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Markets: Bitcoin, Ether gain as China eases Covid rules amid protests; Dogecoin jumps

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Bitcoin and Ether rose in Wednesday morning trading in Asia, with all other non-stablecoin top 10 cryptocurrencies also gaining ground as China on Tuesday said it will relax some Covid rules in response to protests. The demonstrations started last week and spread to several cities, rattling capital markets around the world.

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin rose 1.5% to US$16,467 in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, while Ether gained 4.25% to trade at US$1,219, according to CoinMarketCap.
  • Dogecoin saw the biggest gains in CoinMarketCap’s top 10 list, rising 6.75% to US$0.10, bringing its gains for the past seven days to 30%. Dogecoin has risen in recent weeks as long-time advocate Elon Musk hinted it may be used for payments in a revamp of the Twitter social media platform that he bought in late October.
  • XRP rose 2.1% to change hands at US$0.39. The gains came despite Coinbase Global Inc., the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange, saying its wallets would no longer support XRP, as well as Bitcoin Cash and Stellar tokens, from Dec. 5 citing low usage. Investors seemed unconcerned by this as all three tokens gained over 1%.
  • The total crypto market capitalization stood at US$834 billion, down 18% from US$1.023 trillion on Nov. 9, or before the FTX.com exchange filed for bankruptcy.
  • Trading volume in the past 24 hours fell 13.05% to US$43.27 billion.
  • U.S. equities had a mixed Tuesday. The Dow Jones rose less than 0.1%, while the S&P 500 Index fell 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite Index closed down 0.6% in a third straight day of losses for the latter two indexes.
  • Investors are looking to Wednesday when the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will speak on the state of the economy and inflation. The Fed has raised interest rates by 75 basis points four times this year to slow inflation, but is expected to raise by 50 basis points in the Dec. 13-14 meeting.
  • The Fed has been hiking interest rates since March this to try to slow inflation, raising them from near zero to a 15-year high of 3.75% to 4%, and have signaled that rates may end up exceeding 5%. The Fed has indicated it will continue to raise rates until inflation reaches a target range of 2%. The consumer price index showed inflation was running at 7.7% in October, down from 8.2% in September.

   
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