Bitcoin surged past the US$30,000 mark in Tuesday morning trading in Asia to the highest in about 11 months, leading a rally of all top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, including Ether. U.S. equities closed mixed on Monday as investors look to a series of economic readings this week to get a better sense of which way the Federal Reserve may jump with interest rates. This follows data that suggested the labor market remains tight, while other indicators suggest the economy may be headed for a recession.
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- Bitcoin jumped 5.25% in the 24 hours to US$29,890 at 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong and then drove past the US$30,000 mark later in the morning for a gain of more than 8% over the past seven days, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency is trading at its highest price since June 10, 2022, and has surged about 80% year to date after a slump through most of last year.
- The gains in Bitcoin reflect its role as a safe haven asset to hedge against inflation and recession, Marat Minkin, the co-founder of decentralized finance payment app TONBanking, told Forkast.News on Friday. Prices will be driven by regulatory developments and economic data this week, said Minkin.
- Ether rose 3.04% to US$1.917, adding 6.23% for the past seven days. This ahead of the Ethereum blockchain’s Shanghai upgrade on Wednesday, which will allow investors to withdraw their staked Ether for the first time and reportedly add other features and improvements to the blockchain.
- Solana moved up 3.08% to US$20.95 and held a weekly gain of 2.70%. The Solana Foundation introduced “state compression” last Thursday that aims to reduce on-chain storage costs for non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
- The total crypto market capitalization jumped 3.40% in the past 24 hours to US$1.23 trillion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours rose 40.50% to US$41.68 billion.
- In the NFT market, the Forkast 500 NFT index edged up 0.17% to 3,941.20 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, but dropped 2.41% for the week. The index is a proxy measure of the performance of the global NFT market and includes 500 eligible smart contracts on any given day. It is managed by Forkast Labs data branch, CryptoSlam.
- NFT trading is fairly flat after the long weekend holiday and more focus on the gains in cryptocurrencies, said Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist at Cryptoslam.
- U.S. equities closed mixed on Monday after the three day weekend. Investors have a series of data releases this week, including the U.S. consumer price index on Wednesday and the U.S. producer price index on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.30%, the S&P 500 moved up 0.10%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index treaded water with a 0.03% dip.
- The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in March, lower than the 3.6% forecast by analysts. While this suggests a stronger economy, it contrasts with a drop in new payrolls in March that reflects a slowdown.
- Amid this mixed picture, analysts at the CME Group expect a 28.3% chance the Fed will leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting on May 3, while 71.3% predict a 25-basis-point rate hike, up from 64.7% on Monday. U.S. interest rates are currently between 4.75% to 5%, the highest since June 2006.
- U.S. stock futures traded flat as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.09%. The S&P 500 futures edged up 0.07%. The Nasdaq Composite Index inched 0.03% lower.
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