Bitcoin and Ether dropped in Tuesday afternoon trade in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Asian equity markets gained, with Hong Kong’s economy rebounding in the first quarter. Most U.S. stock futures weakened while European equities traded in the red ahead of key interest rate decisions and a report on U.S. employment data.
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Bitcoin dropped 2.09% to US$28,036 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market cap has risen 2.77% in the last seven days.
Ether lost 0.81% to US$1,835 but gained 1.03% on the week.
BNB, the native token of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, was the biggest loser in the top 10 cryptos in 24 hours, dropping 2.93% to US$324, bringing its weekly losses to 1.55%. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reportedly said not to rely on the banking industry’s failures for Bitcoin’s success, while pointing out that cryptocurrencies are just one of many places to keep money outside of banks.
His comment followed recent failures of major banks including First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank that were taken over by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Polkadot was the second-biggest loser of the day, dropping 2.66% to US$5.69, and lost 2.43% on the week.
The total crypto market capitalization dropped 1.59% to US$1.16 trillion, and crypto market volume decreased 12.55% to US$34.77 billion.
The Forkast 500 NFT index dipped 0.13% to 3,743.19 in the 24 hours to 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, but inched up 0.18% during the week.
The index declined but developments in the overall NFT market are picking up pace. Leading art auction house Sotheby’s, which has reportedly handled about US$120 million in NFT sales, is offering peer-to-peer trades of NFT art between collectors on its platform via the Ethereum and Polygon networks.
NFT sales on the Ethereum network rose 67% in the past 24 hours to US$24.8 million, mainly driven by the Azuki collection, that generated over 5.4 million in sales and the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which produced US$3.2 million in sales in the past 24 hours, according to CryptoSlam data.
Asian equity markets rose on Tuesday, with multiple markets in the region resuming trading after a long holiday weekend. Bourses in mainland China remained closed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.2% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.12% to its highest close since August 2022. Japanese markets will be closed for the rest of the week.
Hong Kong’s economy reportedly expanded 2.7% year-on-year in the first quarter of the year on the back of stronger domestic consumption and inbound tourism, with the financial hub’s leader John Lee anticipating “much better” growth.
Most U.S. stock futures weakened as of 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.14%, the S&P 500 futures index dipped 0.12% while the Nasdaq-100 futures inched up 0.026%.
Investors are eyeing the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next decision on monetary policy that is due on Wednesday. In a Reuters poll, 94 of 105 economists expect the Fed to deliver a 25 basis point rate hike in May, before leaving interest rates unchanged for the rest of the year. The hike will be the U.S. central bank’s 10th consecutive increase in its fight against inflation, and will increase interest rates to around 5% to 5.25%, a level not seen since 2007.
European investors were also cautious ahead of the release of April’s inflation data for the Eurozone, which could influence the European Central Bank’s next monetary policy decision, set for Thursday. The ECB is expected to raise rates for the seventh consecutive time on Thursday, with consumer prices still much higher than its target of 2%.
European bourses traded in the red as investors remained cautious ahead of the key interest rate decisions. The benchmark STOXX 600 fell 0.38% and Germany’s DAX 40 lost 0.41%.
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