Bitcoin and Ether fell during Friday afternoon trading in Asia, along with most of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, apart from the XRP token. Most Asian equities declined despite data reflecting an economic recovery in Hong Kong U.S. stock futures strengthened for a second consecutive session, as negotiations over raising the debt ceiling are set to resume in the world’s largest economy.

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Crypto market declines as Bitcoin falls below US$27,000

Bitcoin dropped 4.14% to US$26,293 in 24 hours to 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The daily decline by the world’s first cryptocurrency was the biggest daily drop in the top 10 coins by market cap.

“Bitcoin has to hold [US$26,111] for continued bullish momentum,” Nilesh Verma, crypto market analyst and founder of Crypto Granth consultancy, told Forkast. “We believe that we will see strong buying near US$25,000-26,000,” he added.

Ether fell 3.48% in the past 24 hours to trade at US$1,757, falling below US$1,800 for the second time this week.

The Beacon Chain of the Ethereum Network briefly stopped validating transactions on early Friday morning, with Ethereum developers tweeting later that the outage had been resolved and the cause still under investigation.

The XRP token was the only one in the green, inching up 0.75% to US$0.4271.

The global crypto market capitalization fell 2.81% to US$1.1 trillion, while the total crypto market volume decreased 9.30% to US$42.22 billion in the last 24 hours. 

NFTs sales on Ethereum fall

In the NFT market, the Forkast 500 NFT index decreased 2.21% to 3,363.89 points in the 24 hours to 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong and declined 7.77% during the week.

NFT trading is slowing due to the recent memecoin hype, with very few new users entering the space, according to Eric Dettman, NFT advisor at CryptoSlam. NFT buyers on the Ethereum blockchain totaled 45,298 in the past seven days, a drop of 72.97%.

24-hour NFT sales on Ethereum dropped 51.7% to US$16.3 million, after yesterday’s strong session. Sales for the Bored Ape Yacht Club, the largest Ethereum-native NFT collection, fell 60.02% to US$2.4 million, while sales for the Mutant Ape Yacht Club also decreased 61.78% to US$1.4 million. 24-hour sales for Milady Maker dropped 88.83% to US$864,000, after generating over US$9.6 million of sales for the network on Thursday. 

As for the day’s most notable NFT transactions, Bored Ape #6805 sold for US$349,967 3 hours ago and CryptoPunk #1232 sold for US$148,324 8 hours ago, according to CryptoSlam data.

Most Asian equities fall; U.S. futures rise for second consecutive session

Asian equities declined on Friday, tracking losses on Wall Street, except for Japan’s Nikkei 225 that rose 0.9%. The Shanghai Composite dropped 1.12%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.59% and the Shenzhen Component Index declined 1.23% 

Investors reacted negatively to government data showing that Hong Kong’s economy grew 2.7% year-on-year in the first quarter, recovering from a 4.1% contraction in the previous quarter, accounting for a lower Hang Seng Index on the day. The expansion was Hong Kong’s first economic upturn since the fourth quarter of 2022, mainly supported by a recovery in the tourism sector and domestic demand

U.S. stock futures strengthened for a second consecutive trading session, after consumer prices eased more than expected in April and bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve will pause interest rate hikes. 

Overnight, U.S. jobless claims increased, adding to market concern of a potential recession, with the job market as one of the pillars that prop up the economy.

The S&P 500 futures index rose 0.39%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 futures gained 0.22% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures increased 0.41%.

The U.S. dollar index inched up 0.06% to 102.1 points, set for its first weekly gain in three weeks. The euro inched down 0.07% to US$1.09, the lowest value in three weeks.

President Joe Biden is set to continue negotiations to raise the debt ceiling later today, to keep the U.S. government solvent. Wednesday’s talks over the matter ended with no deal in sight.

The Bank of England raised interest rates by 25 basis points on Thursday, marking its 12th consecutive hike, increasing borrowing costs to 4.5% – the highest since October 2008.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 rose 0.47% on Friday, after three consecutive sessions of losses, after data showed that the UK’s economy expanded 0.1% in the first quarter of the year, in line with market expectations.

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