By Vildana Hajric and Katie Greifeld
Bitcoin slumped to the lower level since its December flash crash as growing expectations of rising borrowing rates weighs on some of the best performing assets over the past few years.
The largest cryptocurrency by market value dropped as much as 3.6% to $44,567 before paring the decline. That pushed the price to the lowest level since a weekend crash at the start of last month. Bitcoin has surged more than 500% since the end of 2019 in the wake of economic stimulus measures put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s a speculative investment and volatility is going to be a constant there,” David Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private Wealth Management, said by phone.
U.S. equities deepened losses after minutes from the Federal Reserve flagged the chance of earlier and faster interest rate hikes. The S&P 500 fell 1.5%, led by real estate stocks, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 slid 2.7%.
“The Fed is hawkish,” said Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of crypto platform FRNT Financial Inc. “Knee-jerk reactions in crypto tend to treat them as exclusively risk assets in spite of the longer term trends around inflation, store of value et cetera.”
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