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Asian shares, bitcoin rally in positive day for financial markets

Asian shares, bitcoin rally in positive day for financial markets

Shares in Asia climbed in early trade on Friday in the run-up to the release of the United States’s jobless numbers as US and China’s trade chiefs reaffirmed their cooperation in a phone call and upbeat corporate earnings lifted sentiment.

Oil prices also rose as investors weighed Saudi Arabia’s global price hike, while bitcoin posted a surge above $10,000 for the first time since late February as investors piled into the cryptocurrency in the run-up to a technical event known as halving.

Japan saw gains of more than 1 percent, the largest moves, while shares also rose 0.9 percent in Hong Kong and 0.4 percent Shanghai.

South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1.3 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.9 percent.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held a phone call late on Thursday in which they spoke about US-China trade, the US government said in a statement.

The two sides agreed there was “good progress” made to meet the phase one agreement and that they expect to meet the obligations under the deal, it said.

In US futures, S&P 500 contracts climbed following gains on Thursday.

The positive sentiment follows gains of over 1 percent in main US and European stock indexes on Thursday.

Looming on the market horizon, however, is a report on Friday that is expected to show that the US April unemployment rate jumped to 16 percent, its highest rate in more than 70 years, as people stayed home to thwart the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“While the deterioration is known, many will be asking whether risk sentiment can stand such a sticker shock,” Tapas Strickland of National Australia Bank said in note on Friday.

Markets have already had a taste of such weakness in weekly claims for unemployment benefits that added up to some 33.5 million people over the past few weeks, roughly one of every five American workers.

Roughly 21 million more people in the US found themselves out of work in April, according to a median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists

US Treasuries prices rose despite enormous deficit financing and interest rate futures toying with the negative rates.

“While the collapse in economic activity is historic, so too is the global policy response to cushion the impact and support a recovery,” JPMorgan Chase & Co strategists including Marko Kolanovic wrote in a May 7 note. “We expect risky assets to continue to recover as economies reopen,” though the pace of gains will likely slow, they wrote.

In cryptocurrency markets, bitcoin gained for a third straight day to reach a level not seen since February 24 before its upcomng halving, which will see production cut by 50 percent in one of the few observable events known to materially effect price.

A rule written into bitcoin’s underlying code slashes the number of new coins awarded to cryptocurrency miners – programmers who are rewarded for processing complex mathematical computations.

“With the bitcoin halving fast approaching, we believe a short-term pullback is highly likely immediately post-halving, as traders begin taking profits,” said Lennard Neo, head of research at Stack AM Pte, which provides cryptocurrency trackers and index funds.

“In the longer-term, however, we can expect bitcoin to register significant price appreciation toward the end of 2020 and early 2021.”

Elsewhere, oil was set for its second weekly gain as supply cuts from the world’s biggest producers and a slow pick-up in demand began to rebalance prices.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, raised prices for almost all grades of crude in June, suggesting it is more interested in supporting a recovery in prices than winning market share.

US West Texas Intermediate futures rose 1.5 percent to almost $24 a barrel early on Friday, while Brent crude gained 1.2 percent to $29.80.

There was also more evidence demand is starting to come back in the US. Gasoline supplied, an indicator of consumption, rose by the most in almost two years last week, while Genscape Inc reported that stockpiles at the storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma have fallen since last Friday, which would be the first contraction since late February if confirmed by government data.


Author: 08 May 2020 05:30 GMT

Is BTC warming up? Epic rally possible after 150 percent increase

Is BTC warming up? Epic rally possible after 150 percent increase

The Bitcoin (BTC) rate may face an unprecedented medium-term rally. The top cryptocurrency by market cap has grown 150 percent since March.

Historical data shows that when Bitcoin's long-term price trend moved to a local low, buyers stepped in sharply and there was an extended upward trend as a result.

Immediately after the halving, which is only five days away, most technical analysts expect a smaller pullback. In the previous halving in 2012 and 2016, the Bitcoin price rallied before the halving and corrected right after it.

In the medium term, however, the Bitcoin price tends to continue rising after halving. The first halving resulted in astonishing 10,000 percent growth. The second halving resulted in a price increase of 2,500 percent.

In the long run, the bitcoin price technically saw lower highs when it dropped to $ 3,100 in December 2018 and $ 3,600 in March 2020. The term "lower highs" means that an asset falls to a low that is still higher than the previous low.

Historical data show that Bitcoin is facing a new rally and cycle. Source: Mohit Sorout

Based on BTC price developments since 2012, Mohit Sorout, founding partner of Bitazu Capital, said that the Bitcoin rally could only just start after reaching $ 9,500.

"Live recording of BTC warming up," he said.

If the eagerly awaited correction doesn't come after the halving, it would further confirm that Bitcoin is on track to become a digital store of value and cross-border, limitless money.

Hedge fund manager and cryptocurrency investor Logan Han said Bitcoin could move to a record high provided BTC does not correct in May.

Han said:

If there is not a halving sell-off soon, BTC could jump to an all-time high.

The Bitcoin price is currently at a crucial turning point. If it rises above the $ 10,000 mark, it will likely lead to a rally because people are afraid of missing something. In this rally, he could climb to new highs of over $ 13,500.

Cryptocurrency trader Scott Melker said Bitcoin could technically start a strong upward trend with a rally over $ 10,552.

Melker said:

A daily close above $ 9,214 would be bullish. A breakout across the descending black line would be even more bullish. A break above the purple line at $ 10,522 would be a higher high and would take the wind out of the bears' sails forever.

Bitcoin is approaching a significant level of resistance. Source: Scott Melker

In the past few weeks, the major futures exchanges, such as Binance and Coinbase, have had record-breaking high spot volumes.

