Bitcoin dipped in early Monday morning trading in Asia to move just below the US$30,000 mark. Ether also stalled after strong gains that followed last week’s upgrade to the Ethereum blockchain. Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded lower, with the exception of Solana, the BNB token of the Binance exchange, and Litecoin. U.S. equity futures moved higher after gains last week, though they lost some steam on Friday amid a mixed outlook for the economy.
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- Bitcoin fell 1.47% to US$29,858 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, but is still up 5.13% for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The token briefly breached the US$31,000 mark on Friday but then fluctuated above US$30,000 over the weekend.
- Bitcoin’s gains last week came amid optimism around the Ethereum upgrade and signs of a slowdown in U.S. inflation in March. Lower inflation usually encourages buying of risk assets, including cryptocurrencies, said Marat Minkin, co-founder of decentralized finance payment app TONBanking. Cathy Wood, the CEO of investment manager Ark Invest, said on Friday that uncertainty about the outlook for the U.S. economy is also driving the safe-haven message around cryptocurrencies.
- Ethereum dipped 0.40% to US$2,082. The token is up about 12% for the past seven days, which included Wednesday’s Shanghai upgrade that allows investors to withdraw their staked Ether. As of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, over 992,000 Ether had been withdrawn since Wednesday, while withdrawal of another 897,000 Ether are pending, according to data from Token Unlocks. Both amounts make up about 10% of the total 17 million staked Ether.
- Binance’s BNB led the winners and rose 3.07% to US$343.33, with a weekly gain of 9.79%. The world’s largest crypto exchange announced on Friday a partnership with the Brazilian Football Confederation to launch the first non-fungible token (NFT) of the country’s national football league.
- Solana gained 3.01% to US$24.91, posting a weekly jump of 22.63%. Solana Mobile, a subsidiary of Solana Labs, launched Saga on Thursday, an Android smartphone integrated with the Solana blockchain. Solana Labs also entered a partnership with U.S.-based drink retailer Boba Guys for on-chain loyalty reward program
- The total crypto market capitalization dropped 0.76% in the past 24 hours to US$1.26 trillion. The total trading volume over the last 24 hours rose 13.46% to US$38.86 billion.
- In the NFT market, the Forkast 500 NFT index added 0.91% to 4,053.99 in the 24 hours to 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, moving up 2.98% 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 CryptoSlam, a sister company of Forkast.News under the Forkast.Labs umbrella.
- U.S. stock futures edged up as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.19%. The S&P 500 futures gained 0.17% and the Nasdaq Composite Index inched 0.01% higher.
- The three indexes dipped Friday, though all logged gains for the week, as U.S. economic data sent mixed information to investors on what the Federal Reserve will do with interest rates at its next meeting on May 3. Consumer sentiment ticked up in April, according to a report on Friday, while retail sales fell in March, both readings that suggest inflation is cooling.
- However, first-quarter earnings of major banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co, beat expectations, suggesting a stronger economy that may feed inflation, according to a Reuters report on Friday.
- U.S. interest rates are currently between 4.75% to 5%, the highest since June 2006, and analysts at the CME Group now see a 17.9% chance the Fed will not raise interest rates at its next meeting on May 3, while 82.1% predict a 25-basis-point rate hike,up from 66.5% last Friday.
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