Bitcoin fell on Tuesday morning in Asia to trade below the US$27,500 support line, with the slide ascribed to more profit-taking after this year’s strong gains. Ether and most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded lower amid a broader correction in the crypto market. XRP led the losers, while Litecoin stood out as the only gainer in the top 10. U.S. equity futures edged lower in Asia ahead of a bunch of economic readings and first-quarter earning reports from major U.S. companies this week. Wall Street closed mixed on Monday.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell 1.22% to US$27,461 in the 24 hours to 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong for a loss of 6.51% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency retreated to US$27,070 at one stage on Tuesday morning, the lowest price since March 28.
  • Ether dropped 1.88% to US$1,841, losing 11.25% for the week and wiping out its gains since April 12 from the Shanghai upgrade of the Ethereum blockchain.
  • XRP led the losers, dropping 4.75% to US$0.4596 for a seven-day loss of 10.27%.
  • Bitcoin’s slide over the past week is investors taking profit following the token’s surge so far this year, according to a Monday blog post by digital asset investment firm CoinShares, noting an outflow of US$30 million from digital asset investment products in the week ending April 21, interrupting a 6 week run of inflows.
  • However, Ether saw an inflow of US$17 million in the past week, which suggests some confidence among Ether investors after the Shanghai upgrade.
  • Despite the widespread profit-taking, the U.K.-based Standard Chartered Bank on Monday said Bitcoin could reach US$100,000 by the end of 2023 on the back of recent failures of traditional banks, a rebound in profits in crypto mining, and the potential end of the U.S. monetary tightening cycle, according to Reuters.
  • Litecoin managed to log gains despite the overall downtrend, rising 0.76% to US$87.99. This followed a tweet from Litecoin noting the token’s third halving event is in 100 days, which will make the coin more scarce. Still, it has some ground to make up as it’s lost 11.09% for the past seven days.
  • The total crypto market capitalization dipped 1.20% in the past 24 hours to US$1.16 trillion. The total trading volume over the last 24 hours rose 28.71% to US$38.23 billion.
  • In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index dipped 0.57% to 3,755.63 in the 24 hours to 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, down 7.23% 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.
  • The underperformance of the NFT market could be attributed to a surge in gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain, following the recent rise of memecoin PEPE. However, the memecoin, launched on April 14, fell 18.81% to US$0.0000002626 in the 24 hours to 7 p.m. on Monday in Hong Kong. The coin is still up over 392% on the weekly chart and has a market capitalization of around US$116 million, according to DEXTools
  • U.S. stock futures traded flat to lower as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures inched 0.04% lower. The S&P 500 dipped 0.10% and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged down 0.09%. The three indexes closed mixed in regular Monday trading on Wall Street, with investors facing a week busy with inflation gauges and earnings from U.S. corporations.
  • 178 of the S&P 500 companies will release first-quarter earnings this week, including Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and Meta. 
  • On the inflation front, investors are also facing U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) on Thursday and personal consumer expenditures on Friday, which will provide an insight into the broader U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve’s possible next move on interest rates. Analysts project annual growth of 2.5% in U.S. real GDP, down from 2.6% in the previous quarter.
  • 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% chance the Fed will leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting on May 3, while 84% predict a 25-basis-point increase, down from 89.1% on Monday.

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