American and European equity markets extended their gains on Thursday while major cryptocurrencies made only slight moves on the day. Bitcoin (BTC) was up 1 percent while ether (ETH) up by less than 1 percent.
Notable 24 hour performances on CoinDesk’s digital asset board today as of 20:00 UTC include monero (XMR), up 8 percent; tron (TRX), up 3 percent and IOTA (IOTA) in the green by 2 percent. Assets in the red include bitcoin SV (BSV), down 1 percent; NEO (NEO) lower by less than 1 percent and Zcash (ZEC) down under 1 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed its day at 5:00 UTC down 4.5 percent, a reversal for the key Asian equities market after spending the week closing in the green. As for Europe, the FTSE 100 Index was up 2 percent at its session close 17:00 UTC. This comes after the British equity index delivered its second-best percentage gain on record on Tuesday, March 24, climbing 9.1 percent. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index closed up 6 percent at 20:00 UTC.
“Looks like stimulus is short-term good for all assets, crypto included,” said Kevin Zhou, CEO of algorithmic trading firm Galois Capital.
Indeed, while stimulus appears to be keeping markets up, longer-term economic troubles loom. U.S. industrial output has already taken a significant hit as coronavirus and government-mandated business closures hit crucial economic engines.
On March 24, IHS Markit released its monthly report on the composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). PMI tracks the overall health of the U.S. manufacturing and service sectors and it came in at 40.5, down from 49.6 in February, the largest drop since 2008.
“We may very well be in a recession, but I would point to the difference between this and a normal recession,” U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said March 26 in an interview with NBC. “There is nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy,” he added.
On Sunday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said his department will work with Congress on creating financing programs, which he estimated could involve as much as $4 trillion. In addition, the government intends to provide another $2 trillion in stimulus to individual Americans, a measure passed unanimously in the Senate and set for vote in the House Friday.
“Pouring $6 trillion artificially creates somewhat of a ‘positive’ effect. But to me it’s like a bomb in slow motion. We will see dramatic consequences of these decisions,” said Constantin Kogan, a partner at cryptocurrency fund-of-funds BitBull Capital.
Indeed, cryptocurrency traders are concerned with the direction bitcoin price might go. The market experienced a huge jump around 12:00 UTC on March 23. After that big bounce, bitcoin’s price has been in a range between $6,400 and $6,900 on Coinbase since March 24.
“I don’t know what to make of this market right now. I am a little confused, to be honest,” said Jack Tan, founding partner of Taiwan-based crypto trading firm Kronos Research.
“I don’t hold any particular views of the market at this point. But we did sell some longs,” he added.