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Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Bitcoin blasts through record $10k, still aiming higher; Asian stocks mixed on North Korea

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Bitcoin record

The sky appears to be the limit for bitcoin.

The biggest news in the cryptocurrencies world or the global financial markets today is bitcoin, the new gold, the biggest bubble or whatever you want to call it. On Coinbase, bitcoin reached the milestone $10,000 after an impressive rally in recent days at 9 AM Hong Kong time Wednesday.

Still, the coin is far away from slowing down, it is still powering ahead with a solid momentum, up 4.13 percent to $10,359.

Positive outlook still persists, at least to some, as the virtual currency is expected to be traded as a futures contract on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – a significant step that gives the coin more legitimacy and mainstream appeal.

However, skepticism also grows as bitcoin reaches historic highs. Many, including prominent figures like the now infamous bitcoin-basher Jamie Dimon, have long been calling bitcoin trading highly speculative and headed for a crash.

Also important to note are the gains made by ethereum and litecoin on Wednesday and in the past few days.

Etherum gained about $10 in a strong upswing earlier in the morning, bringing the price to $479, though that’s still well below the earlier record high of $493. Ethereum fell back a bit later in the morning but was still up 1.28 percent to $474 as of midday in Asia.

Litecoin price also hit a new all-time-high of $100.99 before falling back to $98 at midday, still keeping a gain of nearly 4 percent for the day.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 22,576 0.40%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,312 -0.63%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 29,592 -0.30%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,512 -0.07%
Australia-ASX 200 6,020 0.61%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,623 -0.09%

Most major Asian equities markets were mixed during early trading on Wednesday, with gains in Tokyo and Sydney, but losses in China and South Korea, as investors weigh on tensions on the Korean Peninsula after the latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch from North Korea this morning.

The new ICBM, landing near Japan, showed that Kim Jung Un, who has exchanged tough words with US president Donald Trump, could reach as far as Washington DC with his weapons, per a Reuters report. Until now, North Korea has not conducted any missile tests since September.

Down under, the ASX 200 picked up 0.61 percent to 6,020 – the largest percentage gain among major Asian indexes.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 Index edged up 0.40 percent to 22,576 before midday.

On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index continued on a downtrend that started late last week. Before midday Wednesday, the benchmark lost 0.63 percent to 3,312. Tightening regulations for the financial markets still weigh on investors’ confidence in mainland stocks.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index lost 0.3 percent to around 29,592 on Wednesday, tracking losses on the mainland.

In South Korea, the Kospi was off a slight 0.07 percent to around 2,512 shortly after midday.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was down 0.1 percent to 2,599 at midday.

Currencies

The Japanese yen gained 0.05 percent the US dollar at midday Wednesday to 111.41 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan firmed 0.07 percent against the US dollar at 6.6000 per dollar.

The Australian dollar lost 0.02 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.3167 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was down 0.1 percent to $57.67 per barrel.

Brent Crude lost 0.71 percent to $63.22 per barrel.

Gold was up 0.17 percent to $1,295.54 an ounce.

News across Asia

In Japan, the conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp announced on Tuesday a tender offer to buy shares of embattled Uber Technologies, along with Sequoia Capital and China’s Tencent. The group is looking to buy about $8 billion dollar worth of shares.

Take away: It might be good news for Uber, which is facing a lot of trouble in the US as well as in international markets. However, the offered price is just $32.96 per share, significantly lower than the $48.77 per share Uber was offered in its latest series G round of funding.

In China, a top official on the board of the China Banking Regulatory Commission said Wednesday that the Chinese economy still faces huge downward risks that could weigh on the growth pace in 2018.

Take away: Latest data suggest that the world’s second-largest economy has sustained solid growth this year, but with mounting debts and other risks, the outlook appears to be less optimistic.

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

Market Update: U.S. Stocks Rise After Fed Chairman Testimony; Earnings in Focus

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U.S. stocks rebounded Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress that economic growth and inflation should keep the central bank on track to raise interest rates later this year.

Stocks Rise

All of Wall Street’s major indexes reported gains on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index returning to record territory. The technology-focused average climbed 0.6% to 7,855.12.

The broader S&P 500 Index rose 0.4% to close at 2,809.55, with seven of 11 primary sectors finishing in positive territory. Materials stocks were the biggest gainers, rising 1.3% as a cluster. Technology, consumer staples and healthcare stocks also outperformed the broader market.

Dow industrials gained 55.53 points, or 0.2%, to close at 25,119.89.

Expectations of 30-day volatility drifted toward six-month lows on Tuesday in a sign of prevailing calm on Wall Street. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index declined 6% to 12.06.on a scale where 20 represents the historic average.

Powell Testifies

Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Congressional hearings began Tuesday in a session chaired by the Senate Banking Committee. Though not appearing overly hawkish, the Fed leader indicated that short-term interest rates are likely headed higher in the coming months.

“Overall, we see the risk of the economy unexpectedly weakening as roughly balanced with the possibility of the economy growing faster than we currently anticipate,” Powell said.

