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Bitcoin and Ether fell Wednesday morning in Asia, along with the other top 10 non-stable cryptocurrencies, as investors appeared to take profits after strong year-to-date gains. Polkadot suffered the biggest loss. U.S. stocks had a mixed Tuesday amid weaker earnings forecasts from Microsoft and the release of the U.S. Purchasing Managers Index, or PMI. The index measures trading trends and stands at 46.6. Although this exceeds expectations, a number below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin traded down 1.3% to US$22,688 within 24 hours at 8:45 a.m. in Hong Kong, but still rose 6.8% in the past calendar week. Ether fell 4.6% to US$1,555, losing 1.2% for the week, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
  • Polkadot fell 6.7% to change hands at US$6.15, the biggest drop on the top ten list. The token is still up 2.8% on the week.
  • Solana fell 5.7% to change hands at US$22.92, bringing weekly losses to 0.2%. Cardano slid 5.7% to trade at US$0.35, but was still up 2.1% for the week.
  • Total crypto market capitalization in the 24 hours fell 2.2% to US$1.03 trillion, while trading volume fell 6.4% to US$52.7 billion.
  • In US equity markets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%, while the S&P 500 index lost 0.1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index ended the day down 0.3%.
  • Software giant Microsoft Corp reported earnings above expectations for the December quarter, but shares then fell 1.4% to US$238.75 as the company’s earnings forecast for the next quarter disappointed.
  • The composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for January released on Tuesday showed a contraction in private sector demand, with companies highlighting subdued customer demand and lower customer spending through inflation.
  • Last month, the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 50 basis points to between 4.25% and 4.5%, the highest in 15 years, in an attempt to curb inflation. Fed members will be in a so-called blackout period before meeting to decide the next interest rate decision from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1. CME Group analysts predict a 99.8% probability of a 25 basis point hike.

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