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Daily Market Analysis from NordFX

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January 2024 Results: Gold Regains Value in the New Year

Daily Market Analysis from NordFX in Fundamental_v2b2f

NordFX, a brokerage firm, has summarized the trading performance of its clients for January 2024. The effectiveness of social trading services, PAMM and CopyTrading, as well as the profits earned by the company's IB partners, were also evaluated.

- The most successful trader in the first month of the new year was a client from Western Asia, with account number 1740XXX, who achieved a profit of 18,732 USD through transactions with gold (XAU/USD).
- The XAU/USD pair also aided a representative from South Asia, account number 1694XXX, to secure the second step on the podium with a result of 16,355 USD.
- Third place went to a compatriot of the latter, the owner of account number 1595XXX. By trading the same instrument favoured by NordFX traders, gold (XAU/USD), as well as the British pound (GBP/USD), he earned a profit of 12,725 USD.

As for NordFX passive investment services, the situation unfolded as follows:

- In the PAMM service, the Trade and Earn account continues to attract the attention of passive investors. Opened in March 2022, it remained dormant for four months before awakening in November. As a result, during its "active" period, its return exceeded 415%. Unfortunately, at the end of 2023, the account manager made a serious mistake. While for a long time the maximum drawdown did not exceed 17%, in just a few days of December, it approached a dangerous 60%. However, the manager was able to rectify the situation afterwards, leading to a sharp increase in profitability, with the maximum drawdown in January not exceeding 10%.
   
Among startups, the account Kikos2 is noteworthy, showing a profit of 325% in just 72 days. However, given the aggressive trading strategy, it also experienced a significant maximum drawdown of about 60%. This serves as a reminder that investors should exercise utmost caution when investing their money. Past results do not guarantee future performance, so it is important to assess one's financial capabilities and be prepared for potential setbacks.
   
- In CopyTrading, we continue to monitor the signal from yahmat-forex, which has shown a return of 335% over 222 days, with a maximum drawdown of 37%. The startup Fund Manage Global 100 also caught our attention, delivering a 160% return in just 83 days with a relatively moderate drawdown of 20%. Additionally, the signal FX NEW SKY cannot be overlooked. In just two weeks, it achieved not just a sky-high, but a cosmic profit of 1820%. However, it also experienced a cosmic maximum drawdown of 77%. After all, as is well known, journeys to the stars are exceptionally risky and fraught with potential crashes and catastrophes.

Among the IB partners of the brokerage firm NordFX, the top 3 are as follows:
- The largest commission reward in January was credited to a partner from East Asia, with account number 1218XXX, amounting to 8,268 USD;
- is was followed by a colleague from West Asia, account number 1645XXX, who earned 5,746 USD for the month;
- nally, completing the top three is a partner from South Asia, account number 1718XXX, who received 3,842 USD in commissions.
 

Notice: These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading on financial markets is risky and can lead to a loss of money deposited.

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#271 - February 02, 2024, 02:22:30 PM

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Forex and Cryptocurrencies Forecast for February 05 ? 09, 2024


EUR/USD: Dollar Strengthening Prospects Increase

Daily Market Analysis from NordFX in Fundamental_vu6BP

Throughout January, a series of indicators: GDP, employment, and retail sales, consistently highlighted the strength of the US economy. The threat of recession diminished, and it became evident that the high interest rate did not significantly hinder economic performance. Market participants were keenly awaiting the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of the US Federal Reserve, scheduled for Wednesday, January 31, against the backdrop of these positive economic indicators.

As anticipated, the regulator maintained the key rate at its current level (5.50%) but shifted its rhetoric to indicate that its next move would likely be to ease monetary policy. The question on everyone's mind was: when? During the press conference, Fed Chair Jerome Powell sought to temper expectations. He stated that FOMC members wanted to be 100% certain of victory over inflation and that they would not rush into a dovish pivot until convincing evidence of inflation falling below the 2.0% target was seen. Fortunately, the strong economy permits this cautious approach. However, Powell acknowledged that should there be a sharp cooling in the labour market, the easing of monetary policy could occur quite swiftly.

It should be noted that throughout the latter half of January, Fed officials made concerted efforts to temper expectations of a rate cut starting as early as March. And it must be said, they succeeded. The probability of a policy reversal in March dropped from a peak of 90% to 35.5%, while the likelihood of a rate cut in May increased to 61%.

The market's reaction to the outcome of the FOMC meeting was rather muted. The DXY dollar index failed to reach 104.00, and EUR/USD, having dropped to 1.0800 on February 1, reversed direction and climbed back to 1.0900 by Friday, in anticipation of the release of data on the state of the American labour market.

The data published on February 2 revealed that the number of new jobs in the US non-farm sector (Non-Farm Payrolls) increased by 353,000 in January, far exceeding the expected 180,000. This followed a December increase of 333,000. Unemployment remained stable at 3.7%, while wage inflation rose to 4.5% on an annual basis, significantly surpassing market expectations of 4.1%. Thus, Fed Chair Jerome Powell's concerns about a sharp cooling of the labour market were unfounded, which clearly benefited the American currency.

Let's recall that a week earlier, on January 25, the European Central Bank (ECB) held a meeting where the regulator also left the key interest rate unchanged at 4.50%. During the press conference following the meeting, ECB President Christine Lagarde refrained from commenting on the possible timing of rate cuts. According to her, the Governing Council members believe it is too early to discuss easing monetary policy. However, many market participants think that economic challenges may prompt the ECB to initiate this process first. A comparison of macroeconomic indicators between the Old and the New World is enough to support this view.

The unemployment rate in the Eurozone stands at 6.4% compared to 3.7% in the US. European GDP barely moved from a recessionary negative level of -0.1% to 0% in Q4, while the US saw a growth of +3.3%. Moreover, inflation in the Eurozone is close to the target of 2.0%, currently at 2.9%, compared to 3.4% in the US. All these indicators could prompt the European Central Bank to begin easing monetary policy soon. Furthermore, ECB Vice President Francois Villeroy de Galhau recently stated that the rate could be reduced at any moment. Many market participants interpreted this as a signal that a dovish trend might begin within the next two months.

However, analysts at Commerzbank believe that an initial rate cut in March or April might not occur. They note that one negative factor for the euro persists. The bank's strategists think that there is a significant faction within the ECB Governing Council that is merely biding time, to then seize the first opportunity to advocate for a rate cut. "This may even be too soon," Commerzbank warns.

Economists at another bank, the British HSBC, expect the dollar to strengthen slightly in the medium term, especially against the euro and the pound. This is attributed to the continued outperformance of the US economy compared to many other G10 countries, allowing the Federal Reserve to delay easing its policy. "A less aggressive easing path could lead to a decrease in risk appetite, which would support the US dollar," HSBC specialists write.

EUR/USD closed the week at 1.0787. At present, 30% of experts have voted for the dollar to strengthen in the near future, anticipating further decline in the pair. An equal percentage sided with the euro, believing that the pair will at least remain within the 1.0800-1.0900 channel. The remaining 40% have adopted a neutral stance. Indicator readings on the D1 are more definitive. Oscillators are 100% in the red (though 20% of them signal oversold conditions). Among trend indicators, the balance of power is 85% red to 15% green. The nearest support for the pair is located in the 1.0780 zone, followed by 1.0725-1.0740, 1.0620-1.0640, 1.0500-1.0515, and 1.0450. Bulls will encounter resistance in the areas of 1.0820, 1.0890-1.0925, 1.0985-1.1015, 1.1110-1.1140, and 1.1230-1.1275.

