Coinbase-Backed Crypto Lending Company Launches on ETH Blockchain

Decentralized cryptocurrency lending company Dharma is now officially live and open for business, according to an official announcement from the company posted Monday. Based in San Francisco, the startup has been backed by Coinbase Ventures, Polychain, Green Visor, and others.

The platform matches lenders and borrowers on a peer-to-peer level using a system of smart contracts. Those who choose to lend out their crypto through the platform will reportedly receive a fixed rate of return, a factor that differentiates Dharma from other crypto lending companies. However, lenders’ coins Dharma will only earn interest when they are being lent to a borrower.

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So far, Ethereum and DAI are the only cryptocurrencies that can be borrowed or lent on the platform.

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Brendan Forster, co-founder and COO of Dharma, explained in a press release that “we see the broader shift to blockchain-based financial services as the beginning of a much more efficient, programmable, and equitable financial system.”

Dharma CEO Nadav Hollander explained to CoinDesk that his platform is one of the only ways for the average crypto holder to earn interest on idle cryptocurrency without having extensive technical capabilities. “There are a handful ways to earn interest on your crypto in a non-custodial manner, pretty much all of those require a high degree of technical knowledge,” he said.

Hollander also said that unlike many crypto startups, Dharma chose “to go user-first rather than developer-first,” although “the underlying smart contract is still primarily open source.”

The platform, which is a bit like a crypto-version of LendingClub, has already been running a beta version of itself with 2500 users. As of Friday, $1.16 million had been borrowed across 1575 loans. Once a loan has been taken out, the decentralized system distributes the funds to the borrower within just 30 seconds.

Crytpo Lending Companies Become More Popular

Cryptocurrency markets have seen a major boost over the last several weeks, but even before then, the cryptocurrency lending industry has been booming. Companies like SALT, ETHLend, and BlockFi have reported record profits in recent months, even in spite of low crypto prices earlier this year.

This is because their business model cuts two ways: they get customers who are trying to hold onto their coins for the long run, and customers who are betting that prices will continue to fall.

Finance Magnates reported last week that crypto lending company Nexo added Litecoin to its collateral options.

DAX 30 May Top, Hinting Market Downturn After Mixed Asia Session

Asia Pacific Markets Wrap Talking Points

  • Asia Pacific equities trade sideways on competing news
  • Japanese Yen keeps gains on EU-US trade war concerns
  • DAX 30 may be topping on technical cues, eyes support

Find out what retail traders’ equities buy and sell decisions say about the coming price trend!

Asia Pacific benchmark indexes traded sideways on Tuesday, heading into the close with varying degrees of cautious gains. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was around 0.1% higher while China’s Shanghai Composite fared slightly better. Meanwhile, Australia’s ASX 200 declined about 0.05%.

A couple of fundamental developments were competing for market attention after the S&P 500 only just closed 0.1% to the upside beforehand. On the upside, multinational conglomerate Sony received a boost after hedge fund Third Point was reported building a stake in the company.

On the flipside, rising concerns about a EU-US trade war momentarily sent equities lower in a moment of risk aversion. Looking at currencies, the anti-risk Japanese Yen gained and held onto its progress despite a slight uptick in sentiment towards Tokyo Stock Exchange close.

The pro-risk Australian and New Zealand Dollars eventually found support. However, risk appetite may be vulnerable to the upcoming IMF/World Bank Spring meeting which could highlight the prolonged uncertainty about the outlook for global growth. Technical developments in German shares also hint that sentiment may sour next, S&P 500 futures are pointing narrowly lower.

DAX 30 Technical Analysis

On a daily chart below and looking at futures to show afterhours trade, the DAX may be on the verge of topping. That is because prices have left behind an Evening Star at the recent peak above 12000. Confirming a turn lower would however require further closes to the downside where support seems to be at 11838.

