Bitcoin traded below US$23,000 on Monday morning in Asia, tracking a decline in U.S. equities as unexpectedly strong job growth numbers on Friday raised concerns markets may face more interest rate hikes to slow the economy and inflation. Ether and all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies fell. Dogecoin and Polygon led the losers, while BNB had the smallest drop.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell 1.6% to US$22,948 in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its losses to 3.5% in the past seven days. Ether lost 2.1% to US$1,631 and is down 0.9% for the same week period, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
  • Dogecoin fell 3.8% to US$0.09, but was still trading up 2.1% for the past week. Polygon lost 3.8% to change hands at US$1.20, capping its weekly gain at 2.2%. BNB fell 0.8% to US$327.85, but was still trading 3.3% higher for the past week.
  • The crypto market capitalization fell 2% to US$1.07 trillion, with total trading volume up 27.4% to US$48.9 billion.
  • U.S. equities fell on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4%, and the S&P 500 Index dropped 1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed the day down 1.6%, but ended the week 3.3% higher.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Friday revealed that nonfarm payroll jobs in January jumped 517,000, much higher than the expected 185,000 and about double  the 260,000 recorded in December. The U.S. unemployment rate at 3.4% is now at its lowest since 1969. 
  • The surge in jobs coupled with strong U.S. services industry data, also released Friday, are both signs of a robust economy, but investors seemed spooked by the numbers as signs of stubbornly high inflation that may prompt a stronger interest rate response from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate increases last year do seem to be having the desired effect on inflation. In December, the U.S. consumer price index rose 6.5% year-over-year, which was well off the 7.1% recorded in November and the largest monthly decline since April 2020.
  • U.S. Interest rates are currently at 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest in 15 years, and Fed officials have repeatedly indicated they could raise rates to as high as 5% to bring inflation back down into a 2% range.

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