Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple Daily Analysis – 08/02/18

Bitcoin Cash in Positive Territory

It’s been a rampant middle part of the week for cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin Cash rallying 27.6% from Tuesday’s $758.61 low for the week to Wednesday’s $967.86 close.

While investors continue to tread carefully following the volatility of the last few weeks, the money has come pouring back into the market, with Bitcoin Cash’s market cap rebounding from Tuesday’s $15.1bn to $17.18bn at the time of writing.

The level of support that the cryptomarket has received in the wake of the latest flurry of regulatory news is a remarkable one, with the cryptomarket’s total market cap rising to $386.04bn, having sat languishing at $276.82bn on Tuesday.

The bullish talk has returned and it appears that Central Banks and governments can do little to deter the speculative investor looking for a quick buck, with volumes on the rise through the week, having been on the lower side over the last 2-weeks.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash is up 5.07% to $1,003.5, having hit an intraday high $1,023.6 early this morning, with the $1,000 handle a key milestone in Bitcoin Cash’s recovery.

We can expect the volatility to persist, but cryptomarket conditions have seen some improvement from Tuesday’s woes, the only question now being whether it can last, with a break through to $1,050 levels needed to support at $1,000 plus levels through the day.

BCH/USD 08/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Litecoin Recovers from Wednesday’s Loss

Litecoin struggled to keep the pace going through to the close on Wednesday, ending the day down 1.82% as investors locked in profits from earlier in the day, with Litecoin having hit an intraday high $160.00

At the time of writing, Litecoin has been on an upward trend, gaining 4.98% to $144.66, with investor money returning to the table, albeit cautiously.

The market volatility is certainly not going to ease off any time soon, with the constant threat from regulators and governments lingering in the background.

For Litecoin investors, the good news for now is that it’s sitting well above this week’s intraweek low $103.65, a gain of 39.6% to its current value.

The rest of the day will likely be a choppy one, as investors continue to chop and change, looking for the next opportunity, though we will expect Litecoin to continue finding support, with at least the SEC and the CFTC proposing a ‘do no harm’ approach to the market.

LitePay’s launch remains a key milestone for the Litecoin team that should provide further support, though investors will be at the mercy of the news wires, as has been the case through much of this year.

LTC/USD 08/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Ripple Looking to Make a Move

Ripple had a poor day on Wednesday, falling 5% to $0.7186, with an intraday high $0.81 seeing investors lock in profits, as Ripple rallied 41.4% from Tuesday’s low.

At the time of writing, Ripple is up 4.76% to $0.749, with a move through to $0.80 levels needed to draw in investors, as other cryptocurrencies see stronger gains through the early part of the day, led by Stellar Lumen, which was up more than 8% at the time of writing.

With Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple trailing the pack, things could get nasty for the trio should investors rotate into the altcoins, with even Bitcoin up 6.21% to $8,000 levels at the time of writing.

XRP/USD 08/02/18 Hourly Chart

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The BoE and FED Talk to Drive the GBP and USD

Earlier in the Day:

There was plenty of stats released this morning, with the RBNZ interest rate decision and release of its monetary policy and rate statement, together with Australia’s quarterly business confidence figures, current account figures out of Japan and China’s January trade data for the markets to consider early on in the Asian session.

While expectations were for the RBNZ to hold rates unchanged at 1.75% this month, focus was on whether there would be any shift in policy following softer 4th quarter inflation figures.

Following the soft 4th quarter numbers, the RBNZ revised down its inflation projection for this year, from 2.1% to 1.8%, with the Bank not expecting inflation to move to 2% until the 3rd quarter of 2020, with the 2019 inflation rate revised down from 2% to 1.8%.

With the RBNZ retaining the language “Monetary policy will remain accommodative for considerable period,” there’s unlikely to be a move this year and not until the middle of next.

While the RBNZ was a somewhat more upbeat, with GDP projections being upwardly revised, the Kiwi Dollar fell from $0.72575 to $0.72176 upon release of the statements, weighed by the downward revision to inflation projections.

Out of Australia, the NAB Quarterly Business Confidence Index for the 4th quarter came in weaker than the 3rd, falling from 8 points to 6 points, with the gap between business confidence and business conditions widening in the quarter. While the numbers were softer, expectations of improving forward orders and employment in the next 3-months and 12-months were positive takeaways, with business CAPEX plans for the next year also rising.

The survey also noted that the most influential issue affecting business confidence was wage costs, which suggests that some sectors are experiencing shortages in skilled labour.

The Aussie Dollar moved from 0.78200 to $0.78196 upon release of the report, with the uptick in last week’s December monthly report softening the blow.

For the Yen, there was little response to the release of Japan’s current account figures for December. While the account surplus narrowed from ¥1.347tn to ¥0.797tn in December, 2017’s current account surplus of ¥21.8tn was the largest since before the global financial crisis, supported by strong earnings from foreign investments and favourable trade terms.

China’s trade data surplus narrowed from US$54.69bn to US$20.34bn in January, off the back of a 36.9% surge in imports, driven largely by rising commodity prices. Exports rose by 11.1%. In spite of imports and exports coming in well ahead of forecasts, concerns linger over the impact of any trade tariffs on goods from China, with China’s property market questioning prospective demand for raw materials in the months ahead.

At the time of writing, the Yen was down 0.18% to ¥109.53 against the Dollar, while the Kiwi Dollar was down 0.61% to $0.71946, with the Aussie Dollar down 0.14% to $0.7812.

In the equity markets, it was a mixed bag, with the Nikkei and ASX200 in positive territory at the time of writing, while the Hang Seng and CSI300 stood in the red, with China’s January trade figures providing little support.

The Day Ahead:

Economic data out of the Eurozone this morning is limited to Germany’s December trade figures, which is forecasted to be EUR negative, with Germany’s trade surplus forecasted to narrow from €22.3bn to €20.4bn at the end of the year.

Focus will likely be on the 2017 numbers however, that are likely to be EUR positive, with Germany’s trade surplus having stood at €18.4bn in December of 2016.

Following the upbeat assessment of the EU economy, the ECB will be releasing its economic bulletin this morning, which will likely paint a rosy picture of the Eurozone economy, with any upward revisions to growth and, more importantly, inflation forecasts a positive for the EUR.

At the time of writing, the EUR was down 0.02% to $1.2262, with today’s stats and FOMC member commentary the key drivers.

For the Pound, it’s a big day with the BoE’s February monetary policy decision and release of its inflation report the key area of focus this afternoon, with no material stats scheduled for release following the house price figures released in the early hours.

Expectations are for the BoE to take a more hawkish stance on policy, in a bid to curb inflationary pressures, with BoE Governor Carney’s last commentary being upbeat and 4th quarter GDP numbers having come in better than had been forecasted.

Uncertainty over Brexit remains a challenge for the BoE however, which may temper any talk of a near-term rate hike.

At the time of writing, the Pound was up 0.02% to $1.3879, with Pound also susceptible to any negative Brexit chatter.

Across the Pond, economic data is limited to the weekly initial jobless claims numbers this afternoon. While the numbers are unlikely to have a material bearing, FOMC member commentary will be monitored closely, with members Kaplan, Harker and Kashkari scheduled to speak through the day.

Hawkish commentary this afternoon would certainly be Dollar positive, with any hawkish comments on monetary policy by Kashkari likely to have the greatest impact.

At the time of writing the Dollar Spot Index was up 0.13% to 90.369, with direction through the day in the hands of the FED.

Midterm Report – The Impact and the Future of Brexit

The summer of ’16 EU Referendum not only had the UK population divided but also the global financial markets.

For the UK population, the outcome of the referendum was arguably more about social status and national pride than any real understanding of the implications if Britain voted to go it alone.

While there was plenty of scaremongering by the Remain camp, even today it’s unclear what the actual impact to the UK economy will be over the short, medium and long-term. It’s not likely to become clearer until the British government has completed negotiations on key issues including freedom of movement, single market access and, of course, trade.

Across the EU, Britain’s decision to leave the EU certainly had the Establishment a little anxious, with the rise of populist parties across major European economies threatening the future of the EU.

For now, Britain stands alone, but how Brexit impacts the British economy will be watched closely and other countries may follow if it turns out to be a better life for the average Brit.

Brexit Impact So Far

Brexit has certainly had an impact on the UK economy since the EU Referendum, though few will have predicted the performance of certain asset classes or the resilience of the UK economy to date.

The scaremongering seemed to have got the better of even the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee in August 2016, as they cut interest rates to 0.25%, while also increasing the QE Total to £435bn. The move came off the back of a sudden fall in private sector productivity, reflected in August 2016’s PMI numbers.

Mark Carney and the team had a dilemma on their hands: whether to protect the economy or manage inflation. They decided the economy had to come first. Of greatest surprise was perhaps the fact that the decision had been based upon survey data.

