Bitcoin dipped below the US$28,000 mark in mixed Tuesday morning trading in Asia, while Ether rose. Both tokens are still holding gains for the past seven days. Dogecoin surged almost 20% in the past 24 hours after Twitter Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, a long-time fan of the meme token, switched the Twitter icon to the Dogecoin image. U.S. equities traded mixed on Monday as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) unexpectedly cut oil production, while a U.S. manufacturing slowdown resurfaced concerns about a possible recession in the world’s biggest economy. 

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin dipped 1.20% to US$27,771 in the 24 hours to 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, but is still up 3% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. Investors may have been taking profits after the gains in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency in recent weeks.
  • Ethereum gained 0.84% to US$1,805 and traded up 5.79% for the week.
  • Dogecoin led the winners, surging 18.51% to US$0.09331 for a weekly jump of 28.38%. This followed Elon Musk’s move on Monday to change the blue bird icon on Twitter to a Japanese Shiba Inu, the same dog image used by the meme coin. Musk also filed in court to dismiss a US$258 billion lawsuit where Dogecoin investors charged him with price manipulation, according to a Reuters report on Saturday.
  • XRP led the losers, dropping 5.44% to US$0.4906, though it’s still up 3.26% for the week and has gained 40% since the start of the year on speculation the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision against Ripple Labs – whose crypto payment platform is powered by XRP – may resolve in a favorable ruling for Ripple. 
  • The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.27% in the past 24 hours to US$1.17 trillion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours rose 55.83% to US$49.45 billion.
  • In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index dropped 0.85% to 4,029.09 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, but added 0.21% 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
  • NFT prices dipped as investors realized “the pump the markets got from blur farming is over, and the projects are now going to discover their true floors,” CryptoSlam NFT strategist Yehudah Petscher told Forkast.News on Tuesday.
  • However, NFT sales are bouncing back in some markets. Sandbox, an ethereum-based metaverse game and NFT marketplace, logged over US$1 billion of NFT sales in the past month, according to Sandbox Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder Sebastien Borget. “We have really not seen winter at all … So overall, the ecosystem is growing,” Borget said in an interview with Forkast.News on Monday.
  • U.S. equities closed mixed on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 0.98%, the S&P 500 gained 0.37%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.27%.
  • The OPEC+ cut in crude oil output announced on Sunday could raise the price of oil to US$100 dollars a barrel from around the current US$80, Reuters reported on Tuesday, adding to inflation concerns in some major economies.
  • The U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index in March came in at 46.3%, down from 47.7% in February and a fourth straight month of contraction, according to the Institute for Supply Management on Monday. The data put the focus back on a possible recession in the U.S., according to a Reuters report on Tuesday.
  • The slowdown in U.S. manufacturing is the latest indicator that the Federal Reserve’s nine interest rate hikes since March 2022 to curb inflation is putting the brakes on the broader economy.
  • U.S. interest rates are now between 4.75% to 5%, the highest since June 2006. Analysts at the CME Group are mixed on the next move on interest rates at the Fed meeting on May 3. About 45% of the analysts predict no change, while 54.8% expect a 25 basis-point rise, up from 49.6% on Monday.
  • U.S. stock futures traded flat to lower as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures edged down 0.01%, S&P 500 futures moved 0.07% lower and the Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.18%. U.S. economic data coming out this week includes the services Purchasing Managers Index for February.

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