Crypto market cautious after Fed’s Powell says US inflation still ‘too high’

Crypto market cautious after Fed’s Powell says US inflation still ‘too high’

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Bitcoin, Ether and other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies held steady on Monday morning in Asia. Crypto investor sentiment remains cautious, although JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts report that downward price momentum in the market has slowed. The Forkast 500 NFT Index gained after Donald Trump’s arrest triggered a surge in sales of the former U.S. president’s signature NFT collection. U.S. equity futures gained despite U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell using his highly anticipated Jackson Hole speech on Friday to double down on the potential for interest rates to stay higher for longer.

JP Morgan finds ‘limited downside’ for crypto

Bitcoin posted a minimal gain of 0.08% for the last 24 hours to reach US$26,050.62 as of 06:40 a.m. in Hong Kong. The token was trading 0.59% lower for the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. The world’s leading cryptocurrency hovered around US$26,000 over the weekend, briefly dipping below the key support level several times.

“The Cryptocurrency Fear and Greed Index is in “Fear” territory for the latest week,” said Alex Kuptsikevich, senior market analyst at London-based online brokerage FxPro, in an emailed statement.

“By this measure, the market is far from oversold and not yet attractive to bargain hunters,” he said, adding that Bitcoin has entered another long period of horizontal price movement.

Ether gained 0.35% to US$1,653.79, while losing 1.73% in the last seven days. Alongside most other cryptos, including Bitcoin, it posted heavy losses Aug. 18 as macroeconomic factors — including uncertainty over upcoming Fed moves on interest rates, depreciation of the Chinese yuan and the bankruptcy of Chinese property giant Evergrande — weighed on the market.

“Ethereum is consolidating around US$1,650, a significant pivot level of the last 12 months,” said Kuptsikevich. He warned that a failure to maintain this level could take the price to US$1,200 “within a week or two.”

Contrastingly, a report by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. forecast “limited downside” for the crypto market as losses slow. They found a drop in the number of Bitcoin-linked futures contracts on exchanges that are yet to be settled — a sign that downward price movement is losing its momentum.

Other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies were steady to mixed.

Solana led the gains, rising 1.99% to US$20.73, but it still posted a loss of 4.89% for the week. That drop came despite news last week that Solana Pay — a free-to-use payment protocol built on the Solana blockchain — has partnered with Canada-based e-commerce platform Shopify to allow USDC stablecoin payments for online shopping without intermediary fees.

The total crypto market capitalization grew 0.18% to US$1.05 trillion. Trading volume also rose 6.88% to US$16.28 billion.

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