Bitcoin was back under US$19,000 in Monday morning trading in Asia, a level it has fluctuated around for most of the past two weeks, boxed in by global macroeconomic concerns that have also hit equity markets. Ether also fell. BNB was the only gainer among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
Bitcoin fell 1.2% in the past 24 hours to trade at US$19,075 at 8:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, while Ether dropped 2.5% to US$1,281, according to data from CoinMarketCap. BNB was the only token in CoinMarketCap’s top ten to rise, edging up 0.9% to US$285.
XRP was the biggest loser in that list, dropping 5% to trade at US$0.45. The token has had a run of price volatility in recent weeks amid developments in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit with Ripple Labs Inc., whose payment network is powered by XRP.
U.S. equities fell Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.7% while the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index both closed down 1.5%.
For September, the S&P 500 dropped 9.4% and the Dow fell by 8.8% to record their biggest monthly losses since March 2020, and their worst performing September since 2002. The Nasdaq’s drop of 10.5% in the month is its worst September since 2008.
Markets were spooked again on Friday by a personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report released the same day that showed U.S. inflation was running at 4.7% year-on-year in August, higher than expected and 0.2% more than the previous month. The PCE report excludes food and energy.
U.S. inflation remains near 40-year highs despite the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates in recent months. Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard reiterated the central bank’s commitment to controlling inflation despite possible economic costs at an event in New York on Friday. “Inflation is very high in the United States and abroad, and the risk of additional inflationary shocks cannot be ruled out,” she said.
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