Bitcoin dipped in Friday morning trading in Asia, but held above US$28,000 after briefly breaking the US$29,000 mark on Thursday. Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded mixed as investors took some profits off the recent rally. BNB, the native token of the Binance exchange, led the winners despite the exchange facing a lawsuit by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allegedly offering its products to U.S. residents without a license. Binance has denied the allegation. U.S. equities gained Thursday on signs the banking turmoil was receding and economic readings pointed to a cooling economy, a signal the Federal Reserve may ease back on its interest rate hikes.
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- Bitcoin dipped 0.40% to US$28,249 in the 24 hours to 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, to add 0.08% for the past seven days, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency briefly traded above US$29,000 on Thursday for the first time in about nine months or since June 2022.
- Over US$4 billion worth of Bitcoin options on Deribit, the world’s biggest Bitcoin and Ethereum options exchange, are set to expire on Friday, which may add to the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the weekend, according to digital asset data tracker Amberdata on Wednesday. Options give the purchaser the right to buy or sell an underlying asset at a set price by a fixed date and are often used to speculate and hedge risk.
- Ethereum rose 1.03% to US$1,806, but it’s down 0.28% for the past seven days.
- BNB, the native token of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, led the winners despite the mounting regulatory challenges the exchange faces in the U.S. The token rose 1.4% to US$317.17, but is off 3.7% for the week. Catherine Coley, a former chief executive of Binance U.S., hired a former official at the CFTC to represent her in the U.S. authorities’ investigation into the exchange, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
- The total crypto market capitalization dipped 0.15% in the past 24 hours to US$1.18 trillion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours rose 7.51% to US$50.98 billion.
- In the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Forkast 500 NFT index edged up 0.06% to 4,008.23 as of 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, but is off 2.88% 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 sister company, CryptoSlam.
- NFT investors are waiting for the launch of a bridge between DeGods – a Solana-based NFT collection – and Ethereum, said Yehudah Petscher, NFT strategist at CryptoSlam. The upgrade would allow DeGods holders to migrate their NFTs to the Ethereum blockchain.
- U.S. equities closed higher on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 0.43%, the S&P 500 gained 0.57%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.73.
- The Federal Reserve’s lending to U.S. banks dropped in the week ended March 29, according to a Bloomberg report on Friday, indicating the U.S. banking system was stabilizing after a series of lender failures and sporadic runs on banks.
- U.S. jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 198,000 in the week ended March 25, higher than the expected 195,000, according to CNBC on Thursday. Gross domestic product (GDP) in the U.S. rose 2.6% in the last three months of 2022, lower than the forecast 2.7% and pointing to a slowing economy.
- While this suggests the Federal Reserve may temper its policy to raise interest rates, investors now await Friday’s U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures index for more signals on how the Fed’s campaign to curb inflation may play out.
- Federal Reserve officials on Thursday said U.S. inflation – running at a pace of more than 6% on year in February – remains too high and more action from the Fed might be needed to get annual inflation into its target range of 2%, according to a Reuters report.
- Analysts at the CME Group are mixed on the outlook for the next Fed meeting on May 3 to decide on interest rates, with 51.5% expecting the Fed will stand pat, while 48.5% expect a 25 basis-point rise. U.S. interest rates are currently between 4.75% to 5%, the highest since 2007.
- U.S. stock futures rose as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, pointing to an up day for stocks on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures moved up 0.21, S&P 500 futures gained 0.32% and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.41%.
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