Bitcoin traded above US$28,000 on Monday afternoon in Asia, a gain of 25% over last week, as a banking crisis in the U.S. and Europe prompted traders to see Bitcoin as a safe haven. All other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies gained, except Polygon. Asian equities fell amid a banking industry turmoil and growing concerns over a recession in developed economies, while investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision on interest rates later this week. 

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin rose 4.67% to US$28,297 in 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has risen 25.46% in the last seven days. Ethereum gained 1.11% to US$1,797, after rising 11.33% on the week.
  • Solana was the second-biggest gainer among top 10 cryptos, after Bitcoin, rising 6.86% to US$23, bringing its weekly gains to 16.08%. Polygon’s Matic token was the only loser among the top 10, dropping 2.32% to US$1.15, but strengthened 1.13% on the week.
  • The global crypto market capitalization gained 2.6% to US$1.18 trillion, while the total crypto market volume rose 25.21% to US$75.4 billion in the last 24 hours.
  • All Asian equity markets dropped on Monday as investors traded cautiously amid a banking crisis in the U.S. and Europe. Traders are also concerned about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision regarding interest rates when the central bank meets on March 22.  
  • The biggest bank failures since 2008 rocked the U.S. banking industry earlier this month, while Swiss lender UBS announced plans to acquire Credit Suisse on Sunday. Several major central banks have promised to inject cash into the markets to ease liquidity pressures.
  • “It shows that most financial institutions have plenty of capital and more than enough liquidity to meet operational needs and withdrawals – and that what went wrong at Credit Suisse and SVB were decisions made by a handful of former senior executives,” said Nigel Green, chief executive of financial advisory firm deVere Group. 
  • “The stepping back from interest rate hikes will be welcomed by investors who are concerned that overtightening now – when monetary policy time lags are notoriously long – could steer the economy into a recession,” Green added. 
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 2.65% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.42%. 
  • The Shanghai Composite lost 0.48% and the Shenzhen Component Index dropped 0.27%. China kept its benchmark lending rates unchanged in March and in line with expectations, as the second-largest economy in the world showed early signs of economic recovery after three years of pandemic. 
  • European stocks weakened after having their worst week since September 2022, pressured by fears around the banking sector’s health. Germany’s DAX 40 slid 0.30% and the STOXX 600 fell 0.3%.
  • European banking stocks also declined, as Credit Suisse’s shares (CSGN) fell 59% and Deutsche Bank (DBK) shares shrank 7.55%. 
  • Gold jumped to a yearly high of US$2,000 per ounce on Monday, as investors sought safe-haven assets after Swiss banking giant UBS’ announcement of a takeover of Credit Suisse.
  • London’s benchmark FTSE 100 fell 0.7% to a nearly five-month low of 7,283 points as risk sentiment worsened among investors. 
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