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Market Overview

The Sudsy Crypto Market & Other Financial Bubbles

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As a market analyst who is focused on Cryptocurrencies, many people ask if the crypto-market is a bubble. Yesterday, while amusing my children with actual soap bubbles I managed to gain some unique perspective on how to better answer this question.

The first thing we need to realize about bubbles is that they only exist given the proper conditions. One of my favorite economists on Twitter, who goes by the username @TheBubbleBubble, has been warning about financial bubbles since before 2008 and recently posted this graph showing how bubbles usually form when financial stress is low.

This feeling that the economy is doing great represents the soap in our analogy. As we can see, financial stress is at extreme lows right now.

The amount of cash that’s been pumped into the system over the last decade represents a reservoir of water. With soap and water both in abundance, I’d say we have enough solution at this time to create as many bubbles as we need.

The third ingredient of course, is hot air and there’s certainly no shortage of analysts out there ready to talk up their asset of choice.

The second thing I noticed is that bubbles are never lonely. A single breath can easily produce 10 or 20 bubbles of different sizes. Not only that, you’ll also notice the formation of hundreds of microbubbles known as suds.

Each tiny bubble, similar to a penny stock or a new digital token, will probably never amount to much but has the potential to become a monster.

The funny thing is, you never really know what the growth potential of a specific bubble is just by looking at it. Sometimes you can catch a large bubble with the wand, blow on it, and watch it get even bigger. With the right equipment and enough solution, there really is no limit to how big a bubble can get.

@MatiGreenspan
eToro, Senior Market Analyst

 

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of January 2nd. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you’re prepared to lose.

Traditional Markets

By the time Wall Street rings them first opening bell of 2018, few will be thinking about Kim Jong Un’s upgraded nuclear desk. What more likely be on the minds and TV screens of traders this morning are the protests in Iran.

With the war in Syria seemingly nearing its end, the last thing we need is another conflict in the Middle East. The most direct impact this would be on the price of oil. Since Oil is a highly speculative market, if we do see supply disruptions in the third largest OPEC producer it could send the price even higher.

Oil has been holding well above $60 a barrel and if we go much higher, technical analysts might start to view the upward momentum as a new trend.

Generally speaking, stocks do well when the price of oil is steady. Wild swings have a way of destabilizing other markets.

On a side note, it is interesting to see the correlation between economic issues in Iran and a recent rise in Bitcoin volumes in the country. On the week of December 23rd, local bitcoin volumes peaked at 86 BTC.

Even more than the situation in Iran, American investors will be thinking about the new tax laws that went into effect yesterday and how they’ll impact various sectors.

Asian markets have opened the year on a positive note, with gains of 1.5% in Chinese Stocks. Europe on the other hand is looking a bit red at the open.

Also, as I’m writing we can see another dip in the US Dollar, which could be significant if the move is sustained.

ETH Vs XRP

A fierce battle is playing out in the crypto world at the moment between Ethereum and Ripple.

While Bitcoin has been declining in market share, Ripple was on a massive run. The logic is that if bitcoin fails to replace the banking system, the current institutions may just use the Ripple network to integrate blockchain technology, speed up transactions, and lower prices.

On December 29th, the total supply (market cap) of Ripple’s XRP tokens surpassed that of Ethereum making it the second most valuable cryptocurrency network.

This morning, Ethereum is fighting back with its own price surge and seeing a fresh new all-time high of $882.

XRP and ETH are now fighting neck and neck for the number two spot. We can probably expect some great memes coming out today.

BTC Japan

Without a doubt, bitcoin is big in Japan. After gaining legal status in March, Japanese citizens have been trading the new digital asset like crazy.

The Japanese are among the most zealous traders in the world and according to one economist that I spoke with in October 2016, Japan accounted for more than 90% of total Forex volumes at that time.

According to a recent report from Deutsche Bank, a lot of those volumes have now moved to bitcoin. Analysts at the Japanese Investment bank Nomura, one of the world’s largest financial institutions in the world, are now projecting that the rise in bitcoin may actually boost the Japanese GDP by as much as 0.3%.

This may not sound like much but it actually represents massive economic growth. Arguably, this factor may have an even greater effect on the economy than the ridiculous amounts of stimulus that have been deployed by the Bank of Japan in recent years.

