Markets: Bitcoin, Ether dip as investors take profits; earnings reports, economic data rattle equities

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Bitcoin and Ether fell in Wednesday morning trading in Asia, along with the other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies as investors seemed to be taking profits after the strong gains since the start of the year. Polkadot saw the largest loss. U.S. equities had a mixed Tuesday amid lower earnings guidance from Microsoft and release of the U.S. purchasing managers index or PMI. The index measures business trends and came in at 46.6. While this beat expectations, a number under 50 indicates a contracting economy.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin traded 1.3% lower at US$22,688 in the 24 hours to 8:45 a.m. in Hong Kong, but was still up 6.8% in the past calendar week. Ether fell 4.6% to US$1,555, losing 1.2% for the week, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

  • Polkadot fell 6.7% to change hands at US$6.15, the biggest drop on the top ten list. The token is still up 2.8% on the week.

  • Solana lost 5.7% to change hands at US$22.92, bringing weekly losses to 0.2%. Cardano slipped 5.7% to trade at US$0.35, though was still up 2.1% for the week.

  • The total crypto market capitalization over the 24 hours fell 2.2% to US$1.03 trillion, while trading volume dipped 6.4 % to US$52.7 billion.

  • In U.S. equity markets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%, while the S&P 500 Index lost 0.1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index closed the day down 0.3%.

  • Software giant Microsoft Corp reported better-than-expected earnings for the December quarter, but the shares later fell 1.4% to US$238.75 as the company’s earnings guidance for the next quarter disappointed.

  • The composite Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for January released on Tuesday showed private sector demand contracting, with companies highlighting subdued customer demand and inflation denting client spending.

  • Last month, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 50-basis points to between 4.25% and 4.5%, the highest in 15 years, to try and slow inflation. Fed members will be in a so-called blackout period before they meet to decide the next move on interest rates on Jan. 31 – Feb. 1. Analysts from CME Group predict a 99.8% chance of an increase of 25 basis points.

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