Bitcoin dipped and Ether traded little changed on Wednesday morning in Asia, with most of the rest of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies mixed. XRP led the winners and Litecoin posted the biggest loss. Cryptocurrencies appeared to largely shrug off Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks on Tuesday in Congress, which increased concerns about a steeper rise in interest rates than expected and sent U.S. equities into a slump.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin dipped 0.79% in the past 24 hours to US$22,261 as of 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The leading cryptocurrency is down 3.74% for the past seven days. Ether edged up 0.06% to US$1,567, but is also in the red for the past week with a 2.22% loss.
  • Litecoin had the biggest 24-hour loss among the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, dropping 2.12% to trade at US$86.08. The token has lost 8.42% for the past week.
  • XRP led the winners, rising 3.52% to US$0.38. A court ruling on testimony on Monday partially favored Ripple Labs, a crypto payment network powered by XRP, in its ongoing lawsuit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. XRP gained 1.90% over the seven-day period.
  • The U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken tweeted on Monday it was “winding down” its relationship with Silvergate, joining the list of crypto firms distancing themselves from the embattled crypto bank.
  • The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.49% in the past 24 hours to US$1.02 trillion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours rose 26.38% to US$44.69 billion.
  • U.S. equities slid on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.72% lower, the S&P 500 fell 1.53% and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.25%.
  • The slump followed Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech to Congress the same day, where he said recent economic data in the U.S. suggests inflation remains a threat and indicates interest rates may need to be raised to levels higher than previously projected.
  • In December 2022, the Fed projected interest rates to peak at 5.1% in 2023, but some analysts now predict the rate may reach 6.0% if the economic data readings continue to appear overheated, according to Reuters on Wednesday.
  • U.S. interest rates are now between 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest since October 2007. Analysts at the CME Group expect a 30.2% chance that the Fed will raise rates by another 25 basis points this month. They also predict a 69.8% chance for a raise of 50 basis points, which is more than double the 31.4% prediction on Monday.
  • The next raft of data to come this week is on the U.S. job market, including February private payrolls on Wednesday and the Labor Department’s February job reports on Friday. Both indicators feed into the Fed’s decision-making on interest rates. Powell will also be speaking on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

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