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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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Market Overview

Market Update: U.S. Stocks Rise as Investors Shrug Off Tariff War; XRP Leads Crypto Market Recovery  

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U.S. stocks rebounded sharply on Tuesday, with investors seemingly looking past a worsening trade spat between China and the United States. In cryptocurrencies, XRP surged more than 16% in anticipation of a major commercialization effort by Ripple, Inc.

Stocks Recover Lost Ground

All of Wall Street’s major indexes put up firm gains on Tuesday. The large-cap S&P 500 Index rose 0.5% to 2,904.31, with most major sectors finishing higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 184.84 points, or 0.7%, to 26,246.96. The technology-driven Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.8% to 7,956.11.

On a sectoral basis, consumer discretionary shares were the strongest performers Tuesday, gaining 1.3% as a whole. The S&P 500’s information technology component finished 0.9% higher. Healthcare, energy and industrials also put up firm gains.

The CBOE Volatility Index, also known as the VIX, fell 6.5% to 12.79. The so-called “fear index” surged more than 12% at the start of the week, snapping a five-day losing skid.

Trade-War Escalates

In response to new tariff measures by the Trump administration, China on Tuesday announced it will tax $60 billion in American-made goods. More than 5,000 U.S.-made goods will be targeted in the new round of levies, including meat, alcoholic beverages, automotive parts, clothes and machinery. Levies placed on American products range between 5% and 10%, according to China’s state council.

Hours prior, President Trump said he will impose 10% tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, the most comprehensive measures taken in the yearlong trade spat. The new round of levies will take effect as early as next week.

With respect to China’s countermeasures, Trump issued the following tweet Tuesday morning: “There will be great and fast economic retaliation if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!”

Both sides were aiming to return to the negotiating table later this month but those plans appear to have faded. Given China’s massive surplus with the U.S., it is already running out of products to penalize.

XRP Leads Cryptocurrency Rebound

The cryptocurrency market made incremental gains back toward $200 billion on Tuesday after Ripple announced new commercialization efforts for its technology. As a result, XRP surged more than 17% to $0.319, the highest in almost two weeks.

Ethereum exhibited unusual trading activity as prices rose sharply and suddenly over the span of an hour. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization reached a session high of $222, more than offsetting the previous day’s drop. ETH was last seen trading at $210 for a gain of more than 7%.

Bitcoin also clawed back most of its recent slide, signaling renewed stability in the market.  BTC rose 0.7% to $6,347, based on latest available data.

The total crypto market cap briefly climbed above $200 billion. At the time of writing, the market was valued at $198.7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

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 603 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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Analysis

Pre-Market: Sell The Rumor, Buy The News?

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After a long period of uncertainty, the US finally decided to commence with the second round of tariffs directed at China, slapping a 10% levy on $200 billion worth of goods, and threatening with tariffs on another $267 billion of goods in case of a Chinese retaliation. The tariffs will increase to 25% in 2019, but for now, the Chinese response was measured, with only an announcement coming from the Chinese ministry of commerce, saying that the country has no choice but to retaliate.

Shanghai Composite, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While stock futures fell initially following the after-hours announcement by Donald Trump, today equities are slightly higher across the board, with even the Shanghai Composite staging a rally off its fresh bear market low. The new tariffs were widely expected by the market, so the “buy-the-news” response is understandable, but for a sustained rally in Chinese assets, a resumption of the trade talks between the two largest economies would likely be needed.

DAX 30 Index, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

The main European indices are little changed with the DAX still hovering around the 12,000 level and the EuroStoxx 50 being stuck ear 3350. Both benchmarks hit three-week highs in early trading, but the rally on the Old Continent is still lacking real momentum, especially given the distance to the bull market highs.

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

Emerging markets are still very weak with the recent bounce being barely visible on the charts, and the segment is still stuck in a strong downtrend, with especially the most vulnerable countries weighing heavily. Emerging market currencies are mixed today, with the Turkish Lira completely erasing its rate hike gains, but with the Brazilian Real, the Chinese Yuan, and the Argentinean Peso being relatively stable after the US trade announcement.

