The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin
Bitcoin remains the talk of the town, as the cryptocurrency marched to a fresh high on Monday, charging above $8200. This latest rally means the currency has appreciated an eye-watering 700% year to date.
With Bitcoin repeatedly hitting record highs, it’s fair to say the market is bullish. Financial heavyweights including Goldman Sachs are among those rumored to be opening Bitcoin trading desks, and the potential for incredible returns continues to attract investors from all walks of life, a factor that may well continue to fuel the upside. CME have also recently announced plans to trade bitcoin futures and this, coupled with favorable regulations in Japan (which accounts for 60% of Bitcoin trading volumes) has helped to boost the upside still further.
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It’s an impressive rise to fame for a novelty instrument that had a market value of just $1000 at the start of the year. Even negative comments from titans including Warren Buffet and JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, declaring the currency ‘worthless’ and a “fraud” did little to quell the upside. With the technical picture extremely bullish and bulls illustrating dominance above $8000, speculation mounts that we may even see the cryptocurrency hit $10,000 by the end of the year.
Opinions still remain sharply divided over Bitcoin’s future. Some analysts are firm of the conviction that we’re witnessing the birth of a new investment instrument, while others cling firmly to the thinking that the Bitcoin romance is little more than a short-term fling. Only time will tell which one is correct, but personally, I’m leaning more towards the second option.
Euro pressured by political risk
News that collation talks in Germany had collapsed on Sunday night left the Euro open to downside risk yesterday. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had been seeking to build a coalition between her CDU/CSU bloc, the Greens and Free Democratic Party (FDP) – a vital alliance necessary to secure the German premier majority support in the Bundestag.
Concerns over Merkel ruling with only a minority government for support played out in the markets throughout Monday. Her failure to unite the three parties heightened fears of political uncertainty in the EU’s largest economy and sparked speculation of a fresh wave of elections. The uncertainty is likely to translate to yet more pain for the EUR.
While EURUSD attempted to claw back losses during the day, it quickly turned bearish again amid speculation the recovery was down to dollar weakness rather than a change of sentiment towards the euro. Taking a look at the technical picture, the EURUSD remains bearish below 1.1850. A breakdown and solid daily close below 1.1730 may encourage a further decline back towards 1.1680 and 1.1600, respectively. If bulls want to jump back into the game, the 1.1850 resistance level needs to be conquered.
Commodity spotlight – Gold
Gold finished last week on a bullish note, as a weakening dollar sent prices soaring to a monthly high above $1295 but on Monday gold prices fell, giving up all Friday’s rise. Dollar weakness is likely to continue as long as the uncertainty over US tax reforms eigh on markets. News of U.S Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaing Donald Trump’s election campaign also pressure the greenback.
From a technical standpoint, as long as gold can keep above $1280, the next levels of interest will be $1289 and $1300 respectively. Alternatively, weakness below $1280 could trigger a selloff towards $1267.
This article is written by Lukman Otunuga, a senior analyst at FXTM