Bitcoin rose in Wednesday morning trading in Asia to reclaim the US$28,000 mark. Ether and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies moved higher, though not by enough to make up the losses of the past seven days. Litecoin led the winners for the second day around optimism about the token’s next halving event, even though it’s more than three months away. Concerns about the banking system resurfaced in the U.S. on Tuesday, potentially boosting crypto prices. U.S. equity futures rose in Asia after Microsoft and Alphabet beat earnings expectations.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin rebounded 3.13% to US$28,319 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency moved back above the US$28,000 line for the first time since Friday, but is still down 6.62% for the past seven days.
  • Ether gained 1.45% to US$1,867. Crypto asset investment firm CoinShares said Ethereum-linked investment products posted net inflows of around US$17 million in the week ending April 21, up from US$300,000 in the previous week, suggesting confidence in the token’s outlook following the Ethereum blockchain’s Shanghai upgrade. However, like Bitcoin, it’s still down for the past week, off 10.99%.
  • Litecoin led the Wednesday winners, moving up 3.40% to US$90.98  Some investors seem to be positioning themselves ahead of the token’s third halving event set to take place on August 2, 2023, which will reduce the supply of the token. But again, the gains so far this week haven’t offset the 10.38% drop over the seven days.
  • BNB, the token that powers the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, moved up 2.19% to US$338.34. However, the gain was overshadowed by Binance.US backing out of a US$1-billion deal to buy bankrupt crypto lender Voyager Digital, citing hostile regulators in the country. The committee of unsecured Voyager creditors said it’s  “investigating potential claims against Binance.US” after the withdrawal.
  • The total crypto market capitalization rose 2.41% in the past 24 hours to US$1.19 trillion. The total trading volume over the last 24 hours edged up 5.13% to US$40.38 billion.
  • In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index dipped 0.80% to 3,726.74 in the 24 hours to 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, down 8.36% 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 higher as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures moved up 0.18%. The S&P 500 gained 0.50% and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.35%.
  • The three indexes slid in regular Tuesday trading on Wall Street as bank solvency worries returned. First Republic Bank shares fell almost 50% after it reported a 40.8% drop in deposits since the start of the year. This follows the trio of bank failures in the U.S. in March and comes despite the US$30 billion fund injection into First Republic last month.
  • “Concerns around the US banking sector woes could return with some banks revealing billions in lost deposits and could benefit bitcoin if the capital flight exposes more banks,” according to Daniel Takieddine, Chief Executive Officer of the brokerage firm BDSwiss for the Middle East and North Africa.
  • On the economic front, surveys released on Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago indicated a slowdown in manufacturing and a potential recession ahead.
  • Amid this economic and banking gloom, U.S. technology giants Microsoft and Alphabet reported earnings after the market closed that beat analysts’ expectations, adding some optimism to after-hours trading, according to CNBC.
  • On the inflation front, investors have U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) to come on Thursday and personal consumer expenditures on Friday. Both numbers will be sliced and diced for a view into the broader outlook for the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve’s possible next move on interest rates. 
  • U.S. interest rates are currently between 4.75% to 5%, the highest since June 2006. Analysts at the CME Group now expect a  24.2% chance the Fed will leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting on May 3, while 75.8% predict a 25-basis-point increase, down from 84% on Tuesday.

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