For now, it seems that Japanese citizens are hodling. Meaning, they’re not selling the bitcoin to realize their gains but letting them ride. However, the fact that individuals were able to vastly increase their net worth, even if it’s just on paper, has encouraged consumers to spend money.
.
As the price of bitcoin looks for a floor, the thing that I want to watch is volumes in Japan. These guys are no dummies, so only if/when they feel confident the price will rise again will they start pouring back into the market.

For now, Japan is only creating about 35% of global BTC volumes. Far from the 68% they were doing on November 26th. A rise in Japanese volumes together with a notable spike on bitcoin could be a great signal to re-enter the market.

Let’s have a fantastic 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.

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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Analysis

Italy Spooks markets Again as Stocks Remain Under Pressure

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European stocks Led the way lower today despite a bullish start in Asia, as equities gave back their gains when Daimler published a surprising profit warning, which was deeply affected by the recent trade war developments, reigniting fears of a tariff-driven downturn in global trade.

DAX, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Old Continent got into more trouble later on, when two anti-EU officials were named in Italy, resurrecting fears of a clash between the systematically crucial country and the core of the Eurozone. Italian yields rose in European trading, and although they are still shy of the levels hit during the May scare, the periphery could be in trouble as the ECB pledged to exit the market by the end of the year.

Nasdaq 100 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The main European indices were smashed lower during the session, with the DAX hitting a two month low, still being very weak relatively speaking compared to its US peers. US stocks sold off heavily following the opening bell and they failed to recover, unlike two days ago, and the major benchmarks traded well below yesterday’s levels just before the close.

The Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 lost some of their recent mojo, pulling back heavily of the all-time highs during the day. All in all, the risk off shift continues to dominate across the board, as we expected and we remain negative on risk assets here, especially regarding emerging markets, even as the Dollar’s rally could be over for a while.

Dollar Pulls back as Pound Surges

USD/CAD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The Dollar took a beating as the Philly Fed Index came in much worse than expected, and as the Bank of England sent hawkish signals, pushing the Pound and the Euro higher. The central bank left its benchmark rate unchanged at 0.5%, but a rate hike this year got much closer, with a key member of the bank voicing inflationary concerns.

The Greenback fell more than what the events would imply, so a larger scale consolidation could have already started in the currency following the recent gains and the marginal new high yesterday. With the EUR/USD pair nearing the 1.1450-1.15 support zone, the USD/CAD hitting 1.33 and the AUD/USD touching 0.7350, a meaningful counter-trend move would be timely in the surging reserve currency.

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Gold continued to drift lower before the Dollar’s reversal and it hit $1262 for the first time since lat December before bouncing back above the $1270 level in late trading. Crude oil also fell sharply in early trading, and the WTI contract traded with a $64 handle before rallying back to $66 per barrel.

The OPEC meeting, which is expected to result in a supply increase by the cartel made the crucial commodity very volatile in recent days, but we expect the bearish trend to continue, with a likely dip to the $60 level in the coming weeks.

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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4.6 stars on average, based on 279 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

Market Update: Dow’s Slide Hits Eight Days as Trade Risks Reemerge 

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U.S. stocks retreated Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average extending its losing skid to eight days as uncertainty over international trade undermined risk appetite.

Stocks Turn Defensive

Dow industrials were off 196.10 points, or 0.8%, by the close to settle at 24,461.70. That was the index’s worst settlement in three weeks.

The Dow’s losing skid is now the longest since March 2017. Another fall on Friday would bring the skid to nine days, the longest since 1978.

The broader S&P 500 Index fell 0.6% to close at 2,749.76. Seven of 11 primary sectors fell, led by energy and other commodity-sensitive sectors.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index closed down 0.9% at 7,712.95. The technology-heavy average closed in record territory on Wednesday.

Investor fear over a U.S.-China trade rift returned on Thursday, sending the VIX Volatility Index sharply higher. Wall Street’s gauge of investor anxiety climbed to a session high of 15.18 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. The index would later settle at 14.68 for a gain of more than 14%.

Trade War Looms Large Over Market

U.S.-China trade tensions were back in focus Thursday after U.S. policymakers urged Google to end its business ties with Huawei, a leading Chinese smartphone maker. Congress recently banned U.S. firms from selling products to Chinese telecommunication giant ZTE, a move that practically shuts down the company.

Under President Trump’s orders, Washington announced last Friday it would implement a 25% tariff on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods, including semiconductors. Trump says additional tariffs of 10% will be applied on $200 billion of Chinese goods should Beijing choose to retaliate.

The first round of tariffs will come into force July 6.

