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Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Cryptocurrencies surging, Asian stocks up

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The Big Question: Is ethereum in trouble?

Prices of main cryptocurrencies were pointing higher overall during the Asian trading session on Wednesday, with bitcoin winning big and ethereum seeing only minor gains.

As of midday in Asia, bitcoin gained 3.46 percent to about $7,377. That’s a gain of more than $200 since the start of the trading day in Asia. However, the price of bitcoin still remains below the record $7,600 level reached on Sunday.

The price of ethereum saw a minor gain of 0.73 percent to about $295 before midday in Asia. Overall, the virtual currency has been pointing higher since yesterday, when it fell sharply from about $302 to as low as $288, following news that some user funds on the ethereum network had been frozen due to a code issue.

About $280 million worth of ethereum were locked as a result of the freeze that was apparently caused by one person’s mistake, according to Business Insider. Ethereum had faced another security issue. Earlier this year, ethereum wallets were hacked and ether worth $30 million were stolen.

Litecoin’s price also dropped a slight 0.1 percent to $60.84 at midday, following big gains of close to 15 percent yesterday. As we have mentioned previously, litecoin was trading at a good point for medium to longer-term investors, and it has now traded up from the low end of the trading range it is in.

Also in the news, PayPal’s CEO Dan Schulman said that there will be more changes coming in fintech in the next five years than in the last 30 years, CCN reported. Schulman was quoted as saying:

“You have to, to serve these markets, re-imagine how money can be managed and moved because there’s going to be more change in the next five years in financial services than happened in the past 30.”

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan- Nikkei 225 22,888 -0.22%
China-Shanghai Composite Index 3,431 0.54%
Hong Kong –Hang Seng 29,070 0.26%
South Korea-KOSPI 2,557 0.46%
Australia-ASX 200 6,021 0.12%
S&P 500 E-Mini Futures 2,583 -0.11%

 

Most major Asian equities markets were up on Wednesday morning’s session, as slowing trade data out of China as well as regional geopolitical tensions and trade dominates the headlines during Trump’s Asian tour.

On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.54 percent to about 3,431 before midday. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index edged up 0.26 percent to around 29,070 before midday.

Fresh data out on Wednesday suggested that China’s trade slowed in October. The trade surplus came in at $38.2 billion, lower than the expected $39.1 billion. According to Bloomberg, experts said the numbers were “ok” and showed a more balanced trade.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.22 percent to 22,888 around midday on Wednesday.

In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.46 percent to around 2,557 shortly before midday. In Seoul, visiting US president Trump delivered a speech at the South Korean parliament, where the focus was more on North Korea than trade. Trade tensions are high between the US and South Korea, as Trump is pushing a “better, fairer” bilateral deal for the US.

Down under, the ASX 200 added 0.12 percent to 6,021.

The S&P 500 E-Mini Futures was down 0.11 percent to 2,583 at midday in Asia.

Markets are also watching Trump’s next stop to Beijing, where he is determined to push China to do more on North Korea and give the US more trade concessions. Experts say large policy changes are unlikely, but several trade deals, including deals on US beef and LNG exports to China may be agreed on.

Currencies

The Japanese yen gained 0.18 percent the US dollar at midday Wednesday to 113.76 per dollar.

The Chinese yuan was flat against the US dollar at 6.6377 per dollar.

The Australian dollar gained 0.02 percent on the dollar, changing hands at 1.3076 per dollar at midday.

Commodities

WTI Oil was up 0.11 percent to $56.98 per barrel.

Brent Crude gained 0.02 percent to $63.54 per barrel.

Gold was up 0.25 percent to $1,277 an ounce.

Business News across Asia

In Japan: No signs of change in monetary policy, despite the fact that the Bank of Japan has been failing to meet its inflation target of 2 percent. BOJ board member Yukitoshi Funo said on Wednesday that the BOJ should continue its easing programs.

Take away: Markets have been watching if BOJ could change its monetary policy stance given the missed inflation data, but it’s apparently not changing for now. 

In China, all eyes are on Trump’s visit starting today, with markets watching for clues about the future of the China-US economic and trade relations. Trump is bringing about 30 US business executives to China and a slew of business deals are expected to be signed.

