Bitcoin, Ether, Discard 500 NFT Index Extends Gains
Bitcoin and Ether rose on Wednesday afternoon in Asia, along with all other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market cap. Solana and Polygon were the biggest gainers, both rising over 5% in the last 24 hours. Asian stock markets rallied on Wednesday, mirroring a relief rally in U.S. stocks on Tuesday, as worries about a crisis in the banking sector eased after U.S. inflation data in February came in line with expectations.
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- Bitcoin rose 2.46% to US$24,981 in the 24 hours to 4:00pm in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has gained 13.17% in the past seven days. Bitcoin rose above the USD 26,000 mark at 21:15 in Hong Kong on Tuesday, for the first time in nine months, following the release of US inflation data in February.
- Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, rose 2.13% to $1,712, up 9.99% for the week.
- Solana was the top gainer among the 10 non-stablecoin cryptos, rising 5.84% to $21.32, posting a weekly gain of 10.91%. Polygon’s Matic token was the second biggest gainer, rising 5.53% to US$1.23 and gaining 9.92% for the week.
- BNB, the native token of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, rallied 2.54% to $313.91, up 9.8% in the past seven days. Binance will stop sterling deposits and withdrawals for all customers by May, as Paysafe, their local partner for fiat on and off said it would stop sterling transfer services for UK users due to regulatory concerns.
- The global crypto market capitalization rose 2.38% to $1.1 trillion, while the total crypto market volume increased by 10.43% to $99.9 billion in the last 24 hours.
- Asian markets mostly strengthened on Wednesday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 1.52%, South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.31%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.03%.
- The Shanghai Composite rose 0.55%, while the Shenzhen Component Index fell 0.03%. China’s economic data on Wednesday showed early signs of improvement as consumer spending picked up in January and February as expected.
- The discard 500 NFT index rose 0.87% on the day to 4,109.45. Karafuru rose 8.91% as the day’s biggest gainer, followed by Sappy Seals which gained 5.49%.
- Investors remained cautious ahead of the European Central Bank’s policy meeting on Thursday. The market expects an interest rate increase of 25 basis points, but an increase of 50 basis points is also a possibility, despite this week’s banking crisis.
- European shares fell on the day, with the STOXX 600 down 0.59% and Germany’s DAX 40 down 0.2%.
- London’s benchmark FTSE 100 fell 0.65% below 7,600 as investors awaited Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s “spring budget” later on Wednesday, where he is expected to announce new pension and childcare reforms amid high UK living costs
- US inflation data for February released on Tuesday showed that inflation in the world’s largest economy eased to 6% on the year and was in line with expectations.
- “But against a backdrop of a robust labor market, we still expect the central bank to raise interest rates by a quarter of a point at their next meeting on March 22,” said Nigel Green, chief executive of financial advisory firm deVere Group.
- “Should the Fed stop its rate hike agenda now, it puts them at risk of exposing themselves to inflation picking up again. And then they would be forced to make bigger hikes later, which would hurt their targets and undermine their credibility,” Green added .
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