There were many notable events and market moves in response to the EU Referendum, but some of the more material ones included:

  • David Cameron made a watery exit, opening the door for Brexit skeptic Theresa May to take the helm only to lose the Tory Party majority in a summer 2017 snap election. This weakened the government’s negotiating powers at the Brexit table in Brussels.
  • The FTSE 100 hit a record high close of 7,778.64 on Friday, 12th January 2018, with the gains coming off the back of a slump in the Pound that supported a positive outlook for UK multinationals. Multinationals listed on the FTSE 100 account for more than 70% of the index’s earnings and, with global economic growth positive, the weaker Pound was certainly a favorable outcome.

It wasn’t plain sailing for the record high, however, with the FTSE 100 touching sub-6,000 levels shortly after the Referendum before the smart money started rolling in.

  • Cable slumped from a pre-EU Referendum $1.4877 to a post-referendum low $1.21, which also included a flash crash on 6th October 2016 from $1.26 to a momentary low of $1.1491. This hit the Asian markets, with European and US markets closed at the time.

Since the days of the flash crash and the immediate panic of Britain leaving the EU, the government has abided by the wishes of the people by invoking Article 50 and setting the official date of Britain leaving the EU as 29th March 2019.

Some UK economic stats can shed light on the Brexit effect:

  • The UK economy is estimated to have grown by 0.6% in the final quarter of 2017, managing to avoid a recession.
  • The softer Pound has supported the real estate market, with foreign investment surging into the sector since the Pound’s collapse.
  • Inflation hit a post-EU Referendum high of 3.1% and continues to hover at 3% levels, well above the BoE’s 2% target in spite of a November 2017 0.25% rate hike, the first since before the Global Financial Crisis.
  • Economists came forward at the turn of the year to admit that growth forecasts had been too pessimistic, the candidness coming in spite of the IMF’s downgrade to UK growth projections for this year and next.

Volatility in the Pound has persisted with more than a year of uncertainty moving the Pound in both directions. A soft Brexit is apparently favored by the markets.

While the financial market response to the EU Referendum was debilitating for some, InterTrader’s Chief Market Strategist Steve Ruffley sees the entire Brexit vote and process as an opportunity.

“I think from a trader’s perspective you can only class the whole Brexit situation as an opportunity. It’s easy to get dragged into the emotional and political drama. Will it be good for the UK? Will it be bad? I personally don’t know and, more importantly, I really don’t care, that’s all in the future. What it does mean however is that in the short term there is uncertainty. This I can use to make money trading.

“The doom and gloom of the ‘remainers’ never seemed to translate into Armageddon for the stock markets. In fact the FTSE 100, after an initial wobble, has done nothing but make record highs. The FTSE historically always looked shaky above the technical and psychological 7,000, but now it looks almost certain to hit 8,000.”

According to Ruffley, not only has the stock market reacted positively to Brexit but also have other UK investments: “There has been a record ‘start-up’ investment, there has been plenty of commercial building approved and there has been no mention of a wholesale shift of banks to the EU. Sure, we may lose a few thousand bankers to France, Germany, and Amsterdam… it’s not like the City will miss a few bankers.”

Although so far the British economy has reacted positively, the British pound has been sensitive and quite volatile since Brexit. InterTrader’s Steve Ruffley explains: “The main loser in the Brexit fallout is the pound. Against the major and minor FX pairs, GBP has seen significant downside pressure. This is where the unknown comes into play for speculators. Whereas the global stock market rally has maybe just taken the FTSE with it for the ride, the pound has certainly taken the full force of Brexit ‘fear factor’.

“With the US the first to move on interest rates it’s not a surprise that there were big losses for pound against the US dollar. Down at 1.21, there was the real danger of GBP/USD getting to parity. This was always going to be short-lived in my opinion as the low pound was always going to bring inflationary pressures, and after 10 years of ultra-low rates Carney has simply run out of time and rates had to go up. So any scenario where the pound only got sold was always going to be short-lived. I see every Brexit step forward bringing that fear level down and I still see GBP/USD heading back to 1.50 by the end of the year.

“What was more interesting to me was the level of selling we saw in the minor FX pairs. Take GBP/NZD for example. We saw the pound drop to 1.68 against the kiwi. We have since seen a rebound but not as much yet as I anticipate. This goes back to that ‘fear’ and speculation. You look at the facts: 4.8m people and an exporting country vs the City of London. The two side by side seems like David and Goliath in economic terms, so when the pound starts to rally, and it will, I see the biggest gains coming from these minor FX pairs that have seen the greatest over-extensions.”

Brexit: a Prediction of the Most Affected Instruments

Looking ahead, the recent rally in the pound has come from a shift in market sentiment towards Brexit, with the Dutch and Spanish governments insinuating that a soft Brexit may be on the horizon, with Britain able to maintain close ties with the EU. The jury is out on whether Germany will be as forthcoming as its neighbors and provide Britain with the best possible Brexit outcome.

Either way, with the BoE having to turn the screw on monetary policy in order to curb inflation, Brexit or not, the pound is unlikely to stay at current levels. With this logic in mind, a return to $1.5 levels should also see the FTSE 100 pull back to sub-7,000 levels initially and then ease back further as economic momentum slows.

When InterTrader’s Steve Ruffley was asked about his Brexit predictions for the year ahead and whether there are any specific instruments that traders should add to their watchlist, his five predictions were as follows:

“1. There will be a significant correction in the FTSE 100. Maybe below 5,000. It is impossible to know exactly what will trigger this but it will not be Brexit-related. It will be Goldman Sachs and the 1% who decide to cash in.

“2. The British pound can only go up. Carney has backed himself into a corner. Debt is too high, inflation is too high, and time has run out for ‘accommodation’. The average man on the street will now have to pay up. Interest rates will go up and the pound will follow. So GBP/USD, EUR/USD and any low-trading GBP pair should be looked at.

“3. Gold has rallied back to the $1,300 mark. This is a significant 50% retracement of the last bull move where we reached $1,900. This is traditionally a protection against inflation and a store of wealth, for the older generation that is. Take the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and I see gold crashing back to $1,000.

“4. Bitcoin. The great Bit-con. Dow Theory states that assets process trade at a level as everything is known. We don’t know the identity of the creator of Bitcoin. How then can any price be a true reflection of what is known? It’s a fad that will go as fast as it came leaving in its wake a sea of ‘investors’ who lost the lot.

“5. The euro is hugely overpriced. Once again the EU is bankrolled by Germany, a huge producer – the strong euro does it and the EU no favors. It seems the pound loses in the Brexit scenario and the euro wins. This will reverse as it is lose-lose for both sides. I would be selling highs in EUR/GBP.”

There are certainly plenty of opportunities ahead when it comes to the pound and its pairings. The likely pick-up in volatility will provide plenty of scopes to reap the rewards, whatever the outcome and ultimate impact of Brexit on the UK economy.

The Cryptomarket Pauses for Breath after $540bn Walks Out the Door

Cryptomarket conditions improved through the second half of Tuesday, with Bitcoin recovering from a $5,920.72 intraday low to close out the day up 9.96% to $7,754.

There may have been some investors somewhat horrified at the sight of Bitcoin languishing at sub-$6,000 levels, with its market cap down at $102.69bn, levels that Ripple had enjoyed just a month ago.

Sub-$6,000 was clearly an attractive level for investors sidelined amidst the sell-off, driven by uncertainty over the regulatory landscape, both today and looking ahead to the future.

Regulators are almost frothing at the mouth, almost desperate to bring down the cryptomarket that pales into insignificance when compared with the money that’s swimming around in the global financial markets.

For now, Bitcoin and the altcoins have resurfaced for air, with relief flooding the cryptomarket, though few will know what lies ahead and whether Tuesday afternoon marked the end of a bloodbath that coincided with the global equity market sell-off.

To put it into perspective, while the total cryptomarket cap fell from $829.41bn to 2018 low $282.4bn, as $547bn walked out the door from the first week of January to Tuesday morning, the global equity markets saw a reported $4tn wiped out over just the last 8-days.

As the dust settles, there will be plenty of wounded thinking twice about jumping back into the cryptomarkets, particularly if the losses were funded with credit cards that have left the losers saddled with debts that may take some time to settle.

The good news is that, while the cryptomarkets have just shown what pain can be inflicted on dreamy investors, the harsh realities of investing in such volatile asset classes that provide little by way of a tangible products, will cause speculative investors to think twice before looking to drive prices up to levels seen in late December and early January.

As calls for the banning of ICO and cryptocurrency ads begin to gain traction, following Facebook’s decision to end a popular marketing platform for the market, there will be hopes that some of the fraudsters will stop duping investors and let the big boys deliver platforms that can take existing real-world technologies out of the dark ages.

None of this comes without teething pains however and the volatility seen in the last few weeks is unlikely to be the last of it.

