Bitcoin fell in Asia on Wednesday morning, trading in a range below $26,300. Ether rose slightly but failed to recapture the $1,600 mark. The other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies traded inconsistently over the past 24 hours, with Binance’s BNB token being the winner. The Open Network’s Toncoin (TON) was the loser. U.S. stock futures rose during early morning trading in Asia after Wall Street posted losses of over 1% on Tuesday. More key inflation data is expected on Thursday as investors watch for signs of a U.S. recession and further interest rate hikes. Mega-cap tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Tesla led the declines on Wall Street.
Bitcoin “firmly within September trading range”
Bitcoin fell 0.28% to $26,209.51 in the 24 hours ending at 7:40 a.m. in Hong Kong, a weekly loss of 3.70%, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s largest cryptocurrency fell to $26,090.71 on Tuesday evening. However, it managed to stay above the $26,000 support level that has been held over the past 14 days.
As Bitcoin “remains firmly within its September trading range,” blockchain analytics firm K33 Research wrote in an email note, “a tightening trading range coupled with a slow news cycle has provided traders with few reasons to actively participate in the market .”
The K33 report added that Bitcoin derivatives option prices in the CME market “show a more positive longer-term than short-term outlook, but have become somewhat more pessimistic along with the BTC price decline over the last week.”
Ether was also trading flat. It rose slightly by 0.33% to $1,592.60 in the last 24 hours, but lost 3.10% for the week. On Tuesday evening, the token reached $1,598.10. However, it failed to rise above the $1,600 mark it abandoned on Sunday.
While Ether is trading near a 14-month low against Bitcoin (0.061 BTC per ETH), this trend could soon change, K33 reports.
“We reiterate our stance that the rotation towards ETH is a sensible move for the coming months, as futures-based ETFs can reverse the trend.” The first half of October will be crucial in this regard, as it is during this period that the final deadlines for the current ETH futures ETFs are pending,” wrote K33.
Most of the other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies posted losses in the last 24 hours. Exceptions were Ether, Binance’s BNB and Tron’s TRX. Toncoin continued to lead the losses. It fell 1.66% to $2.12 in the last 24 hours, representing a weekly decline of 17.75%.
BNB, the native token of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Holdings Ltd, led the gainers. The coin rose 1.06% to $212.17 but posted a weekly loss of 2.30%.
BNB’s daily rise coincided with Tuesday’s announcement that Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is partnering with Japan’s largest banking group Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation to issue fiat-pegged stablecoins in 2024.
The total crypto market cap fell by 0.28% to $1.04 trillion in the last 24 hours, while trading volume fell by 10.02% to $22.56 billion.
Wall Street losses amid recession fears
U.S. stock futures were trading higher as of 9:40 a.m. in Hong Kong. S&P 500 futures led the gains, rising 0.21%. Wall Street closed in the red on Tuesday, with all three major indexes posting losses of more than 1%. The Nasdaq Composite led the losers, down 1.57%.
Major Asian stock indexes were mixed on Tuesday morning. China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose, while South Korea’s Kospi and Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell.
US economic data released on Tuesday raised fears of a recession. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell to 103.0 in September, below analysts’ expectation of 105.5.
The data showed that “consumers remained preoccupied with rising prices in general and for food and gasoline in particular,” wrote Dana Peterson, chief economist at the Conference Board.
“Consumers also expressed concerns about the political situation and higher interest rates,” Peterson said.
The expectations index, which is based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions, fell to 73.7 in September from 83.3 in August. According to the Conference Board, a value below 80 signals a recession within the next year.
“Consumers may hear more bad news about corporate earnings as job opportunities become more scarce and interest rates continue to rise – making expensive items more expensive,” Peterson wrote.
Meanwhile, U.S. new single-family home sales fell 8.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 675,000 in August, below analysts’ forecast of 698,000. Tight home supply, increased prices and historically high mortgage rates contributed to the decline in home sales, according to Bloomberg on Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged between 5.25% and 5.50% in September, the highest level since early 2001. However, the central bank may need to make another 25 basis point hike by the end of 2023 and keep interest rates higher Statements by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell last Wednesday.
The Fed meets on November 1st to make its next interest rate decision. The CME FedWatch tool forecasts an 82.5% chance of no rate hike in November, up from 81.5% on Tuesday. There is also a 65.8% chance of another break in December, up from 60.9% on Tuesday
On the corporate front, U.S. online retail giant Amazon.com, Inc. was among the worst performers on Tuesday. The share price closed 4.03% lower. The Federal Trade Commission and 17 states sued Amazon on Tuesday, saying the company had illegal monopoly power.
Share prices of tech giants Apple, Inc. and Tesla, Inc. also fell 2.34% and 1.16%, respectively, on Tuesday.
Investors now await the U.S. second-quarter personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index on Thursday, which will provide further insight into inflation.
Elsewhere, China’s monthly industrial profits rose a surprise 17.2% in August from a year earlier, reversing a 6.7% annual decline in July. Industrial profit fell 11.7% from January to August compared to the same period last year. However, the decline slowed compared to a 15.5% decline in the first seven months of the year.
(Updates with equity section.)