DAX Daily Chart

DAX 30 May Top, Hinting Market Downturn After Mixed Asia Session

Chart Created in TradingView

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— Written by Daniel Dubrovsky, Junior Currency Analyst for DailyFX.com

To contact Daniel, use the comments section below or @ddubrovskyFX on Twitter

EURUSD Daily Analysis – April 9, 2019

EURUSD broke above 1.1254 resistance, suggesting that the downside movement from 1.1448 had completed at 1.1183 already. Further rally could be expected in the coming days and next target would be at 1.1300 area. Support is located at the rising trend line on the 4-hour chart, only a breakdown below the trend line support could trigger another fall towards 1.1100.

EURUSD 4-hour chart

Commodities Weekly: Oil at 5-month high on Libya supply concerns

 

Energy

CRUDE OIL prices hit the highest since November 1 this morning with concerns increasing about disruptions to supplies out of Libya amid escalating civil unrest in the country. Also relating to supply, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister commented yesterday that markets were moving “in the right direction” and it may not be necessary for Saudi Arabia to make deeper cuts to its production output. That said, OPEC+ still sees oil inventories as too high, with an overhang of between 70 and 80 million barrels. The next key OPEC meeting will be held in May.

Oil prices touched $64.63 this morning after posting a 1.9% gain yesterday, the most in a week. Prices have now crossed the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of the October-December drop at $63.768 and the 78.6% retracement of the same decline is at $69.751. The 200-day moving average at $61.377 would be the first technical support point.

 

WTI Daily Chart

Source: OANDA fxTrade

 

NATURAL GAS prices continue to be pegged down close to 15-month lows despite forecasts of colder-than-normal weather across most of the US. In addition, gas inventories are 30% below normal levels, increasing the risk of a spike higher should any supply issues arise. An increase in gas exports from Norway recently has pushed the UK market into surplus.

The lack of momentum in either direction has seen speculative investors trim their net short positions to the lowest since the week of February 12, according to the latest data snapshot as at April 2 from CFTC. Natural gas is now at 2.708 and is facing the 55-day moving average at 2.776, which has capped prices since December 24.

 

Precious metals

GOLD has pivoted around the 1,300 mark for the past week, successfully defeating an attempt to break below the 100-day moving average, which is at 1,284.96 today. The inability to maintain the foothold above 1,300 consistently has seen speculative accounts turn net sellers for the first time in three weeks in the week to April 2, latest CFTC data shows.

Data out of China has shown that the nation extended its recent gold buying spree, buying 360,000 ounces of the precious metal in March as prices rose as much as 0.9% on the month before closing 1.6% lower. Meanwhile, data released by the Russian central bank shows it added one million ounces of gold to its reserves in February, the most since November 2018.

 

SILVER fell to the lowest level this year last week as it echoed the slippage in gold. The metal is attempting a rebound from the 15-week lows this week amid signs of a broader weakness in the US dollar. The decline stalled just ahead of the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of the November to February rally at 14.850. The decline forced many speculative longs positions to be scaled back, with investors reducing net longs to the lowest since the week of December 11, according to CFTC data. The gold/silver (Mint) ratio has been steady in an 85.00-86.00 range for the past two weeks.

 

Silver Daily Chart

Source: OANDA fxTrade

 

PLATINUM posted its biggest weekly advance in more than two years last week amid supply concerns, as reports suggest South African mines are facing potential strike action. In addition, the wide price differential between platinum and palladium has raised expectations for greater demand for platinum for use in catalytic converters in cars. Speculative investors turned net sellers in the week to April 2 for the first time in three weeks, according to CFTC data.

 

PALLADIUM has been consolidating the dramatic drop from above 1,600 two weeks ago, and is currently hovering above the 100-day moving average at 1,367. This average has supported prices on a closing basis since August 28 last year. The price collapse has forced speculative investors to ditch bullish positions, and they were net sellers for the sixth straight week in the week to April 2, CFTC data shows. That’s the longest selling spree since March/April last year.