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For the morning session, there’s still plenty of red across the crypto-board, with Bitcoin down 0.37% to $7,709 at the time of writing, but the losses are certainly less than the slides seen at the start of the week and the tighter ranges through the morning will be well received.

Bitcoin’s moved between an intraday low $7,213.8 and an intraday high $7,862.27 this morning, with the lows hit at the start of the day.

While things are looking a little more bullish for Bitcoin this morning, there’s still a lot that can go wrong for the cryptomarkets, with regulators and governments ready to pounce on any adverse news from the markets. Beware of fraudsters, they can not only dupe investors out of $1,000s but can also have a material impact on the broader market.

The beacon of light this morning across the major cryptocurrencies? Litecoin and Lumen Stellar, the pair is up 1.56% and 5.41% respectively, with the upside driven by sentiment towards the respective blockchain technologies that are expected to perform in the real world and not just in concept.

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Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple Daily Analysis – 07/02/18

Bitcoin Cash Struggles on

There was some good news for cryptocurrency investors on Tuesday, with the rumble and tumble of Monday and early Tuesday coming to an end, Bitcoin Cash managing to gain 6.97% to end the day at $947.

It was looking a little dire for Bitcoin Cash and the markets through Tuesday morning, with Bitcoin Cash having hit an intraday low 758.61, but holding off a move towards $600 levels was certainly a positive for Bitcoin Cash investors.

While concerns over the regulator landscape continue to impact the cryptomarkets, SEC and CFTC testimony to the Senate was relatively positive for the cryptocurrencies, though the soft stance certainly does not remove the prospects of a material shift in U.S oversight, which will be a negative, particularly if there is any control over the jurisdictions in which U.S investors are permitted to trade.

Interestingly, following Facebook’s decision to ban Initial Coin Offering ads, news has hit the wires of Canadian regulators and law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, calling on Google to ban ICOs ads and more, which would certainly be another blow for the ICO market that has enjoyed the world of social media to drive expansion and appetite for the cryptos.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash was down 5.54% to $911.08, having eased back from an intraday high $970.63, with Bitcoin Cash having some wiggle room at current levels, the first major resistance level sitting at $1,040 and the first support level sitting at $861.80

For the day ahead, any upside will be limited as uncertainty over what lies ahead continues to influence, which suggests that the path of least resistance is down for now.

BCH/USD 07/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Litecoin Doing Better than the Rest

Litecoin enjoyed a solid second half of the day on Tuesday, recovering from an intraday low $103.65 to end the day up 12.1% to $140.1.

There was certainly a shift in sentiment through the second half of the day, with market tension easing following the updated reports on the testimonies from SEC and CFTC Chairmen on the cryptomarkets.

For Litecoin investors, the chatter of Litecoin reaching the dizzying heights of $400 has returned, with the projection supported by the roll out of LitePay that is expected this week.

Investors will likely consider the LitePay platform to be the first viable alternative to fiat currency payment systems and, the cryptomarkets will finally see what kind of impact such a platform can have on the value of the cryptocurrency itself.

Bitcoin may have delivered the first platform, but transaction speeds and fees have left the platform struggling for new business and retail customers.

At the time of writing, Litecoin is down 2.3% to $138.24, recovering from an intraday low $130.6, with the outlook certainly looking positive for the Litecoin team.

LTC/USD 07/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Ripple Recovers, But Pressure Remains

Following Monday’s 15.7% slide, Ripple managed to gain 8.28% on Tuesday to end the day at $0.74045, though Ripple looks to be a long way off pulling back to $1.00 levels.

Ripple slid to an intraday low $0.5729 on Tuesday before managing to bounce back and, while sentiment across the cryptomarket has improved, plenty of concerns remain over how the landscape will look in the coming months.

While the banning of ICO ads on Facebook and calls for bans to be imposed on Google are considered negative for the markets, it may ultimately favour the likes of Ripple and Litecoin who have or are about to have platforms out in the real world. Neither can be considered speculative from a product perspective, though success will be key and for now Ripple has far more successes than its peers.

At the time of writing, Ripple was down 3.5% to $0.73116 and, while Ripple continues to struggle, the longer term outlook remains positive for Ripple investors and the team.

XRP/USD 07/02/18 Hourly Chart

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The Kiwi Dollar Stumbles with FED Talk to Drive the USD Today

Earlier in the Day:

Economic data out of Asia this morning was limited to 4th quarter employment numbers out of New Zealand.

In the 4th quarter, New Zealand’s unemployment rate fell to an 8-year low 4.5% from a 3rd quarter and forecasted 4.6%. In spite of the improving labour market conditions, the underutilization rate was reported to be at just over 12% by Stats NZ, considered to be on the higher side. The underutilization rate is considered to be as relevant as the unemployment rate.

Annual wage inflation increased by 1.8% in the quarter, with the pace of wage growth easing from the 3rd quarter’s 1.9%.

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.73008 to $0.73408 upon release of the figures, before falling into negative territory at the time of writing, down 0.46% to $0.7308 for the day.

Focus shifts to tomorrow’s interest rate decision that is accompanied by the monetary policy and rate statement, which will undoubtedly impact the Kiwi Dollar, with the markets expecting rates to be left unchanged. While rates are unlikely to move, recent Kiwi Dollar strength could see the Bank jawbone the Kiwi Dollar, with softer 4th quarter inflation likely to push the chances of rate hike further back to next year.

Elsewhere, the Aussie Dollar was down 0.3% to $0.7882, with the Japanese Yen up 0.26% to ¥109.27 against the U.S Dollar, the gains in the Yen coming in spite of a bounce back in the Asian equity markets through the early part of the day. The Nikkei led the way, up 2.21% at the time of writing, with the Hang Seng and ASX200 up 1.22% and 0.96% respectively, while the CSI300 reversed earlier gains, down 1.08%.

The Day Ahead:

For the EUR, economic data scheduled for release is limited to Germany’s December industrial production figures this morning, which are forecasted to be EUR negative. We will expect the EUR to show little response to any soft numbers following December factory orders having surged by 3.8% in December, according to figures released on Tuesday that suggests another jump in production is on the cards in the months ahead.

On the political front, news of Merkel having to accommodate the demands of the SDP will not have helped the EUR at the start of the week, while the EUR managed to find some support ahead of the European open, up 0.11% to $1.2391 at the time of writing, a pickup in market risk appetite easing demand for the Dollar.

For the Pound, it’s been a particularly rough week, falling 1.2% to Tuesday’s $1.3949 close, with the risk off sentiment and concerns over the Theresa May and Brexit adding fuel to the fire.

In spite of the early part of the week slide, expectations are for the BoE to take a hawkish stance in tomorrow’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting. While rates are expected to remain unchanged, an upbeat outlook on the economy and labour market conditions could provide some upside for the Pound. Carney is certainly not concerned with the Pound’s current levels and, with the need to curb inflationary pressures, an uptick would likely be well received.

On the data front, stats are limited to January house price figures that will have limited to no impact as the market returns to normal after an aggressive sell-off in the early part of the week.

At the time of writing, the Pound was up 0.12% to $1.3966, with $1.40 in its sights.

Across the Pond, while there are no material stats scheduled for release, FOMC voting members Dudley and Evans are scheduled to speak, which will be of particular interest to the global financial markets. Non-voting member Bullard had tried to ease concerns of a jump in inflation following the better than expected wage growth figures released last week. Any hawkish commentary this afternoon could reignite the market vol, whilst also giving the Dollar a boost.

At the time of writing, the Dollar Spot Index was up 0.03% to 89.614, easing back from an early intraday high 89.661 to leave the Dollar down 2.77% year-to-date.

Yields have eased back from the start of the week highs and the markets will certainly be monitoring government bond yields later today, with U.S equity futures seeing red across the board this morning.

Across the border, stats out of Canada are limited to December building permits, which are unlikely to influence, with disappointing trade and PMI figures released on Tuesday and a first half of the week slide in oil prices leaving the Loonie on the back foot.

At the time of writing, the U.S Dollar was up 0.17% to $1.2513 against the CAD, with direction for the day ahead in the hands of Dudley and Evans.

Is there any End in Sight for the Bitcoin Blood Bath?

Bitcoin had a bad start to the week, with BTC/USD sliding 15.9% on Monday to end the day at $6,955.27, the only good news being Bitcoins move off an intraday low $6,756.68 before the close.

With Bitcoin the main trade pairing for the cryptocurrencies, it’s unsurprising that the rest of the cryptomarket has tumbled, with the total cryptomarket cap falling to $281.86bn at the time of writing. Such is the demise that the total market cap at the time of writing is actually well below Bitcoin’s all-time high market cap of $326.14bn hit in in mid-December.

Money has been running out of the door and when considering the PBoC’s bombshell on Monday that it intends to ban all initial coin offerings and foreign and domestic cryptocurrency trading, its’ perhaps a little surprising that more hasn’t come off the table.

