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Old 01-10-2023, 13:23
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USD/JPY: Awaiting the Breach of 150.00

"Appropriate measures will be taken against excessive currency movements, not ruling out any options," "We are closely monitoring currency exchange rates." Do these phrases sound familiar? Indeed, they should: these are words from yet another verbal intervention conducted by Japan's Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki on Friday, September 29. He added that "the government has no specific target level for the Japanese yen that could serve as a trigger for currency intervention."

One can agree with the last statement, especially considering that USD/JPY reached the 149.70 level last week, a height it last achieved in October 2022. Moreover, amid large-scale global bond selloffs, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) took measures to curb the rising yields of 10-year JGBs and announced an unscheduled operation to purchase these bonds on September 29. In such a scenario, if not for the global dollar correction, it's highly likely that this operation could have propelled USD/JPY to break through the 150.00 mark.

As we've already noted above, according to many experts, the dollar's sell-off is most likely related to profit-taking in the final days of the week, month, and quarter. Therefore, this trend may soon dissipate, making the breach of the 150.00 level inevitable.

Could 150.00 be the "magic number" that triggers Japan's financial authorities to commence currency interventions? At the very least, market participants view this level as a potential catalyst for such intervention. This is all the more plausible given the current economic indicators. Industrial production remained unchanged in August compared to July, and core inflation in Japan's capital slowed for the third consecutive month in September. Under these conditions, economists at Mizuho Securities believe that although currency interventions may have limited impact, "the government would lose nothing politically by demonstrating to the Japanese public that it is taking the sharp rise in import prices seriously, caused by the weakening yen.".

The week concluded with USD/JPY trading at the 149.32 mark. A majority of surveyed experts (60%) anticipate a southern correction for the USD/JPY pair, possibly even a sharp yen strengthening due to currency intervention. Meanwhile, 20% predict the pair will confidently continue its northward trajectory, and another 20% have a neutral outlook. On the D1 timeframe, all trend indicators and oscillators are painted in green; however, 10% of the latter are signalling overbought conditions. The nearest support levels are situated at 149.15, followed by 148.45, 147.95-148.05, 146.85-147.25, 145.90-146.10, 145.30, 144.45, 143.75-144.05, 142.20, 140.60-140.75, 138.95-139.05, and 137.25-137.50. The closest resistance stands at 149.70-150.00, followed by 150.40, 151.90 (October 2022 high), and 153.15.

Apart from the release of the Tankan Large Manufacturers Index for Q3 on October 2, no other significant economic data concerning the state of the Japanese economy is scheduled for the upcoming week.

CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Hopes on Halving and Halloween

In the first half of the week, BTC/USD trended downward, succumbing to the strengthening U.S. dollar. However, it managed to hold within the $26,000 zone, after which the dynamics shifted: The Dollar Index (DXY) began to weaken, giving the bulls an opportunity to push the pair back to the support/resistance area around $27,000.

It's clear that the stringent monetary policy of the Federal Reserve will continue to exert pressure on bitcoin, as well as the broader cryptocurrency market. While the U.S. regulator opted not to raise the refinancing rate at the end of September, it did not rule out such a move in the future. Adding to the market's uncertainty is the SEC's pending decisions on spot bitcoin ETF applications.

Mark Yusko, CEO of Morgan Creek Capital, believes that a favourable decision by the SEC on these applications could trigger an inflow of $300 billion in investments. In such a scenario, both the market capitalization and the coin's value would significantly increase.

However, the key word here is "if." Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital, acknowledged at the Messari Mainnet Conference in New York the existence of "headwinds" for bitcoin in the form of high interest rates set by the Federal Reserve and the hostility of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. Nevertheless, this investor and former White House official is confident that bitcoin offers greater prospects than gold. If the bitcoin ETF applications are eventually approved, it would lead to widespread adoption of digital assets. Scaramucci believes that the worst is already behind us in the current bear market. "If you have bitcoin, I wouldn't sell it. You've weathered the winter. [...] The next 10-20 years will be incredibly bullish," he stated. According to the financier, the younger generation will mainstream the first cryptocurrency, just as they did with the internet.

Amid uncertainties surrounding the actions of the Federal Reserve and the SEC, the primary hope for the growth of the crypto market lies in the forthcoming halving event scheduled for April 2024. This event is almost certain to occur. However, even here, opinions vary. A number of experts predict a decline in bitcoin's price before the halving.

