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Pre-Market: Nasdaq Nears All-Time High as Stocks Struggle to Hold Gains

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Investors could have a sense of déjà vu, as market conditions are similar to those that persisted in March for weeks. The Nasdaq is marching higher, and it is currently testing its all-time high, while the other global indices are struggling to keep up the pace of the tech benchmark, leading to deepening divergences between the leaders and the laggards.

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

European markets have been in an optimistic mood today, as the continued relief rally lifted stocks, even as the worrying signs that we pointed out yesterday, especially the weakness in financials are still apparent. The early optimism has been fading during the US session, as Italy is back in the focus, following the speech of new Prime Minister Conte, where the politician proposed a slew of deficit-boosting policies, while pledging to reduce the debt burden of the country.

DAX Index, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

It seems as the markets are not buying the plans, as Italian yields are trending higher, and stocks are drifting lower, reflecting the shift in sentiment. The major US indices gave back their overnight gains, and the main European benchmarks also shed around 1% compared to their intraday highs.

The early rally was fueled by the better than expected British Services PMI, while the beat in the US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI has a mixed effect. The good US data caused a brief spike in the Dollar, with all eyes still on next week’s Fed decision, while stocks continued to drift lower.

Treasury yields retreated today across the curve despite the bullish economic data, and we expect heavy and hectic trading in both bonds and currencies leading up to the Fed’s meeting, especially if the European worries remain in the center of attention.

Dollar Pump-and-Dumps in Volatile Trading

Dollar Index, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Currencies were already very active from the get-go today, with the Australian Dollar selling off after the RBA’s rate decision, as the central bank held its benchmark rate unchanged at 1.5%. The Pound rallied strongly after the positive Services PMI surprise, and the US Dollar had a roller-coaster ride.

The reserve currency gained ground against most of its peers in early trading, but as yields pulled back in the second half of the day, the Greenback also fell to session lows, continuing its choppy consolidation after the strong rally.

WTI Crude, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Commodities were lifted in the second half of the day as the Dollar sold off, with gold benefiting from the Italy-related worries too, retaking the $1300 price level yet again. Oil hit another new correction low before bouncing back by 2% later on, and with the bearish momentum weakening a more durable correction might be underway.

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 465 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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Analysis

USD/JPY Price Prediction: Trade Talks and FOMC Minutes are Huge Downside Risks; 110.25 Key Daily Support Eyed

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  • Focus shifts to a possible FOMC hiking halt confirmation following the dovish rate decision from January.
  • Trade talks continue in Washington, with USD pumped up on much optimism.

The USD/JPY bulls have been pushing the pair higher at quite some pace, as it completed its second consecutive trading week in the green. It has gained around 160 pips to the upside, moving from 109.50 up to a high last week of 111.13 before running into sellers. The pair managed to jump to its highest level seen since the back-end of December 2018. There are encouraging signs of a full reversal, following the steep losses that came into play from mid-December.

As a recap, a significant drop was observed from the week commencing 17th December last year; this followed the FOMC rate decision that was out during that week. The FOMC did increase rates back then; however, it was very much a dovish hike. The Fed’s accompanying statement at the time appeared to signal FOMC members are anticipating two rate hikes in 2019, down from their previous dot-plot projection of three rate hikes. The indications of a slowdown from this meeting were enough to see the markets start pricing in a downturn in moves north with interest rates from the Fed.

FOMC Minutes on Wednesday

Back in January, the FOMC made a complete U-turn on its monetary policy stance. FOMC members effectively noted that the balance sheet could be adjusted if need be. Furthermore, the FOMC called for ‘patience’ with future rate hikes. At the time, this generated a large amount of weakness for the greenback. Eyes are on a potential dovish statement from the central bank, with close attention to the language used.

Market participants will be looking for further confirmation that the bank’s hiking cycle is over. As a result, this could potentially force pressure to the downside on the USD, should the market interpret such a tone from the FOMC.

Trade Talks Progress

Another big influencer for the greenback this week will be the developments between the U.S. and China with their ongoing trade talks. They remain very much complicated; however, optimism is still seen following their willingness to continue negotiating in Washington. There was little in terms of anything conclusive during the discussions in Beijing last week; clocks are ticking ahead of the deadline.

Markets will be looking for this possible extension announcement in the deadline from Trump, should the talks go as well as he noted. Should nothing conclusive come out of these talks, then the market could grow tiresome and start selling USD. Risks remain tilted to the downside, given that USD has been pumping on hope and optimism.

Technical Review – USD/JPY

USD/JPY daily chart.

In terms of upside targets, the bulls will be eyeing a retest of the psychological 111.00 level. The price managed to move into this territory last week between 13-14th February. Last week’s jump came before running into significant sellers, forcing USD/JPY to retreat down at a critical daily support level. Longs are attractive above 110.25 (daily support), which is in proximity to the 61.8% Fibonacci.

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 124 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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Cryptocurrencies

6 Upcoming Events That Could Trigger a Price Pump for These Cryptocurrencies

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The kind of fundamental developments that sent a coin to the moon in 2017 had already started to lose their potency by the time 2018 came around. As the year wore on, we started to see partnership announcements and technical developments go unnoticed, when once the mere rumour of them was enough to positively impact the price of a coin.

