Despite facing a multitude of challenges (including bankruptcies, fraud, and failures), the cryptocurrency world rallied and saw increases in overall value in the past month, including another rise over the weekend.
The GBP/USD pair rose early in the week, with the British pound gaining on the back of initial US dollar weakness. However, the US dollar grew in strength modestly throughout the week, leading to the pound closing at 1.2420 USD as it struggled to keep its momentum.
The non-farm payrolls (NFP) data — which was released on Friday, 7 April — showed that the US economy added 236,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate came down to 3.5% from 3.6%. The numbers boosted the strength of the dollar as it recorded small gains. The employment data suggests another likely 25 basis point hike by the US Federal Reserve.
Moreover, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing data released on Monday, 3 April, showed a nearly 3-year-low at 46.3, below expectations of 47.5, reversing the uptick experienced in February. There, however, still remains multiple factors affecting the risk appetite of traders: ongoing US-China tensions, crisis in the banking sector, and recession fears.
Meanwhile, EUR/USD also rose and reached a 9-week high early in the week thanks to a strengthening euro, before falling and closing the week at 1.0907 USD. And the Japanese yen ended March flat against the US dollar with the yen’s Quarter 1 gains being wiped out.
This week will see the release of the Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on Wednesday, 12 April, along with the meeting minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on the same day. And on Thursday, 13 April, the data from the Initial Jobless Claims and the Producer Price Index (PPI) will be released.
Although starting the week struggling and under pressure, gold prices reached a 13-month high mid-week, rising above 2,025 USD per ounce, as the US dollar weakened in the previous week. After the rally, prices wavered with small gains and losses as traders watched the market for new catalysts. Gold ended the week at almost 2,008 USD.
Lately, disappointing macroeconomic data like March’s ISM manufacturing and services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) have strengthened views that the US could face a recession soon, which in turn is likely to affect the prices of the yellow metal.
Crude oil prices were at a 2-month high on Monday, 3 April. It soared over 5%, after a surprise OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) announcement over the weekend that there will be an output cut of 1.1 million barrels per day. This cut was announced as a response to recent wild fluctuations in the market and in an effort to stabilise energy markets.
Crude prices managed to hold on to their gains for most of the week, before dipping at the close after the release of important data in the US.
With the Federal Reserve (Fed) maintaining its hawkish stance, concerns about a looming recession, and China still to reach its pre-pandemic economic activity levels, market perceptions on global growth prospects continue to fluctuate.
Last year, the world of digital tokens was impacted by a number of significant events. Despite the continuing setbacks since the collapse of Futures Exchange (or FTX) last November, the overall value of several cryptocurrencies rose in the past month in the aftermath of concerns about the health of the banking sector.
Last weekend, the prices of most cryptocurrencies rose as the market reacted to the non-farm payrolls report (released on Friday, 7 April), which showed an addition of 236,000 jobs to the US economy last month. The global cryptocurrency market capitalisation stood at 1.19 trillion USD on Sunday, 9 April
Despite Bitcoin’s rally this year drawing attention, the leading digital coin has seemingly halted its advance at 28,000 USD, a key trading point around which it has been meandering over the last two weeks. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has hit a proverbial wall at that level, moving slightly above or below it in what analysts are calling range-bound trading. It was trading at 28,343.20 USD on Sunday, 9 April.
Meanwhile Ethereum, the second-largest digital currency by market capitalisation, was trading at 1,859.57 USD at the time of writing.In other news, crypto enthusiasts turned their attention to other tokens such as Dogecoin, which surged as much as 30% last week after Twitter briefly changed its logo from the popular blue bird to the doge meme.
|Name of the index||Friday’s close||*Net change||*Net change (%)|
|Dow Jones Industrial Avg (Wall Street 30)||33,485.29||211.14||0.63|
|Nasdaq (US Tech 100)||13,062.60||-118.75||-0.90|
|S&P 500 (US 500)||4,105.02||-4.29||-0.10|
*Net change and net change (%) are based on the weekly closing price change from Friday to Friday.
Consecutive weaker-than-expected data releases throughout the course of last week plus concerns over the Fed’s rapid interest rate hikes have rekindled fears of an upcoming recession, and caused US stocks to slip mid-week.
The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended the week on minor losses, while the Dow Jones gained slightly over the course of the week. The indices were boosted by a rally in Google-parent Alphabet shares which climbed 3.8% and Microsoft that rose 2.6%.
These slips in reaction to recession fears are a change in sentiment over recent months, when weak data was celebrated on the assumption that the Fed’s rate hikes were working and that the central bank would subsequently ease up on its rate hike spree. The US inflation report (which will be released on 12 April) will be closely monitored to assess predictions for the short-term trajectory of interest rates.
Another upcoming highlight is the March-quarter earnings season, which will be kicked off by major banks such as JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup on Friday, 14 April. This highly-anticipated season will likely indicate the health of the financial industry.
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