Key events for the upcoming week include the release of data on business activity (PMI) in the US services sector on Monday, February 5. The next day, volumes of retail sales in the Eurozone will be disclosed. Thursday traditionally brings information on the number of initial jobless claims in the United States. And towards the very end of the workweek, on Friday, February 9, data on consumer price inflation (CPI) in Germany, the main engine of the European economy, will be released.

GBP/USD: US Labor Market Delivers Blow to the Pound

Last week, on Thursday, February 1, the Bank of England (BoE), like its counterparts across the Channel and the Atlantic, maintained its key interest rate at 5.25%. The Bank of England made no changes to its policy and did not issue any dovish statements. However, the pound received support as two members of the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee continued to vote for a rate hike of 25 basis points. This argument proved to be relatively weak, especially since another committee member voted for a rate cut, while the overwhelming majority, eight members, supported keeping the rate unchanged.

Analysts continue to believe that expectations are on the side of the British currency, speculating that the BoE might be among the last to cut rates this year. However, according to Scotiabank specialists, for further growth of the GBP/USD pair, a breakthrough of the late December peak at 1.2825 is necessary. Yet, there seems to be no foundation for this at the moment. Moreover, strong data from the US labour market strengthened the dollar and prevented the pair from remaining near the upper boundary of the 1.2600-1.2800 sideways channel, where it has been trading for seven weeks.

GBP/USD concluded the past week at 1.2632. According to economists at Internationale Nederlanden Groep (ING), a strong dollar may keep GBP/USD around the 1.2600-1.2700 range in Q1 2024. Regarding the median forecast of analysts for the coming days, 35% voted for the pair falling below the 1.2600 support level, 50% for its rise, and 15% preferred to maintain neutrality. Unlike the experts, trend indicators on D1 show a slight bias towards the American currency, with 60% indicating a strengthening dollar and further decline of the pair, against 40% suggesting its rise. Among oscillators, 65% lean towards the dollar (with 10% indicating oversold conditions), 10% favour the pound, and the remaining 25% hold a neutral position. Should the pair move south, it will encounter support levels and zones at 1.2595-1.2610, 1.2500-1.2515, 1.2450, 1.2330, 1.2210, and 1.2070-1.2085. In case of an upward movement, resistance will be met at levels 1.2695-1.2725, 1.2785-1.2820, 1.2940, 1.3000, and 1.3140-1.3150.

No release of significant macroeconomic data related to the economy of the United Kingdom is anticipated for the upcoming week.

continued below...
#272 - February 03, 2024, 10:59:02 AM

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USD/JPY: BoJ Policy Shift: Dreams or Reality?

Strong U.S. labour market statistics dashed the hopes of bulls not only for the euro and the pound but also for the yen. At the beginning of the past week, the Japanese currency was gaining, and USD/JPY was trending downwards, marking a local minimum at 145.89 on Thursday, February 1. A sharp decline in the yield of U.S. Treasuries helped the yen. Specifically, the yield on 10-year U.S. bonds fell to its lowest level since the end of December: 3.9%. It is worth noting the correlation between U.S. securities and USD/JPY. If the yield on ten-year Treasury notes falls, the yen strengthens, and USD/JPY forms a downward trend. This was exactly the case. However, the end of the workweek was characterized by a clear advantage for the American currency, and the pair soared again, concluding at 148.35.

Many market participants continue to harbour hopes for a tightening of monetary policy by the Bank of Japan (BoJ). For instance, analysts at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) expect the BoJ to move away from negative interest rates in April, with additional changes in its Yield Curve Control (YCC) policy to support the Japanese yen in the second half of the year. "We believe," CIBC strategists write, "that USD/JPY has already reached its peak and should [...] decrease to 144.00 in Q2. Following this, we anticipate that rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and the prospect of gradual adjustments to the BoJ's YCC will lead to a decline in USD/JPY to 140.00 in Q3 and 135.00 in Q4 2024."

It's important to note that many experts had anticipated a tightening of the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) monetary policy already in 2023: a topic extensively covered in previous discussions. However, this did not occur. And it might not happen now either.

In January, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the Tokyo region unexpectedly fell from 2.4% to 1.6%, and the core CPI, excluding fresh food and energy prices, decreased from 3.5% to 3.1%. Additionally, the growth of industrial production in Japan in December slowed to 1.8%, against a forecast of 2.4%. On a year-over-year basis, industrial production also showed further deceleration: in December, this indicator was -0.7% (year-on-year), an improvement compared to the previous period's -1.4% but still marking a decline.

Such a significant easing of inflationary pressure and a slowdown in economic growth may lead to the BoJ not tightening its policy in the foreseeable future, leaving the interest rate at -0.1%. This forecast was also confirmed by the minutes from the Bank of Japan's December meeting. It was indicated that the Board members agree that "it is necessary to patiently maintain a loose policy."

Regarding the near-term outlook, only 25% of experts expect further strengthening of the dollar and an increase in USD/JPY. In contrast, 75% are siding with the yen, agreeing with CIBC economists that the pair has reached its peak. Trend indicators and oscillators on D1 are all pointing northward, with 100% indicating upward momentum, although 10% of the latter are in the overbought zone. The nearest support level is located in the 147.60 zone, followed by 146.85-147.15, 146.00, 145.30, 143.40-143.65, 142.20, 141.50, and 140.25-140.60. Resistance levels and zones are at 148.55-148.80, 149.85-150.00, 150.80, and 151.70-151.90.

No significant events or statistics related to the Japanese economy are expected in the upcoming week.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Halving ? Grief or Joy?

Throughout the past week, BTC/USD moved with support at $42,000 without showing any significant results in either direction, drawing special attention to its statistics. Analysts note that the 12-month volatility of the first cryptocurrency has reached its lowest level in 12 years. The indicator has varied significantly over the years but has generally shown a clear downward trend over this period. From 179% in January 2012, it dropped to 45% at the beginning of this year.

A higher volatility figure indicates significant price variability and signals greater market unpredictability. Lower metric values suggest much more stable trading conditions. The decreased volatility could mean a larger number of long-term holders, according to CryptoQuant. The research department at Galaxy Digital predicts that the spot bitcoin ETFs launched in January will further smooth out price fluctuations. "A huge amount of BTC will be held in [investment] advisory accounts. They are not interested in intraday trading," the experts state.

Analysts at Glassnode also spoke about long-term investors. Their report indicates that the overwhelming majority of such BTC holders still do not wish to part with their coins and adhere to a hodling strategy in anticipation of higher spot prices. According to K33 Market Research, the volume of spot trading in bitcoin reached "sustainably high activity following the approval of ETFs." Data from The Block?s Data Dashboard shows that the monthly volume of on-chain transactions in the bitcoin network in January was at a multi-month high, with trading volume for January exceeding $1.11 trillion.

