Bitcoin edged up on Monday morning in Asia but remained below the US$26,000 resistance level, giving up much of last week’s gains from a favorable court ruling on Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund application. Ether also stayed range-bound at around US$1,650, while other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed, with XRP leading the winners and Dogecoin the losers. U.S. stock futures edged down Monday morning after Wall Street closed the week higher on a cool-off in the U.S. labor market that soothed the concerns for more interest rate hikes.

Bitcoin gave up gains from Grayscale’s victory

Bitcoin edged up 0.30% in the last 24 hours to US$25,958.25 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong and traded 0.46% lower for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency lost control of the US$26,000 support level on Friday and fluctuated around the mark over the weekend.

Bitcoin briefly reached a weekly high of over US$28,000 last Tuesday on a court ruling that required the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to review asset manager Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF application, but soon gave up all the gains after the SEC delayed all pending ETF applications on Thursday.

“While investors might be looking at the Grayscale v. SEC developments, it feels like the recent price action is linked to activity from the FTX wallets, igniting fear of a potential dump as some (or all) of these assets would be liquidated into fiat for expenses, repaying investors,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of Asia-Pacific business development at Belgium-based crypto market maker Keyrock. 

A Solana-based cold wallet owned by collapsed crypto exchange FTX transferred over US$10 million worth of cryptocurrencies, including LINK, SUSHI, LUNA and YFI, to Ethereum addresses from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, according to Arkham Intelligence data cited by blockchain journalist Colin Wu

Both Bitcoin and Ether’s prices are below their 50-day moving averages of US$28,299 and US$1,789, indicating bearishness in the prices, Markus Thielen, head of research & strategy at digital asset service platform Matrixport, said in a Monday report by Matrixport.

In the past month, the world’s leading stablecoin USDT has lost US$1 billion in market cap and consistently traded below the 1:1 peg with U.S. dollars, according to CoinMarketCap data.

“The decline in (USDT) market cap was first associated with a move into Bitcoin on August 8 when US$400 million was moved from USDT into BTC. But then another US$500 million appeared to have been redeemed when Bitcoin prices crashed around August 18. Liquidity leaving the ecosystem, is always negative,” said Thielen.

Ether inched 0.17% higher to US$1,635.19 and was down 1.27% over the past seven days.

Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed over the past 24 hours and moved no higher than 1%. The exception was XRP, which led the winners by gaining 1.07% in the past 24 hours to US$0.5048, but remained 3.46% lower for the week. 

Dogecoin led the losers, dropping 0.62% in the past 24 hours to US$0.06315 and stayed flat for the seven-day period.

Toncoin, the native token of Ton network, surged 23.86% in the past week, boosted by the network’s launch of its new smart contract programming language Tact on August 22.

TON stands for “The Open Network,” a layer-1 blockchain originally developed by messaging service provider Telegram that withdrew from the project in 2020. TON launched the beta of its own crypto wallet service TON Space on August 10, which was integrated into the Telegram application at the very start.

“With Telegram boasting a user base of 700 million, the platform presents a substantial opportunity for the distribution and onboarding of new users into the Toncoin ecosystem,” said John Stefanidis, chief executive officer and co-founder of blockchain infrastructure foundation Balthazar DAO.

The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.09% to US$1.04 trillion. Trading volume dropped 10.77% to US$19.78 billion.

U.S. stock futures flat after Wall Street booked weekly gains

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Image: Getty Images

Main stock indexes across Asia went higher on Monday morning, as of 09:50 a.m. in Hong kong. China’s Shanghai Composite Index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, Japan’s Nikkei and South Korea’s Kospi all logged gains.

U.S. stock futures were trading mixed with Dow futures and S&P 500 futures inching down while Nasdaq futures were edging higher. Wall Street closed varied at the end of regular session trading Friday, but all three major U.S. indexes booked weekly gains as Friday’s labor market data eased rate hike worries. The U.S. stock market closes this Monday and will open on Tuesday,

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in August, the highest reading since February 2022, according to the Labor Department on Friday, which could mitigate the concerns about further increases in the U.S. interest rates.

Given the uptick in unemployment rate, moderated job gains and wage growth, as well as an increase in labor force participation, “the U.S. August jobs report increases the probability that the highly data-dependent Fed will not hike again in this cycle,” Mohamed A. El-Erian, an adviser to Germany-based financial services firm Allianz, tweeted on Friday.

Adding to the optimistic outlook of the U.S. central bank’s battle against inflation, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said on Thursday that “inflation is conclusively on track toward 2% over a reasonable time frame,” and that the Fed’s monetary policy “is already restrictive enough to get us there.”

The Fed raised its interest rate to between 5.25% and 5.50% in July, the highest level in 22 years. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said following July’s meeting that the central bank will take a “data-dependent” approach when deciding how to reduce the country’s annual inflation below its long-term goal of 2%.

The CME FedWatch Tool predicts a 93% chance the Fed will maintain the current rate at its next meeting on September 20, up from 88% on Friday.

Information to notice in the week ahead includes the S&P’s August U.S. services purchasing manager index (PMI) on Wednesday, as well as a series of Fed official speeches on Thursday.

Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite Index logged its biggest weekly gains in over a month last Friday, as the country ramped up the policy supports for its ailing post-Covid economic recovery, according to Reuters on Monday. China’s economic revival kit includes alleviating home-purchase restrictions in an attempt to stablize its wavering property market, as well as the country’s top banks paving ways for more interest rate cuts.

(Updates with equity section.)