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Weekly Analysis: Litecoin, France, and North Korea in the Spotlight

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Asset Current Value Weekly Change
S&P 500 2345 0.85%
DAX 12105 -0.50%
WTI Crude Oil 49.61 -8.12%
GOLD 1285.50 -1.14%
Bitcoin 1229 4.19%
EUR/USD 1.0728 1.21%

 

 5 Things to Watch Next Week

  1. How will the market react to the French election?

As the last polls before the first round of the presidential election show a move towards the moderate Macron and Marine Le Pen, stocks are expected to benefit in the beginning of the week, as the run-off between those two candidates is considered a “safe” pairing. That said, the uncertainty regarding the referendum is still high and a surprise surge by Melenchon could still stir sings up.

  1. Which altcoins will make their moves?

Several high-flying cryptocurrencies have been trading in relatively narrow ranges recently, and traders are eagerly waiting for the next major swings in Ethereum, Ripple, and Monero. This week’s star, Ethereum Classic, could also remain active as it’s holding on to its recent gains above the $3 level. Litecoin is already on the rise again, and volatility could jump in the other markets as well next week.

  1. Will the NASDAQ lead stock markets higher again?

The relative strength of US technology stocks could face a real test next week, as several of the behemoths of the segment will release their quarterly numbers. Microsoft, Google (Alphabet), Amazon, and Intel are all scheduled to report during the week representing more than $1.5 trillion in markets capitalization.

  1. Will economic numbers continue to disappoint?

US, British, and European economic releases have been consistently missing analysts estimates in recent week, with as the so-called economic surprise index hit a new 6-year low. While global markets showed strength, despite the weak numbers, a further deterioration could undermine the foundations of the global “growth-story”.  Investors will pay special attention to the US GDP reading on Friday, the Durable Goods Report on Thursday, the CB Consumer Confidence Index on Tuesday, and first the German IFO Business Climate Index tomorrow.

  1. Will the North Korean situation escalate further?

There were some interesting developments this week that could be hints on a background deal between the China and the US to “fix” the North Korea problem. While a direct conflict might be way too costly for the superpowers, and the status quo is not that bad for China, it’s hard to say what the real intentions of Donald Trump are. We will pay special attention to the country in the coming weeks.

In Focus: Cryptocurrencies

 

Litecoin  breaking out, 4-Hour Chart

Litecoin broke out of its recent consolidation pattern and surged to the $16 level, gaining more than 25% over the course of the weekend, and taking over Dash on the capitalization list. Some projections suggest that LTC could test the $20 level in the coming days. Other Cryptocurrencies are quiet this weekend, as Bitcoin and Ethereum Classic are holding on to their recent gains, while the other altcoins are little changed compared to their weekly averages.

The restructuring of the cryptocurrency market continued this week, as Ethereum Classic and Litecoin moved significantly higher regarding their market capitalization. Bitcoin experienced more active trading as it got closer to its all-time highs, and we expect fireworks to follow if BTC gets close to the $1300 zone. Ethereum’s position is safe for now as the second largest altcoin, but the third place of the podium seems to be up for grabs, with Litecoin being the most likely candidate.

Currency Weekly Volume Monthly Volume Market Cap
Bitcoin 1,629 9,144 19,943
Ethereum 367 2,756 4,401
Ripple 91 831 1,192
Dash 67 576 719
Litecoin 605 2,452 507
Monero 35 200 314
Ethereum Classic 79 251 296

 

Key Economic Releases of the Week

Day Country Release Expected Previous
Monday GERMANY IFO Business Climate 112.3
Monday CANADA Wholesale Sales (monthly) 3.30%
Monday US FOMC’s Kashkari speaks
Tuesday UK Public Sector Borrowing 2.6 billion 1.1 billion
Tuesday US CB Consumer Confidence 123.7 125.6
Tuesday US New Home Sales 590,000 592,000
Wednesday AUSTRALIA CPI (quarterly) 0.60% 0.50%
Wednesday CANADA Core Retail Sales -0.30% 1.70%
Wednesday US Crude Oil Inventories -1 million
Thursday JAPAN Monetary Policy Satement
Thursday EUROZONE Base Interest Rate 0 0
Thursday EUROZONE Monetary Policy Satement
Thursday US Core Durable Goods 0.40% 0.50%
Thursday US Initial Jobless Claims (weekly) 241,000 244,000
Thursday US UOM Consumer Sentiment 97.1 96.9
Friday UK Prelim GDP 0.40% 0.60%
Friday GERMANY Retail Sales 0.10% 1.80%
Friday US Advance GDP 1.30% 2.10%
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 Markets: Bloodied But Not Broken

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As legend has it, prize fighter Jake Lamotta returns to his corner at the end of round four of one of his early boxing matches with blood all over and his face was a mess.  Trying his best, his trainer tells Jake, you’re doing great kid, they haven’t laid a glove on you. To which Lamotta replies, well you better keep an eye on the referee because somebody is beating the crap out of me.