Regarding the Bitcoin ETFs launched in January, the situation has not been as promising as expected. According to several experts, this is a classic case of "buy the rumour, sell the news." Initially, there was an impressive bull rally. Now, however, as these funds have become operational, market participants have begun actively taking profits.

The Grayscale ETF was converted from a trust fund, and by the end of January, it experienced a withdrawal of funds amounting to $2.2 billion. The reason for this is not only the profit-taking by the trust's shareholders in 2023 but also dissatisfaction with high management fees. Grayscale charges a 1.5% fee, whereas other funds have managed to keep their fees between 0.2-0.3%. Among the ETF competitors, BlackRock continues to lead with $2.2 billion, with Fidelity approaching $2 billion. WisdomTree is at the bottom of the ranking with $6.3 million. As for the net inflow of funds since the launch of spot BTC-ETFs, it stands at a modest $760 million.

In addition to profit-taking, another reason putting pressure on the market has been the miners. The halving is scheduled for April 19, leaving roughly 2.5 months. If the price of digital gold does not show significant growth during this period, the majority of miners will face a severe liquidity shortage. Therefore, they have already started to sell off their BTC reserves to replenish liquidity. Since the approval of spot ETFs on January 10, they have sent a record 624,000 BTC to exchanges over the last six years, approximately worth $26 billion. According to estimates, miners still have about 1.8 million BTC left, valued at $76 billion. The sale of these reserves could potentially push bitcoin prices significantly lower.

Analysts at Matrixport have forecasted a drop in BTC/USD to $36,000. They believe that bitcoin might then appreciate in value, but only against a backdrop of favourable macroeconomic conditions and increasing liquidity. (It's worth mentioning that these same analysts had predicted bitcoin would reach $125,000 in 2024 back in December).

Chris Burniske, a partner at the venture firm Placeholder, provided an even more pessimistic forecast. He believes that the price of the leading cryptocurrency will first fall to the $30,000-$36,000 range and then likely reach a local bottom around $20,000. "The consolidation will come lower than most people expect, due to too many variables (e.g., specifics of the crypto market, macroeconomics, adoption, and development of new products)," the expert warned. However, testing the levels around $20,000 will be a "real step" towards reaching previous highs, he believes. "The journey there will be volatile ? expect setbacks. And it will take months. As always, your best friend is patience," Burniske emphasized, adding that the decline in other assets will be even deeper than that of bitcoin.

Contrary to Chris Burniske, the forecast by analyst DonAlt appears significantly more optimistic. He cheered his 56,700 YouTube subscribers by noting that bitcoin managed to avoid a total price collapse after the launch of the Bitcoin ETFs. "Digital gold looks strong even after its price dropped below $40,000 last week," he observed. The expert believes that the absence of mass selloffs is a positive sign. "For this reason, I am no longer in the bear camp; now, I am with the bulls," he declared. DonAlt also emphasized that bitcoin is consolidating within a strong upward trend and is likely to regain bullish momentum once it overcomes resistance at the $44,000 level.

Another expert, known by the nickname Rekt Capital, believes traders have one last chance to buy bitcoin at a low price. He analysed historical data and came to the following conclusions:

1. If bitcoin does not become cheaper in the next two weeks, then the coin's price will not significantly fall until the halving. 2. Approximately 60 days before the halving, BTC's price will rise on the wave of hype surrounding the event. 3. After the halving, speculators will rush to sell the cryptocurrency, so bitcoin will depreciate for several weeks, and its value may drop by 20-38%. 4. Then a period of accumulation will begin, lasting up to 150 days, characterized by a relatively low level of BTC price volatility. 5. After this, a phase of parabolic growth in the bitcoin price will start, and its price will reach a new all-time high.

Markus Thielen, Head of Research at 10x Research, is a proponent of Elliott Wave Theory, which suggests that asset prices move in five waves. According to this theory, the first, third, and fifth waves are "impulse waves" that move the asset in the direction of the trend, while the others are corrective "retracement waves." The analyst believes the recent decline in bitcoin's price represents the fourth wave, i.e., a retracement. At present, the fifth wave is beginning, which could push the price upward. "Wave analysis has marked this recovery up to $52,671 potentially by the end of the first quarter of 2024," Thielen announced.

Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, pointed to a similar figure. "Suppose the price [on the day of the halving] is $50,000," he predicts. "Multiply this BTC price by four, and it will reach this level [$200,000] within the next 18 months." Previously, the head of SkyBridge claimed that the BTC rate could reach $100,000 after the halving. As an additional reason for a bullish rally, he cited the reduction of the US Federal Reserve's interest rate.

Regarding the long-term course, Scaramucci forecasts that bitcoin's market capitalization could reach half of gold's, which stands at $14.5 trillion. Therefore, by his calculations, the price per coin would amount to about $345,000.

Peter Schiff, the President of Euro Pacific Capital and a staunch opponent of the first cryptocurrency, made an unexpected long-term forecast. While he typically predicted a complete crash for bitcoin, he has now suggested that by 2031 the price of the coin could reach ... $10 million, albeit under a very hypothetical scenario. According to him, this would only occur if the US dollar were to follow the path of "German paper marks." This term informally referred to the currency introduced in Germany at the start of World War I in 1914 as a replacement for the previous gold-backed mark. In the early 1920s, the paper mark depreciated due to hyperinflation. At that time, companies paid wages several times a day so that workers could make purchases before prices rose again. The money supply grew so rapidly that the state could not print banknotes fast enough and had to enlist private companies for help. The largest denomination issued was a banknote worth 100 trillion marks.

In reality, Peter Schiff does not believe in an economic collapse and the fall of the US dollar. Thus, this forecast of his can be considered mockingly sarcastic towards bitcoin. However, Robert Kiyosaki, the economist and author of the bestseller "Rich Dad Poor Dad," harbours no doubts about such a scenario. He continues to insist that gold, silver, and bitcoin should be part of every investor's portfolio. He is confident that the price of BTC could reach $1 million in the event of a global economic collapse.

As of the evening of February 2, when this review was written, the global economy has not collapsed, BTC/USD has not reached either $1 million or $10 million, and is currently trading around $43,000. The total market capitalization of the crypto market stands at $1.65 trillion (up from $1.61 trillion a week ago). The Crypto Fear & Greed Index has increased to 63 points (from 49 a week ago), moving from the Neutral zone into the Greed zone.
 

NordFX Analytical Group
 

Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

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#273 - February 03, 2024, 11:02:37 AM

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Forex and Cryptocurrencies Forecast for February 12 - 16, 2024


EUR/USD: Dollar Dips but Promises a Rebound

Last week saw a scarcity of significant macroeconomic data. In anticipation of new drivers, market participants analysed the state of the US labour market and statements from Federal Reserve officials.

Data released on February 2 revealed that the number of new jobs in the US non-farm sector (Non-Farm Payrolls) increased by 353,000 in January, against the expected 180,000. This figure followed a December increase of 333,000. Unemployment remained stable at 3.7%, although experts had forecast a rise to 3.8%. Meanwhile, wage inflation grew to 4.5% on an annual basis, significantly exceeding market expectations of 4.1%. The report, issued on Thursday, February 8, was also robust, showing that the number of US citizens applying for unemployment benefits was 218K, down from 227K previously.

