Bitcoin and Ether traded mostly little changed Friday morning in Asia after a strong run up in the week so far, with other top 10 cryptocurrencies mixed. Binance’s BNB led the gainers, while Dogecoin lost some more steam following a jump earlier this week on speculation it may play a role in the Twitter payment system being considered by Elon Musk. U.S. tech stocks gained overnight in market hours, but Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. fell after-hours on disappointing Q4 earnings released after the market closed.
- Bitcoin slipped 0.93% to US$23,500 in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, but is up 1.91% in the past seven days. Ether inched 0.23% higher to US$1,645, adding to gains for the week of 2.49%, according to CoinMarketCap data.
- “Bitcoin has been able to maintain its $23,000 price level, which it broke last week. While there is some selling pressure at $24,000, the higher resistance levels are a positive for the crypto market,” Rachel Lin, the co-founder and chief executive officer of crypto derivatives exchange SynFutures, told Forkast in an emailed comment.
- Binance’s BNB token gained 1.87% to US$323.29, leading the gains among the top 10 non-stablecoin tokens by market capitalization, and adding 6% over the past week. Polkadot and memecoin Shiba Inu both rose 1.25%.
- Dogecoin lost 3.12% to US$0.0912, while layer-1 blockchain Solana’s native token fell 2.61% to US$24.34. Dogecoin is still up 5.36% for the seven days after the token’s advocate and Twitter chief executive Elon Musk said he was looking to add a payments system to the social media platform, fuelling speculation Dogecoin may be included.
- The global cryptocurrency market capitalization dipped 0.19% to US$1.08 trillion, while total trading volume grew 18.40% to US$65.89 billion.
- U.S. equities were mixed on Thursday. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index added 3.25% and the S&P 500 Index gained 1.47%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.11%.
- Apple shares rose 3.71% in Thursday market-hours trading but then reversed after-hours to drop 3.2% when it released its 2022 Q4 earnings report that showed revenue fell 5% — the largest year-on-year decline since 2019. Shares in Amazon.com and Google’s parent company Alphabet followed the same pattern; rising during market hours and then falling after-market due to disappointing earnings reports.
- The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday raised interest rates by 50 basis points to 2.5%, confirming expectations, and indicated it will raise another 50 basis points in March in its statement. The Bank of England also hiked interest rates by 50 basis points to 4% from 3.5%. However, it added that inflation may have peaked in the UK.
- On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised rates by 25 basis points, the smallest increase since March 2022. Fed chair Jerome Powell commented that the U.S. economy is seeing the start of a “disinflationary process”.
- “The [Fed] interest rate hike, which was consistent with market expectations, coupled with the notion that disinflation is underway, has instilled even greater confidence in investors. This is evident in the upward trend we’re seeing in both the stock market and cryptocurrency market,” Henry Liu, the CEO of BTSE cryptocurrency exchange, told Forkast via email.
- U.S. non-farm payroll data, another key inflation indicator, will be out later on Friday.
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