Bitcoin, crypto gain amid global fund injections for banks


Bitcoin rose in Friday morning trading in Asia to near the US$25,000 mark. Ether and the rest of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies also gained as global equity markets stabilized following moves by authorities in the U.S. and Europe to backstop banks with cash after a series of failures in the industry this past week threatened to spread. BNB led the crypto winners as a U.S. court overruled government objections and approved the Binance US$1 billion deal to buy bankrupt crypto lender Voyager.

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Bitcoin rose 2.75% in the past 24 hours to US$24,973 at 09:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency jumped 24% over the past seven days, the largest gain among the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. Some commentators argue Bitcoin acted as a safe haven for investors as bank failures shook global equity markets this week.Ether edged up 1.32% to trade at US$1,668, a gain of 17% for the past seven days.BNB, the native token of the Binance crypto exchange, led the winners on Friday with a 7.56% jump to US$327.98. A U.S. court judge on Wednesday rejected the government’s appeal to block a US$1 billion offer by Binance U.S. to buy the assets of the failed Voyager platform. The token added 19.51% for the seven-day-period.Polygon’s Matic token climbed 2.88% to US$1.14, logging a weekly gain of 14.04%. Salesforce, one of the world’s biggest enterprise software firms with a market cap of more than US$150 billion, has entered a partnership with Polygon blockchain to help its clients build non-fungible token-related (NFT) programs, according to a tweet by Polygon Labs on Thursday. Saleforce previously launched a suite of customer relationship management tools for Web3 developers.The total crypto market capitalization rose 1.91% in the past 24 hours to US$1.08 trillion. Total trading volume over the last 24 hours fell 25.30% to US$61.92 billion.U.S. equities closed higher in a relief rally on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 1.17%, the S&P 500 rose 1.76%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 2.48%. The gains in equities came after Credit Suisse on Thursday said it would borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs (US$54 billion) from the Swiss National Bank to shore up liquidity. On the U.S. side, 11 U.S. financial institutions injected US$30 billion into First Republic Bank on Thursday after the bank’s share price fell sharply on fears of a bank run.The U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress on Thursday that the U.S. “banking system remains sound”, and “the Federal Reserve is providing additional support to the banking system with a new lending facility.”On the inflation front, the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday reported a drop in unemployment benefit claims in the week ending March 11 that was more than expected, indicating a strong labor market that supports the view the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again this month.U.S. interest rates are between 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest since October 2007. Analysts at the CME Group expect a 79.7% chance the Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points this month. The chance of no rate increase is at 20.3%, down from 45.4% on Thursday.The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) rose 6% on year in February, a deceleration from 6.4% in January, but still well above the Fed’s goal to keep annual inflation below 2%.U.S. stock futures traded flat to lower as of 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures off 0.14%. The S&P 500 futures dipping 0.11%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index treaded water with a dip of 0.03%.

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