Cryptocurrency slump persists

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Risky assets extended losses yesterday as investors bet the Federal Reserve will hike rates by 75 basis points at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on June 14-15 to curb soaring inflation.

Cryptocurrencies, with the exception of Bitcoin, continue to plunge as the value of the global cryptocurrency market yesterday fell below US$1 trillion for the first time since January 2021.

According to Coingecko.com, Bitcoin was highly volatile yesterday as it dropped to a seven-month low of $21,046 at 1pm, down 11% from the previous day, before recovering to $22,408.42 as of 4.52pm.

The price of Ethereum stood at $1,206, down 2% on the previous 24 hours, while it dropped as low as $1,111.21 during the day’s trading.

As of 4.52pm, the market value of cryptocurrency stood at around $989 billion, down 3.8% from the previous day. The value of the cryptocurrency market peaked at $2.9 trillion in November 2021.

Meanwhile, the SET Index dropped to an intra-day low of 1,590 points in the morning trading session before rebounding to close at 1,603.03 points, up 0.19% from the previous day in trading worth 63.1 billion baht.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed sharply lower on Monday as investors feared the Fed would raise interest rates by 0.75 percentage points at the meeting, an aggressive rate hike that may bring the US economy into a recession.

The DJIA closed at 30,516.74, down 876.05 (-2.79%). The S&P500 Index closed at 3,749.63 points, down 151.23 points (-3.88%) while the Nasdaq closed at 10,809.23, down 530.80 (-4.68%).

Securities analysts from Barclays and Capital Economics said the global stock markets are currently in a bearish sentiment triggered by the imminent rate hikes and their implications on the global economic recovery.

The CME Group’s FedWatch Tool indicates more than 50% of investors believe the Fed will hike rates by 75 basis points at its June 14-15 meeting, up from the previous 5%.

Technology and industrial stocks have also fallen sharply amid concerns about a recession, with Meta (Facebook) down 6.44%, Apple down 3.83%, Netflix down 7.24%, and Microsoft down 4.24%.

Following the news, the 10-year US government bond yield continued to hover above 3.3% while the US dollar strengthened, putting pressure on investment conditions.