An analyst known as Rekt Capital compared the current market situation to the BTC price dynamics in 2020 and speculated that the coin's price could fall within a descending triangle, potentially reaching as low as $19,082.

Well-known trader Bluntz, who accurately predicted the extent of bitcoin's fall during the 2018 bear trend, also foresees a continuing downward trajectory. He doubts that the asset has hit its bottom because the descending triangle pattern forming on the chart appears incomplete. Consequently, Bluntz anticipates that bitcoin could depreciate to around $23,800, thereby completing the third corrective wave.

Benjamin Cowen, another renowned analyst, is also bearish in his outlook. He believes that the BTC price could plummet to the $23,000 level. Cowen bases his prediction on historical patterns, which suggest that the price of the flagship cryptocurrency usually experiences a significant slump before a halving event. According to Cowen, past cycles indicate that BTC and other cryptocurrencies do not exhibit strong performance in the period leading up to this crucial event.

In the event of a downturn in digital asset prices, the upcoming halving could spell financial ruin for many miners, some of whom have already succumbed to the competitive pressures of 2021-2022. Currently, miners are operating on thin margins. At present, block rewards constitute 96% of their income, while transaction fees make up just 4%. The halving will cut the block mining rewards in half, and if this occurs without a corresponding increase in the coin's price, it could lead to financial catastrophe for many operators.

Some companies have started to connect their mining farms directly to nuclear power plants, bypassing distribution networks, while others are looking to renewable energy sources. However, not everyone has such options. According to Glassnode, the industry-average cost to mine one bitcoin currently stands at $24,000, although this varies significantly from country to country. CoinGecko data shows the lowest cost of mining in countries like Lebanon ($266), Iran ($532), and Syria ($1,330). In contrast, due to higher electricity costs, the U.S. sees costs soar to $46,280. If bitcoin's price or network fees do not significantly increase by the time of the halving, a wave of bankruptcies is likely.

Is this a bad or good development? Such bankruptcies would lead to a reduction in the mining of new coins, creating a supply deficit, and ultimately driving up their price. As it is, the crypto exchange reserves have already decreased to 2 million BTC, nearing a six-year low. Market participants are opting to hold their reserves in cold storage, anticipating a future surge in prices.

Research firm Fundstrat has speculated that against the backdrop of the halving, BTC prices could surge by more than 500% from current levels, reaching the $180,000 mark. Financial corporation Standard Chartered projects that the price of the flagship cryptocurrency could rise to $50,000 this year and to $120,000 by the end of 2024. The Bitcoin Rainbow Chart by the Blockchain Center also recommends buying; BTC/USD quotes on their chart are currently in the lower zone, suggesting a rebound is due.

According to Michael Saylor, the CEO of MicroStrategy, the inherent supply limitation of bitcoin capped at 21 million coins makes it the best asset for preserving and growing capital. The billionaire compared the depreciation rate of fiat currencies with the dynamics of inflation. He argued that individuals could see their savings erode if held in traditional currencies, citing that over the past 100 years, funds held in U.S. dollars would have lost about 99% of their value.

As of the time of writing this review, on the evening of Friday, September 29, BTC/USD has neither fallen to $19,000 nor risen to $180,000. It is currently trading at $26,850. The overall market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market stands at $1.075 trillion, up from $1.053 trillion a week ago. The Crypto Fear & Greed Index has increased by 5 points, moving from 43 to 48, transitioning from the 'Fear' zone to the 'Neutral' zone.

In conclusion, a forecast for the upcoming month. Experts have once again turned to artificial intelligence, this time to predict the price of the flagship cryptocurrency by Halloween (October 31). AI from CoinCodex posits that by the specified date, bitcoin will increase in price and reach a mark of $29,703.

Interestingly, there is even a term in the crypto market known as "Uptober." The idea is that every October, bitcoin sees significant price gains. Looking at the 2021 figures, bitcoin was trading near $61,300 on October 31, marking an increase of over 344% compared to 2020. This phenomenon remained relevant even in the past year, 2022, following the high-profile crash of the FTX exchange. On October 1, 2022, the asset was trading at $19,300, but by October 31, the coin had reached a mark of $21,000. Let's see what awaits us this time.

NordFX Analytical Group

Notice: These materials are not investment recommendations or guidelines for working in financial markets and are intended for informational purposes only. Trading in financial markets is risky and can result in a complete loss of deposited funds.

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