Thus, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's concerns proved unfounded. Recall that he recently suggested that if the labour market were to cool sharply, easing of monetary policy could occur quite rapidly. However, no cooling has occurred, so the FOMC members may not rush to a dovish pivot until they see convincing evidence of inflation dropping below the 2.0% target.

Subsequent comments from Fed representatives confirmed the low likelihood of an easing of national monetary policy in the near term. For instance, Susan Collins, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, stated that due to a strong labour market and economic growth, a rate cut is currently not advisable. Her colleague from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Thomas Barkin, expressed serious doubts about the sustainability of the inflation reduction pace, as price growth continues in the services and rental sectors. As the figures above indicate, wage inflation is also rising.

Against this backdrop of the regulator's representatives' hawkish stance, the probability of a rate cut in March has decreased, and according to the FedWatch Tool, it currently stands at only 15.5%, with May at 54.1%. In such conditions, bulls on the Dollar Index (DXY) feel significantly more confident than bears.

Regarding the euro, the common European currency has been significantly impacted by recent dovish statements from European Central Bank (ECB) officials. Weak statistics from the Eurozone also support the case for an earlier start to monetary policy easing. A comparison of macroeconomic indicators between the Old and New Worlds suffices to illustrate this. Unemployment in the Eurozone stands at 6.4% compared to 3.7% in the US. European GDP in Q4 barely moved from a recessionary level of -0.1% to 0% (in contrast to the US, which saw a +3.3% increase). The service sector activity index dropped from 48.8 to 48.4 points, while the composite indicator, which includes both services and manufacturing, is at 47.9 points. Hence, both these indicators remain in the stagnation zone (below 50.0). In Germany, exports of goods decreased by 4.6% in December, and imports by 6.7%.

On the other hand, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a crucial inflation indicator, showed a slight increase in consumer prices in Germany from 0.1% to 0.2% month-on-month, offering the euro some support by giving investors hope that the ECB may not be the first to cut rates. As a result, EUR/USD ended the week at 1.0785.   

A number of experts believe that the dollar's weakening last week was a corrective pullback, and the fundamental backdrop continues to favor the American currency. As of the writing of this review, on the evening of Friday, February 9, 70% of experts voted for a strengthening of the dollar in the near future and a further decline of the pair. 15% sided with the euro, and an equal percentage adopted a neutral position. Oscillators on D1 share a similar view: 65% are coloured red, indicating a bearish outlook, 10% green, showing a bullish outlook, and 25% in neutral grey. Among trend indicators, the distribution of forces between red (bearish) and green (bullish) stands at 65% to 35%. The nearest support for the pair is located in the zone of 1.0725-1.0740, followed by 1.0680, 1.0620, 1.0495-1.0515, and 1.0450. Bulls will encounter resistance at levels 1.0800-1.0820, 1.0865, 1.0925, 1.0985-1.1015, 1.1110-1.1140, and 1.1230-1.1275.

The upcoming week's noteworthy events include the publication of the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on Tuesday, February 13. Market participants will analyse the latest Eurozone GDP data on February 14, the same day Valentine's Day is celebrated. American statistics on manufacturing activity, unemployment, and retail sales volume will be highlighted on Thursday, February 15. The week will conclude with the release of the US Producer Price Index (PPI) for January on Friday.

GBP/USD: Factors Supporting and Weighing on the Pound

On Friday, February 2, strong data from the US labour market strengthened the dollar and pushed GBP/USD from the upper boundary of the sideways channel at 1.2600-1.2800 to the lower end. The decline continued over the past week, with the pair finding a local bottom at 1.2518 on February 5. It is to the credit of the British currency that it managed to recover its losses and returned to the 1.2600 zone, which shifted from support to resistance.

Analysts believe that the British currency continues to be supported by expectations that the Bank of England (BoE) may be among the last to cut rates this year. It's worth noting that on February 1, the BoE held its meeting and kept the key rate at the previous level of 5.25%. However, the pound received support because two members of the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee continued to vote for a rate hike of 25 basis points (bps). The following day, Catherine Mann explained that she voted for a rate increase because she is not confident that the decline in core inflation will continue in the near term. Another Committee member, Jonathan Haskel, acknowledged that inflationary pressures might be easing but noted that he would need additional evidence of this process before changing his stance on rate hike prospects.

Furthermore, GBP/USD is significantly influenced by market participants' risk appetite, which has been increasing, as evidenced by the quotations of stock indices such as the S&P 500, Dow Jones, and Nasdaq. Consequently, hawkish remarks from Bank of England representatives and improved sentiment regarding risk have helped the pair offset its losses.

Working against the British currency is the fact that inflationary pressures are indeed starting to ease. According to the KPMG and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation's UK Report on Jobs, the wage inflation index decreased from 56.5 points to 55.8 points in January, indicating that wage growth in the country was at its slowest pace since March 2021. Thus, signs of cooling inflation serve as an argument for the Bank of England to begin cutting interest rates. At the regulator's last meeting, as mentioned, two members of the Committee voted for an increase in borrowing costs, eight for keeping the rate unchanged, and only one member voted for a reduction. However, if at the next meeting on March 21, the doves gain not just one but two or three votes, this could trigger active selling of the GBP/USD pair.

The pair concluded the past five-day period at the mark of 1.2630. Regarding the median forecast of analysts for the coming days, 50% voted for the pair's decline, 15% for its rise, and the remaining 35% abstained from commenting. Among the oscillators on D1, 50% indicate a downward direction, the remaining 50% look eastward, with none showing a preference for moving north. The situation with trend indicators is different, where a slight majority favors the British currency ? 60% pointing north and the remaining 40% south. Should the pair move southward, it will encounter support levels and zones at 1.2595, 1.2570, 1.2495-1.2515, 1.2450, 1.2330, 1.2210, 1.2070-1.2085. In case of an upward movement, resistance will be met at levels 1.2695-1.2725, 1.2785-1.2820, 1.2940, 1.3000, and 1.3140-1.3150.

Regarding the UK economy, the upcoming week's calendar highlights include a speech by Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey on Monday, February 12. A significant amount of statistics from the British labour market will be released on Tuesday, February 14. On Wednesday, February 15, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) values will be announced, followed by the country's GDP indicators on February 16. The week's stream of statistics will conclude on Friday, February 16, with the publication of data on retail sales in the UK.

USD/JPY: The Pair's Flight to the Moon Continues

Thanks to the hawkish rhetoric from Federal Reserve representatives, USD/JPY continued to rise last week, coming close to the psychological resistance level of 150.00. It likely would have breached this level, but market participants are exercising caution ahead of the January Consumer Price Index (CPI) data release in the US, which is scheduled for February 13.

The yen continues to be under pressure due to the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) persistent dovish stance. Investors observe that the regulator still has no intention of raising interest rates. On Thursday, February 8, BoJ Deputy Governor Shinichi Uchida stated that "the future course of rates depends on economic and price developments" and that monetary policy conditions in the Japanese economy are on a deeply negative trajectory, with no expectations of aggressive inflation. The following day, BoJ Governor Kazuo Ueda traditionally spoke, stating that "the chances of maintaining accommodative conditions are high even if negative rates are abandoned."

