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Bitcoin, Ether drop; US equities rise as inflation cools

Bitcoin dipped in Monday morning trading in Asia but remained above the US$28,000 resistance level, while most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded lower following a week unsettled by U.S. regulators’ litigation against the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance for allegedly violating trading rules. U.S. equities jumped on Friday as the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge pointed to a slowdown in the economy and a potential end of the Fed’s tightening cycle.

See related article: Weekly Market Wrap: Bitcoin pops above US$29,000, market shrugs off Binance legal woes

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin dipped 0.93% to US$28,111 in the 24 hours to 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, to add 0.35% for the past seven days, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency fell to a low of US$26,677 last Tuesday following the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) lawsuit against Binance, and has recovered over 5.37% from that point.

  • Ethereum dropped 1.27% to US$1,790 but traded up 0.61% for the week. Ethereum blockchain’s Shanghai hard fork, which includes an update that will allow investors to withdraw their staked ETH for the first time, is scheduled for April 12, the Ethereum Foundation announced last week.

  • Dogecoin led losses with a 5.92% drop in the past 24 hours and traded at US$0.07871, but held a weekly gain of 5.67%. Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, whose tweets have caused price moves of the meme coin, is reportedly seeking to dismiss a US$258 billion price manipulation lawsuit, Reuters reported on Saturday.

  • XRP rose 3.06% to US$0.5192 for a weekly gain of 15.57%. Behind XRP’s rally is the growing optimism that Ripple Labs, whose crypto payment platform is powered by XRP, would end its on-going lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which charged the company and its executives with breaching securities laws.

  • Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse called for U.S. officials to take notice of the SEC’s enforcement actions on Twitter last Friday. SEC Chair Gary Gensler requested US$2.4 billion in funding from Congress last Wednesday to intensify the agency’s crackdown on cryptocurrency misconduct.

  • The total crypto market capitalization dipped 1.10% in the past 24 hours to US$1.17 trillion. The total trading volume over the last 24 hours increased 2.96% to US$31.79 billion.

  • In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index edged up 0.37% to 4,067.30 as of 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, up 0.85% for the week. The index is a proxy measure of the performance of the global NFT market and includes 500 eligible smart contracts on any given day. It is managed by Forkast Labs data branch, CryptoSlam.

  • Forkast SOL NFT Composite, which tracks the performance of the Solana NFT market, rose 1.03% for the day to 1,215.36, and held a weekly gain of 5.07%, following the migration of DeGods — a Solana-based NFT collection — to the Ethereum blockchain. NFT trading activities went up as investors anticipated the price of DeGods to rise on Ethereum, as it had with Y00ts, a collection that started migrating to Polygon earlier last week.

  • U.S. equities closed higher on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 1.26%, the S&P 500 gained 1.44%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.74.

  • The U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index, which excludes food and energy, edged up 0.3% in February, lower than the expected 0.4%. The economic reading points to a slowdown of inflation, and could offset the Fed’s tendency for more aggressive rate hikes, which raised the rates to 4.75% to 5% in March, the highest level since 2007.

  • New York Fed President John Williams said last Friday he expects the U.S. annual inflation rate would drop to 3.25% within 2023, and fall below the Fed’s long-term target of 2% in the next two years, stressing that price stability remains the Fed’s top concern despite the turmoils in the banking system.

  • Analysts at the CME Group remain mixed on the Fed’s next move on interest rates, which will be made at the next Fed meeting on May 3. 50.4% of the analysts predict no rate hike, while 49.6% expect a 25 basis-point rise.

  • U.S. stock futures traded mixed as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, as investors wait for a series of U.S. economic data releases this week, including the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures moved up 0.10%, S&P 500 futures dropped 0.24% and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.63%.

See related article: Japan’s finance ministry to launch panel to assess digital yen: NHK

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