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US Opens New Front in Trade War as Oil Plunges

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Financial markets are relatively calm today, with most of the major stock benchmarks being virtually unchanged after the weekend. The energy segment is experiencing the most activity as the volatile correction in crude oil prices continues. Besides that, the Euro’s relative strength is notable, but summer trading conditions remain dominant across the board, with low volumes and choppy intraday price action in most of the asset classes.

Shanghai Composite, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

There seems to be no stopping in the global escalation of trade tensions, as amid the Helsinki meeting between Trump and Putin, the US launched an official probe concerning the retaliatory tariffs of its largest trade partners. The move could deepen the standoff not just between the US and China, but the EU and its other allies as well, and global growth is already weakening, so with further trade troubles growth could grind to a halt.

S&P 500 Futures, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

While global stocks are still well off their highs, and Chinese equities remain in bear market territory, the main US indices are holding on to their recent gains, with the Nasdaq being the by far the strongest benchmark globally. The slightly weaker S&P 500 is also trading at a 4-month high despite trade war fears, and as the first earnings reports of the second quarter were slightly better than expected, with Bank of America beating today before the bell, bulls are still in control on Wall Street.

As for economic news, the much awaited US Retail Sales report delivered a small positive surprise, and last month’s figures were also revised higher. The report helped risk assets during the US session, even as the disappointing Chinese Industrial Production number weighed on investors sentiment earlier on.

Dollar Index, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Despite the bullish numbers, the Dollar lost a bit of ground against its major peers, although forex markets were less active today than recently and the most traded pairs traded in relatively tight ranges after Friday’s hectic session.

Oil Back Below $70 per Barrel as Commodities Remain Weak

WTI Crude Oil, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Crude oil prices are sharply lower yet again, with the WTI contract leading the way lower as tight short-term supply conditions got better in Canada, and the general weakness in the global commodity segment infected the market oil. The IMF’s report on weakening global growth, and the chatter about the release of some of the global strategic oil reserves also weighed on oil, and the WTI contract is now at $68 per barrel after trading as high as $75 just one week ago.

Copper, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Elsewhere in the commodity space, it has been a quiet Monday session, with gold drifting slightly lower after a weak rally in early trading, as selling pressure is still apparent among precious metals. Copper, which also has been suffering in recent weeks as Chinese assets got slammed lower, is still consolidating above the strong long-term support zone that we pointed out last week.

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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Altcoins

Crypto Psycho: Fear Could Be Our BFF

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Crypto prices continue to confuse.  For all the logic related to supply and demand, the reality these days continues to be that prices are being determined by emotion.  

The fundamental news these days is mixed. For example, take todays mention of Bitmain, one of the most valuable cryptocurrency companies, is expecting a September filing of an IPO for as much as $18 billion. That would eclipse even Facebook back in 2012.  The buzz swirling around Bitmain is about more than just crypto. Even so, $18 billion makes a loud and positive statement about investor interest.

On the other side of the digital coin, we have declarations from guys like Ken Bianco, who happens to be part of the US Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  Last week he spoke in threatening terms of how the US intends to enforce its AML/KYC regulations virtually everywhere in the world. If this sounds a little bit like an infamous German gentleman with an odd looking mustache, you have your history right.

In between these two extremes, of course, there has been lots of information each day that correlates closely with theoretical supply and demand for crypto, none of which has made a bit of difference as crypto prices continue to tumble.

Nevertheless, an objective point of view holds that there is a disconnect between what is happening in reality and crypto prices.

So unlike last year when prices were rising for no other reason than the fear of missing out (FOMO), today they are falling in the face of the fear of losing all (FOLA).  Maybe it’s fear that is the key to the future.

FOLA Could Be Our Friend

On many occasions we have mentioned how important traditional investors have used relative value.  We continue to believe that global stock and bond markets are overvalued using metrics like price earnings ratios and other financial measures.  While quantitatively speaking, this point is absolutely right, it hasn’t resonated. Since the beginning of the year, for example, investors in the Nasdaq Composite has enjoyed a 13% gain.

This gain comes even though Facebook, the fourth biggest stock in the cap-weighted Nasdaq Composite, has been a dud.  By comparison, over the exact time last year investors in the Nasdaq Composite experienced a 12% gain on the way to a bountiful 25% full year return. Overall, these folks have had very little reason to be unhappy, or fearful.

Tipping Point Could Come From Trump

Credit Datatrek for keeping a thumb on the pulse of the outside world.  Here are some insights from a recent poll on the fears of institutional money managers.  The two most important issues in late March were: unpredictable political events in Washington DC and Trade/tariff disagreements between the US and China.  Some 70% of respondents were very concerned or somewhat concerned about these issues.

Since then, things have only become more critical.  Washington’s confrontational foreign relations strategy is shaking global currency exchange markets.  In the last two weeks the Russian Ruble has lost 12% against the US Dollar. At the same time the US Dollar has increased over 40% against the Turkish Lira.  

While it can be argued that Turkey is of little importance to the global monetary system, Russia is not. Turkey plays a key role in the Middle East and any instability in that area is enough to strike investor fear that is reflected in energy, inflation and currency markets.

In earlier times, this scenario pointed investors in the direction of gold.  This is not happening. At the time of this writing, gold had just broken through $1,200 having fallen 8% this year.  In the face of the Turkish situation, this signals a loss in confidence for gold in a region of the world with a historic close connection to the metal.

Only Theory So Far  

Now if a strong correction were to take place in stock prices or an equally strong rally in crypto, there would be evidence of investors taking advantage of the relative value here. Unfortunately, at this moment that is not taking place. Bitcoin prices are down marginally but sellers continue to pound most altcoins. Until this changes, crypto prices are being driven down by FOLA.