In theory, tariffs will make American-made goods cheaper than imported ones, thereby encouraging consumers to purchase from local producers. Importers themselves will have to pay an additional tax on certain Chinese products they bring into the country – costs that are passed on to the consumer.

Saudi Arabia Proposes Crude Output Hike Ahead of OPEC Meeting

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto head, is encouraging fellow producers to support a deal that would see oil production rise by one million barrels per day. However, Iran remains the key holdout in the deal, with the country’s energy minister suggesting that a compromise is unlikely before the cartel meets Friday.

Despite Iran’s opposition, the biannual meeting in Vienna is expected to result in the first coordinated output hike since the cartel decided to constrain supplies all the way back in 2016.

The Saudis are banking on a slowdown in U.S. shale production over the next two years until pipeline bottlenecks are solved in the energy-rich Permian Basin, energy minister Khalid al-Falih said Thursday.

International crude prices declined sharply on Thursday, with Brent futures reaching a session low of $72.94 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. The global benchmark was last down $1.57, or 2.1%, at $73.17 a barrel.

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 462 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

It’s Getting Hot

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Hi Everyone,

Welcome to the first day of summer!!

Top news in crypto-land today is the flash announcement from world-famous rapper Akon, who is now getting into the ICO market with his own crypto called Akoin.

It doesn’t stop there though. Apparently, his vision includes building a brand new crypto city in Senegal to use the currency exclusively.

I suppose with the recent updates from the in the United States it would be very difficult to raise money for an ICO of the coin there. Perhaps Akon can do some other type of token introduction without raising money from the public to get started.

In Senegal of course, this isn’t the first attempt at localized currencies in the region.

As we’ve been saying, the real need for Bitcoin and other decentralized currencies comes specifically from emerging markets. Only once natural growth picks up there, will the institutions get involved. If that takes a day or a year, nobody can say.

Today’s Highlights

  • Dollar Rising
  • Gold Falls Further
  • Crypto Ramps up Regulation

Please note: All data, figures & graphs are valid as of June 21st. All trading carries risk. Only risk capital you can afford to lose.

Traditional Markets

Stocks are mixed to negative today but the currency markets are in the throes of a strong US Dollar swing.

This is primarily the result of the new direction in policy from the US Federal Reserve, which is planning to increase interest rates while the rest of the world largely sustains their very low rates.

We’ve discussed before how the Dollar may be reversing the trend but now we can see that it is at its highest level in almost a year.

On this chart, I’ve put a Fibonacci Retracement line. For those of you who are green on technical analysis, fib lines are used to predict the likelihood in nature of a specific price being reached, according to Fibonacci’s patterns found in nature.

As we can see, we’re now approaching the 50% level.

 

Metals Moving

The main mover lately has been gold and other precious metals which are currently dropping like it’s hot.

As the Dollar get’s stronger gold tends to get weaker as you can buy more ounces of gold with a single dollar.

The recent slide has brought us all the way back to the medium term trend line that we’ve been watching for the last year.

Of course, everyone draws their trendlines a bit differently, but for those that are bullish on the long-term prospects for precious metals, this might be a good time to start looking for an entry.

On the other hand, the hotter it gets, with the USD and other reasons, the more gold tends to melt.

Also watch out for the Bank of England today, which will deliver its decision (most likely not to raise rates) at noon in London.

Though there will be no press conference following this decision, Governor Mark Carney will be speaking later tonight at the Mansion House Dinner.

Crypto Regulation

As we go forward, the role that governments play in cryptocurrencies is increasing at a rapid pace.

In response to hacks on Coinrail and bithumb, the government of South Korea has already released the details of a new bill to regulate crypto exchanges.

Europol is also ramping up efforts to get a handle on the space and will be meeting this week with more than a dozen major crypto exchanges, discussing anti money laundering initiatives.

Here at eToro, we’re doing our part as well. Yesterday, our very own Iqbal Gandham,UK Managing Director, addressed the Treasury Select Committee in London and did an amazing job representing the crypto industry.

Iqbal is not only the managing director of eToro UK but he is also the Chairman of Crypto UK self-regulatory body and a huge advocate for the sensible regulation of cryptocurrencies.

You can catch the recording at: https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/252986ff-cec8-4647-a208-787618136dfb

The more clarity we see from global governments about how the space will be regulated the more people will feel free to invest and use cryptocurrencies regularly.

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.

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 103 rated postsSenior Market Analyst at Etoro.com.




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