Bitcoin slid below the US$29,000 mark for the first time in 10 days on Thursday morning in Asia. Ether also fell to lose hold of the US$2,000 price support in a sell off across all top 10 non-stablecoin tokens. Some commentators ascribed the declines to a repricing based on recent concerns about inflation and higher interest rates ahead. Litecoin led the losers. U.S. equity futures dipped after Wall Street closed flat to lower on Wednesday.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell 4.59% to US$28,943 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong for a weekly loss of 3.59%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency lost about US$1,000 in an hour starting from 4:00 p.m. Hong Kong on Wednesday. 
  • Ether slumped 7.20% to US$1,947, but remains 1.93% higher for the past seven days. The token traded below the US$2,000 mark for the first time since April 13, when the Ethereum blockchain completed its Shanghai upgrade.
  • Litecoin led the losers with a drop of 10.50% in the past 24 hours and traded at US$90.85, falling 1.39% for the week.
  • The latest selloff in cryptocurrencies is an overdue correction following the rally this year and investors taking profits as a risk-off trend emerged in global markets, according to a CNBC report on Wednesday citing Joel Kruger, market strategist at forex and crypto platform Lmax Group.
  • The risk-off mood follows more global inflation signals. The U.K. on Wednesday reported a 10.1% annual increase in the consumer price index for March, beating projections for a 9.8% gain. Also this week, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said it’s too early to consider an interest rate cut, given the stubborn U.S. inflation rate, which stood at 5% in March, compared to the Fed’s goal of 2%.
  • Lmax Group tweeted on Thursday the crypto market “has been forced to have a serious rethink about how it has been pricing” with respect to monetary policies.
  • Another down arrow is U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler’s testimony before Congress on Tuesday, where he said much of the business model of the cryptocurrency sector has been built around non-compliance with securities regulations.
  • The total crypto market capitalization fell 5.04% in the past 24 hours to US$1.21 trillion. The total trading volume over the last 24 hours rose 33.08% to US$62.36 billion.
  • In the NFT market, the Forkast 500 NFT index dropped 1.23% to 4,012.98 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, but remained 0.74% higher 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 CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.
  • U.S. stock futures traded lower as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.11%. The S&P 500 futures fell 0.24%. The Nasdaq Composite Index moved down 0.35%.
  • The three U.S. equity indexes stalled on Wednesday on softer first-quarter earning reports, while the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book survey on economic conditions published on Wednesday shows a sharp fall in lending after the failure of a trio of regional banks last month.
  • Negatives for crypto from the bank failures include “dwindling liquidity driven by strong risk-off sentiments and regulatory pressures impacting banking access for the sector,” Ben Ritchie, director of Digital Capital Management AU said in a report by information services platform Finder.
  • U.S. interest rates are currently between 4.75% to 5%, the highest since June 2006. Analysts at the CME Group now see a 16.7% chance the Fed will leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting on May 3, while 83.3% predict a 25-basis-point increase, down from 84.8% on Wednesday. 
  • (Updates to correct Bitcoin price decline in second sentence of first bullet.)

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