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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4.4 stars on average, based on 95 rated postsJames Waggoner is a veteran Wall Street analyst and hedge fund manager who has spent the past few years researching the fintech possibilities of cryptocurrencies. He has a special passion for writing about the future of crypto.




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Analysis

Crypto Update: Ethereum Plunges Below $300 as Bitcoin Fails at $6500

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Despite a weak bounce during the weekend, the cryptocurrency segment continues to trade under heavy selling pressure, with the top altcoins till underperforming Bitcoin. Ethereum is the most obvious laggard, and it fell below the $300 level today, hitting yet another 9-month low and extending the structural bear market with another swing low.

Almost all of the majors are below or near their recent lows, but Bitcoin continues to show relative strength, and a few of the recently weak coins, notably Monero and Litecoin, are trading slightly above their swing lows. The other most important bearish currency, Ripple is also trading at new lows, and with that in mind, we remain defensive on the coins, as despite the deeply oversold momentum readings, there is still no sign of a developing leadership in the segment.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

All eyes are still on Ethereum, as the second largest coin is pushed lower relentlessly ever since its break-down below the $400 level last week. The coin continued to lead the way lower so far today, and with the break below the $300 level, the market cap of Ethereum is now just $30 billion, while the total value of the market is close to $200 billion again. The coin is now just above the $275-$280 support zone and it remains on sell signals on both time-frames, with resistance ahead at $335 and $360.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

With still no signs of even a short-term bottom in altcoins, Bitcoin is still the only hope for crypto bulls, as the coin continues to clearly hold above the crucial $5850 level. BTC is also trading above the weekend lows, even though it failed at the $6500 level during the bounce and it is now back below the $6275 support.

While the short-term downtrend is still intact and the sell signal is in place, today’s strength could be a start of a trend change, should the coin maintain its resilience. Further resistance is still ahead at $6750 and $7000, while initial support is at $6000, with the next major support zone below $5850 found between $5000 and $5100.

Sellers Still in Control but First Signs of Exhaustion Appear

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Although the bearish trend in altcoins is still very strong, and most of the relatively weak majors are also confirming today’s break-down, Litecoin is slightly outperforming the likes of Dash, NEO, and IOTA. While the current relative stability is still no reason to buy the coin, and the short-term sell signal remains intact, further signs of strength would be positive for the whole segment.

XRP/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Ripple’s technical situation is still dire, as the coin failed to hold up above $0.30, with no signs of a bottom despite the strong support in the $0.30-$0.32 zone, and the deeply oversold momentum readings. Also today, XRP plunged below its previous low, and it’s now trading just above $0.28. The next major support zone is found near $0.26, and for the sell signals on both time-frames are intact.

Featured image from Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.

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 316 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

Crypto Update: Tron/Ethereum Ready for Bottom Pickers

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TRON/Ethereum (TRX/ETH) caught fire and the attention of crypto enthusiasts earlier this year. The pair opened 2018 with a bang as it took out resistance of 0.000065 and ignited a parabolic run that saw TRX/ETH move as high as 0.00032 on January 5. In less than a week, the market grew by almost 400%!

As expected, the surge was met with profit-taking. Since then, TRX/ETH has been consolidating. However, it appears that the eight-month consolidation is coming to an end. In this article, we reveal why TRX/ETH looks ready for both, bottom picking and breakout trading.  

Tron/ Ethereum Ripe for Bottom Picking

In technical analysis, resistance turn into support levels when breached. In the case of TRX/ETH, the pair has taken out 0.000065 twice this year. The first one was on January 1 and the second was on March 20. Based on this alone, we can expect demand to increase when the pair touches this level.

Daily chart of TRX/ETH

On top of that, we can also see the pair’s long-term support converging at 0.000065. This confirms the idea that 0.000065 is an area where demand exceeds supply.

If the converging trend lines are not enough to convince you that a bounce is at play, take a quick look at the technical indicators. We can see bullish divergences on the RSI and Stochastics. This tells us that TRX/ETH is gaining bullish momentum even though the price is still falling.

Ready for Breakout Trading

From a long-term perspective, TRX/ETH is trading inside a large symmetrical triangle. This pattern is visible in both the daily and weekly charts.

Symmetrical triangle pattern

With a strong case for a rally once the market touches 0.000065 we can expect TRX/ETH to break out of the symmetrical triangle formation. That should signal the end of the consolidation period and kickstart a strong bull run.  

Projected Move

If TRX/ETH breaks out of the symmetrical triangle pattern, then we can expect the pair to skyrocket.

The top end of the current symmetrical triangle is the market’s strongest resistance. It’s so strong that it has kept TRX/ETH bearish for over eight months. If bulls take that out, they’ll be set to come close to the all-time high of 0.00032.

Megaphone pattern

That’s because the only real resistance left is the one that’s trending upwards. As you can see on the chart, the pair is also trading inside a large bullish broadening wedge or megaphone pattern. The top end of this pattern can get TRX/ETH real close to 0.00032.

Bottom Line

TRX/ETH has been bearish for the last eight months. Nevertheless, that period seems to be almost over as the pair looks ready to welcome the return of bottom pickers and breakout traders.

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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3.6 stars on average, based on 222 rated postsKiril is a financial professional with 4+ years of experience in financial writing, analysis and product ownership. He has passed all three CFA exams on first attempt and has a bachelor's degree with a specialty in finance. Kiril’s current focus is on cryptocurrencies and ETFs, as he does his own crypto research and is the subject matter expert at ETFdb.com. He also has his personal website, InvestorAcademy.org where he teaches people about the basics of investing. His ultimate goal is to help people with limited knowledge of finance and investments to create investment portfolios easily, and in line with their unique circumstances.




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