Bitcoin traded above the US$28,000 mark on Wednesday morning in Asia amid a rebound in most top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies. XRP led the winners with a surge of over 20% on expectations it may win a favorable ruling in an SEC lawsuit. U.S. equities rallied into Tuesday as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen doubled-down on commitments to backstop troubled banks. The Federal Reserve announces its interest rate decision on Wednesday, with most analysts expecting a 25 basis-point increase.
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- Bitcoin gained 0.52% in the past 24 hours to US$28,065 at 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, rising 13.22% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has surged about 70% year to date after slumping through most of last year.
- Cathie Wood, the founder and chief executive officer of investment management fund Ark Invest, said in a Bloomberg interview that Bitcoin’s price surge amid the bank failures in the U.S. this month point to more institutional acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a store of value.
- The Bitcoin Fear & Greed index, a measure of crypto market sentiment, rose to a 16-month high of 68 points on Tuesday, signaling that investors are becoming more optimistic than fearful.
- Ether rose 2.10% to US$1,790, adding 4.99% for the past seven days. The token breached the US$1,800 mark last Saturday for the first time since August 2022, and has been fluctuating around that resistance ceiling.
- XRP soared 21.87% to US$0.4618, posting a weekly gain of 23.67%. The rally came as the legal team of Ripple Labs made a new filing to Judge Analisa Torres on Tuesday to back its defense in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Ripple Labs payment network is powered by XRP.
- The total crypto market capitalization rose 1.05% in the past 24 hours to US$1.18 trillion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours dropped 11.79% to US$67.74 billion.
- U.S. equities continued a run up into Tuesday as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that financial authorities would intervene if smaller lenders suffer bank runs, convincing some investors the banking system was stabilizing after a series of failures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 0.98%, the S&P 500 added 1.30%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.58%.
- All eyes are now on the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates on Wednesday, as the U.S. central bank weighs inflation concerns against financial stability. The consensus is for a raise of 25 basis points, though some analysts predict the Fed will leave the rate unchanged in the face of the bank failures and forced rescues of the past two weeks.
- U.S. interest rates are between 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest since October 2007. Analysts at the CME Group expect a 89.3% chance the Fed will raise the rate by another 25 basis points on Wednesday, with a 10.3% likelihood for no change, down from 26.2% on Tuesday.
- U.S. stock futures traded largely flat as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong as investors awaited the Fed’s decision. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.04%. The S&P 500 futures edged up 0.01%. The Nasdaq Composite Index inched 0.02% higher.
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