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Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Tokyo and Hong Kong Stocks Posts New Highs as Cryptocurrencies Continue Sideways

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Stock market high

The Big Question: What will trigger the overdue stock market crash?

While stock markets in Asia continue to surge, the main cryptocurrencies were still mixed and nearly unchanged during the Asian trading session on Wednesday.

The Japanese stock market made a new two-year high on Wednesday morning, supported by positive economic news out of Beijing, while the Chinese and Korean markets were closed for a weeklong holiday.

Though Mainland China is closed, Hong Kong is still open for business, with the market posting a new two-year high there as well. Markets across the region are benefitting from positive data out of Beijing, as well as a stronger manufacturing sector throughout Asia Pacific and the US.

In the US, investors appear to be preparing for the inevitable crash that will follow this very long bull market. According to media reports, investors are already pulling large amounts of money from the stock market and instead hoarding gold and cash.

A question many traders have is to what degree cryptocurrencies will benefit from a future stock market crash. Although we have yet to see a rush into bitcoin at this stage of the stock market rally, things could turn around quickly. Smart investors will stay ahead of this game and position themselves in time.

Bitcoin again showed small movements on Wednesday morning, trading up by 0.4 percent to $4,333. Bitcoin is facing some resistance at the $4,400 level, and a break through that level would indicate another leg up towards $5,000.

Etherum was slightly more up, and is now pushing closer to the $300 level, trading at $295 as of midday in Asia.

Litecoin traded up by 1.3 percent on Wednesday morning to $52.80.

Main Market Movers – Mid-day Asian Trading Session

Indexes Value at Midday Daily Change
Japan-Nikkei 225 20,626 0.06%
China-Shanghai Composite Index CLOSED CLOSED
Hong Kong – Hang Seng 28,353 0.64%
South Korea-KOSPI CLOSED CLOSED
Australia-ASX 200 5,652 -0.86%

With Mainland China and South Korea still on holiday, trading was a bit slow during the Asian trading session on Wednesday.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained a slight 0.06 percent, trading at 20,626 before the end of the trading day in Tokyo. The Tokyo market was lifted by strong regional manufacturing data.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was also up at midday, gaining 0.64 percent to 28,353. The Hong Kong market was supported by steady economic growth in China.

In Australia, the ASX 200 was again the only loser, extending yesterday’s decline by another 0.86 percent to 5,652 at the end of the trading day.

Currencies

On the forex front, the dollar lost 0.25 percent on the Japanese yen, trading at 112.56 yen per dollar.

The US dollar lost on the Aussie dollar, trading down by 0.31 percent to change hands at 1.2722 per US dollar at the end of the trading day in Australia.

Commodities

WTI Oil remained nearly flat Wednesday morning, trading up by 0.08 percent to $50.15 per barrel.

Brent Crude showed similar performance, trading up by a slight 0.13 percent to $55.76 per barrel.

Gold was up by 0.41 percent to $1,276 per ounce.

Business News across Asia

In Australia, the IMF has issued a warning on the country’s economy. Specifically, the international organization is concerned about Australia’s rising household debt. Though it boosts the economy in the short term, high levels of household debt add pressure on the economy in the long run, as households are forced to cut spending in order to repay their debt. While household debt levels in the UK and US have declined since the 2008 financial crisis, levels in Australia have continued to rise.

Take away: Media reports points out that Australia is well above their neighbors in terms of household debt levels. However, developed countries always have higher levels of private debt than developing countries do, partly due to very low access to credit and credit cards in developing countries.

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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Market Overview

U.S. Stocks Rise on Solid Bank Earnings; Cryptocurrencies Look for a Catalyst

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U.S. stocks continued higher on Wednesday, with the Dow rising triple digits after a blowout earnings report from Goldman Sachs. Cryptocurrencies were mostly directionless after Ethereum delayed its planned Constantinople upgrade due to security risks.

Stocks Rise

All of Wall Street’s major indexes finished in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 141.57 points, or 0.6%, to 24,207.16. The broad S&P 500 Index advanced 0.2% to 2,616.10, with financials leading the way higher. The Nasdaq Composite Index recorded a gain of 0.2% to finish at 7,043.70.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) was the Dow’s best performer after reporting much better than expected earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter. The investment bank reported per-share earnings of $6.05 on revenue of $8.08 billion. Analysts had called for an EPS of $4.45 on $7.55 billion in sales.