From this, the market concluded that if any changes are to be made to the central bank's monetary policy, they will occur very slowly and it's uncertain when. The investors' reaction is evident in the USD/JPY chart: a local maximum was recorded at 149.57, with the week's final note hitting at 149.25.

Regarding the near-term outlook for USD/JPY, experts' opinions are evenly divided: a third anticipate further growth, another third expect a decline, and the remaining third have chosen to remain neutral. Trend indicators and oscillators on D1 unanimously point north, indicating bullish sentiment, but 25% of the oscillators are in the overbought zone. The nearest support level is located in the zone of 148.25-148.40, followed by 147.65, 146.85-147.15, 145.90-146.10, 144.90-145.30, 143.50, 142.20, and 140.25-140.60. Resistance levels are found at 149.65-150.00, 150.75, and 151.70-151.90.

Among the significant events related to the Japanese economy, the publication of the country's GDP data on Thursday, February 15, stands out. Traders should also be aware that Monday, February 12, is a public holiday in Japan: the country observes National Foundation Day.

continued below...
#274 - February 11, 2024, 11:46:31 AM

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CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Why Bitcoin Is Rising

Daily Market Analysis from NordFX in Fundamental_v4ZD3

"Halving: Grief or Joy?" was the question we posed in the title of our previous review. The debate on this matter does not subside but, on the contrary, becomes more intense as April approaches.

The process of profit-taking after the approval of bitcoin spot ETFs on January 10 has ended. However, a new threat looms over the market now. And this threat is the miners. Scott Melker, a renowned trader, investor, and host of the podcast "The Wolf of All Streets," writes the following: "The bitcoin halving will occur when the number of mined blocks reaches 840,000 in April 2024, at which point the block reward will decrease from 6.25 to 3.125 BTC. Essentially, this means that the issuance of new coins will be halved. It will become twice as hard for miners to earn money from mining bitcoin."

The halving is tentatively scheduled for April 19, meaning there are roughly two months left. If the price of digital gold does not show significant growth in this period, the majority of miners will face a sharp liquidity shortage. Therefore, to replenish their liquidity, they may start actively selling their BTC holdings, which would exert significant pressure on the market.

According to estimates, bitcoin miners still had about 1.8 million BTC worth approximately $85 billion (at current prices). And now, CryptoQuant has announced that the reserves of these companies have fallen to their lowest level since July 2021. Currently, the wallets of mining pools hold the lowest volume of cryptocurrency since the so-called "Great Migration" of miners from China to other countries in Eurasia and North America. Coins have moved from miners' autonomous wallets to exchanges.

Bitfinex also observes an influx of bitcoins to exchange addresses associated with mining companies. Analysts believe that at some point, a large-scale coin dump could occur, which is concerning. However, miners are holding onto their reserves for the time being, despite reduced transaction fee revenues. According to CryptoQuant, their daily sales have dropped and are now less than 300 BTC.

The situation of mining companies is also complicated by the decline in the production volumes of new coins. According to TheMinerMag, BTC mining by U.S. miners dropped to historical lows in January due to a 29-50% increase in electricity tariffs. High electricity costs are expected to persist until the end of Q1 2024. Therefore, if the trend continues, a certain bitcoin supply deficit will be observed before the halving amid growing demand. And the fact that demand is increasing is confirmed by analysts at Santiment, who note a sharp increase in the number of "whales" owning more than 1,000 BTC. Naturally, this pushes BTC/USD upwards.

From February 7 to 9, bitcoin's price showed a sharp surge, reaching a peak of $48,145. In this rally, in addition to the reasons mentioned, the global increase in risk appetites of major investors likely played the most significant role. The inflow of capital into stock markets also benefited the crypto market. According to IntoTheBlock, the correlation between bitcoin and the S&P 500 index was negative at the end of January but has since returned. Another reason some experts cite for the digital gold's price increase is the approach of the New Year according to the Chinese calendar. It is noted that the price of cryptocurrency always rises in anticipation of this date.

Overall, most forecasts for the entirety of 2024 look quite optimistic, with some being very optimistic. Scott Melker, for instance, believes that the halving could lead to a rise in bitcoin's price to $240,000. "After the previous halving, the BTC price updated its maximum from $20,000 to $69,000, which is a 250% increase," he writes. "Thus, if the situation repeats this time, the next maximum after $69,000 will be $240,000." "I know it might seem like an exaggeration," Melker continues. "This cycle has worked in the past. But until I see it fail [this time], I'm willing to bet that bitcoin will exceed $200,000."

According to ARK Invest CEO Cathy Wood, investors have begun shifting from gold to bitcoin following the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs. "Bitcoin is growing relative to gold. The substitution of gold with bitcoin is in full swing. And we think this will continue...," she stated.

Echoing Cathy Wood's sentiment is the popular blogger and analyst PlanB. "After the upcoming halving, bitcoin will become scarcer than gold and real estate," he writes. "This implies that the cryptocurrency could reach a price of around $500,000." Based on his Stock-to-Flow model, the expert suggested that the market capitalization of the digital asset might not surpass that of gold ? over $10 trillion. However, approaching this mark and a supply limit of 20 million coins would lead to the stated price. PlanB did not specify a timeframe for reaching this price, but he did mention a minimum price level that, in his opinion, the primary cryptocurrency will not fall below. According to PlanB, the BTC price has historically never dropped below the 200-week moving average. (At the time of writing the review, the 200WMA is around $32,000). Another analyst, known by the nickname ali_charts, believes that the critical support level is now $42,560.

Renowned trader, investor, and founder of MN Trading, Michael Van De Poppe, like PlanB, believes that the value of bitcoin could reach $500,000. The expert highlighted that there are numerous factors that will cause explosive growth in the flagship coin's rate. Among these are the current state of the market, the launch of BTC ETFs, inflow of funds from institutional investors, among others. The halving is considered a significant factor, after which a bullish growth of the cryptocurrency market is expected. Van De Poppe suggests that the current cycle might be slightly longer than previous ones, due to the entry of institutional players into the market and changes in the overall direction of industry development.

Van De Poppe believes that a scenario where the value of bitcoin soon reaches the key resistance level of $48,000 is quite plausible. This would be followed by another correction, resulting in a 20% price drop to $38,400. After the halving, the value of BTC will begin to rise again and reach a local peak by the autumn.

Elon Musk's company xAI developed Artificial Intelligence Grok, which has made two predictions regarding Ethereum, the main competitor to the leading cryptocurrency: 1) by the end of 2024, the price of ETH will range from $4,000 to $5,000; 2) within the year, the value of ETH could peak at $6,500. Grok highly values Ethereum's prospects due to the development of this altcoin's ecosystem and the Dencun update. This upgrade will increase the ETH blockchain's scalability level and significantly reduce transaction processing costs. The Dencun deployment took place in the Goerli test network on January 17th, and in the Sepolia test network on January 30th. The launch of Dencun in the main network is scheduled for March 13th. (It's worth noting that this update has already become one of the reasons why large ETH coin holders have started moving their assets from long-inactive wallets. Recently, such a "whale" moved 492 ETH worth over $1.1 million from a wallet that had been dormant for more than eight years).

