Cryptocurrency values gashed in massive sell-off

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Souvenir tokens representing Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies plunge into water in this illustration taken May 17, 2022. REUTERS

Cryptocurrencies and global stocks fell sharply on Monday as investors expect the Federal Reserve to implement sharper rate hikes at its June meeting after US inflation hit 8.6% in May.

The cryptocurrency market has recorded severe declines several days in a row and was down 11.6% over 24 hours as of 4.40pm on Monday.

The global market value stood at US$1.02 trillion, down 70% from its November 2021 peak of around $2.9 trillion.

According to Coingecko.com, the Bitcoin price broke past the key support level at $24,516.41 as of 3.54pm on Monday, down 11.2% from the previous day and 64.5% from last year’s high of $69,044.77.

Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest coin by market capitalisation, slipped under the key support level of $1,500 to $1,258.57, down 14.6% in 24 hours and 74.1% from $4,878.26 last year.

Following the inflation reports, global stocks also fell on Monday as concerns over economic impacts from rate hikes soured market sentiment.

The SET Index closed at 1,600.06 points, down 32.56 points or 1.99% on Monday in trading worth 59.7 billion baht.

The S&P 500 Index hit a new low since May 20. Morgan Stanley estimates support at 3,800 points for the base case and 3,400 points for the worst case.

Bualuang Securities Research said the Fed will likely raise interest rates by 0.5 percentage points at the next meeting, but may be more hawkish.

The brokerage recommends investing in inflation-proof stocks including Ferrari (RACE), Caterpillar (CAT), Visa (V) or the VanEck Inflation Allocation ETF (RAAX), which invests in inflation-beating assets such as gold and commodities.

According to Coinglass.com, the exit from ETH has been severe, with traders selling 168,000 ETH over the past day, or around $245 million.

The same site reported Bitcoin traders offloaded 4,100 BTC worth $112 million in one day.