Bank of America Corp (BAC) also rose after reporting a better than expected quarter. The bank beat expectations on the top and bottom lines and tripled its profit to $7.3 billion.

Brexit Uncertainty

Global financial markets were surprisingly calm in the wake of a devastating Brexit vote for British Prime Minister Theresa May, who failed to pass her proposed legislation on Tuesday. Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly against the proposed Brexit deal, setting the stage for a new round of negotiations with Brussels.

However, some members of British Parliament want Prime Minister May to step down or call a general election. The opposition Labour party pushed for a vote of no-confidence on Wednesday, which if passed, would have set the stage for a general election. The motion was rejected late Wednesday.

Under May’s proposed deal, the United Kingdom would embark on a soft Brexit in roughly two months’ time. It’s not entirely clear whether that timetable is still feasible given the latest setback in parliament.

Day 26 of the Government Shutdown

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history entered its 26th day on Wednesday, fueling uncertainty about the direction of the economy. With roughly 800,000 federal workers affected by the impasse, some analysts are beginning to worry about the potential impact on economic growth.

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows the majority of Republicans still support the shutdown because of its implications on border wall funding. President Donald Trump has been adamant that he will not cave unless Democrats make appropriations for a steel barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. The president has warned that the shutdown could go on for “months or even years” if Democrats don’t agree to fund the wall.

With no solution in sight, attention has turned to Senate Republicans, some of which have grown frustrated with the shutdown. If enough of them defect, it could force a vote on a new measure to re-open the government.

Ethereum Hard Fork Postponed

The planned implementation of the Constantinople hard fork was delayed on Wednesday after developers identified a major vulnerability in one of the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (IEPs).

Smart contract auditor ChainSecurity on Tuesday uncovered a major issue with EIP 1283, which proposes net gas metering changes for the SSTORE opcode and new uses for contract storage. According to ChainSecurity, implementing the EIP 1283 would give attackers a loophole to steal funds.

The delayed launch of Constantinople was made official on Ethereum’s official Twitter: “Constantinople upgrade is temporarily postponed out of caution following a consensus decision by #Ethereum developers, security professionals and other community members. More information and instructions are below.”

At the time of writing, no alternative timetable has been provided. More on Constantinople: ETH/USD Price Analysis: Ethereum’s “Thirdening” Approaches.

Crypto Markets Gyrate

The cryptocurrency market saw little movement on Wednesday, as bitcoin held within a narrow range and most of the major altcoins exhibited lower volatility. The value of all coins in circulation dipped slightly to $121.6 billion despite the presence of stable volumes.

Bitcoin edged down 0.1% on the day, reaching $3,642.89. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap experienced a large bounce at the beginning of the week but has faced strong resistance near $3,700.

Learn why we believe 2019 could be the year of accumulation for bitcoin.

Ethereum had posted the biggest percentage drop in the top 20 before paring losses later in the session. EH was last down 0.6% at $122.86.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Cardano gained 4.2% to $0.0445. Binance Coin rose 3% to $6.10. EOS added 1% to $2.43.

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 738 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Market Overview

Bitcoin in Backwardation (this is fine)

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Bitcoin Options

Hi Everyone,

One of the joys of having a futures market is the ability to understand what investors are thinking about the future of the price. For bitcoin, it doesn’t seem so great at the moment.

As we can see, the contracts for the bitcoin futures on the CBOE are currently in backwardation, meaning that contracts with a later expiration are trading consecutively lower.

Of course, something like this might have made me nervous on a normal day, but then I remembered that oil futures were trading in contango (opposite of backwardation) before the prices collapsed back in October.

Also, the volumes here are kind of silly. I mean, 227 BTC (less than $1 million) trading on a contract that expires today. Sure, the title is catchy but what can we really learn from this?

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

Today’s Highlights

  • Shutdown: Day 26
  • Day’s to Brexit: 72
  • Constantinople Delayed

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 16th. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

You may have noticed that we’re now including a countdown to Brexit in the highlights section, right next to the US government shutdown counter. I think they fit together neatly. Two governments descending into a state of turmoil over political wrangling.

