Bitcoin remained above US$28,000 in Wednesday afternoon trade in Asia. Ether gained the most as top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization strengthened, except Dogecoin. Asian equities traded mixed after an unexpected cut in oil production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) which has heightened concerns over inflationary pressures and a recession. 

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, rose 1.8% to US$28,528 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, after gaining 1.58% in the last seven days. Ethereum rose the most among top 10 cryptos, rising 5.43% to US$1,910, bringing its weekly gains to 5.85%, according to CoinMarketCap data.
  • Polygon’s Matic token was the day’s second-biggest gainer, climbing 4.15% to US$1.15 and rising 1.36% on the week. 
  • Dogecoin, which surged on Tuesday after Twitter chief Elon Musk flipped its blue bird logo to memecoin’s Shiba Inu dog icon, was the only token to drop among the top 10 cryptos, falling 1.62% to US$0.09685. The memecoin gained 27.02% on the week.
  • The global crypto market capitalization rose 2.48% to US$1.20 trillion in the last 24 hours, while total crypto market volume dropped 9.67% to US$44.54 billion.
  • Asian equity markets were mixed on Wednesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.66% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 1.68%. South Korea’s Kospi strengthened 0.59%, the Shanghai Composite gained 0.49% and the Shenzhen Component Index dropped 0.25%. 
  • French President Emmanuel Macron is on a three-day visit to China, starting Wednesday, and is expected to discuss with Chinese President Xi Jinping geopolitical issues including the Ukraine war, the climate crisis, and renewable energy.
  • “Global investors are increasingly bullish on China and financial markets around the world are hoping for indicators of a strengthening relationship between the European Union and China during this important state visit,” said Nigel Green, chief executive of financial advisory firm deVere Group.
  • The Forkast 500 NFT index rose 0.16% to 4,026.75 points during the day and 0.5% during 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.
  • European bourses slipped on Wednesday, with the benchmark STOXX 600 falling 0.23% and Germany’s DAX 40 losing 0.15%. German factory orders rose 4.8% in February, the biggest rise since June 2021 and well above an expected 0.3%.
  • Gold rose 0.17% to steady around US$2,023 per ounce on Wednesday, nearing a one-year high. Demand for the precious metal was fueled by expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may not further raise interest rates in May to prevent a recession.
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