As regulatory chatter continues to hammer the markets, we can expect new lows to continue coming along, with investors unlikely to be too interested in getting burnt. There is an air of unpredictability surrounding the cryptomarket at present, with the South Korean government likely to follow the PBoC, in a bid to avoid getting too much attention from the savvier cryptocurrency investors who can fly under the PBoC’s radar.

If investors were hoping for some good news through the early part of the day, news hit the wires this morning of Visa and MasterCard increasing their fees on cryptocurrency transactions, with the two classifying cryptocurrency purchases as cash advances. Not only will investors who purchase cryptocurrencies with credit cards be subject to significantly higher fees, but will also be charged interest from the moment the transaction takes place.

When considering the fact that credit card purchase fees are already on the higher side across the exchanges, it’s just got that little bit more expensive and that’s if an investor is fortunate enough to have an account with one of the banks that have yet to ban the purchase of cryptocurrencies with credit cards.

The only good news this morning, which needs to be taken with pinch of salt, was a call by CFTC Chairman Giancarlo to the Senate Banking Committee to take a “do no harm” approach to the cryptomarket. Whether the Senate Banking Committee takes on board the comments, which are largely aligned with previous commentary from the SEC Chairman, remains to be seen, with both China and South Korea putting the pressure on other governments to do more.

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At the time of writing, Bitcoin was down a further 10.17% to 6,175.1, with Bitcoin having hit an intraday low $5,920.72 early in the session.

Positive moves through the early part of the day have been few and far between, with more bad news likely to hit the cryptomarket hard before there can be any kind of recovery.

For Bitcoin, the market cap has fallen to $139bn and, while the crypto billionaires will attempt to provide much needed support, the fall from grace suggests that some of the Bitcoin billionaires could have also headed for the door this week.

It’s certainly looking bearish and, with the losses broad based, there looks to be very little to prevent Bitcoin to fall back through to sub-$6,000 levels.

Those who missed out on the 2017 rally may be feeling even more vindicated this morning to have sat out the cryptocurrency phenomenon, but even at current levels, Bitcoin is still up more than 600% from the start of 2017.

If Bitcoin slumps to sub-$1,000 levels then that is an altogether different proposition, with those having projected a 70% slide seemingly on the right side of the fence for now.

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Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple Daily Analysis – 06/02/18

Bitcoin Cash in a Spin

Bitcoin Cash slumped 19.9% on Monday to $927.27, falling below the $1,000 level for the first time since mid-November as governments and regulators continue to take a harder line on the cryptomarket.

Investors have rightly been cautious in recent weeks and the news has not got much better for the virtual market that had enjoyed unhindered cross border trading.

On Monday, news hit the wires of the PBoC’s intention to bring an end to virtual currency trading and initial coin offerings, with overseas trading now under the scrutiny of the PBoC.

Following last year’s ban and the South Korean government’s ban on anonymous trading, there had been some comfort in the fact that investors could go elsewhere, with the use of VPN providing investors with some cover amidst the tightening regulations in China and South Korea.

The latest move is expected to take a sizeable amount of money off the table and ultimately lead to a material drop in demand for initial coin offerings.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash was down a further 4.86% to $841.78, with some support coming in at $800 levels, though with Bitcoin at sub-$7,000 levels, any move back through to $1,000 will likely be on hold until the dust settles and even then, things may remain precarious for some time as other governments look to step up in response to the latest sell-off and soft regulatory environment.

BCH/USD 06/02/2018 Hourly Chart

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Litecoin Loses Support

Things were not much better for Litecoin on Monday, with a fall of 13.99% taking Litecoin down to $126.88 by the end of day Monday.

Negative news was to blame, with Litecoin’s slide coming in spite of the news of LitePay being rolled out this week.

With China a sizeable market for cryptocurrencies, an all-out ban will certainly see demand for Litecoin on the slide and removes any possibility of Litecoin becoming an alternative to fiat currency in China and quite possibly South Korea.

At the time of writing, Litecoin was down a further 8% to $114.98, with the cryptocurrencies likely to find little support through the day.

For Litecoin investors, there will have been some comfort in the fact that Litecoin managed to hold above $100 levels, but with an intraday low $103.65, a fall below $100 could see a more material decline, with investors showing little interest in Litecoin’s payment platform and future prospects.

LTC/USD 06/02/2018 Hourly Chart

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Ripple Slides to sub-$0.60 as Support Evaporates

Ripple coughed up 15.7% on Monday to end the day at $0.6865, touching levels not seen since the mid-December rally that saw Ripple hit an all-time high $3.84 in the first week of January.

There’s nowhere for cryptomarket investors to hide, with a sea of red encapsulating sentiment towards cryptocurrencies in the wake of the news of the PBoC looking to bring an end to China’s love affair with the cryptomarket.

At the time of writing, Ripple was down another 8.8% to $0.623, with Ripple finding support at sub-$0.60 levels, as Ripple recovered from an intraday low $0.5816 in the early hours.

The cryptomarket is a long way off from settling and increased uncertainty will continue to weigh heavily as investors continue to head for the door.

Ripple’s market cap has tumbled from an all-time high $130.3bn to $24.7bn and one gets the feeling that the cryptomarkets have some way to go before bottoming out.

One wonders whether the bottom will be a full reversal of the rally that saw Ripple move from sub-$0.30 levels back in early December.

XRP/USD 06/02/2018 Hourly Chart

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Equity Markets and the AUD slide, with all Eyes on the USD

Earlier in the Day:

Economic data released through the Asian session this morning included new home sales, retail sales and trade data out of Australia, the UK’s December BRC sales monitor, while the RBA also made its February interest rate decision.

For the Aussie Dollar, the recent shift in sentiment has been evident, with the Aussie Dollar having closed out the day down 0.67% and there was no respite this morning.

December new home sales were flat, following a 6.1% slide in November, which saw the Aussie Dollar move from $0.7877 to $0.78829 upon release of the figures, which was the only positive for the Aussie Dollar this morning.

December retail sales fell by 0.5%, which was worse than a forecasted 0.2% decline, following November’s 1.3% rise, with the decline in retail sales relatively broad based. House hold goods retailing (-2.6%) was amongst the worst hit, with electrical and electronic goods retailing sliding by 4.7% and furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods retailing down by 3%.

From an inflation perspective, the greatest concern would have been that sales were on the rise on a volume basis, with the household goods seeing the largest increase in sales volume, attributed to heavy discounting. The upside from the sales figures was a 0.9% rise in retail sales through the 4th quarter, improving on the 3rd quarter’s lacklustre 0.1% rise.

The trade figures out of Australia were no better for the Aussie Dollar, Australia’s trade balance falling to a A$1.358bn deficit, a marked deterioration from November’s A$1394 surplus.

Exports rose by 2%, with the upside coming off the back of a 4% rise in non-rural goods exports, while imports rose by 6%, driven by a 68% surge in the import of non-monetary gold, a 9% rise in intermediate and other merchandise goods, with consumption goods imports (+5%) and capital goods imports (+6%) also on the rise..

For 2017 the reading was more favourable. The trade balance stood at a surplus of A$11.1bn, recovering from a 2016 deficit of A$13.7bn, driven by a 15% increase in exports v a 7% increase in imports.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.7886 to $0.7869 upon release of the figures released by the ABS.

Following the stats, the RBA held rates unchanged in February, which was in line with market expectations, while having a positive sentiment towards the Australian economy, supported by solid retail sales figures for the quarter, which came in spite of softer December numbers.

The Aussie Dollar slipped from A$0.78733 to A$0.78571 upon release of the statement, with the RBI giving little away on its outlook for rates for the year.

At the time of writing, the Aussie Dollar slipped deeper into the red, down 0.52% to $0.7837, with the Yen rallying 0.51% to ¥108.53 against the Dollar, as the markets struggled with global equity market sell-off.

In the equity markets, the Nikkei was down 6.45%, the index also getting hit with the Yen’s bounce. The Hang Seng slumped 4.94%, with the ASX200 down 3.45%, while the CSI300 coughed up 2.22% in the morning, as the markets responded to the more than 1,100 point slide in the Dow overnight.

The Day Ahead:

For the day ahead, economic data out of the Eurozone is limited to Germany’s December factory orders, which are forecasted to be EUR positive, with expectations of Merkel and the SDPs reaching a coalition agreement this week also a positive.

At the time of writing, the EUR was down 0.08% to $1.2357 of the back of Monday’s 0.77% slide, with the equity market sell-off and shift in sentiment towards U.S inflation seeing demand for the Dollar on the rise in the early part of the week.

For the Pound, it was a choppy day on Monday, with a 1.13% fall taking the Pound to its weakest level since the late January rally. With no material stats out of the UK this morning, sentiment towards the UK government and Brexit will remain a factor ahead of Thursday’s BoE MPC monetary policy decision, which comes off the back of some disappointing January private sector PMI numbers.