And while 2019 will probably see an extension of this trend, I can’t help but think of the number of times I’ve seen a coin pump 50% in a week, only to go and check the project’s Twitter page and see that they’ve just implemented a new tech update.

By that time I’m too late, and whatever anticipation was being speculated on has turned into news, and is now being sold.

So in the spirit of experimentation, here’s a few upcoming technical updates due in the coming weeks.

Aeternity (AE) – First Mainnet Hardfork

Aeternity has three hardforks scheduled over the next year as it completes its migration from Ethereum. The date for this hardfork is only a few days away, but I include it on the basis of Aeternity’s previous volatility, exemplified in this chart from the last seventy days. Volume has been climbing all through February, from $10 million to $50 million.

Hardfork Date: February 20th

IOST (IOST) – Mainnet Launch

Just over a week away from mainnet, the IOST token price has shown signs of life with 4% growth in the past seven days. A summary of what the IOST mainnet promises to bring can be found here in a tweet from co-founder Jimmy Zhong.

Mainnet Launch Date: February 25th

 

Ethereum (ETH) – Constantinople Hardfork

The previously delayed Constantinople hardfork is scheduled for the end of the month. Block rewards will be reduced from 3 to 2 ETH, and the difficulty bomb will be delayed for another year, among other tweaks.

At time of writing ETH is up 8% for the week, with Constantinople ten days away.

Hardfork Date: February 27th

CyberMiles (CMT) – 15 Million Users’ Data Uploaded to Blockchain

A huge migration is set to take place at the end of February as the 5Miles mobile app uploads all of its customers accounts onto the CMT blockchain. Once launched, 5Miles clients will be able to transact independently across the chain. 5Miles is a ‘mobile marketplace’ where users buy and sell various items and services.

Launch Date: February 28th

Theta Token (THETA) – Mainnet Launch

Theta Token is another project set to leave Ethereum for its own mainnet. A look at THETA’s weekly chart shows a token at just about break even, but zooming out to the monthly view reveals that something has been building with THETA for a while.

Mainnet Launch Date: March 15th

QuarkChain (QKC) – Mainnet 1.0

QuarkChain was one of the darlings of the ICO period, and big things were expected from this highly rated project. Big things might still be on the horizon, and we may find out more about QuarkChain when the mainnet lands at the end of March.

Read more on what’s in store for QKC fans in 2019. The coin price has been falling all quarter, and all month. But that trend reversed for the first time this week as the coin regained 6% of its value. Volume jumped from $1 million to $6.8 million in the last few days.

Mainnet Launch Date: March 31st

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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4.5 stars on average, based on 146 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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Altcoins

Zcash Price Analysis: ZEC/USD Bears Back in the Driver’s Seat Despite Coinbase Incentive Program Support

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  • ZEC/USD is back within the control of the sellers, as the price has dropped around 9% within the past five sessions.
  • Coinbase announces that Zcash (ZEC) is supported on their learning incentive program. Users can earn $3 worth of ZEC by merely watching educational videos on the privacy coin.

ZEC/USD: Recent Price Action

The Zcash price has been cooling over the past few sessions after the bulls failed to sustain decent upside momentum seen earlier in the month. ZEC/USD has fallen over 9% in the previous five sessions, after hitting $56.75 on 13th February. The mentioned print was the highest seen since 14th January, with the buyers since losing ground.

ZEC/USD was moving within a descending wedge pattern formation; this was observed from 24th December up to the breakout on 8th February. As part of this mentioned push north, the price went on to gain a whopping 15%, rallying for five consecutive sessions. It was the longest run higher that observed since mid-December 2018.

Zcash Added to Coinbase Incentive-Driven Learning Program

U.S cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced Zcash has been added to its incentive program. Users will be able to learn about the privacy-based coin while having the benefit to earn from this program. The reward will be $3 worth of ZEC for watching the educational videos about the cryptocurrency.

Coinbase tweeted from its official account, “Earn $3 worth of Zcash with a new Coinbase Earn opportunity today. Check out the Earn ZEC page to view educational videos about Zcash and earn some along the way!” Users can sign up and start the program to receive their cryptocurrency rewards upon completing the educational series.

The program launched at the back-end of 2018, initially just featuring 0x. Earlier this month, Coinbase added Basic Attention Token (BAT) to the program. Zcash now being the latest is a massive step towards greater global awareness for ZEC by being supported on one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Technical Review – ZEC/USD

ZEC/USD daily chart.

As detailed earlier, the price is heading south, which will likely see the above-detailed descending wedge pattern retested. Support is currently tracking around $47.00, which is where the upper trend line of the descending wedge sits. The mentioned support area coincides with a demand zone, seen from $50.00 down to $46.50. ZEC/USD last traded down at these lows in December 2018, a period when the general market bottomed, after heavy bouts of selling.

Should this support fail to provide necessary comfort, then a strong wave of pressure to the downside may likely be seen. The price may be forced to trade within the complete abyss, an area that has not been observed before. Unknown territory trading is something that is occurring across the industry within this current bear market.

Given the breach of the wedge pattern, there isn’t too much in the way of resistance until the $60 region. A supply zone tracks from $62 up to $65; the price saw several rejections here in January of this year and in December 2018. Further to the north, another likely target would be where the price peaked at the end of 2018, $73.95.

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 124 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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