 280 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

Market Update: Dow’s Slide Hits Eight Days as Trade Risks Reemerge 

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U.S. stocks retreated Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average extending its losing skid to eight days as uncertainty over international trade undermined risk appetite.

Stocks Turn Defensive

Dow industrials were off 196.10 points, or 0.8%, by the close to settle at 24,461.70. That was the index’s worst settlement in three weeks.

The Dow’s losing skid is now the longest since March 2017. Another fall on Friday would bring the skid to nine days, the longest since 1978.

The broader S&P 500 Index fell 0.6% to close at 2,749.76. Seven of 11 primary sectors fell, led by energy and other commodity-sensitive sectors.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed down 0.9% at 7,712.95. The technology-heavy average closed in record territory on Wednesday.

Investor fear over a U.S.-China trade rift returned on Thursday, sending the VIX Volatility Index sharply higher. Wall Street’s gauge of investor anxiety climbed to a session high of 15.18 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. The index would later settle at 14.68 for a gain of more than 14%.

Trade War Looms Large Over Market

U.S.-China trade tensions were back in focus Thursday after U.S. policymakers urged Google to end its business ties with Huawei, a leading Chinese smartphone maker. Congress recently banned U.S. firms from selling products to Chinese telecommunication giant ZTE, a move that practically shuts down the company.

Under President Trump’s orders, Washington announced last Friday it would implement a 25% tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods, including semiconductors. Trump says additional tariffs of 10% will be applied on $200 billion of Chinese goods should Beijing choose to retaliate.

The first round of tariffs will come into force July 6.

In theory, tariffs will make American-made goods cheaper than imported ones, thereby encouraging consumers to purchase from local producers. Importers themselves will have to pay an additional tax on certain Chinese products they bring into the country – costs that are passed on to the consumer.

Saudi Arabia Proposes Crude Output Hike Ahead of OPEC Meeting

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto head, is encouraging fellow producers to support a deal that would see oil production rise by one million barrels per day. However, Iran remains the key holdout in the deal, with the country’s energy minister suggesting that a compromise is unlikely before the cartel meets Friday.

Despite Iran’s opposition, the biannual meeting in Vienna is expected to result in the first coordinated output hike since the cartel decided to constrain supplies all the way back in 2016.

The Saudis are banking on a slowdown in U.S. shale production over the next two years until pipeline bottlenecks are solved in the energy-rich Permian Basin, energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Thursday.

International crude prices declined sharply on Thursday, with Brent futures reaching a session low of $72.94 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. The global benchmark was last down $1.57, or 2.1%, at $73.17 a barrel.

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 464 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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