At the time of writing, the Pound was down 0.10% to $1.3945, with more on the way should the Brexit news wires fail to impress and the Dollar continue on its path to recovery.

Across the Pond, stats include December’s trade figures, with JOLTs job opening numbers also there for the markets to consider, though the stats are unlikely to shift sentiment towards the Dollar, following last week’s wage growth figures. FOMC member Bullard may have more influence later today should his views support the shift in market sentiment, with a number of FOMC members scheduled to speak later in the week.

At the time of writing, the Dollar Spot Index was up 0.17% to 89.708, with more to come from the Dollar bulls should Bullard & co toe the line.

For the Loonie, there may be more downside in the day ahead, with Canada’s C$2.54bn trade surplus forecasted to slide to a C$2.3bn deficit, which will likely overshadow any upbeat January PMI numbers due out this afternoon.

The Loonie managed to claw back some of its losses in the early part of the day, though much will depend on the U.S session.

For the equity markets, the Dow mini is looking set for another 600 plus point slide this afternoon, with algos and stop loss orders contributing to the slides across the global equity markets.

Crypto Crash: Bitcoin Falls Deeper into a Sea of Red

It was a weekend of two halves for Bitcoin last weekend, with a 6.85% gain through the early part of the weekend to $9,499 suggesting that the cryptocurrency woes may have finally come to an end, with Bitcoin having slumped from its December highs.

Sadly, the weekend high $9,499 was short lived, with Bitcoin ending the weekend down 7.2% to $8,250.1 by the end of Sunday.

While there were highs, there were also plenty of lows, with Bitcoin hitting an intraday low $7,809 on Sunday evening before recovering to Sunday’s close.

The jump in volatility was evident on late Sunday evening as volumes spiked, with investors likely to be looking to get out ahead of Asian investors waking on Monday morning.

Despite the lower level of news traffic over the weekend, the news of major U.S and UK banks following South Korean banks, banning the use of credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies was certainly a negative one.

The moves were to be expected, though perhaps a little too late, with the market having already collapsed, with credit card holders likely finding themselves in extreme difficulty if they had gone in at $19,000 only to see the value of Bitcoin slump to current levels.

Regulatory pressure will have had some influence on the Banks’ decisions to impose the bans, which are likely to become widespread across the world’s major financial institutions in the coming weeks.

Tomorrow’s much talked about Senate crypto hearing, where the chairmen of the SEC and CFTC will be giving testimony, will be in the forefront of investor minds this morning and through the day, which is unlikely to be a positive for Bitcoin and the rest of the cryptocurrencies for that matter.

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At the time of writing, Bitcoin was down 2.97% to $7,947.52, which is not far off an intraday low $7,756 struck earlier this morning, as the Bitcoin and market struggle continues into a 4th week.

It’s been an epic collapse, with investors finding it a challenge to shrug off the negative sentiment that continues to draw investor money off the table.

Bitcoin’s market currently sits at $140.59bn, which is pretty poor viewing, with the total cryptomarket cap languishing at $384.15bn.

With global equity markets seeing record gains unravel and Bitcoin and its peers also on the slide, investors are certainly struggling to find somewhere safe to rotate into, other than good old U.S Dollars.

It was certainly not Satoshi’s wish to see billions walk out the door and certainly not to see investors lose their shirts, but such was the speculative nature of the market in the run up to the collapse that it was coming and the market chatter had begun to shift away from euphoria to logic and that’s never going to be a good thing for inflated values.

For the rest of the day, we will expect Bitcoin to continue to struggle, with Cboe Bitcoin futures February contract down $590 to $7,910 at the time of writing. While negative sentiment continues to hit the markets, we will expect the futures market to pin back any speculative moves for now.

Mortgage Rates Move Higher with More to Come

Mortgage rates were on the rise again last week, with the refinance fixed rate average for 30-year mortgages rising from 4.04% to 4.24% in the week, with 15-year fixed and 10-year fixed rates rising 0.12 and 0.14 percentage points to 3.52% and 3.48% respectively.

For prospective home buyers, things have certainly deteriorated in recent weeks, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rates hovering at about 4.5%, the highest rate in 4-years.

The shift in the interest rate environment has been a rapid one, leaving some of those on the market now have to lower expectations and purchase prices, while others have been taken off the ladder altogether, the uptick in rates leaving some unable to qualify for a mortgage.

For U.S homeowners, the good news will be the fact that the U.S economy is not only chugging along, but labor market conditions are also continuing to tighten, with skilled labor shortages now beginning to drive wages that grew at the fastest pace in 8 years in January.

U.S 10-year Treasury yields have soared, driving mortgage rates up and, while wage growth is on the rise, a continued upward move in mortgage rates will offset some of the upsides for those that didn’t refinance existing homes in December, when rates were certainly more favourable than they are today and likely to be tomorrow.

Adding to the upside for yields and ultimately rise in mortgage rates is an expectation that the FED will not only lift rates three times this year but also consider a 4th rate hike, which had certainly not been priced in at the turn of the year.

Recent FOMC member commentary has suggested that even the most dovish voting members of the FOMC are beginning to shift on their outlook for rates. FOCM member Kashkari, who had voted against each of last year’s rate hikes, is one to have taken a more hawkish stance on policy, acknowledging that inflationary pressures are beginning to build.

While mortgage applications had been on an upward trend at the end of last year and in early to mid-January, applications slipped by 2.6% in the week ending 26th January, with refinance applications falling 3% seasonally adjusted. On an unadjusted basis, however, applications were up 15% from the previous week and by 10% from the same week in 2017.

The dip at the end of January may be a temporary one however, with rising wage growth and the prospects of higher mortgage rates in the coming months expected to convince more homeowners of a need to refinance, while home buyers who continue to qualify will be looking to get moving on purchases before average rates begin nudging towards 5.00% levels

Economic data out of the U.S may be on the lighter side this week, but there will be some FOMC member commentary to influence yields and market sentiment towards FED monetary policy, the combination of which could deliver more bad news from a mortgage rate perspective, with President Trump and talk of an infrastructure spending plan also there to consider.

Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple Daily Analysis – 05/02/18

Bitcoin Cash Falls Again

The weekend failed to deliver for Bitcoin Cash holders, with Bitcoin Cash falling 4.1% to $1,146.1 by the end of the day on Sunday.

A Saturday high $1,318.8 provided little support, with Bitcoin Cash’s sideways moves through late Saturday and early Sunday ending in a slide back to sub-$1,200 levels.

Bitcoin Cash continued to feel the heat going into Monday, with a further 2% decline to $1,135.2 in the early part of the day, bucking the trend across the rest of the crypto majors, with Litecoin continuing its upward moves and even Bitcoin up to $8,000 levels, having touched an intraday low $7,850 earlier in the day.

For the day ahead, it’s looking bearish for Bitcoin Cash, with the markets not only concerned with the regulatory chatter that has pulled the cryptos deep into the red, but also on whether Litecoin is likely to rain on Bitcoin’s parade, with LitePay scheduled for release this week. Bitcoin Cash will need to move through to $1,150 levels to have a run at $1,200, with any sideways moves likely to test sub-$1,100 support levels through the middle part of the day.

BCH/USD 05/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Litecoin Finds Buyers

Litecoin was certainly one of the favourites over the weekend, gaining 14.34% to end the weekend at $149.36, though it could have been more impressive with Litecoin hitting a weekend high $175 on Sunday morning, before the cryptocurrencies saw a broad based retreat ahead of the start of the week.

The Litecoin team have turned it around and are scheduled to roll out LitePay this week, which is expected to give Bitcoin a run for its money and question the existence of Bitcoin’s offspring and which will ultimately compete against Litecoin to become the ultimate alternative to fiat money.

At the time of writing, Litecoin was up a further 3.55% to $152.74, with the outlook for Litecoin looking ever rosier after being under a dark cloud for a number of weeks.

While Litecoin continues to sit well below its record high $375.29 and $19.53bn market cap, LitePay is expected to drive Litecoin back up the rankings and test Bitcoin Cash’s 4th spot in the rankings. The climb may be a little choppy though, with regulators around the world expected to continue hitting the markets in the coming weeks.

For the day ahead, it’s looking bullish, with a run through to $165 levels likely to support higher levels as Litecoin looks for $200 plus levels in the early part of the week.

We will expect plenty of support at $140, with crypto investors keen to get in ahead of LitePay’s release.

LTC/USD 05/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Ripple Finds a New Floor

Ripple had a tough weekend, falling 8.84% through the weekend to an end of Sunday $0.82089.

Litecoin had most of the market’s attention through the weekend, with Ripple unable to hold on to Saturday’s $1.0212 intraday high, with Ripple’s end of weekend slide starting earlier than some of the other majors.