Today, Theresa May’s government will see the ultimate test. If she loses the vote of no confidence, the UK heads to new elections… again.

Over in the East, China decided to inject the market with a record level of stimulus. Yesterday’s tax cuts may have been insufficient to maintain growth, so they’ve gone the route of free cash for the market.

In addition, it seems the Institue of International Finance has made a rather shocking estimation. It seems our entire economic system, from our homes to places of work and our governments are increasingly reliant on debt.

Given all the above, it’s no wonder that the European Central Bank is now sounding a new alarm.

Don’t worry about any of this though. The stock markets are up today. Hope the earnings reports from the financial sector go well.

Ethereum Upgrade Delayed

After all the excitement, the crypto community was disappointed to hear last night that the long-awaited Constantinople upgrade has been delayed once again.

It seems a critical bug was found at the last minute and the lead developers pulled the plug. Here we can see the crypto market, led by Ethereum, dropping moments after the announcement was made

We’re seeing a bit of a recovery this morning but that was really scary. I mean, it’s good that they caught the bug before going live but the fact that it came within 30 hours of the upgrade is a bit nervewracking.

These things do happen, virtually all major platforms including Windows, Android, and Apple Operating systems, have seen critical bugs before. Though it would be possible to release a patch, fork the network again, and return to normal, that kind of process could in itself have done irreparable damage.

We hope that Constantinople whenever it is ready, goes through without any additional hitches.

This content is provided for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered to be investment advice or recommendation.

Past performance is not an indication of future results. All trading involves risk; only risk capital you are prepared to lose.

The outlook presented is a personal opinion of the analyst and does not represent an official position of eToro.

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies, as well as trading CFD assets.

Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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 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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4.7 stars on average, based on 142 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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Market Overview

U.S. Stocks Rise on News of China Stimulus; Theresa May’s Brexit Deal Falters in British Parliament

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Wall Street and global stocks bounced back on Tuesday, as investors rallied behind a renewed stimulus push from the Chinese government in the wake of dismal trade figures earlier in the week. Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal was swiftly rejected by British parliament, setting the stage for a tumultuous two months.

Stocks Rally

All of Wall Street’s major indexes bounced back on Tuesday from a slow start to the week. The S&P 500 Index gained 1.1% to 2,610.30, with nine of 11 primary sectors reporting gains. Technology, health care and communication services were the best performers. Surging tech shares lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index to a gain of 1.7%, where it closed at 7,023.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 155.75 points or 0.7%, to close at 24,065.59.

European and Asian markets also reported firm gains. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.6% to 6,895.02. The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished 0.4% higher at 348.71.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 1% to 20,555.29. Mainland China markets surged 2%, with the CSI 300 Index closing at 3,127.99.

China Pledges More Stimulus

The rally in global stocks on Tuesday was partly owed to a renewed pledge by the Chinese government to stimulate a moribund economy. China’s finance ministry has announced a new plan to cut taxes and increase federal expenditures this year in an attempt to combat weaker growth. Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it will make monetary policy more forward-looking and ensure that markets don’t face a liquidity crunch in the future.

In reality, China’s economic slowdown appears to be inevitable as Beijing shifts from exports and manufacturing toward consumption and services. This generational transition will likely see GDP growth decline further in the coming yeas as China’s middle class continues to grow. However, the presence of asset bubbles and a worsening trade outlook could hasten the decline.

May’s Brexit Deal a No-Go

British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, setting the stage for a political fallout that could threaten the U.K.’s planned exit from the European Union in March.

The Brexit deal was soundly rejected in British parliament by a vote of 432 to 202. The scale of the defeat highlighted the extreme opposition facing the prime minister from both sides of the political divide. By failing to agree on the terms of Brexit, the U.K. faces an uncertain future with respect to the EU.

May still has three options for salvaging an exit agreement: (1) negotiate new terms with the EU and table a slightly different proposal; (2) hold a second referendum; and (3) call a general election.

Since taking over from David Cameron in 2016, May has faced an uphill battle satisfying living up to the hard Brexit mandate while also satisfying the pro-EU opposition. A botched early election in 2017 relegated her party to minority status in Parliament, which further complicated matters.

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 738 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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