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North Korea Just Fired Its Second Missile Over Japan, and Investors Don’t Seem to Care

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Investors are getting less excited by North Korea’s antics. The Communist state just launched its second missile over Japan in as many months, and Asian markets are shrugging it off.

North Korea Taunts Japan with Second Missile Strike

It didn’t take long for North Korea to vent its frustration after the U.N. approved fresh sanctions targeting the hermit state. Pyongyang apparently launched a missile at 6:57 a.m. Friday that flew over the northern island of Hokkaido, according to a Japanese government spokesman. The missile landed some 2,200 km away in the Pacific Ocean.

The North Koreans launched a similar test last month in a show of defiance following a verbal war with U.S. President Donald Trump. The latest provocation comes days after the U.N. Security Council targeted Pyongyang with fresh sanctions over its aggressive nuclear program.

The sanctions were part of a U.S.-drafted resolution that intends to do the following:

  • Limit North Korea’s oil imports
  • Ban its textile exports
  • End additional laborer contracts held overseas
  • Reduce smuggling efforts
  • Prevent Pyongyang from entering joint ventures with other nations
  • Sanction government entities

Markets Unaffected

North Korea saber-rattling has been a major source of volatility in the financial markets, but that appears to be changing. On Friday, Asian markets held their ground in the wake of the missile test. Japan’s 225-issue Nikkei rose 0.5%. Mainland China’s CSI 300 Index advanced 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also traded in positive territory.

The Japanese yen, a highly liquid global reserve currency, rose immediately after news of Pyongyang’s missile test. But the gains didn’t last very long. In fact, it took about three minutes for the yen to lose two-thirds of its gain. At time time of writing, the yen has moved into negative territory against its U.S. counterpart.

Japan’s currency is often seen as a gauge of global financial stress. Investors exchange other currencies for yen when they feel geopolitical unrest will impact the financial markets. Calm appear to have prevailed Friday morning.

Cryptocurrency Outlook Remains Negative

The global cryptocurrency market has shed billions this week as China expanded its assault on the asset class. Beijing has taken major steps toward closing its domestic bitcoin exchanges. Earlier this month, it announced a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs), the breakthrough funding mechanism that has taken the world by storm.

The crash extended to all the major cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ethereum. The total market cap for the crypto asset class has plunged 35% over the past two weeks. As the following chart illustrates, the sky hasn’t stopped falling since Tuesday.

China’s position on cryptocurrency diverges sharply from that of neighboring Japan. The Japanese government has taken major steps toward recognizing bitcoin and regulating its use.

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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Market Overview

Walmart Earnings Propel Stocks Higher; Crypto Market Cap Hits $135 Billion

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U.S. stocks extended their rally on Tuesday, as a positive earnings surprise from Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) propelled the major indexes higher. Cryptocurrencies maintained their upward edge with EOS, Stellar and Binance Coin leading the gainers.

Relief Rally Continues

The major indexes overcame a tepid start to finish sharply higher on Tuesday. The broad S&P 500 Index rose 0.2% to 2,779.76, its seventh gain in the past eight sessions. Eight of 11 primary sectors finished in positive territory, led by materials. Consumer stocks also outperformed.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up most of its gains to finish only moderately higher. The index closed at 25,891.32, having gained 8.07 points, or 0.03%.

Shares of Walmart Stores rose 2.2% after the retail giant reported better than expected quarterly results. For its fiscal fourth quarter, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company reported per-share earnings of $1.41 on sales of $133.79 billion. Both figures topped analysts’ median estimate.

Steady performances for information technology and communication stocks lifted the Nasdaq Composite Index to higher ground. The tech-heavy benchmark climbed 0.2% to 7,486.77.

The Dow extended its winning streak to eight weeks on Friday. Read more: Stocks Surge on U.S.-China Trade Optimism; Dow Notches Eighth Consecutive Weekly Gain.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Resume

China’s trade envoy has arrived in Washington to resume high-stakes negotiations with the Trump administration this week. Both the U.S. and China are upping the ante ahead of a self-imposed trade-deal deadline on Mar. 1. President Trump says he may let the deadline “slide” if both sides make progress toward a new deal.

The latest round of talks between the U.S. and China wrapped up on Friday in Beijing. The White House said the two-day meeting was “detailed and intensive.”

“Both sides will continue working on all outstanding issues in advance of the March 1, 2019, deadline for an increase in the 10 percent tariff on certain imported Chinese goods,” the White House said Friday in a statement.

Return of the Crypto Bulls?

Crypto markets flashed green on Tuesday, as bitcoin clawed back above $4,000 for the first time since early January. The largest cryptocurrency by market cap and trading volume reached a session high of $4,083.50 on Bitfinex. To negate the downtrend, bitcoin’s price must cross above $4,200.

In terms of percentage gains, Binance Coin was the best-performing major on Tuesday. It rose 12.7% to $10.88, where it held firm to tenth spot on the market-cap index.

EOS climbed 5.5% to $3.66. Stellar Lumens advanced 12.7% to reach $0.0912.

At the time of writing, the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is $135.5 billion. Trade volumes have surged to $33.9 billion, with all major exchanges reporting a significant increase in turnover since Sunday.

Read more: Crypto Markets are Up $16 Billion Since Sunday; What’s Behind the Rally?

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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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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