Bitcoin fell below US$22,000 in Friday afternoon trading in Asia as investors after a nervous week seemed to be trimming portfolios ahead of the weekend. Ethereum fell back despite the buzz around its upcoming blockchain Merge. Cardano, Solana, Dogecoin and Polkadot dropped over 10% in the past 24 hours.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin sank to US$21,949, the lowest since July 27 as of 4 p.m. on Friday in Hong Kong. The largest crypto by market capitalization lost 6.25% in the past 24 hours and 8.41% over the past seven days, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
  • Ethereum dropped 5.55% to change hands at US$1,744, while logging a 7.62% seven-day decline.
  • Dogecoin saw the biggest fall among the top 10 coins by market cap, sliding 13.14% to US$0.07061. Cardano lost 12.15%, and Solana was down 10.88%, dropping 15.28% over the past seven days.
  • Asia equity markets were little changed. The Nikkei 225 index edged down 0.04%, while the Shanghai Composite index was off 0.59% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng index nudged up 0.05%.
  • Generally investors are concerned about the direction of interest rates in the U.S. after the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee minutes released earlier this week indicated the Fed’s focus is still on taming inflation.
  • Investors in Asia are concerned about a slowdown in China’s economy after a recent flurry of weak real estate and industrial production numbers. Economists are also warning heat waves, which have lasted over two months in China, could further hurt the world’s second-largest economy. The heat is expected to reduce livestock and crop growth. The nation’s industrial output grew slower-than-expected at 3.8% in July from a year ago.

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