‘Game Over’: Wall Street Analyst Says Bitcoin Must Not Breech Year-To-Date Support

By: William Suberg

Renaissance Macro Research’s head of technical research Jeff deGraaf concluded it may be “game over” for Bitcoin (BTC) in a new analysis, CNBC reports August 9.

In a note to clients, deGraaf, who has received multiple accolades for his trading insights in the past twenty years, claimed Bitcoin’s price movements suggest the largest cryptocurrency is “permanently impaired.”

CNBC quotes deGraaf as writing that Bitcoin’s “parabolic moves are notoriously dangerous for short-sellers,” adding that a top normally develops with the appearance of a “descending triangle over months, with reduced volatility and little [fanfare],”

“Once the top is complete on the support violation, the security in question can often be considered permanently impaired or even ‘game‐over’. We are of course referencing Bitcoin as exhibit ‘A’ in today’s market.”

Such a situation would become a genuine consideration if BTC/USD broke year-to-date support levels, deGraaf added.

Bitcoin prices have come full circle over the past three weeks to trade around $6,359 by press time, after previously rising as high as $8,450 in late July.

This time last year, Bitcoin traded at around half that figure — $3,400 — as markets began their ascent that brought Bitcoin’s price to around $20,000 in December 2017.


Meanwhile, misgivings from traditional finance sources have continued in recent months, despite increased Wall Street interest and pledges to build out Bitcoin-related infrastructure.

Last week, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon broke silence once more to call the cryptocurrency a “scam” after previously saying he “was not going to talk about” it.


Glencore Slumps as U.S. Orders Documents in Corruption Probe

By Thomas Biesheuvel and Franz Wild

Glencore Plc tumbled the most in two years as U.S. authorities demanded documents relating to possible corruption and money laundering.

The world’s biggest commodity trader said Tuesday that it’s been subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice to hand over documents related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.S money laundering statutes. The documents relate to the company’s business in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela from 2007 to the present.

The shares plunged as much as 13 percent, and more than 5.5 billion pounds ($7.3 billion) have been knocked off Glencore’s market value, about half the $14.8 billion of profit the company made last year.

It’s been a tumultuous year for Glencore, mostly due to challenges linked to its business in the Congo, where it operates giant copper and cobalt mines. The Swiss trader and miner is already facing the possibility of a bribery investigation by U.K. prosecutors over its work with Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire and close friend of Congo President Joseph Kabila, people familiar with the situation said in May.

Glencore said it’s reviewing the subpoena and will provide further information as appropriate. The shares dropped to the lowest in almost a year and were down 11 percent by 12:11 p.m. in London.

The DOJ usually issues subpoenas when it is investigating a company. In December, a Swiss court ordered companies controlled by Gertler to hand over bank documents to U.S. Federal prosecutors.

“Given the flow of negative news we’ve had through the course of this year, the knee-jerk reaction is worse than it otherwise might have been,” Hunter Hillcoat, an analyst at Investec Securities Ltd., said by phone. “The DOJ fines can be big, but to wipe out 10 percent of the market cap would be bigger than any fine I can recall.”

The biggest U.S. penalty for foreign corruption under the FCPA was a $965 million payment imposed on Swedish telecoms company Telia Company AB after it accepted that it paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to a government official in Uzbekistan.

The largest fine linked to the U.S. law was meted out to Odebrecht SA, Latin America’s top construction company, and an affiliate. Odebrecht was ordered by a U.S. judge in 2017 to pay $2.6 billion to resolve bribery allegations involving Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-run oil company. Odebrecht was ordered to pay $2.39 billion to Brazil, $93 million to the U.S. and $116 million to Switzerland.

While Glencore didn’t specify exactly what the DOJ is investigating, it has faced legal challenges in DRC, Venezuela and Nigeria that might suggest where the U.S. authorities are focusing their probe.

The company’s relationship with Gertler, who’s under U.S. sanctions over allegedly corrupt deals in Congo, has long been a cause for concern. In Venezuela, Glencore is among oil traders accused of paying bribes to get the inside track on oil deals, according to a lawsuit filed by a trust for Petroleos de Venezuela SA earlier this year. In 2015 a former representative of Glencore alleged that the company failed to pay a fee for helping to free 15 Russian sailors detained on suspicion of smuggling guns in Nigeria.

The company’s problems had seemed to ease last month as it headed off two of its biggest challenges in Congo. Faced with the risk of losing control of its mines, Glencore bowed to the demands from two entities with close government ties — the state-run mining company Gecamines and Gertler.

A spokesman for Gertler declined to comment.

Glencore’s bonds also slumped on the news. The company’s 500 million euros ($583 million) of notes due April 2026 led the decline, falling more than 2 cents on the euro to 109 cents, the biggest drop in more than two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“After navigating the recent challenges in the Congo, albeit with a jurisdictional shift in risk from the Congo to the U.S., this investigation is likely to provide another reason for investors to proceed with caution around the Glencore investment case,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Tyler Broda said in a note to investors.

Stocks rise as oil rallies after Iran deal fallout

By Fred Imbert & Alexandra Gibbs

Stocks rose on Wednesday as energy shares jumped on the back of a strong rally in oil prices. The move higher in stocks and oil follows President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 37 points, with Chevron and Exxon Mobil as the best-performing stocks in the index. The S&P 500gained 0.3 percent as energy rose 1.7 percent. The Nasdaq compositeadvanced 0.1 percent.

Chevron and Exxon Mobil both rose more than 1.5 percent, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) gained 1.8 percent. U.S. oil rose 2.4 percent to trade at $70.70 per barrel.

Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. would be walking away from the Iran deal and that sanctions on the Middle Eastern country would be reinstated. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, this was a campaign promise that Trump had pledged.

“This would have been much more shocking a year ago (when [Brent] oil was US$50) than now (with oil at US$75),” said Hasnain Malik, head of equity research at Exotix Capital, in a note to clients.

“Longer term, this event further narrows the space for countries that would benefit from cooperation with both the US (and its closest regional allies Israel, Saudi and the UAE) and Iran to chart a neutral path, and may portend a weakening of the US-EU strategic relationship,” Malik said.

Following the announcement, countries around the world reacted differently. While some nations in the Middle East commended the move made, U.S. allies in Europe did not. The president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, said that his country would continue to commit to the nuclear deal, according to Reuters.

Equities closed flat on Tuesday after a choppy trading session. Since late March, stocks have traded in a tight range, with the S&P 500 bouncing between its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, two key technical levels.

“The market had traded up so much late last year and earl y this year,” said Greg Luken, CEO of Luken Investment Analytics. “It takes time to digest that.”

In the bond market, the 10-year Treasury yield reclaimed its position above the 3 percent mark on Wednesday, a level that recently put markets on edge. The two-year note yield also traded at its highest level in nearly a decade.

Meanwhile, in corporate news, shares of Walmart fell 3.2 percent after the company agreed to buy 77 percent of Flipkart for $16 billion. Flipkart is am e-commerce company based in India.