Grok also considers the potential approval of spot Ethereum ETFs by the end of May as a catalyst for the altcoin's price growth. Six major American companies have submitted applications for these derivatives to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

However, the situation is not so straightforward. We have previously quoted SEC Chairman Gary Gensler's statement that positive decisions regarding spot ETFs exclusively concern bitcoin-based exchange products. According to Gensler, this decision "in no way signals a readiness to approve listing standards for crypto assets that are securities." Recall that the regulator still refers to bitcoin as a commodity, while "the vast majority of crypto assets, in his view, are investment contracts (i.e., securities)."

Last week, it was revealed that the SEC had postponed its decision on applications from Invesco and Galaxy. The agency had previously postponed the review date for other applications. "The only date that matters for spot ETH-ETFs at the moment is May 23. This is the deadline for the VanEck application," Bloomberg notes.

Analysts at investment bank TD Cowen believe it is unlikely that the SEC will make any decision before the second half of 2024. "Before approving an ETH-ETF, the SEC will want to gain practical experience with similar investment instruments in bitcoins," commented Jaret Seiberg, head of the TD Cowen Washington Research Group. TD Cowen believes the SEC will return to the discussion of Ethereum ETFs only after the U.S. presidential elections in November 2024.

Senior JP Morgan analyst Nikolaos Panagirtzoglou also does not expect the prompt approval of spot ETH-ETFs. For the SEC to make a decision, it needs to classify Ethereum as a commodity, not a security. However, JP Morgan considers this event unlikely in the near future.

The cryptocurrency market has shown impressive growth over the past week. As of the evening of February 9, BTC/USD is trading in the $47,500 zone, and ETH/USD at $2,500. The total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies is $1.78 trillion (up from $1.65 trillion a week ago). The Crypto Fear & Greed Index has risen to 72 points (from 63 a week ago) and remains in the Greed zone.
 

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Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

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#275 - February 11, 2024, 11:50:11 AM

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Forex and Cryptocurrencies Forecast for February 19 - 23, 2024


EUR/USD: A Week of Mixed Data

Daily Market Analysis from NordFX in Fundamental_YZUFJ

The macroeconomic statistics released last week were mixed in both the United States and the Eurozone. As a result, EUR/USD failed to break through either the 1.0700 support or the 1.0800 resistance, continuing to move within a narrow sideways channel.

The US dollar received a strong bullish impulse on Tuesday, February 14, following the release of US inflation data. The Dollar Index (DXY) surged by more than 0.5% and nearly reached the 105.00 resistance level. Consequently, EUR/USD moved downward, towards the lower boundary of the specified sideways range. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 stock index fell from 5051 to 4922 points.

It can be said that the US inflation data caught the markets off guard. Some analysts even described them as shocking. It turned out that the final victory over prices is not as close as it seemed before, and that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to start lowering interest rates anytime soon.

In January, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) sharply increased against the backdrop of a significant rise in the cost of rent, food, and healthcare services. On a monthly basis, the overall index accelerated from 0.2% to 0.3%. On an annual basis, the CPI was 3.1%, which is below the previous value of 3.4%, but significantly above the forecast of 2.9%. Excluding the volatile prices of food and energy, inflation in January rose from 0.3% to 0.4% month-on-month, while the annual core CPI remained at the previous level of 3.9%, although analysts had forecast a decrease to 3.8%. Particularly sharp was the increase in so-called "super-core inflation," which also excludes housing costs. In January, on a monthly basis, it reached 0.8%: the highest level since April 2022.

Certainly, the Federal Reserve's achievements in combating inflation are significant. It is worth recalling that in the summer of 2022, the CPI reached a 40-year peak at 9.1%. However, the current inflation rate is still almost twice the target level of 2.0%. Based on this, the market concluded that the Federal Reserve is now unlikely to rush into easing monetary policy and will probably maintain high interest rates for longer than previously anticipated. At the beginning of January, according to the FedWatch Tool, the probability of a 25 basis point (bp) rate cut in May was 54.1%. After the inflation report was released, this figure dropped to 35%. An even lower probability is given by the monitoring tool developed by Investing.com. The possibility of a dovish pivot in March, according to its readings, stands at 5%, and in May ? around 30% (just a few weeks ago, it was over 90%). As for the beginning of summer, the probability of a reduction in the cost of borrowing through federal funds in June is estimated at 75%.

The inflation report was a boon for dollar bulls, but their joy was short-lived. The data on industrial production and retail sales in the US released on Thursday, February 16, were weaker than expected. In January, retail sales showed a decline of -0.8% compared to the December increase of 0.4% and the forecast of -0.1%. As a result, the dollar was under pressure, and the EUR/USD pendulum swung in the opposite direction: the pair headed towards the upper boundary of the 1.0700-1.0800 channel.

The dollar received a slight boost at the very end of the workweek. On Friday, February 16, the Producer Price Index (PPI) indicated that industrial inflation in January rose just as consumer inflation did. Against a forecast of 0.1%, the actual increase was 0.3% month-on-month, which is 0.4% higher than December's figure. On an annual basis, the PPI rose by 2.0% (forecast 1.6%, previous value 1.7%). However, this support was soon offset by a drop in the University of Michigan's US Consumer Confidence Index, which, although it increased from 79.0 to 79.6, was below the forecast of 80.0 points.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the news was also rather contradictory, resulting in the European statistics not being able to significantly support its currency. The February Economic Sentiment Index from ZEW in Germany improved more than expected, rising to 19.9 from 15.2 in the previous month. The economic sentiment indicator for the Eurozone as a whole also showed growth, moving from 22.7 points to 25.0. However, the assessment of the current situation fell to -81.7, the lowest level since June 2020.

Preliminary GDP data for Q4 2023, released on Wednesday, February 14, showed that the Eurozone is in a state of stagnation. On a quarterly basis, the figures remained at 0%, and on an annual basis, they were at 0.1%, exactly matching forecasts. This statistic did not add optimism, and markets continued to exercise caution, fearing that the Eurozone economy might slip into recession.

Europe faces a significantly sharper choice between supporting the economy and fighting inflation compared to the United States. Isabel Schnabel, a member of the Executive Board of the ECB and a well-known hawk, stated on Friday, February 16, that the regulator's monetary policy must remain restrictive until the ECB is confident that inflation has sustainably returned to the medium-term target level of 2.0%. Furthermore, Ms. Schnabel believes that persistently low labour productivity growth increases the risk that companies may pass their higher labour costs on to consumers, which could delay the achievement of the inflation target.

However, despite such hawkish statements, according to a ZEW survey, more than two-thirds of business representatives still hope for an easing of the ECB's monetary policy within the next six months. The probability of a rate cut for the euro in April is currently estimated by the markets at about 53%.

After all the fluctuations of EUR/USD, the final note of the past week was struck at the level of 1.0776. At the time of writing this review, on the evening of Friday, February 16, 55% of experts voted for the strengthening of the dollar in the near future and the further fall of the pair. 30% sided with the euro, while 15% took a neutral stance. Among the oscillators on D1, 60% are coloured red, 40% in neutral-grey, and none in green. The ratio among trend indicators is different: 60% red and 40% green. The nearest support for the pair is located in the zone of 1.0725-1.0740, followed by 1.0695, 1.0620, 1.0495-1.0515, 1.0450. Bulls will encounter resistance in the areas of 1.0800-1.0820, 1.0865, 1.0925, 1.0985-1.1015, 1.1110-1.1140, 1.1230-1.1275.