According to TradeBlock, Binance's spot trading volume rose to $ 23 billion in late April, suggesting that more and more retail investors are buying Bitcoin.

Binance has a record-breaking high BTC spot volume. Source: TradeBlock

If a price hike does not build on actual retail volume, Bitcoin is prone to a steep correction.

In October 2019, as the Bitcoin price rose from $ 7,700 to $ 10,600 in two days due to the mass closing of short positions on BitMEX, the BTC / USD pair quickly returned to $ 6,400.

Nonetheless, the impressive responses from retail investors, pushing Bitcoin's rapid recovery from $ 3,600 to $ 7,700 in early April, the record-breaking high spot volume and high liquidity in the cryptocurrency market suggest that a medium-term rally is just beginning begins.


Joseph Young

Is BTC warming up? Epic rally possible after 150 percent increase

Bitcoin Price Chart, Market Cap, Index and News – NG

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First Mover: Search Interest in Bitcoin's Halving Reaches Fever Pitch as Price Hits $10K

First Mover: Search Interest in Bitcoin’s Halving Reaches Fever Pitch as Price Hits $10K

With fewer than four days left till bitcoin’s halving, popular interest in the once-every-four-years event is reaching a fever pitch.

Google Trends, a barometer for gauging interest in trending search topics, shows searches for “halving” or “bitcoin halving” at five times the peak in 2016, when the blockchain underwent its previous halving event. 


In the buildup to the halving, prices have surged over recent weeks. The rise is also likely because of speculation that bitcoin might work as an inflation hedge against the trillions of dollars of new-money injections this year by the Federal Reserve and other central banks. 

Bitcoin jumped 9.3% on Thursday to about $10,000. The cryptocurrency is now up 39% year to date, triple the returns for gold, which is seen by many investors in traditional markets as a hedge against inflation. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. stocks is down 11%.

Paul Tudor Jones II, the hedge-fund magnate known for correctly predicting the 1987 stock-market crash, told Bloomberg News Thursday his $38 billion Tudor Investment Corp. is putting money into bitcoin futures. 

“I am not a hard-money nor a crypto nut,” Jones told clients in a market outlook note titled, “The Great Monetary Inflation.” But the “best profit-maximizing strategy is to own the fastest horse,” he wrote. 

“If I am forced to forecast, my bet is it will be bitcoin,” according to Jones. “The most compelling argument for owning bitcoin is the coming digitization of currency everywhere, accelerated by COVID-19.”

Such growing interest reflects how the size of the cryptocurrency market – and the industry supporting it – has ballooned over the past four years. In 2017, the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance reckoned there were about 2,000 people working in the entire digital-asset industry. Fast forward to 2020 and companies like Kraken and Coinbase are hiring hundreds of people at a time. 

Trading activity is also up. CryptoCompare released data this week showing the second-highest trading volumes on record was on April 30: 


Some $66.2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies changed hands that day, second only to the $75.9 billion traded during March 12’s 39% price plunge, when the economic devastation from the coronavirus suddenly became clear to traders in both digital and traditional asset markets. 

According to Lewis Harland, founder at analytics site Formal Verification: “Higher volumes in the futures market in terms of open interest point to perhaps a greater interest from institutions.”  

There’s also been an increase in the number of trading products and instruments offered in the fast-growing market.

Last month, the cryptocurrency derivatives platform FTX introduced a token that allows investors to trade bitcoin volatility.

And, this week, Bitfinex released a perpetual swap giving exposure to bitcoin dominance – essentially the market share occupied by the largest and oldest cryptocurrency, relative to the overall digital-asset market. 

21Shares, which sponsors exchange-traded products tracking cryptocurrencies, launched a new token via its Amun arm that rises in value whenever bitcoin’s price falls, and vice versa.

If the last two halvings are any indication, next week will see an upswing in volatility, offering rich opportunities for traders to take advantage. In the meantime, many are preparing by creating preferred exposure and using products to hedge or take positions on a specific market move. 

Traders will continuously adjust their positions ahead of the big day, and soon enough the price action will separate winners from losers. Some investors think the halving will drive bitcoin a lot higher; others say an event that’s been in the works for 11 years is so well-known that it’s already baked into the price. 

What’s beyond dispute is how fast this market is growing. The spike in interest in the halving might just be another reflection of that. 

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BTC: Price: $9,861 (BPI) | 24-Hr High: $9,999 | 24-Hr Low: $9,961

Trend: Bitcoin bulls are taking a breather so far on Friday, having engineered a rally to two-month highs above $10,000 on Thursday. 

At press time, the top cryptocurrency by market value is trading around $9,860, down 0.5% on the day. The bulls failed to keep prices above key resistance at $10,048 during overnight trading. That level marks the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of the drop from the June 2019 high of $13,880 to the March 2020 low of $3,867. 

The 61.8% Fibonacci retracement, or the golden ratio, is widely tracked by chart analysts and traders. Hence, a move above that hurdle could cause more buyers to join the market. 

Observers suggest the pullback seen over the last few hours could be temporary and prices will likely find acceptance above the Fibonacci hurdle ahead of the mining reward halving due on Monday. “We’ll go higher this weekend because of FOMO by retail investors” said Chris Thomas, head of digital assets at Swissquote Bank. 

FOMO, or fear of missing out, refers to an emotional reaction that pushes traders to invest in a less disciplined way. As prices rise, more and more investors become concerns they will miss out on the opportunity to buy the asset at attractive prices. That fear forces them to invest in a less-disciplined way and leads to stronger price gains. 

Many in the investor community believe bitcoin’s imminent halving will put bitcoin on a long-term bull run and are likely to keep buying while heading into the event.     



Author: Daniel Cawrey

Asian shares, bitcoin rally in positive day for financial markets

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