MARKETS week ahead: February 26 – March 2

CRYPTOCAP:TOTAL   Crypto Total Market Cap, $
Last week in the news

The earnings of the US tech companies were driving the S&P 500 index to new highs, reaching a level of 5.100 during the week. The question about timing of the first Fed's rate cut is still the main occupation of the investors, which is the reason why Treasury benchmark yield of 10Y reached levels above 4.3%. The price of gold and USD remained relatively flat compared to the week before, as well as Bitcoin. When it comes to the crypto market, the star of the previous week was Ether, reaching the $3K level.

NVDA was the company which was most discussed in the news during the previous week. That came with a reason, considering that it managed to reach a total capitalization of above $2 trillion on Friday. The surge in its stock prices came after the fourth quarter earnings report, and revenues of $22.10 billion, above the expected $20.6 billion. With the latest results, Nvidia`s revenues are higher by 265% from the same period a year ago. Analysts continue to be optimistic about this company and its prospectus for further growth in the following years, considering significant development within the AI industry. Based on the NVDA price development, it seems that investors also share the same opinion.

FOMC meeting Minutes were released on Wednesday last week. Although there has been optimism among Fed officials that the monetary measures are giving results in the real economy and fight against inflation, still, the question regarding the first potential rate cut is still left uncertain. Such a move was postponed until there is a “greater confidence” that the inflation is clearly heading toward the targeted 2%. On a positive side is their confidence that further rate hikes are most probably over. Treasury yields reacted on Minutes with a modest increase in yields, where the 10Y benchmark reached levels above 4.3%.

During the week there has been a lot of attention to the Ether coin, in expectation of the forthcoming approval of the first ETH exchange traded fund, probably in May this year. As per analysts involved in the matter, the market is currently positioning for such a decision, where the price of ETH reached levels above $3K during the previous week. However, analysts are noting that there should not be expected any sort of “explosive” jump in the price of ETH, but rather a sustained one. At the same time analysts from S&P Global warned about the possibility of a concentration risk which might occur in the Ether ecosystem after the approval of the exchange traded fund.

The European Union brought up a decision to set up a new Anti-Money Laundering Authority, which will be established in Frankfurt, Germany. The main goal of this new Authority would be to oversee potential AML activities within the crypto transactions in the EU. Currently, the EU AML limit is set at 10.000 euro for cash payments.

Crypto market cap

While one part of the market is concerned over timing of the first Fed's rate cut in the coming period, the crypto market turned their attention to potential approval of the first ETH exchange traded fund. This was one of the major topics for investors, during the previous week. The price of ETH reached levels above $3K during the previous week, as market participants are positioning for a potential positive reply from the SEC, probably in May this year. The price of ETH outperformed BTC`s weekly performance, which is relatively rare on the crypto market. While, on one side, frenzy over the first ETH ETF slowly taking place on the market, on the other side, there is an emerging question over BTC`s performance after the halving announced for April this year. Analysts are divided on this question. While, on one side there are those who note that halving will decrease supply, and within an environment of high demand, it should positively impact the price of BTC. Still, there are those who are noting that it might impact a drop in the price of BTC, considering decreasing reward for BTC mining.

Total crypto market capitalization was increased by 1%, during the previous week, adding total $22B of cash inflows. Total market cap is slowly nearing the level of $2 trillion, which was last time marked in April 2022. Daily trading volumes continue to be elevated, with weekly turnover of $116B on a daily basis, which is a modestly lower from the $130B traded two weeks before. Total crypto market capitalization increase from the end of the previous year, currently stands at $266B which represents a 16% surge from the beginning of this year.

Ether was the star of the previous week, where the coin managed to add around $21B to its market cap, increasing it by 6.2% on a weekly basis. Bitcoin was on a losing track on a weekly basis, as the coin is ending the week 1.5% lower from the end of the week before, decreasing its market cap by $15B. With other altcoins it was a mixed trading week. Binance coin had a very good performance, surging by more than 6% in value, adding $3.3B to its market cap, after the announcement of the forthcoming cross-chain airdrop of gaming project Portal. At the same time, Uniswap surged by an incredible 57% on a weekly basis, adding $2.9B to its cap, which was influenced by the announcement that UNI holders will be rewarded with a distribution of protocol fees after the system upgrade. Both ZCash and Theta have excellent weekly performance, with an increase in value of 25% and 22% respectively. There are several coins which finished the week in red, like Solana, which lost 6.5% in value, LINK was also traded lower by 6.3%, while Bitcoin Gold lost some 8.3% in value, following a decrease in the value of BTC on a weekly basis.

A relatively increased activity with coins in circulation continues. During the previous week Filecoin added 0.7% more coins on the market, while IOTA had a surge of 0.6%. Tether increased its value by 0.3% on a weekly basis, by increasing its circulating coins by this percentage. Polkadot`s circulating coins were up by 0.2%, while several other altcoins increased coins on the market by 0.1% w/w.

Crypto futures market

The crypto futures market was generally following developments on the spot market, for short term maturities. In this respect, BTC short term futures were traded around 2% lower from the week before, while ETH futures were last traded higher around 6.5%.
BTC longer term futures remained relatively flat compared to the week before, while on a positive side is that prices withhold relatively higher levels reached two weeks ago. BTC futures maturing in December this year were last traded at price $55.495, while those maturing a year later reached the price of $59.595.

In line with expectations of the approval of the first ETH ETF, Ether`s long term futures were traded around 6.3% higher for all maturities. In this respect, futures maturing in December this year closed the week at level of $3.163, while those maturing in December 2025 were last traded at $3.343.


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