 

Base metals

COPPER remains in consolidation mode, retreating slowly from the nine-month highs struck last week. The industrial metal touched 2.9809 on April 1, the highest since June 27. Speculative accounts turned net buyers for the first time in four weeks, CFTC data to April 2 shows, while a weekly survey of traders has shown participants becoming less bearish on the metal amid reports of progress in the US-China trade talks.

There was some good news on the supply side as production at Peru’s second-largest mine is set to get back to normal after negotiators reached an agreement with locals to lift a mine blockade that had been in place for about two months.

 

Agriculturals

Speculative investors turned most bearish on CORN since November 2017, the latest data snapshot as at April 2 from CFTC shows. Prices are still attempting to recover some of the steep losses suffered on March 29 after the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) report suggested that US acreage and stockpiles were set to increase.

Meanwhile another USDA report saw corn imports by Bangladesh picking up in the next season starting July, amid a rising population and an expanding poultry industry. Corn is now at 3.544 with the 200-day moving average sitting above at 3.588.

 

SOYBEANS recorded the biggest weekly gain of the year last week amid hopes that a US-China trade deal would soon be concluded. The commodity has been trading in an 8.73 – 9.00 range since early March, and a sustained break above 9.00 would be needed to confirm a double-bottom chart pattern is in place from the lows on March 12 and 29. Speculative investors turned net sellers for the first time in three weeks up to April 2, according to CFTC data.

 

Soybeans Daily Chart

Source: OANDA fxTrade

 

 

WHEAT looks on track for a third daily decline in a row amid concerns about oversupply. India tabled plans to offload excess wheat in the open market ahead of the normal schedule during the current season ending in June. Normally it sells excess inventories after the procurement exercise, but this time it will sell in the market immediately, because warehouse stockpiles are nearly at capacity.

Speculative investors were net sellers for a fourth straight week in the time to April 2, reducing net long positions to the lowest since the week of February 19. Wheat is now at 4.564 with the falling 55-day moving average at 4.755 chasing prices lower. Wheat has traded below this moving average since February 14.

 

SUGAR has stuck to a narrow trading range over the past week, and managed to hold above the 100-day moving average. This average has supported prices on a closing basis since March 11. It’s now at 0.1242 with sugar trading at 0.1261. Speculative accounts reduced net short positions for a third consecutive week.

 

 

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Euro at Risk From US-EU Tariff Threat – IMF, World Bank Meeting Ahead

TALKING POINTS – EURUSD, US TARIFFS, EU-US TRADE WAR, IMF WORLD BANK ANNUAL SPRING MEETING

  • USTR Robert Lighthizer proposes list of tariffs against EU
  • US-EU trade war fears rise as the global economy slows
  • Markets eyeing upcoming IMF, World bank spring meeting

See our free guide to learn how to use economic news in your trading strategy!

US-EU TRADE TENSIONS RISING

As the US and China close what may be the end of a very painful chapter on trade wars, a new one may have just weaved into the narrative. On Monday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer put forth an $11 billion list of tariffs the Trump Administration is intending on leavying against the EU. This comes amid dissatisfaction with the EU’s subsidies for the aerospace giant Airbus.

Some of the import duties would include both soft and hard commodities ranging from wine and various cheeses to helicopters and industrial parts. The dispute first emerged in 2004 – and still has not had a definitive ruling – when the US brought the matter to the attention of the WTO which outlined how the EU’s subsidies negatively impacted US commerce.

Lighthizer justified the threat of tariffs through citing section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows the President to take the necessary action – which includes retaliation – to end any country’s practice that violates WTO rules. The kinds of items listed suggests US policymakers are targeting key industries in core Eurozone including France and Germany as a way to pressure key member states.

Our ultimate goal is to reach an agreement with the EU to end all WTO-inconsistent subsidies to large civil aircraft. When the EU ends these harmful subsidies, the additional U.S. duties imposed in response can be lifted” Lighthizer stated. However, getting all parties to the table to talk may be difficult considering recent failed efforts and an overall erosion of their political and economic relationship since 2018.

