Forex Forecast and Cryptocurrencies Forecast for December 21 - 25, 2020
First, a review of last week’s events:
- EUR/USD. According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the most popular strategy in the market after “buy shares” is “sell the dollar”. Speculative short positions in this currency have risen to a two-year high. The USD index (DXY) has fallen below 90, while it was at 102.82 on March 15, 2020. As for the retreat of the dollar in recent days, it is taking place against the background of the discussion in the US Congress of an additional package of fiscal stimuli. After all, every new dollar poured into the country's economy will lead to a decrease in its purchasing power.
The Federal Reserve meeting held on Thursday, December 17 had virtually no effect on market sentiment. The interest rate remained at the same level, and, one might say, a blissful pre-Christmas mood prevailed at the press conference: nothing new was said about the prospects for further quantitative easing and no worries about the current state of the economy were voiced. Although, perhaps, such passivity was caused not only by Christmas, but also by the change of the US President. The new owner has not yet settled in the White House. And the old one is already a duck lame on both legs.
True, thanks to the hopes of investors for the future growth of the S&P500 and for a positive outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the EUR/USD pair still continued its movement northward, adding about 140 points in a week. As for the final chord, it sounded at the height of 1.2250;
- GBP/USD. With the weakening USD and hopes that the Brexit talks will succeed at the last moment, the pair continues to push higher. At the week's high, December 17, it reached 1.3625, showing a gain of as much as 400 points. However, then a correction followed, and it completed the five-day period just below the level of 1.3500.
Belief in the deal is fueled by media reports that the fishing problem in British waters remains the last hurdle. The markets were encouraged by the statements of the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who said that there is a "narrow path" to the agreement, as well as European Commissioner for Internal Trade Michel Barnier, who confirmed that "the possibility of a trade agreement remains."
Britain also seems to agree to the deal, but, as it was stated, "not at the cost of sovereignty, and control should include the sea as well." Prime Minister Boris Johnson has threatened to keep European fishermen out of British waters for at least eight years if his three years quota fishing proposal is not accepted.
In general, Hamlet's question “To be or not to be?”, which has been sounding for 420 years, as applied to Brexit, is still open;
- USD/JPY. The yen is stable, US Treasuries remain in the same trading range, the dollar is weakening, the USD (DXY) index is falling. All this allows the USD/JPY pair to continue its smooth descent within the downstream medium-term channel, which began at the end of last March. On Thursday December 17, it reached the midline of this channel, fixing a weekly low at 102.85. The last point in the five-day period was set at 103.30;
- cryptocurrencies. What has been expected from bitcoin for three whole years has come true. It not only renewed the all-time high, not only broke through the $20,000 level, but also soared in a short period from December 12 to 17 from $18,000 to $23,620, adding more than 30%.
If we compare the rallies in December 2017 and December 2020, the main difference between them, according to many experts, is that in the first case, the main driving force was retail investors, but now it is institutional. According to the analytical company Chainalysis, the "population" of bitcoin whales (1000 BTC and more) has been expanded with 302 new wallets since the beginning of the year and peaked at 2274 at the end of last month, and balances at the corresponding addresses increased by 1.4 million BTC during this time.
To be fair, it should be noted that the number of retail users is also growing. The number of bitcoin addresses with a non-zero balance has approached the mark of 33 million, updating the historical maximum, according to the data of the analytical service Glassnode. The number of wallets with a balance of more than 1 BTC is also steadily growing. The indicator has set a new record at 827,105 recently, recovering from a slight recession at the end of September.
Of course, we have written about this many times, the coronavirus pandemic contributed to the popularization of bitcoin. However, it is probably early to talk about the mass acceptance of cryptocurrencies by the population. So, in a survey conducted by Opinium and AltFi among UK residents, only 10% said they bought a cryptocurrency. And although the results of 2020 can be viewed as an undoubted improvement - a year ago the figure was half as much, 5.3% - it is still a very small percentage, which leaves significant potential for growth in the crypto market, the total capitalization of which reached $670 billion on December 17.
It should be noted that despite the fact that BTC/USD quotes have already by far exceeded the high of 2017, the capitalization has not reached its record value of $830 billion, recorded on 07 January 2018. That is, the rise in the value of bitcoin is fueled by significantly smaller amounts of fiat than before, which may indicate the pair is strongly overbought. This is evidenced by the values of the Crypto Fear & Greed Index, which rose again in seven days from 89 to 95 and is very close to the maximum value of 100 points. But while waiting for a correction, one should take into account that the end of the year is now, the Christmas holidays are coming, and the most unexpected things can happen on the thin market - from zero volatility to new spikes to the north;