Take away: Business deals to be signed, but no major policy change. Disputes between the two will likely persist.

Featured 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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Analysis

3 Things You Need to Know About the Market Today: New High in Gold, Dow 26,000?, Euro Weakness

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1, Gold Jumps to 9-Month High, $1360 in Sight

Gold Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

We have been following the resurrection of gold in the past few months, and since fundamentals just got better for the precious metal, the current technical strength is great news for long-term investors. Today, gold quietly reached a new 9-month high, despite the still ongoing risk rally and the relative strength of the US Dollar.

The metal topped the $1330 level, and with the next major resistance level being found near $1360, a quick surge to the vicinity is in the cards in the coming days. We continue to advise holding gold for the long run, and for now, the short-term technicals also remain bullish. Should the risk rally finally roll over, the uptrend could even accelerate, with longer-term targets being found near $1400 and $1550.

2, US Stocks Drift Lower After Long Weekend as Trade Talks Resume

Dow 30 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

US stocks are having a quiet start for the day, with the major indices drifting slightly lower following the long weekend. The US economic calendar is empty today, and all eyes will be on the trade talks with China which are set to resume today in Washington in the wake of the unexpected extension of last week’s round of negotiations in Beijing.

The Dow, which approached the 26,000 level last week during the Friday surge to new 9-week highs, is lower today, in-line with the market-wide trends. The mega-cap index could get a lift in early trading thanks to the better-than-expected quarterly report by Walmart (WMT). The firm’s holiday-quarter sales topped estimates, despite the reports regarding the widening growth-gap between online and brick-and-mortar stores, and in light of the positive guidance by the company, the pre-market surge in the stock is no surprise.

With the week’s main economic releases coming in the second half of the period, today we could be in for another choppy session on Wall Street. That said, the momentum of the recovery-rally continues to be suspicious, and especially given the weakness in the Nasdaq, investors should pay close attention to the Volatility Index (VIX), market internals and other under-the-hood indicators for signs of negative divergences.

3, Euro Under Pressure Again, Despite Sentiment Beat

EUR/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the Dollar’s break-out to new multi-year highs still didn’t happen last week, technicals continue to agree that the long-term uptrend in the reserve currency will continue. The Euro, on the other hand, is still showing signs of broad weaknes, drifing lower against the Dollar and the Pound today, despite the better-than-expected German Zew Economic Sentiment report.

The indicator is still deep in negative territory, and together with the recent weakness in the Eurozone PMIs and industrial production, recessionary fears seem to be legit in Europe.

We will have a new batch of PMIs coming out tomorrow, and together with the Fed minutes a huge day could be ahead for forex markets and especially for the EUR/USD pair. The 1.12 level could be tested in the case of another negative surprise in the PMIs, while the Fed minutes will be under scrutiny even more than usual following the sharp dovish shift by the Central Bank.

ChartBook

Major Stock Indices

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

VIX (US Volatility Index), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

DAX 30 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

FTSE 100 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EuroStoxx50 Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Nikkei 225 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Shanghai Composite Index CFD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EEM (Emerging Markets ETF), 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Forex

USD/JPY, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

GBP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

EUR/GBP, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

AUD/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Copper Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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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4.7 stars on average, based on 466 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

Pieces of April

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Hi Everyone,

An 86-year-old lady returns to work today after fracturing three ribs and removing several cancerous nodules from her left lung.

She isn’t a victim of social or economic injustice though. Ruth Ginsburg is a Justice on the United States Supreme Court and she is arguably holding the balance in a fragile legal system. So there’s a lot riding on her ability to perform. In fact, this was her first notably absence in 25 years.

President Trump has already managed to appoint two conservative Justices to America’s highest court. So there are now 5 conservative and 4 liberal judges serving. Should Ginsburg retire now or otherwise be unable to continue her work, it would give Trump the opportunity to sway the Supreme court to a 6 – 3 majority. Something that could very well shape US laws and policy for decades to come.

In this graph from The Economist, we can see conservatives enjoying a slight judicial bias since 1980. We would like to wish Ruth the best of success, may she live a very long and healthy life!

