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MARKET RECAP
Get a head start on tomorrow's headlines. Succinct market analysis, updated frequently, reviewing the factors most responsible for changes in valuation, trends and sentiment, with highlights to the major themes driving market forces.

THE MORNING TRACK – ALL CLEAR

The rally up in the USD dominates price action today. The EUR slips to 16-month low as the 1.13 barrier breaks with 1.1187 the next target all on fears about Italy and Brexit. GBP loses 1% as deals continue to elude for UK/EU and politics continue nag. Oil stabilizes as Saudi unilaterally cuts its output and sees need for 1mbd more cuts in 2019 but OPEC pushes back with 106% compliance in October. The USD rally and the Oil rally aren’t enough for Europe. The fears over growth, ECB policy, EU/Italian budget clashes, EU/UK Brexit deal failures and ongoing political discord from Germany to France all make the start of the week less obvious. Many would like to believe that US divergence with growth and rates continues and that the USD is not playing a safe-haven role today as much as an obvious investment flow barometer. Whether this proves out will be hard to tell given this is a US bond holiday and that many see the markets as waiting for the more important CPI and FOMC Powell speech to decide. US rate sensitive sectors will be important to watch this week along with the usual rotational plays into year-end as many want to hear that all-clear siren for risk but hearing that for the noise of the news headlines maybe hard. The trend up in the USD seems clear with 96 base and 98 short-term target and perhaps that is all we need, as the correlations to other markets fray like the faith that it’s going to be a sunny day.

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HOW ARE CHINESE STOCKS RESPONDING TO TARIFFS WITH THE US AND A SLOWDOWN IN ASIAN GROWTH?

Despite US tariffs, China’s September trade balance with the US reached a record high A number of China’s Asian neighbours have seen a deceleration in growth The Shanghai Composite has fallen more than 50% since 2015, the PE ratio is 7.2 Government bond yields have eased and the currency is lower against a rising US$

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THE TRACK CRYPTO WEEKLY – HODL

The performance of Bitcoin over the last week was another yawning event. The lack of volume, interest and volatility continues to be the headline event. The US vote gives some hope with the pro-crypto politicians from Colorado and California elected. The bounce back in the global tech sector adds some fundamental relief as well. If you believe owning ETH or BTC is a call option on future technology then you should care about the present technology share price. The grinding bid tone to the week matters but perhaps not enough to spur action. Many look at 2018 as a lost cause for crypto – an annus horriblus – where 2019 can’t get here fast enough. Out of the pain of the January collapse has come many positive steps towards institutionalization. The global crypto markets are growing up. The latest BitMEX research is the focus of the week for me. There is a lot in the report but here are the things that stand out. • Total spot volumes make up less than three-quarters of the total market volume. • Visitors to an exchange and business aren’t the same thing - exchanges like Coinbase, Bittrex, and Cex.io appear to have more visitors per day than other exchanges that have similar volumes. • Cold wallets are used by only one-third of top exchanges, while 11% of top 100 have fallen victims to hacking attacks. • Less than half of top exchanges have strict KYC requirements, and over one-quarter of them have no such requirements at all. The need for more regulatory clarity seems obvious in the list of findings. The need for better data – from coin lending rates to margins to the bid/ask spread – all seem necessary for building up the trust in the market. The dependence of the market on fiat currency makes clear the risks of USD strength as a negative to the viability of the asset class.

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THE MORNING TRACK – GOOD FRIDAY

Today is a holiday and this will be short – there was important news overnight and that will put the holiday weekend in perspective. Happy Easter and Passover. Geopolitics first – Trump threatens the South Korea trade pact if the talks with the North don’t have denuclearization as key. “I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea,” Trump said yesterday in his Ohio speech. “Does everybody understand that? You know why, right? Because it’s a very strong card.” Economics second – the EU flash inflation was higher in Italy and France while in Japan it was lower. The threat of inflation remains central to rate hiking risks and its just not conclusive for faster action. Markets third – the rally extended in Japan and China overnight for equities. The tech jitters have subsided despite Trump bravado on attacking Amazon yesterday. For trading markets into Monday expect the focus to remain on JPY. The USD/JPY won’t like the threat of talk failures and linking trade success to North Korea. This linkage will clearly extend to China. The rebound in equities this week has been in part due to that hope that the South Korea pact foreshadows China talks. The other point for JPY is in the Tankan where the data on employment and industrial production today highlight risks for a slowing economy and that won’t sit well. If prices don’t go up, the pressure on Abe and the BOJ will accelerate and JPY buying maybe something to watch – 100 before 110? In order for USD bulls to get excited you need to burst back over 107.75 (the 55-day).

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