Bitcoin and Ether traded little changed on Monday morning in Asia after a slump over the weekend following a week of worries about a global recession and the stability of cryptocurrency exchanges. However, the BNB token of the Binance exchange regained some lost ground, while others on the non-stablecoin top 10 list by market capitalization were mixed to little changed.
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- Bitcoin lost 0.15% to US$16,773 in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong after falling through the US$17,000 support line over the weekend. Ether dipped 0.18% to US$1,168, according to CoinMarketCap data.
- The total crypto market capitalization was little changed over the last 24 hours, increasing 0.07% to US$810.53 billion, while trading volume fell 37.54%.
- On Friday, Paris-based accounting firm Mazars Group halted work on reviewing the assets and proof of reserves of global crypto exchanges, including Crypto.com, Kucoin and Binance, a spokesperson for Binance told CNBC last Friday.
- In a statement, Mazars told CNBC that it is concerned with “the way [proof-of-reserves] reports are understood by the public,” adding that the reports are not an audit.
- The accounting firm has yet to release a public statement on the suspension, but the move added to market jitters about the risks surrounding crypto exchanges since the collapse last month of FTX.com amid allegations of misappropriation of client funds.
- Following the Mazars development, Bitcoin fell 4.5% to trade as low as US$16,584 over the weekend. Ether lost 7%. BNB slumped 16% on Saturday, but recovered by some 4.13% to US$252 on Monday morning. Clients withdrew billions of dollars from the Binance exchange last week.
- U.S. equities finished lower on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 0.85%. The S&P 500 Index fell 1.11% and the Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.97%.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by the expected 50-basis points on Wednesday, bringing rates to between 4.25% and 4.5% — the highest level in 15 years. Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced that more rate hikes are ahead, adding to worries about a global recession.
- The Fed raised rates by 75 basis-points in the prior four consecutive meetings in a campaign to lower inflation in the U.S. economy. It started the tightening in March, raising rates from near zero to a 15-year high of 3.75% to 4%, and has signaled that rates may end up exceeding 5%.
- The latest U.S. consumer price index showed that inflation was up 7.1% in November compared to last year, but less than the 7.3% forecast by Trading Economics. The CPI has shown a steady decline from 7.7% in October and 8.2% in September.
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