Bitcoin Plunges, Ether Little Changed After US Stocks Fall

Bitcoin fell and Ether traded little on Wednesday morning in Asia, with most of the other top 10 non-stable cryptocurrencies mixed. XRP led the winners and Litecoin recorded the biggest loss. Cryptocurrencies appeared to largely ignore Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s remarks to Congress on Tuesday, heightening concerns about a bigger-than-expected interest rate hike and sending U.S. stocks into a slump.

See related article: SEC Shuts Down Miami Hedge Fund Over Alleged Links To $100M Crypto Fraud

Fast facts

  • According CoinMarketCap Data. The major cryptocurrency is down 3.74% in the past seven days. Ether edged up 0.06% to hit US$1,567 but was also in the red last week with a loss of 2.22%.
  • Litecoin recorded the biggest 24-hour loss among the top 10 non-stable cryptocurrencies, falling 2.12% to trade at US$86.08. The token lost 8.42% last week.
  • XRP led the winners, rising 3.52% to US$0.38. A court decision during testimony on Monday, partially favored Ripple Labs, an XRP-powered crypto payment network, in its ongoing lawsuit with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. XRP gained 1.90% over the seven-day period.
  • US-based crypto exchange Kraken tweeted on Monday, he was “ending” his relationship with Silvergate, joining list of crypto companies distancing itself from the embattled crypto bank.
  • The total crypto market capitalization fell 0.49% in the past 24 hours to US$1.02 trillion. Total trading volume in the past 24 hours increased by 26.38% to $44.69 billion.
  • US stocks slid on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.72%, the S&P 500 fell 1.53% and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.25%.
  • The crisis followed that of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speech to Congress the same day, where he said recent economic data in the United States suggests that inflation remains a threat and indicates that interest rates may need to be raised to higher than expected levels.
  • In December 2022, the Fed projected interest rates will peak at 5.1% in 2023, but some analysts are now predicting the rate could hit 6.0% if economic data continues to look overheated, according to Reuters Wednesday.
  • US interest rates are now between 4.5% and 4.75%, the highest since October 2007. Analysts at the CME Group expect a 30.2% chance of the Fed raising rates another 25 basis points this month. They also predict a 69.8% chance for a 50 basis point increase, more than double Monday’s forecast of 31.4%.
  • The next set of data to come out this week is for the US labor market, including February private payrolls on Wednesday and February employment reports from the Department of Labor on Friday. These two indicators feed into the Fed’s decision-making on interest rates. Powell will also speak on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

See related article: South Korea reports $4.3 billion in illegal foreign transactions involving cryptocurrencies

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