At the time of writing, Ripple was up 1.68% to $0.827, with Ripple yet to have made a big splash since its record high $3.36 hit in early January, though plenty of optimism continues to surround Ripple, with investors expecting prices to move through $3.00 levels once the market settles down and investors begin focusing on the technology on offer and the team’s success in the market place.

For the day ahead, we will expect Ripple to continue finding support at current levels, with any move through to $0.85 supporting a recovery to $0.90 levels, though we will expect $0.90 levels a step too far ahead of tomorrow’s crypto Senate hearing.

XRP/USD 05/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Equities slide with Politics to Drive the USD, GBP and EUR

Earlier in the Day:

Economic data through the Asian session this morning was limited to China’s January service sector PMI numbers. Following last week’s disappointing manufacturing PMI figures, the markets were hoping for some positive data, as the Chinese government continues to address the nation’s pollution problem caused largely by the manufacturing sector.

The January Caixin services PMI rose from 53.9 to 54.7, taking the composite output PMI to a 7-year high 53.7, suggesting that China’s economy is seeing accelerated growth going into the New Year. January’s jump in service sector activity was the most marked since May 2012, driven by stronger client demand, with new orders accelerating to a 32-month record and rising headcounts, with the services sector seeing payrolls rising for a 17th consecutive month and the rate of job creation hitting a 5-month high.

While the numbers were certainly a positive, the markets showed little interest however, as the Asian equity markets continued to tailspin in response to rising government bond yields and Friday’s U.S market sell-off that saw the Dow cough up 666 points, an ominous number in itself for the more superstitious investor.

At the time of writing, the Japanese Yen was up 0.18% to ¥109.97 against the Dollar, with the risk off sentiment driven demand for the Yen through the session, while the Aussie Dollar was up just 0.03% to $0.7933, recovering from an intraday low $0.7891 ahead of tomorrow’s RBA interest rate decision.

For the Kiwi Dollar, it was also relatively flat at the time of writing, down just 0.04% to $0.7297, with the markets looking ahead to 4th quarter employment numbers ahead of Thursday’s RBNZ interest rate decision.

With both the Aussie Dollar and the Kiwi Dollar seeing sizeable gains at the turn of the year, expectations are for both central banks to be on the dovish side, looking to pin back their respective currencies, with forecasts being for the Aussie Dollar to move back to sub-$0.75 levels and for the Kiwi Dollar to ease back to sub-$0.70 levels in the coming months.

The more hawkish FED and market sentiment towards FED monetary policy will certainly provide some pressure, but with the global economic outlook positive, there’s also plenty of support for commodity currencies, which is expected to adversely impact trade terms for both economies.

In the equity markets, the uptick in the Yen saw the Nikkei down 2.41% at the time of writing, with the ASX200 and Hang Seng down 1.80% and 1.46% respectively, while the CSI300 was down 0.73%, finding support from the upbeat service sector and composite PMI numbers released this morning.

The Day Ahead:

Economic data out of the Eurozone this morning includes January’s finalized service sector PMI numbers, together with the Eurozone’s retail sales figures. The EUR bulls will be looking for positive retail sales figures to support a more optimistic view on inflation, but following disappointing numbers out of France and Germany last week, forecasts are EUR negative. The service sector PMIs could provide some support however, with Spain and Italy service sector output expected to rise at the turn of the year.

At the time of writing, the EUR was down 0.03% to $1.2459, with the EUR likely to find support from Merkel’s progress on forming the Grand Coalition, where talks are scheduled to resume this morning.

For the Pound, economic data includes January’s service sector PMI numbers, which will be of particular importance as the markets look to get a sense of where the economy is heading at the start of the year. While the Pound was able to stomach softer manufacturing and construction PMI numbers, any weak service sector data will be a negative for the Pound this morning. Forecasts are sterling positive, though how much upside there is for the Pound will be Brexit dependent as Theresa May’s political dramas worsen, with the Tory Party now divided on Brexit, trade and customs.

At the time of writing, the Pound was 0.01% to $1.412, with direction through the day in the hands of Theresa May and the Tories.

Across the Pond, the Dollar was on the back foot through the early part of the day, down 0.06% to 89.141, with economic data out of the U.S this afternoon including the market’s preferred ISM Non-manufacturing PMI figures for January and finalized Markit survey service sector PMI numbers.

Forecasts are Dollar positive, though the Dollar may struggle to see any major upside with the possibility of another government shutdown looming, as the 8th February deadline approaches.

Progress on immigration laws for the so called ‘Dreamers’ will be the key driver for the Dollar, though there will be influence from the stats, particularly if there is further evidence of an uptick in inflation in today’s service sector PMI numbers.

In the futures market, the Dow mini is down 119 points, recovering from steeper losses earlier in the day, with the S&P500 and NASDAQ minis down 6.5 points and 9.25 points, pressured by a possible 4th rate hike this year, driving 10-year Treasury yields ever closer to 3%.

Can Bitcoin Survive a Litecoin Moment?

Bitcoin managed to create some distance from Friday’s 7.625.25 low on Saturday, hitting an intraday high $9,491.2, before easing back to $9,097.25 by the close.

Saturday’s 2.9% gain was far from spectacular, with Bitcoin’s weekend rally running out of steam late in the day, as investors look ahead to the coming week.

While news could come from just about anywhere and unravel the weekend’s steadiness, immediate focus will turn to the U.S and the testimony of the chairmen of the SEC and CFTC to the Senate in a crypto hearing that could materially impact the U.S cryptomarket in the coming weeks.

We will expect the U.S to move quickly on regulations as the number of cryptocurrencies continues to rise along with the number of fraudulent cases and reports of theft.

While Bitcoin’s market cap has risen to $155.01bn over the weekend, recovering from Friday’s $131.3bn low, we can expect Bitcoin and the performance of Bitcoin’s blockchain technology to also come under greater scrutiny in the weeks ahead.

Litecoin’s planned release of LitePay in the coming week will certainly put Bitcoin’s flaws in the spotlight, with snail pace transaction speeds and high transaction fees expected to favour Litecoin and LitePay’s product offering over the near-term.

How the Bitcoin team responds remains to be seen, but Bitcoin’s issues will need to be addressed, else Bitcoin may need to give way to Bitcoin Cash, which is likely to be far more competitive than Bitcoin in the real world.

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At the time of writing, Bitcoin was down just 0.55% to $9,175.01, recovering from an intraday low $8,917.67 hit in the early part of the day, with Bitcoin moving within some tight ranges through the early part of the day.

With the cryptomarket recovery through the weekend, Bitcoin dominance has also eased from 35.2 to 34.4%, with this number likely to fall further as the likes of Litecoin see its products gain traction in the market place.

There’s a long way to go for Litecoin to push Bitcoin aside, with Bitcoin having been an alternative to fiat currencies for a number of years, but the markets are fickle and if Litecoin’s LitePay does deliver what it says on the label, Bitcoin’s days may be numbered.

For the rest of the day, we will expect Bitcoin to hold within the tight ranges seen through the early part of the day, with any upside limited as investors already face more challenging times, as major U.S banks cut one of the cryptocurrencies’ major funding sources, with the ban of the use of credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies.

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Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple Daily Analysis – 04/02/18

Bitcoin Cash Settles

The cryptomarkets found some support through the second half of Saturday, as investors moved on from a series of new reports that could almost be classified as fake news.

A lack of regulatory oversight has enabled the crypto media to report unverified news that saw the cryptomarket cap fall to just $348bn on Friday, with Bitcoin Cash’s market cap rising from Friday’s $16.91bn low to $21.5bn at the time of writing, as investor money returned to the table.

While the majors are enjoying more positive weekend, there remains plenty of speculation on what lies ahead for the market, with governments and regulators continuing to pressure prices. Oversight and regulations are on the way, it’s just a matter of time, but what regulations are imminent will likely dictate how much of a price recovery the broader market will enjoy in the weeks and months ahead.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash was down 1.59% to $1,253.80, with cryptocurrencies having a tendency to retreat during the latter part of the weekend. The cryptocurrency weekend rally materialized, but the gains were less substantial and Bitcoin Cash’s 4.8% gain from Saturday looks at risk of unravelling.

A new week is around the corner and investors will likely begin getting a little edgy ahead of Tuesday’s testimony to Congress.

BCH/USD 04/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Litecoin Impresses

Litecoin rallied 22.29% to end Saturday at $159.75 in the cryptomarket relief rally.

As has been the case throughout the year, the weekend provided much needed support for the cryptomarket, with the news feeds silent on government and regulator commentary.

The weekend rally pulled Litecoin out of a slide that had seen its ranking fall to 8th by market cap, with Litecoin rising to 6th at the time of writing, the market cap sitting at $8.96bn, moving ahead of NEO, while holding off Stellar Lumen in the process.

