Bitcoin rose in Friday morning trading in Asia to near the US$25,000 mark. Ether and the rest of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies also gained as global equity markets stabilized following moves by authorities in the U.S. and Europe to backstop banks with cash after a series of failures in the industry this past week threatened to spread. BNB led the crypto winners as a U.S. court overruled government objections and approved the Binance US$1 billion deal to buy bankrupt crypto lender Voyager.
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- Bitcoin rose 2.75% in the past 24 hours to US$24,973 at 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency jumped 24% over the past seven days, the largest gain among the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Some commentators argue Bitcoin acted as a safe haven for investors as bank failures shook global equity markets this week.
- Ether edged up 1.32% to trade at US$1,668, a gain of 17% for the past seven days.
- BNB, the native token of the Binance crypto exchange, led the winners on Friday with a 7.56% jump to US$327.98. A U.S. court judge on Wednesday rejected the government’s appeal to block a US$1 billion offer by Binance U.S. to buy the assets of the failed Voyager platform. The token added 19.51% for the seven-day-period.
- Polygon’s Matic token climbed 2.88% to US$1.14, logging a weekly gain of 14.04%. Salesforce, one of the world’s biggest enterprise software firms with a market cap of more than US$150 billion, has entered a partnership with Polygon blockchain to help its clients build non-fungible token-related (NFT) programs, according to a tweet by Polygon Labs on Thursday. Saleforce previously launched a suite of customer relationship management tools for Web3 developers.
- The total crypto market capitalization rose 1.91% in the past 24 hours to US$1.08 trillion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours fell 25.30% to US$61.92 billion.
- U.S. equities closed higher in a relief rally on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 1.17%, the S&P 500 rose 1.76%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.48%.
- The gains in equities came after Credit Suisse on Thursday said it would borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs (US$54 billion) from the Swiss National Bank to shore up liquidity. On the U.S. side, 11 U.S. financial institutions injected US$30 billion into First Republic Bank on Thursday after the bank’s share price fell sharply on fears of a bank run.
- The U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress on Thursday that the U.S. “banking system remains sound”, and “the Federal Reserve is providing additional support to the banking system with a new lending facility.”
- On the inflation front, the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday reported a drop in unemployment benefit claims in the week ending March 11 that was more than expected, indicating a strong labor market that supports the view the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this month.
- U.S. interest rates are between 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest since October 2007. Analysts at the CME Group expect a 79.7% chance the Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points this month. The chance of no rate increase is at 20.3%, down from 45.4% on Thursday.
- The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) rose 6% on year in February, a deceleration from 6.4% in January, but still well above the Fed’s goal to keep annual inflation below 2%.
- U.S. stock futures traded flat to lower as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures off 0.14%. The S&P 500 futures dipping 0.11%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index treaded water with a dip of 0.03%.
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