Bitcoin fell on Monday afternoon in Hong Kong to below US$27,000. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed over the past 24 hours, with Litecoin leading losses, followed by Binance’s BNB token. XRP gained the most, followed by Tron and Solana. Asian and European bourses mostly gained while U.S. stock futures traded mixed.

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Bitcoin, Ether slump

Bitcoin fell 1.73% from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, lowering its value to US$26,836, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Monday’s depreciation contributes to a weekly loss of 3.85%. Over the past month, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization reached a low point of US$25,878. 

Ether, which is the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, also experienced a drop in value. It fell by 1.41% to US$1,873, marking a weekly decline of the same percentage. 

Of the top 10 cryptocurrencies excluding stablecoins, Litecoin saw the largest drop over a 24-hour period, falling 2.43% to US$93.37. However, over the course of the past week, it gained 2.14%. The token’s third halving event is set for Aug. 2, which is expected to reduce the network’s block rewards.

According to a recent report from digital asset researcher CCData, the sector experienced its first decrease in total assets under management for digital asset investment products in 2023. The overall AUM contracted by 8.92% to US$30.6 billion in May. The report added that May 2023 marked the first time in the year when Bitcoin and Ethereum products saw a decrease in AUM, declining by 10.3% and 4.42%, respectively. 

BNB, the native token of the world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance, fell by 1.88% to US$301.09 in the past 24 hours, part of a 4.28% decline in the last seven days. Richard Teng has emerged as the front-runner to lead Binance should its current chief executive Changpeng Zhao decide to step down amid regulatory hurdles, according to a Bloomberg report on Monday. The exchange faces regulatory scrutiny in the U.S., has suspended its Australian dollar services, and has ceased operations in Canada due to tightened crypto mandates.

XRP, Solana and Tron gained among the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptos. XRP rose 1.79% to US$0.5343 in 24 hours, bringing its weekly gains to 11.07% after the XRP community reacted to the draft bill Digital Asset Market Structure Proposal released Friday by Republicans that seeks clarity in regulating cryptocurrencies as securities or commodities. 

Solana climbed 0.30% to US$21.66 while Tron’s TRX token gained 1.15% to US$0.08151 in the last 24 hours.

NFT sales edge higher

The indexes are proxy measures of the performance of the global NFT market. They are managed by CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.

In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index dropped 0.75% to 3,305.61 in the last 24 hours to 3.45 p.m. in Hong Kong, and is down 2.19% on the week. 

The Forkast ETH NFT Composite index was down 0.65% to 1,113.45 in the same period, bringing its weekly losses to 1.11%. 

NFT sales on Ethereum fell 14.45% to US$21.77 million, but gained 81.34% in the last seven days, according to CryptoSlam data

Sales on the Bitcoin network increased 49.36% in the last 24 hours to US$3.05 million but lost 4.59% on the week. 

Among Ethereum collections, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) clocked the highest sales volume in the past 24 hours of US$4.53 million, followed by Azuki’s US$2.75 million and Mutant Ape Yacht Club’s US$1.58 million. 

Sales volumes on the Bitcoin network were led by $OXBT BRC-20 NFTs, rising 40.73% to US$580,597 in 24 hours, followed by Bitcoin Bear Cubs, which rose 2.30% to US$530,830. 

Sales of uncategorized Ordinals — Bitcoin NFTs that are not part of an established collection — climbed 75.68% to US$525,458. 

“There’s lots of green to be seen on the seven-day NFT collection rankings by sales volume. A Bitcoin project is still king, but the reigning king of NFTs, BAYC, has had some significant sales this week, as some collectors are securing grails ahead of a possible entry by Chinese collectors,” according to Yehudah Petscher, NFT Strategist at Forkast Labs, the parent company of Forkast.News.

“The blockchains by NFT sales volume rankings show the battle for the third spot still raging on, with Solana holding it down at almost US$10 million in sales volume. Ethereum and Bitcoin are still top dogs, and nobody is expecting that to change anytime soon,” Petscher said.

Asian, European bourses gain, U.S. futures mixed

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Most Asian equity markets gained on Monday after U.S. President Joe Biden announced over the weekend that he signed the debt ceiling bill into law, averting a potential default in the world’s largest economy. 

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.07%, while the Shenzhen Component Index dropped 0.47%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.84%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 strengthened 2.20%. 

Major U.S. stock futures traded mixed as of 6.15 p.m. in Hong Kong. The S&P 500 futures index was down 0.02%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 futures dropped 0.29%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 0.07%. 

Crude oil prices rose after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners (OPEC+) decided to reduce production by another million barrels per day starting in July. Output will decline to 9 million barrels per day from about 10 million in May, potentially adding to inflationary pressures by pushing up prices. 

European bourses gained on Monday, with the benchmark STOXX 600 rising 0.05% while Germany’s DAX 40 rose 0.14%. 

In a speech last week, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde reportedly indicated that additional interest rate hikes were possible since it was unclear if core inflation in the eurozone had peaked. Most central banks around the globe, including the ECB and the U.S. Federal Reserve, have set 2% as a target inflation rate. 

“For the past two decades, central banks have struggled to push inflation rates up to their respective targets, with deflation fears dominating the balance of risk during the ‘lowflation’ period since the global financial crisis. Looking ahead, central banks are now more likely to struggle to avoid inflation from overshooting those targets,” Azad Zangana, senior European economist and strategist at Schroders, said in a note on Monday. 

The U.S. central bank is scheduled to meet on June 14 to decide on interest rates and the economy’s trajectory. The interest rate in the U.S. is now between 5 and 5.25%, the highest level since 2006. Annual inflation in the world’s biggest economy was below 5% in April, but above the Fed’s target of 2%. 

“The Fed is almost certainly not done yet with interest rate hikes, especially following Friday’s robust jobs report. Even if the central bank takes a pause this month, we do expect further rate rises are on their way before they bring their hiking program to an end,” Nigel Green, chief executive of financial advisory firm deVere Group, said in a statement on Monday. 

(Update adds equity section.)