Among the events of the upcoming week, the minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the US Federal Reserve, which will be published on Wednesday, February 21, are of great interest. The following day, a powerful flow of data on business activity (PMI) in Germany, the Eurozone, and the US will be released. Moreover, on Thursday, February 22, the January figure for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the Eurozone and the number of initial jobless claims in the US will be known. Towards the very end of the workweek, on Friday, February 23, data on Germany's GDP, the main engine of the European economy, will arrive. Additionally, traders should keep in mind that Monday, February 19, is a holiday in the United States: the country observes Presidents' Day.

GBP/USD: What's Happening with the UK Economy?

As is known, following the meeting that concluded on February 1, the Bank of England (BoE) announced the maintenance of the bank rate at the previous level of 5.25%. The accompanying statement mentioned that "more evidence is needed that the Consumer Price Index will fall to 2.0% and remain at that level before considering rate cuts."

On February 15, Catharine Mann, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the regulator, provided the most comprehensive overview of the state of the British economy, including aspects concerning inflation. The key points of her analysis were as follows: "The latest GDP data confirm that the second half of 2023 was weak. However, GDP data is a rearview mirror. On the other hand, the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) and other leading indicators look promising. The unemployment rate in the UK remains relatively low, and the labour market continues to be tight. Wage growth is slowing, but the pace remains problematic for the target Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicator. In the UK, goods prices may become deflationary at some point, but not on a long-term basis. Inflation in the UK's services sector is much more persistent than in the EU or the US." Consequently, Catharine Mann's conclusion was: "Mitigating the sources of inflation will be crucial in decision-making" and "Before making a decision on further actions, the Bank of England needs to receive at least one more inflation report."

Referring to specific figures, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), published on February 16, showed that retail sales in the UK in January increased by 3.4% against the expected 1.5% and a decline of -3.3% in December (month-on-month). The core figure (excluding automotive fuel retail sales) rose by 3.2% over the month against a forecast of 1.7% and -3.5% in December. On an annual basis, retail sales also showed growth of 0.7% against the expected decline of -1.4% and a December figure of -2.4%.

Labour market data also supports the pound. The unemployment rate fell to 3.8% from 4.2%, against expectations of 4.0%. The reduction in the number of active job seekers in the labour market intensifies competition among employers, which helps maintain a higher wage growth rate. For the three months to December, wage growth was 5.8%. Such strong labour market statistics, complemented by high inflation (CPI 4.0% year-on-year, core CPI 5.1% year-on-year), are likely to push back the anticipated date for easing the Bank of England's monetary policy. Many analysts do not rule out that ultimately, the BoE may be among the last mega-regulators to cut rates this year.

GBP/USD ended the week at the level of 1.2599. According to economists at Scotiabank, the 1.2500 zone represents strong long-term support for it, and a confident move above 1.2610 will strengthen the pound and set GBP/USD on a growth path towards 1.2700. Regarding the median forecast of analysts for the coming days, 65% voted for the pair's decline, 20% for its rise, and the remaining 15% maintained neutrality. Among the oscillators on D1, 75% point south, the remaining 25% look east, with none willing to move north. The situation is different with trend indicators, where there is a slight bias in favour of the British currency ? 60% indicate north, while the remaining 40% point south. If the pair moves south, it will encounter support levels and zones at 1.2570, 1.2500-1.2535, 1.2450, 1.2370, 1.2330, 1.2185, 1.2070-1.2090, 1.2035. In case of an increase, the pair will meet resistance at levels 1.2635, 1.2695-1.2725, 1.2775-1.2820, 1.2880, 1.2940, 1.3000, and 1.3140-1.3150.

Thursday, February 22 stands out in the calendar for the upcoming week. On this day, a batch of data on business activity (PMI) in various sectors of the economy of the United Kingdom will be released. The release of other significant macroeconomic statistics in the coming days is not anticipated.

continued below...
#276 - February 17, 2024, 12:48:01 PM

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USD/JPY: The Flight Continues

On Tuesday, February 13, USD/JPY reached another local maximum at 150.88. The Japanese currency retreated again, this time against the backdrop of inflation data in the US. The yen also continues to be under pressure due to the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) consistent dovish stance. On February 8, Deputy Governor Shinichi Uchida expressed doubts that the regulator would start to quickly raise its benchmark rate anytime soon. Last Friday, February 16, BoJ Governor Kazuo Ueda spoke in a similar vein. He stated that the issue of maintaining or changing monetary policy, including the negative interest rate, would only be considered "when there is a chance of sustainable and stable achievement of the price level target." Ueda declined to comment on short-term fluctuations in the exchange rate and the factors behind these movements.

In general, there's nothing new. However, many analysts continue to hope that in 2024 the Bank of Japan will finally decide to tighten its monetary policy. "We believe," write economists at the Swiss financial holding UBS, "that the normalization of the Bank of Japan's policy this year will occur against the backdrop of strong negotiations on wage increases and corporate profitability. We still believe that the Japanese yen is likely at a turning point after significant depreciation from 2021 to 2023. Considering that the yield differential between 10-year U.S. and Japanese bonds will narrow over the year, we believe the current entry point for buying yen is attractive."

A similar position is held at Danske Bank, where they forecast a sustainable decrease in USD/JPY below 140.00 on a 12-month horizon. "This is primarily because we expect limited growth in yields in the US," say strategists at this bank. "Therefore, we expect the yield differential to become a tailwind for the yen throughout the year, as the G10 central banks, with the exception of the Bank of Japan, are likely to start rate-cutting cycles."

Regarding the short-term outlook, specialists at Singapore's United Overseas Bank Limited believe that the dollar still has the potential to test 151.00 before weakening. "The risk of the US dollar rising to 152.00 will remain unchanged as long as it stays above 149.55," UOB states. This position is supported by only 25% of experts, with the majority (60%) already siding with the yen, and the remaining 15% preferring to maintain neutrality. Among the trend indicators and oscillators on D1, all 100% point north, however, 25% of the latter are in the overbought zone. The nearest support level is located in the zone of 149.65, followed by 148.25-148.40, 147.65, 146.65-146.85, 144.90-145.30, 143.40-143.75, 142.20, 140.25-140.60. Resistance levels are located at the following levels and zones - 150.65-150.90, 151.70-152.00.

No significant events related to the Japanese economy are scheduled for the upcoming week. Moreover, it is important to note that Friday, February 23, is a public holiday in Japan: the country observes the Emperor's Birthday.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Bitcoin Breaks Records

Last week, the price of bitcoin rose above $52,790, setting a new peak since 2021. According to CoinGecko, the market capitalization of the leading cryptocurrency exceeded $1.0 trillion for the first time in two years, and the total market capitalization of the entire crypto market rose above $2.0 trillion for the first time since April 2022.

Much of this bull rally is attributed to the launch of nine leading spot bitcoin ETFs. According to The Block, a month after their launch, their assets exceeded 200,000 BTC (about $10 billion). The new bitcoin ETFs rose to second place in the ranking of US commodity exchange-traded funds by asset volume, becoming a more popular investment instrument than silver ETFs. Observers note BlackRock's statement that "interest in bitcoin among investors remains high," hence the fund is ready to buy even more BTC.