He added: “The unemployment rate is low and expected to fall further. Americans who want jobs have a good chance of finding them.”

The Fed’s policy-setting board is scheduled to meet July 31 but is not expected to raise interest rates again until the September gathering. Policymakers and investors have priced in two more upward adjustments this year to the federal funds rate.

Powell will resume his testimony on Wednesday.

Earnings in the Spotlight

With corporate earnings season in full swing, investors are closely monitoring top- and bottom-line results of S&P 500 companies.

Netflix (NFLX) reported weaker than expected subscriber growth late Monday, sending share prices sharply lower. According to The Wall Street Journal, the stock was poised for its single-worst session in two years.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) posted bottom-line results that were higher than expected, but rising legal costs weighed on share prices. The Wall Street giant reported per-share earnings of $5.98, crushing forecasts for $4.66. Organization-wide revenue jumped 19% to $9.40 billion, compared with estimates for $8.74 billion.

The earnings season is off to a positive start with roughly nine of ten S&P 500 companies posting stronger than expected profit results. However, as of Friday, only 5% of the S&P 500’s constituents had reported.

Despite the robust results, half of the S&P 500 companies that reported as of Friday said currency swings had a negative impact on their business. After a disastrous start to the year, the U.S. dollar index has returned more than 6% over the past three months. DXY rose half a percent on Tuesday.

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 499 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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Market Overview

The King is a Fink

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Hi Everyone,

It’s true, I’ve always enjoyed reading the paper. When I was younger I used to track the price of gold daily in my grandfather’s copy of the Wall Street Journal. Before that though, I was drawn to the funnies.

The Wizard of ID is a classic. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s about a tyrannous but stout dictator, who hated it when people would call him a “fink,” even though the term has many meanings.

Speaking on Bloomberg yesterday, Blackrock’s CEO Larry Fink weighed in on many important issues including the ongoing trade wars as well as shooting down recent rumors that Blackrock is about to get into crypto.

The full video can be found here:

With $6.28 trillion under management, Blackrock is one of the largest financial institutions in the world and Fink is definitely the king. So it pays to listen to what he sees from this unique point of view.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Trumputin Turning Heads
  • Earnings Season (New Tool)
  • 75 Lambo Traffic Jam (New Research Paper on ADA)

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of July 17th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Shock and awe were witnessed on the global main stage yesterday at the Helsinki Imperial Palace, where President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump made jaws drop by aligning themselves on more than a half dozen hot button issues.

Picking up the most headlines was this statement, where Trump seemed to side with Putin over his own Intelligence Agency. Yet, despite the calls of “treasonous trump” from both Democrats and Republicans, the best the American people can hope for are some fair and compelling conclusions from special investigator Robert Mueller.

Meanwhile, stock markets are firmly in the red in Asia and Europe this morning as talk of a trade war and Fed tightening overshadow bullish investor sentiment.

Later today, about 30 minutes after the opening bell on Wall Street, we’ll get a special spectacle. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will be in front of the US Senate Banking Committee, in addition to his prepared statement, there’ll also be a Q&A session. Should be fun to watch.

Earnings Season Underway (New Tool)

For those of you holding individual stocks, which I hope is most of you, earnings reports are important. Yesterday, some sour earnings sent Netflix down by nearly 15% after hours.

In order to help you keep better track of these opportunities, we’ve put together a nifty tool to help you keep track of which companies are about to publish their results.

Please bookmark this page: https://www.etoro.com/investing/earnings-reports/

Simply scroll down to see the schedule, as well as the forecasted EPS. If you’re interested in a specific stock, you can click the “+” button to add it directly to your watchlist. As well, you can search directly for upcoming announcements by company or by a future date.

Ether Spammer

Five million green teas, 75 Lambos, 25 Coinbase seed rounds, or 0.9% of the Telegram ICO.

According to Vitalik Buterin, that’s what it’s costing someone to spam the Ethereum network. On Sunday, the Ethereum network was clogged pretty much the entire day reaching a peak of 62,715 unconfirmed transactions at one point.

The miners were able to get that number down to under 10,000 this morning but the two nasty spikes last night along with Vitalik’s tweet indicate that some malicious player may be intentionally creating activity on the network in order to slow it down.

While Ethereum is by far the most popular platform for dApps at the moment, it’s clear that if they don’t scale quickly it may not stay that way forever.

New Research Paper (ADA)

Several blockchain 3.0 competitors are already under construction and after looking at all the top contenders, we’ve found that one of the most promising ones is Cardano.

For your convenience, we’ve put together the following research paper in order to assist you to make the best possible investment decisions when considering this unique and exciting token for your portfolio.

Please find the new research paper at: eToro.tw/Research-ADA

As with all emerging technologies investing in this project may be risky. Because the network is still in its infancy, we really have no way of pinpointing exactly what each ADA token should be worth and so should only be used as a small part of a well-diversified portfolio.

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 115 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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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 499 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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