Bitcoin and Ether fell slightly in Monday morning trading in Asia, along with all other non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies in the top 10, excluding Litecoin. Investors await November’s consumer price index, a key inflation indicator to be released Tuesday, while bracing for another interest rate hike on Wednesday.
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- Bitcoin was trading at US$17,106, down 0.1% in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, while Ether was US$1,264 after losing 0.2%, according to CoinMarketCap. Litecoin was the only token to gain among the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, rising 0.4% to US$76.64.
- Memecoin Dogecoin saw the biggest losses, falling 3.7% to US$0.09, followed by Polkadot, which dropped by 2% to US$5.17.
- The total crypto market cap was down 0.5% to US$850 billion by Monday morning in Hong Kong, while recording a 24-hour market trading volume of US$24.7 billion, a 4.5% increase from the previous day.
- U.S. equity markets closed the trading day lower on Friday. The S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index both lost 0.7%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.9%, capping off its weekly drop at 2.8%, its worst trading week since September.
- Wholesale prices in the U.S. increased 0.3% in November, up 7.4% from a year ago, according to the U.S Labor Department’s latest producer price index report on Friday. Many economists had predicted a 0.2% jump for the month, but prices remain high despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tamp down on inflation with a series of rate hikes.
- The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) next two-day meeting starts on Tuesday, Dec. 13, where a 50 basis points rate hike is expected, which is 25 basis points lower than the past four consecutive raises.
- The Fed has increased interest rates since March to slow inflation, raising it from nearly zero to a 15-year high of 3.75% to 4%, and has signaled that rates may end up exceeding 5%. The central bank wants inflation in its target range of 2%. The consumer price index was at 7.7% in October, down from 8.2% in September.
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(Corrects sixth bullet point to say Fed has raised rates by 75 basis points four times this year, not five.)