Bitcoin was trading below US$23,000 in Asia on Monday morning, tracking a drop in US equities after unexpectedly strong job growth numbers on Friday raised fears that markets would face more interest rate hikes to slow the economy and inflation. All of the top ten non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies fell. Dogecoin and Polygon were the biggest losers, with BNB having the smallest drop.

Quick Facts

Bitcoin fell 1.6% to US$22,948 in the 24 hours to 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its seven-day losses to 3.5%. According to CoinMarketCap data, Ether fell 2.1% to $1,631 and is down 0.9% for the week.

Dogecoin dropped 3.8% to US$0.09, but was still up 2.1% for the week. Polygon fell 3.8% to US$1.20, bringing its weekly gain to 2.2%. BNB fell 0.8% to $327.85, but was still up 3.3% over the previous week.

The crypto market cap fell 2% to $1.07 trillion, while total trading volume increased 27.4% to $49.9 billion.

On Friday, US equities fell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%, while the S&P 500 Index fell 1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.6% on the day, but gained 3.3% for the week.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 517,000 in January, far exceeding the expected 185,000 and nearly doubling the 260,000 recorded in December. The unemployment rate in the United States is now at its lowest level since 1969, at 3.4%.

The increase in job creation, along with strong data from the United States’ services sector, are both signs of a healthy economy, but investors interpreted the figures as evidence of stubbornly high inflation, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

The aggressive rate increases implemented by the Federal Reserve in the United States last year appear to be having the desired effect on inflation. The consumer price index in the United States rose 6.5% year on year in December, down from 7.1% in November and the largest monthly decline since April 2020.

Interest rates in the United States are currently at 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest in 15 years, and Fed officials have repeatedly stated that rates could be raised to as high as 5% to bring inflation back down to 2%.