For Europe, the timing could not be worse. Eurozone growth has been abysmal with last week’s release of German factory orders that put a dent in the Euro’s performance and soured overall market sentiment. This comes as France continues to deal with the Yellow Vest Protests, Italy wrestles with a recession with the German economy not far behind. The last thing the region needs is another headwind.

Furthermore, this week, the IMF and World Bank will be holding their annual spring meeting where policymakers will weigh in on the outlook for global growth and potential risks facing the financial system. Fears over a global slowdown will likely dominate the topic of discussion as the three largest economies –the US, China and EU – decelerate as the geopolitical landscape shifts into unpredictable territory.

Chart Showing Global Outlook

If the global outlook is more pessimistic than anticipated, cycle-sensitive assets like the Australian and New Zealand Dollars along with stock indices will likely suffer. Conversely, the US Dollar, Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc may catch haven bids and outperform. In the event of an EU-US trade war breakout, European assets would suffer with the Swiss Franc possibly emerging as the regional champion.

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— Written by Dimitri Zabelin, Jr Currency Analyst for DailyFX.com

To contact Dimitri, use the comments section below or @ZabelinDimitrion Twitter

AUD/NZD New Uptrend in Focus with Conflicting Technical Signals

AUD/NZD Talking Points

  • Rosy Australian economic data may propel AUD/NZD higher
  • The dominant AUD/NZD downtrend was overturned recently
  • Technical analysis warns it may decline next, watch support

Build confidence in your own AUD/NZD strategy with the help of our free guide!

AUD/NZD Fundamental Outlook

The Australian Dollar could have more room to appreciate against its New Zealand counterpart in the aftermath of a more dovish RBNZ. In late March, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand hinted that a rate cut could be the more likely option going forward following a downgrade in their economic outlook. This has been the case with most major central banks recently, including the Fed and ECB.

Typically tending to behave as a risk-neutral pair, AUD/NZD tends to focus more on monetary policy bets from the RBA and RBNZ respectively. The former has not declared its bias towards easing, and markets are around ¾ confident of a rate cut by year-end when looking at overnight index swaps. At its most recent interest rate decision this month, the Reserve Bank of Australia did drop hints that it is closely watching the risks.

Until higher odds of a cut may be confirmed by the central bank, the focus for AUD/NZD will be on how domestic economic news flow crosses the wires. According to the Citi Surprise Index, data crossing the wires out of Australia are tending to be rosier than those from New Zealand as of late. As such, there may be a chance that the currency pair trades higher in the interim.

Here are key event risk to keep an eye out for ahead via the DailyFX Economic Calendar

AUD, NZD Event Risk This Week

AUD/NZD New Uptrend in Focus with Conflicting Technical Signals

AUD, NZD Event Risk Next Week

AUD/NZD New Uptrend in Focus with Conflicting Technical Signals

AUD/NZD Technical Analysis

On the daily AUD/NZD chart below, the climb above the falling trend line from August (noted beforehand) appears to have overturned the dominant downtrend. From the bottom in March, prices rose 2.7% at the time of this writing. Near-term resistance at 1.0544 was also cleared, opening the door to testing the next psychological barrier between 1.0639 and 1.0670.

AUD/NZD Daily Chart

AUD/NZD New Uptrend in Focus with Conflicting Technical Signals

Zooming in on the 4-hour chart below shows a rising support line that has guided the pair higher in the near-term (pink line). Negative RSI divergence does show that upside momentum is fading, hinting that a turn lower could be in store next. However, I would like to see a close under 1.0398 to confirm that AUD/NZD’s upside breakout might be a false one.

You may follow me on twitter @ddubrovskyFX for updates in the Australian and New Zealand Dollars. I will be closely watching this pair ahead.

AUD/NZD 4-Hour Chart

AUD/NZD New Uptrend in Focus with Conflicting Technical Signals

ChartsCreated in TradingView

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— Written by Daniel Dubrovsky, Junior Currency Analyst for DailyFX.com

To contact Daniel, use the comments section below or @ddubrovskyFX on Twitter

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