Bitcoin traded flat below the US$28,000 mark on Tuesday morning in Asia, while Ether and most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies retreated after a week of gains amid worries about bank failures. Polkadot led the losers, while Solana rose. U.S. equities rebounded on Monday as financial authorities added liquidity to markets and announced other measures to ease concern about weakness in the global banking system. Investor focus now shifts back to inflation as the Federal Reserve announces its interest rate decision on Wednesday.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin edged up 0.04% in the past 24 hours to US$27,920 at 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, moving up 15.00% for the last seven days, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency hit a nine-month high of US$28,527 on Monday.
  • Ether dropped 1.32% to US$1,753, holding a weekly gain of 4.72%. The token hasn’t kept up with the gains in Bitcoin as the Shanghai hard fork that will allow withdrawals of staked ether is now expected on April 12, or in about three weeks, and the analysis is mixed on whether this could generate fresh selling of the token by investors looking to lock in profits.
  • Polkadot led the losers with a 4.18% drop and traded at US$6.16 to remain flat for the seven days. 
  • Apart from Bitcoin, Solana was the only top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrency that rose in the 24 hour period. The token added 3.13% to US$22.57 for a weekly gain of 10.80%. Solana Foundation concluded Grizzlython over the weekend, the largest decentralized app (dapp) competition held by Solana. More than 800 projects were submitted and the winners will be announced in early April.
  • The total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.73% in the past 24 hours to US$1.16 trillion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours rose 16.78% to US$76.81 billion.
  • The U.S. equities rebounded on Monday as fears of more bank failures eased. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.20%, the S&P 500 added 0.89%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index edged 0.39% higher. 
  • Investors welcomed moves by authorities over the weekend to orchestrate the takeovers of Signature Bank and Credit Suisse. The share price of New York Community Bancorp, which will acquire Signature Bank, jumped 31.65%. Shares in UBS Group AG, rose 3.30% after it bought Credit Suisse, according to data from Yahoo Finance.
  • Despite the overall stabilization, the share price of the embattled First Republic Bank slumped 47.11% on Monday, after S&P Global downgraded the bank’s credit rating on Sunday for a second time in five days, and said the recent US$30 billion injection from other major U.S. banks may not be enough to resolve Republic Bank’s “substantial business, liquidity, funding, and profitability challenges.”
  • Some commentators have said the banking problems can be partly attributed to the eight interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve since March 2022 to contain inflation. U.S. interest rates are between 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest since October 2007.
  • The Fed will announce its next decision on rates on Wednesday and analysts at the CME Group expect a 73.8% chance the Fed will raise by 25 basis points. The likelihood the Fed will leave rates unchanged amid the bank solvency concerns is at 26.2%, an increase from 23.2% on Monday.
  • Ahead of the opening of U.S. equity markets on Tuesday, U.S. stock futures edged up as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures and the S&P 500 futures both gained 0.18%. The Nasdaq Composite Index moved 012% higher.

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