S&P 500 Index Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Stocks are set to open slightly in the green on Wall Street, with the major indices still being within striking distance of their all-time highs, and with only the Nasdaq pulling back meaningfully recently. The S&P 500 is just a tad below its record high, and with the MACD indicator back in neutral territory, a move to new highs could still be just around the corner.

Dollar Stable as Oil Jumps Amid Syria Escalation

Interestingly forex markets remained stable despite the trade war escalation, with the Dollar drifting slightly lower compared to its major peers, and losing a bit more ground against the main China-related currencies. Commodities are also higher today, with especially the China-linked copper and crude oil being in the green and gold trading virtually unchanged.

WTI Crude Oil Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While the scope of the Syrian conflict shrank in recent months, the tensions around the last rebel stronghold Idlib are rising. Russia and Turkey (which back opposing forces) surprisingly announced the formation of a demilitarized zone around the city to avoid a siege and a likely bloodbath, but overnight, a Russian recon plane was downed, which could lead to a reescalation in the country.

Russia is blaming Israeli forces for the casualty, and an open conflict between the two countries would be increase risks in the region, and possibly drive oil prices higher. The Brent Oil contract has been already outperforming the WTI one thanks to the sanctions against Iran, and today Saudi officials stated that the Kingdom is comfortable with the $80 per barrel Brent price, further widening the divergence between the two contracts.

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 348 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: U.S. Stocks Fall as Trump Set to Unveil New China Tariffs; Crypto Selloff Resumes

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U.S. stocks declined on Monday as investors once again weighed the prospects of an all-out trade war between the United States and China. On the cryptocurrency front, Ethereum led a broad decline in afternoon trading.

Stocks Fall

All of Wall Street’s major indexes headed for losses on Monday. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was the hardest hit, falling 1.4% to 7,895.79. The large-cap S&P 500 Index fell 0.6% to 2,888.80, with losses mainly concentrated in information technology and consumer discretionary shares. Dow industrials closed down 92.55 points, or 0.4%, to 26,062.12.

The CBOE Volatility Index, commonly known as the VIX, spiked 12.8% to 13.62. The so-called “fear index” had declined in each of the past five sessions. Prior to that, it reached two-month highs as stocks declined following Labor Day.

U.S.-China Trade War

The White House is preparing to unveil a new round of tariffs on China targeting $200 billion in goods, marking the most dramatic escalation in the year-long trade war. According to the Financial Times, Washington’s trade haws are urging President Trump not to back down on tariffs, which are believed to run as high as 25% for certain goods. U.S. officials had previously said they are likely to impose a 10% tariff rate on 40% of Chinese imports.

The Trump administration is escalating its trade war against China amid reports that Beijing was looking to take a more assertive stance on tariffs. That said, China’s Foreign Ministry has once again reiterated that a trade war isn’t in anyone’s interest.

“We have always maintained that the only correct means to resolve the trade dispute is through dialogue and consultation on an equal basis with mutual trust and respect,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang recent said, as quoted by CNBC.

The new round of tariffs will be announced mere days after both countries signaled their readiness to return to the negotiating table.

Cryptos Decline

The cryptocurrency market was back on the defensive Monday, with Ethereum leading a broad downtrend that included tokens, altcoins and bitcoin. The combined market capitalization of all coins fell to a low of around $193 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Ether’s price pivoted lower after regaining more than 30% of lost value. The second-largest cryptocurrency plunged10.5% to $197.50. Among the top-ten ERC-20 tokens by market cap, nine reported losses.

Bitcoin also pulled back sharply after failing to make new highs. BTC was down 3% to $6,311 despite relatively strong technical indicators that pointed to short-term upside.

There was no immediate catalyst for the sudden reversal, a sign that bearish sentiment continues to dictate market trends. In terms of news, Ripple has confirmed that one of Japan’s largest financial institutions will soon launch a payment app using the company’s xCurrent technology. Meanwhile, security issuer XBT has announced plans to launch a new product designed to give investors access to a basket of cryptoassets.

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 603 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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