Lately, those of us who have a passion for the world of cryptocurrencies are feeling that somebody is beating the crap out of us. Trouble is, it is hard to figure out why.  Just as we are about to land a punch with the SEC declaring that bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities, ditto that for ICOs that do not convey an equity interest in the issuer, whamo prices drop to 2018 lows.  

The Other Side Of The Coin

We read of the recent hack of a tiny South Korean crypto exchange and pundits blame this for helping to push prices lower.  However, the market seemed to completely ignore this week’s progress in the Mt. Gox litigation. There is actually a decent prospect that investors that held $450 million in bitcoin at 2014 prices will be compensated in nitcoin.  If my arithmetic is working right, this is good news considering the 2014 Blbitcoin price was less than $2.00.

Institutionalizing Crypto

While most eyes last week were fixated on falling prices, exchange giant Coinbase let it be known that it was preparing a crypto custody service.  This may appear as a boring administrative step but that is hardly the case. This move is being heralded as the final step in opening crypto to institutional buyers.

Before Coinbase’s solution the problem has been that, despite the highly secure nature of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the wallets where they are stored are a regular target for hackers.

For investors, making cryptos more accessible to institutional investors is every bit as important as adding retail merchants that accept crypto for goods and services.  

Finding Crypto Support From Unexpected Places

Last Friday various media outlets point out how The U.S. Supreme Court mentioned bitcoin and cryptocurrency while issuing a ruling on a seemingly unrelated case. Here is what the U.S. Supreme Court had to say on June 21st in the case of Wisconsin Central LTD v. United States:

“What we view as money has changed over time. Cowrie shells once were such a medium but no longer are, our currency originally included gold coins and bullion, but, after 1934, gold could not be used as a medium of exchange, perhaps one day employees will be paid in Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency.”

In spite of the current oversupply of naysayers, the legacy of crypto is increasing daily. Now even the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is collecting and publishing prices of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, Ethereum and Litecoin. A year ago at this time, such a notion would have been absurd.    

Suspension Of Efficient Market Thinking

For those who have been kind to follow these ramblings know that I am a big believer in the theory of efficient markets.  The key to this theory is that people have all the available information about a particular investment asset and act upon is rationally.  Of course, this is not to say that everybody reads the information in the same way. That is what makes for buyers and sellers.

Lately, there has been a complete suspension of an efficient market for crypto. All coins and tokens have been dumped without regard for fundamentally positive events, some of which we mentioned above.  Since the vast majority of crypto is owned by individuals, the wisdom of the crowd (or in this case mob) psychology prevails. The last time this was the case it was bitcoin alone that lost some 80% of it’s value starting late in 2013.  But that took more than a year to play out. Since the infamous $19,000+ peak, bitcoin has lost 68% so history is getting close to repeating itself.

It may also be a sign that a bottom in prices may be getting closer. The values are clearly there to be had. Now if only those of us who have a longer term view can find other who share a similar view.

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 83 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: Bitcoin Plunges Below $6500 as Heavy Selling Resumes

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The cryptocurrency segment is having another very negative day after a calmer period, as selling pressure intensified yet again. All of the major coins turned sharply lower, with the laggards of the recent period, Litecoin, Monero, and Dash confirming their downtrend and the relatively stronger coins also taking a beating.

The total capitalization of the segment dropped below $270 billion, and from a long-term technical standpoint, several currencies are in precarious positions. With no clear news catalyst behind the move, technicals are playing a very important role, and last week’s lows will likely be in focus in the coming days.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

Bitcoin is still relatively weak both on the short- and long-term time-frames, and it dropped back to the $6275-$6500 zone that has been acting as primary support during the recent leg lower. Given the importance of the long-term zone between $5850 and $6000, a break below $6275 could set up a crucial test in the coming days. For now, traders still shouldn’t enter new positions, while investors should hold on to their coins as the bullish secular trend is still intact.

No Hiding From the Selloff as Altcoins Broadly Lower

LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

With the weakest coins leading the way lower again, new swing lows are likely in the majority of the coins, although there is still hope for bulls that a major long-term breakdown can be avoided. Ethereum fell below $500 after touching the declining short-term trendline, and it remains in a bearish trend, even as it’s still in a much better technical position compared to BTC, holding up well above the April lows, and being further away from last week’s swing low as well.

ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

 That said, we remain negative regarding the short-term outlook for the second largest coin, and traders shouldn’t enter new positions here.  Above the $500 level, strong resistance is ahead between $555 and $575, while primary support is found at $450, with further zones near $400 and $480.

BNB/USDT, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

There are no real hiding places for crypto investors from the current selloff even as Binance Coin is still holding up relatively well, within a clear uptrend and above crucial technical support.  That said, as we warned before, given the broad downtrend in the segment, traders should be cautious with new short-term positions.

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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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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