Bitcoin prices gained in Tuesday afternoon trading in Asia while Ethereum dropped with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Asian equity markets were mixed on Tuesday, as recent inflation indicators suggested interest rates may remain high in many major economies, including the U.S. 

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, gained 0.18% to US$22,923 in the 24 hours to 4 p.m. in Hong Kong, and dropped 0.20% over the past seven days, according to CoinMarketCap data.
  • Ethereum prices slipped 0.06% to US$1,633 and was up 3.50% in the past week. Polygon’s Matic led gains among the top 10 cryptos, rising 1.97% to US$1.22, gaining 11.34% on the week. 
  • Binance’s BNB token rose 0.81% to US$328, up 5.38% over the past seven days. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said on Monday that it will be suspending U.S. dollar withdrawals and deposits at its international exchanges from Feb. 8.
  • Asian stock markets were mixed on Tuesday. The Shenzhen Component Index rose 0.12% while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.29%. China’s foreign exchange reserves rose above market expectations to US$3.184 trillion at the end of January, from US$3.128 trillion in December, as the U.S. dollar weakened against other major currencies.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.36%, and South Korea’s Kospi ended the day 0.55% higher on Tuesday. 
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 0.03%, while India’s Sensex index at the Bombay Stock Exchange dived 0.23% at 3.03 p.m. local time. 
  • Investors are looking to the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Tuesday at the Economic Club of Washington for any hints on interest rate hikes and the direction of the economy. The central bank has suggested it could raise rates to as much as 5% to tame inflation to a 2% target. Interest rates in the world’s largest economy are at 4.5% to 4.75% currently, the highest in 15 years. 
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