News of an expected release of LitePay has provided strong support for Litecoin through the weekend and expectations are for Litecoin to benefit from a more significant rally once LitePay has actually been released in the coming week.

LitePay will be the Litecoin team’s first product that facilitates Litecoin payment for goods and services in the real world, with the LitePay card due for release this month allowing users to load Dollars using any Litecoin wallet with 0% transaction fees. The LitePay card will allows holders to use its card at ATMs, merchants and anywhere that accepts VISA.

With no transaction fees and significantly faster transaction times than Bitcoin, this will be the first major challenge that Litecoin will be making on Bitcoin and its offshoots. LitePay will first be launching in the UK and the U.S.

At the time of writing, Litecoin is up 2.99% to $165.78, moving against the grain, with all of the other major cryptos in the red, with things looking quite bullish and for good reason, Litecoin hitting an intraday high $175 this morning.

LTC/USD 04/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Ripple’s Under Threat

Ripple gained just 3.7% on Saturday to end the day at $0.9337, with the only good news for Ripple investors being Ripple’s intraday high $1.021 hit midway through the day.

The cryptomarkets were in a positive mood, but Litecoin grabbed the headlines with news of the imminent launch of LitePay drawing investor attention.

It’s still positive for Ripple and we will expect Ripple to have a positive outlook, with Ripple’s blockchain technology already in place and getting more attention in the real world, but perhaps less so than Litecoin, whose product will be targeting both consumers and businesses and not just institutions.

At the time of writing, Ripple was down 1.36% to $0.94013, with the day ahead likely to be a testy one ahead of Monday’s open.

XRP/USD 04/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Bitcoin in the Red Again, as Investors Continue to Run for the Door

It was another tough week for Bitcoin, with the cryptomarket continuing to unravel through to Friday’s close.

 

Investor sentiment has been knocked though the last few weeks, as market concern over the prospect of a material shift in government and regulator sentiment towards the cryptomarkets pulled the cryptos deep into the red.

 

For the week, Bitcoin slid 24.93% from Monday’s opening $11,685.58 to Friday’s $8,771.91 close, with the only good news for the market being Bitcoin’s recovery from a week low $7,625.25 hit midway through Friday’s session.

 

Through the week, negative news included both the Chairman of the SEC and CFTC being called to give testimony to the Senate on Tuesday.

 

For prospective Bitcoin investors, news of a widening ban on the use of credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies on the exchanges has also hit hard, with JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America announcing that they will ban the purchase of Cryptocurrencies starting from the weekend.

 

The news follows the ban by South Korean banks earlier in the month and, with investors having been hit with heavy losses this month, raising concerns amongst the larger banks that credit card defaults could see an increase should the cryptomarkets continue to slide. Banks have also raised concerns over credit card and identity theft supporting the purchase of cryptocurrencies.

 

The latest move makes it all the more challenging for investors to gain access to the cryptomarkets, with credit card purchases being among the most efficient ways in which to purchase cryptocurrencies to date.

 

Banks have yet to ban the use of debit cards, while Citibank is also reportedly reviewing its credit card policy.

 

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The moves by the larger banks were certainly expected and we will likely see other banks follow suit in the coming weeks, with banks not only concerned with credit risk, but also wanting to avoid falling foul of regulators that have been heavy handed on financial institutions since the Global Financial Crisis.

 

Following a 2.65% fall on Friday, the markets looked to have steadied through the early part of the weekend, with Bitcoin recovering from an intraday low $8,170.71 to sit at $8,641.55, a 2.23% fall for the day.

 

For the day rest of the weekend, with Cboe Bitcoin Futures’ February contract closing out the week at $8,520, any material upside will likely be limited, with the only positive for investors through the weekend being an end to the slide seen through the last week.

 

The cryptomarket landscape is about to change and if regulators have their way, the level of oversight will be along similar lines to the more mature asset classes, which will ultimately push out the dirty money and criminal activity associated with the cryptocurrencies and exchanges.

 

Talks of Bitcoin having bottomed out at current levels may be a little premature however, with Tuesday’s testimony the next step in the cryptomarket road to mainstream, with the markets likely to go through a Darwinism period of the survival of the fittest.

 

While Bitcoin’s dominance has picked up through the week, now sitting at 35.2%, we will expect the dominance to ease as the markets find some stability, with Bitcoin’s transaction times and fees a continued concern for Bitcoin’s future prospects.

 

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Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple Daily Analysis – 03/02/18

Bitcoin Cash Slides Again

Bitcoin Cash slid 33.15% to end the week at $1,179.9, as investor sentiment towards the cryptocurrencies continued to shift towards the negative.

Concerns over an increased degree of regulatory oversight has seen the cryptomarket cap fall to $403.18bn, with Bitcoin Cash’s market cap sliding to just $18.71bn at the time of writing.

Tuesday is the next main event for the cryptomarkets, with the Chairmen of the SEC and CFTC scheduled to give testimony to Congress on the cryptomarkets, with the CFTC investigation into Tether and Bitfinex ongoing.

Hopes of another weekend rally diminished through the early part of this morning, with Bitcoin Cash falling 7.49% to $1,107.4, following Friday’s 7.84% slide, with investors no longer needing the threat of the news wires to turn bearish.

While many will be taking the recent sell-off as a negative, raising questions over whether the cryptomarket is dead and buried, the prospect of regulatory oversight is an important one and will be certainly bring new investors to the table, who have been sitting on the side lines concerned with illegal activity and lack of oversight.

For the day ahead, Bitcoin Cash will need to avoid falling below the psychological $1,000 to avoid more material declines ahead of Tuesday’s testimony, with some intraday gains to be expected as investors look to trade through the weekend.

BCH/USD 03/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Litecoin Steady

Litecoin fared better than most through the week, though it was certainly not spared from significant losses, with Litecoin falling 31.65% to $130.63 by Friday’s close.

Founder Charlie Lee, speaking in the week, was also quick to point out that cryptocurrency investors need to be able to handle significant market moves, saying that it’s impossible to predict the near-term outlook for Litecoin, while he remains bullish over the longer-term.

While there will be some investors looking for longer-term gains, much of the moves in recent weeks can be attributed to the more speculative short-term investor. Litecoin’s market cap has fallen to $6.94bn, sitting just above Stellar Lumen.

Following Friday’s 7.09% slide, Litecoin is down just 3% to $126.77 at the time of writing, recovering from an intraday low $120.12, with Litecoin needing to make a move through to $130 levels to avoid a larger weekend sell-off ahead of Tuesday’s testimony.

LTC/USD 03/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Ripple’s Looking for $1.00

Ripple slid 34.15% to end the week at $0.9005, though things could have been much worse for Ripple, having fallen to an intraday low $0.6703 midway through Friday.

News of Santander rolling out Ripple tech was a positive for Ripple and would have contributed to the recovery from Friday’s low, as the markets begin to filter through the more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies in search of more viable investment opportunities over the longer term.

Taking blockchain tech success alone, the outlook for Ripple is a positive one in spite of the January slide, with current levels likely to draw in more sticky investors, though the cryptomarkets will need to get through Tuesday and have greater clarity on regulator and government intentions for the cryptomarket.

Following Friday’s 5.89% decline, Ripple is down just 0.33% to $0.8976 at the time of writing, with Ripple looking more and more ready to pop.

 

XRP/USD 03/02/18 Hourly Chart

 

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Bitcoin to hit $5,000 or $50,000?

It’s been a week to forget for the cryptocurrencies and the investors who were in search of the winning lottery ticket amongst the 1,506 cryptocurrencies to choose from.

The total market cap has slumped to $411.25bn, which is quite a fall from the market’s all time high $830.74bn hit just a few weeks ago.

Going back to the dot.com era, when the bubble burst, the total market cap of the dot.com stocks slumped by 60% over the 6-month collapse.

While the 2018 cryptomarket collapse by market cap is knocking on the door of the dot.com collapse, we’ve yet to see cryptocurrencies become worthless.

If we are talking about percentage losses, then the current slide would be considered a burst bubble in any established market, but in the cryptomarkets its somewhat different, with such an event likely to shut down many of the existing cryptocurrencies, leaving just the ones that actually feed a purpose, with the likes of Bitcoin, Ripple and even Stellar Lumen likely to survive whilst many will be forced to withdraw, virtual currency collapses leaving projects and start-ups with insufficient funding to get things off the ground.

For Bitcoin, the week has been a telling one, with a 28.31% fall certainly better than the rest of the majors, whose large declines has seen Bitcoin’s dominance rise to 35.3%.

It’s not pretty viewing however, with Bitcoin’s market cap now down to $143.75bn and today’s 7.29% fall to $8,343.14 putting investor resilience to the test.