According to Documenting Bitcoin, the net interest from ETF issuers exceeds 12,000 BTC per day. Thus, Wall Street representatives are currently buying 12.5 times more BTC coins daily than the network can produce. Researchers believe this has been a key driver of the price increase for the flagship crypto asset.

Morgan Creek Digital co-founder and partner Anthony Pompliano also highlighted the success of the newly launched spot BTC-ETFs. According to him, the fact that BlackRock and Fidelity managed to attract $3 billion each in record short times was a historic event for exchange-traded funds. "Wall Street is not just in love with bitcoin," the financier wrote. "They are in an active love affair. The daily supply of bitcoins to funds is limited to just 900 BTC, which corresponds to approximately $40-45 million. Meanwhile, the daily net inflow of funds into BTC-ETFs already equals $500 million (max. $651 million). This is a clear indicator of BTC scarcity and its bullish impact on the cryptocurrency's price and the market as a whole," Pompliano stated, noting the imbalance between the market supply of bitcoin and demand from Wall Street companies. The billionaire is optimistic about BTC's future trajectory and asserts that with continued demand from Wall Street, especially considering the upcoming halving, the top-capitalization cryptocurrency could significantly exceed its historical highs.

CryptoQuant noted that, in addition to the demand from BTC-ETFs, the number of active wallets is also significantly increasing. This too indicates a long-term upward trend. "Given the reduction in supply, increased demand, and various economic and social issues, especially ongoing inflation, bitcoin is likely to strengthen its position as a long-term alternative investment asset with an upward trend," analysts conclude.

SkyBridge Capital founder and former White House senior official Anthony Scaramucci also emphasized inflation. Beyond the launch of spot BTC-ETFs and the halving, Scaramucci pointed to the monetary policy of the US Federal Reserve as a driver for Bitcoin's growth. "The US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released on Tuesday, February 13, signalled that inflation may not be as under control as the Fed would like," the investor writes. "Based on data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index for January showed inflation at 3.1%. The data also sparked speculation that a Federal Reserve interest rate cut in March and May is likely off the table." Delays in rate cuts can cause turbulent trading in the main market but will serve as a boom for the crypto world, as Bitcoin is used as a hedge against inflation. Therefore, according to Scaramucci, the time to invest profitably in digital gold has not yet passed.

Popular blogger and analyst Lark Davis shared a similar position: he believes investors have about 700 days to get rich. Discussing the importance of market cycles and the timely sale of assets, the specialist noted that if traders are attentive, they can make a lot of money in the next two years. According to the expert, 2024 will be the last chance to buy digital assets, and 2025 will be the best time to sell them. The specialist emphasized the importance of not disposing of everything at once but gradually securing profits. Lark Davis also warned that in 2026, a "Great Depression" will begin in the global economy and the cryptocurrency market. And if not sold in time, investments could be lost.

The onset of the "Great Depression" is also predicted by the famous author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad," financier, and writer Robert Kiyosaki. He believes that the S&P 500 index is on the verge of a monumental crash with a potential collapse of a full 70%. He accompanied this statement with his consistent recommendation to invest in assets such as gold, silver, and bitcoins.

Ex-CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, identified another driver for Bitcoin's growth related to the Federal Reserve's monetary policy. Last week, the US banking sector was gripped by fear as New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) reported a colossal quarterly loss of $252 million. The bank's total loan losses increased fivefold to $552 million, fuelled by concerns over commercial real estate. Following the release of this report, NYCB shares fell 40% in one day, leading to a decline in the US Regional Banks Index.

Arthur Hayes recalled the Bitcoin rally triggered by the banking crisis in March 2023, when three major American banks, Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Silvergate Bank, went bankrupt within five days. The crisis was caused by an increase in the Federal Reserve's refinancing rate and, as a consequence, the outflow of deposit accounts. Its biggest victims also included Credit Suisse and First Republic Bank. To prevent the crisis from affecting even more banks, global industry regulators, primarily the Fed, intervened to provide liquidity. "Yeah... From rock to bankruptcy, that's the future. And then there will be even more money, printers... and BTC at $1 million," the ex-CEO of BitMEX commented on the current NYCB failure.

Popular analyst on the X platform known as Egrag Crypto believes that by September this year, Bitcoin's market capitalization will reach $2.0 trillion. Based on this, the price of the leading cryptocurrency at that moment will exceed $100,000. "Get ready for the journey of your life," Egrag Crypto urges his followers. "Hold on tight, as you are witnessing a cryptocurrency revolution. Don't blink, or you might miss this historic moment in financial history!"

As of the evening of February 16, when this review was written, the BTC/USD pair is trading in the $52,000 zone. The total market capitalization of the crypto market stands at $1.95 trillion ($1.78 trillion a week ago). The Crypto Fear & Greed Index remains in the Greed zone at a level of 72 points.

? It's worth noting that the Greed zone corresponds to a situation where traders are actively buying an asset that is increasing in price. However, Glassnode warns that many on-chain indicators have already entered the so-called "risk zone". The analysis is based on a group of indicators that consider a wide range of data regarding investor behaviour. Their combination covers both short-term and long-term cycles. In particular, the MVRV indicator, which tracks long-term investors, has approached the critical zone. Such a high value (2.06) has not been observed since the FTX collapse. A similar "high" and "very high" risk status is currently characteristic of six out of the remaining nine metrics. They record a relatively low level of realized profit considering the active price increase in recent weeks. According to observations by Glassnode specialists, a high risk indicator is usually observed in the early stages of a bull market. This is because, having reached a "significant level" of profitability, hodlers may start to secure profits, which, consequently, could lead to a strong correction downwards.
 

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Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

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#277 - February 17, 2024, 12:52:10 PM

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New Unique Accumulative Margin Call Bonus Will Aid NordFX Traders in Tough Situations

Daily Market Analysis from NordFX in Fundamental_Yt8NH

Starting from February 20, 2024, NordFX brokerage firm clients have been given the opportunity to participate in the accumulative bonus program, Margin Call Bonus. The purpose of this absolutely unique program is to provide traders with funds to maintain their open positions and continue trading in the event of a Margin Call on their account.

No one is immune to mistakes, and at some point, even the most experienced trader may receive a notification that there might not be enough funds in their account to maintain open trading positions. To avoid a disaster, they need to urgently replenish their deposit, or their positions will be forcibly closed, resulting in losses.

Previously, traders faced with this situation had two painful options: either accept the losses or urgently find additional funds. This is why a Margin Call is rightfully considered one of the biggest fears for traders. Now, NordFX clients have a "cure for fear", the Margin Call Bonus: a painless way to navigate out of a difficult situation.

The uniqueness of this bonus lies in the fact that traders earn bonus funds themselves: the more actively they deposit and trade, the larger the bonus they can receive. The bonus amount is automatically calculated based on the trading volume (in lots) executed in their account before a Margin Call occurs.

For detailed information on the Margin Call Bonus program's rules, please visit https://nordfx.com/promo/mcb.html

Registering for the program and requesting the bonus credit is very straightforward and can be done in the NordFX Trader's Cabinet.

Notice: These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading on financial markets is risky and can lead to a loss of money deposited.

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#278 - February 20, 2024, 08:58:20 AM

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