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • US-China trade deadline: 10 days | Days to Brexit: 38

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of February 19th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Now that a shutdown has been successfully averted…

Sixteen states have already formed a coalition to ask the courts to block the President from proceeding and this battle could play out for some time to come. However, as the amount of money they’re squabbling over is relatively small, this partisan bickering probably won’t have much impact on the markets, short of any major breakthroughs or escalation.

Markets were up earlier during the Asian session but by now they are decidedly down. Brexit concerns, US-China Trade, and an apparent European slowdown are taking their toll, despite pledges from the central banks to prop them up.

The United States will come back from their long weekend today so the first few minutes after Wall Street rings the opening bell will be fairly significant.

Gold Surges

The shiny yellow metal has reached fresh highs this morning and is now at levels not seen since last April.

Precious metals such as Gold, Silver, Copper, and Platinum are increasingly being seen as a viable hedge against all the geopolitical tension mentioned above.

Crypto Optimism Continues

The crypto market is once again capturing the imagination of traders across the globe as volumes have now reached levels not seen since last April.

One of the cool things is that the number one gainer over the last 24 hours is EOS. As I mentioned in a YouTube session with Thinking Crypto last week, EOS is the number one coin in my portfolio, simply based on the token economics.

Though it’s easy to get excited. Please remember that we’re still very much in a bear market. So please trade with caution. Always remember to diversify your portfolio with other assets in order to keep your risk to a minimum.

Special thanks to Three Dog Night for the title of today’s market update.

Have an amazing day ahead!!

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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Market Overview

U.S. Stock Futures Point to Tepid Tuesday Start as Democrats Vow to Fight Trump’s Emergency Declaration

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U.S. stock futures headed for modest gains on Monday, as the President’s Day holiday kept trade volumes subdued ahead of what’s expected to be an active week in the market. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies exploded to the upside as trade volumes reached new highs for the year.

Stock Futures See Modest Gains

The U.S. futures market traded slightly higher in the holiday-shortened session. The Dow Jones mini futures contract edged up 14 points to close at 25,902.00. The benchmark Dow Jones index surged 1.7% on Friday en route to fresh three-month highs.

S&P 500 mini futures ticked up 1.25 points to settle at 2,778.25. The Nasdaq 100 mini contract rose 17 points to 7,080.75.

The New York Stock Exchange was closed on Monday for President’s Day. Regular trading hours are set to resume on Tuesday.

Further reading: Does this Chart Spell Doom for the S&P 500 Index?

Trump vs Democrats (Again)

As CCN reported earlier today, Democrats have vowed to fight President Trump’s emergency declaration to fund a new steel barrier on the southern border with Mexico. Trump exercised his executive powers on Friday shortly after signing $333 billion in new funding agreements that avoided a second costly government shutdown.

The new budget includes $1.38 billion in additional border funding, which is far less than the $5.7 billion Trump requested. By declaring a state of emergency, the president can divert funds from other programs to construct his new steel barrier.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the state of California has already announced plans to sue the Trump administration over the declaration. Xavier Becerra, the state’s Attorney General, told CNBC this weekend that he “definitely and imminently” planned to pursue legal action.

Crypto Bulls Ignite New Rally

Crypto markets put on a show Monday, as the asset class rallied more than $12 billion in the span of a few hours. The combined value of all cryptocurrencies peaked at $133.2 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s the highest level in over five weeks.

The rally was sustained by an incredible surge in trade volume. Turnover spiked more than 66% to $33.4 billion, far exceeding the the volume surge that accompanied the mid-November selloff.

The top 40 cryptocurrencies all reported gains. Bitcoin, the largest of the digital assets, rose 8.4% to $3,932.72. Ethereum climbed 14.4% to $146.89. XRP climbed to $0.3232, having gained 7.6%.

EOS was the standout performer, as the price rocketed 23.5% to $3.48. The cryptocurrency is trading at its highest level since November.

Litecoin maintained its bullish posture, as the price surged 12% to $48.48. Bitcoin cash rallied 19.1% to reach $145.44.

For more on the Monday crypto rally, read: Cue the Crypto Recovery: Coins Surge $9 Billion Overnight as Ethereum, EOS Break Out.

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 772 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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