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It was only a matter of time before the cryptomarkets got its true test and this looks to be it. Bitcoin has a long way to go before it is wiped out and, when considering the fact that it is already being used as an alternative to fiat currency, its survival is likely for now.

Over the longer-term however, its functionality may be brought into question and if the cryptomarket does burst and leave many cryptocurrencies worthless, the markets may finally shift focus to functionality and whether the product offering is a viable one that can survive in the real world.

Forks and all may not be enough for Bitcoin, with the likes of Bitcoin Cash already in existence and ready to step into Bitcoin’s shoes.

The rise and fall has been so rapid, that a shakeup in the cryptomarket may just be around the corner. Governments and regulators in key cryptomarkets have stepped up the fight and are ready to put out any flames of resistance, with the regulatory oversight that is on the horizon expected to wipe out all of the dirty money that has been washing around the system.

It may be tough times for the cryptomarkets, but they are also interesting times, with how events unfold in the coming weeks likely to define the market over the long term.

For the day ahead, Bitcoin is likely to continue to struggle, with this morning’s intraday low $8,314.1 in sight. Investors have little to go on, with the Cboe Bitcoin Futures price providing little guidance on what’s on the horizon for Bitcoin and the market in general.

While it’s looking a little dire for Bitcoin, the competition is seeing more heavy losses and we will expect Bitcoin dominance to continue to rise as investors, who are looking to maintain exposure to the market, rotate out of the altcoins and into Bitcoin, while the rest look for the door.

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Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ripple Daily Analysis – 02/02/18

Bitcoin Cash Slammed

If the markets were looking for a relief rally this week, disbelief may be the appropriate word for investors, as the cryptocurrency market slide continued through Thursday and into the early hours of this morning.

Bitcoin Cash slumped 18.84% to a closing price of $1,213 on Thursday and things have deteriorated this morning, with a further 10.72% slide to $1,140.3 and the time of writing.

Negative sentiment towards the market continues to hammer the cryptocurrencies, with news of KODAK’s decision to postpone its Initial Coin Offering hitting the wires another blow for the market that was about to see a mainstream entity cross over to the virtual world of ICOs and cryptocurrencies.

While the reason for the postponement is for KODAK to assess the status of its potential investors, the recent market correction will have contributed to the delay, with investors and KODAK likely to be wary of launching in the current climate.

Next week’s testimonies on the cryptomarket to the Senate is also in the minds of the investor, with investors likely to begin questioning current holdings, particularly with Bitcoin Cash now at early December levels, which was prior to the record breaking rally that saw Bitcoin Cash hit a record high $4,104.3 before the January to date slump across the market.

A move towards $1,000 would certainly be a test for investor resolve, particularly when considering the degree of uncertainty that lies ahead from a regulatory standpoint. With both South Korea and the U.S now scrutinizing the market, it’s a tough time ahead for the cryptomarkets that had been the beneficiary of a lack of oversight.

For the day ahead, today’s intraday high $1,280.4 is unlikely to be seen for some time, while we will expect there to be reasonable support at current levels, with Bitcoin Cash’s first major support level sitting at $1,111.67, though there’s going to be plenty of vol going into the weekend.

Can the markets see another weekend rally to shave off some of the week’s 35.39% losses? With Tuesday’s testimony to come, any upside will likely be short lived at best.

BCH/USD 02/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Litecoin Down and Ready for More

The Litecoin slide continues, with Litecoin’s market cap now down to $6.96bn, a far cry from Litecoin’s all-time high $20.38bn hit in late December.

While the week’s slide has been broad based, Litecoin has in fact done slightly better than some of its peers, with Thursday’s 17.27% slide making it a 33.65% fall for the current week.

At the time of writing, Litecoin was down 8.26% to $128.99, recovering from an intraday low $121, with investors now facing the distinct possibility that Litecoin could fall back to sub-$100 levels for the first time since the 1st week of December.

We will expect Litecoin to find some strong support at current levels, with the first major support being at $122.10, with resistance levels some way off and unlikely to be tested through the day.

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee certainly saved himself a few pennies when he sold his Litcoins in December, when the Litecoin hovered between $200 and $215 over the days he offloaded the coins.

LTC/USD 02/02/18 Hourly Chart

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Ripple’s Tanks

Things just got from bad to worse for Ripple.

Thursday’s 21.94% fall took Ripple down 38.44% for the week and this morning’s 12.82% fall to $0.8342 has not only seen prices go back to before the December rally to an all-time high $3.53, but also seen its market cap fall to just $31.03bn at the time of writing.

Having hit an intraday low $0.778 and recovered, Ripple will likely re-test $0.80 support levels, as sentiment continues to unravel, with things looking particularly bearish for Ripple going into the weekend.

Speculative investors have shown just how influential the actual blockchain technology is to the pricing of the respective cryptocurrencies, with the Ripple team’s success in pushing out Ripple’s blockchain tech providing little support relative to its peers that have had far less success.

XRP/USD 02/02/18 Hourly Chart

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NFPs and Wage Growth to Drive the USD and Yields

Earlier in the Day:

Economic data through the Asian session this morning was limited to New Zealand’s December building consents and wholesale price inflation figures out of Australia.

It was a bad start to the day for the Kiwi Dollar, with building consents sliding 9.6% in December, reversing most of November’s 10.8% rise, the decline attributed to a fall in new stand-alone houses consented

The Kiwi Dollar moved from $0.73977 to $0.73962 upon release of the figures.

For the Aussie Dollar, wholesale prices were on the rise in the 4th quarter, with the producer price index rising by 0.6%, quarter-on-quarter, coming in ahead of a forecasted and 3rd quarter 0.2% rise, with year-on-year wholesale inflation coming in at 1.7%.

The pickup was attributed to an increase in the prices of domestically produced goods (+0.5%) and prices of imported products (+0.6%). The increase in the domestic component came from an increase in prices for heavy and civil engineering construction (+0.7%); Petroleum refining and petroleum fuel manufacturing (+12.8%) and building construction (+0.4%). Information provided by ABS.

The Aussie Dollar moved from $0.80307 to $0.80338 upon release of the figures, with the pickup in prices supporting a more upbeat inflation outlook for the 1st quarter, though a narrowing in yield differentials eventually hit the Aussie Dollar, which was down 0.55% to $0.7995 at the time of writing.

Things were a little worse for the Kiwi Dollar, following this morning’s disappointing stats, with the Kiwi Dollar down 0.46% to $0.7363.

For the Yen, the BoJ had to intervene in the bond markets as yields continued to disrupt, with the Yen giving up gains from the start of the session. At the time of writing, the Yen was down 0.27% to ¥109.69 against the Dollar.

In the equity markets, it was a mixed bag, with the ASX200 up 0.48% ahead of the close, supported by oil stocks which were on the move following a rebound in crude oil prices and gains across the big-4 banks. The Nikkei and CSI300 were down 0.7% and 0.15% respectively, while the Hang Seng had a choppy start to the session, the index flat at the time of writing, with strong support coming from the rebound in crude oil prices overnight and this morning.

Bond yields were on the rise again, with 10-year U.S Treasuries hitting 2.79%, inching ever closer to 3% that many in the market have called dooms day for the equity markets.

The Day Ahead:

Economic data out of the Eurozone this morning is on the lighter side, limited to Spanish unemployment figures and prelim January inflation figures out of Italy.

While, Spain’s unemployment figures are forecasted to be EUR negative, we won’t expect there to be too much impact, with the markets more focused on inflation and all too aware of the troubles in Spain at the end of the year, with the Catalonia Independence Referendum. For Italy’s inflation figures, the numbers would have to be quite far off forecasts for the EUR to make any major move as the markets look ahead to this afternoon’s stats out of the U.S.

At the time of writing, the EUR was down 0.12% to $1.2498.

For the Pound, macroeconomic data is limited to January’s construction PMI, which will provide some direction for the Pound and, with the manufacturing PMI having disappointed yesterday, the combination of a stronger Dollar and soft numbers could see the Pound move back towards $1.41 levels.

While Brexit chatter and Tory Party woes have been negatives for the Pound this week, the markets have largely brushed aside the negativity, with the view being that Britain is still on course for a soft-Brexit with favourable trade terms.

At the time of writing, the Pound was down just 0.03% to $1.426, with sentiment towards the Dollar, Brexit chatter and this morning’s construction PMI in focus.

Across the Pond it’s another big day for the Dollar, with nonfarm payrolls and the all-important wage growth figures scheduled for release this afternoon.

As market sentiment towards FED monetary policy continues to shift, driving yields to higher levels, this afternoon’s wage growth numbers could seal the deal for the FED and a March move that could ultimately see the markets begin to pencil in a 4th rate hike for the year.

Other stats include December factory orders and finalized consumer sentiment figures, though focus will be on the labour market stats.

The Dollar Spot Index was up 0.08% to 88.737 at the time of writing, with this afternoon’s numbers forecasted to be Dollar positive.