Bitcoin and Ether prices were little changed in Monday morning trading in Asia. Several of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies took a breather after strong gains over the weekend on the back of signs inflation may have peaked in the U.S., leading investors to bet the Federal Reserve may begin to ease back on increases in interest rates.
See related article: Bitcoin price rebounds as U.S. inflation cools
- Bitcoin dipped 0.4% to US$20,882 in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong but is up 22% over the past calendar week. The world’s largest cryptocurrency also breached US$21,000 for the first time since the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange in early November, reaching as high as US$21,075 on Saturday. Ether added 0.2% to US$1,552 for a 20.5% gain on the week, according to CoinMarketCap.
- Solana fell 5.6% to change hands at US$22.89, posting the biggest loss on CoinMarketCap’s top 10 list by capitalization. Still, Solana is the best-performer on the list for 2023 so far, up 58.2% over the week. The token has bounced back after it was sold off by FTX brokerage arm Alameda Research to try and raise funds to stave off the collapse of the companies.
- XRP fell 2.7% to trade at US$0.38, but is up 11.5% for the week. XRP saw more modest gains than most other major cryptos as the court case between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Ripple Labs Inc., which uses XRP in its payment network, clouds the token’s prospects.
- The total crypto market capitalization over the 24 hours fell 0.13% to US$979.6 billion, while trading volume slid 43.1% to US$47.1 billion.
- U.S. equities rose on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3%, the S&P 500 Index gained 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite Index finished the day 0.7% higher. U.S. markets are closed today for the Martin Luther King public holiday
- December’s U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) released last week showed that inflation rose 6.5% year-on-year, in line with expectations and lower than the 7.1% recorded in November. The drop was the biggest monthly decline since April 2020.
- Last month, the Fed raised interest rates by 50-basis points to between 4.25% and 4.5%, the highest in 15 years. It had raised rates by 75 basis-points for the prior four consecutive meetings to curb inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has warned of more rate increases in 2023.
- The next Fed meeting will be held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, with anlysts at the CME Group predicting a 94.2% chance of an increase of 25 basis points given the most recent CPI data.