Major altcoins late Monday (ET) were clinging tightly to earlier gains that reflected a renewed risk appetite among crypto investors.
LINK, the native crypto of computing platform Chainlink, recently rose more than 6% over the past 24 hours. Telegram’s TON and smart contract platform Polygon’s MATIC tokens were both up about 4%. ADA, the native token of Cardano, climbed more than 4%.
XRP lost most of its late Sunday and early Monday gains when it supplanted Binance’s BNB token as the third largest by market capitalization but was still up about roughly 0.6%.
These altcoins outshone bitcoin, which spent much of its day treading water around the $35,000 level, where it has lingered for much of the past week. ETH, the second largest crypto in market value, was also largely unchanged from its most recent heights of around $1,900.
In a research note Friday, 3iQ Head of Research Mark Connors wrote that weakening employment data supported U.S. central bank Chair Jerome Powell’s recent contention that the economy was landing softly as the Fed has been hoping instead of crashing into recession and that the bank would therefore be able to abandon the monetary hawkishness that has spooked investors away from risk assets.
Investors last week sent such assets, including smaller tech stocks and cryptos higher with the Bloomberg DeFi index gaining 7.4% month-to-date, “accounting for almost all of its 9.3% year-to-date gains, while the larger cap Bloomberg Crypto Index rose just 1.3%, leaving it +69% YTD.”
“Regardless of digital or traditional asset, assets with a high-risk profile as measured by volatility, beta, risk of default, etc., were bought early and often in November, certainly more so than quality, large cap names,” Connors wrote. “This suggests both investor camps are reacting the same way…or maybe, they are the same investor.”
He added in comments to Unchained: “Digital assets took its cue from TradFi where last week’s ‘junk’ rally saw hi vol, hi beta equities out gain quality names.”
U.S. equities continued their recent winning streak, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq and S&P 500 inching up 0.3.% and 0.2%, respectively. The yield on a 10-year Treasury also edged up slightly, although it is well down from the 16-year highs it reached two weeks ago.
In a note to investors Monday, Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at foreign exchange market maker Oanda, noted the encouraging direction of the job market for inflation, which the Federal Reserve is hoping will return to 2% annually.
“The Fed is desperate to take some heat out of the labor market as it believes it’s required to get inflation sustainably back to 2%,” Erlam wrote. “But if wage growth continues to fall, 2% inflation may be achievable without too much disruption. I’m not sure that’s the likely outcome at the moment, but it’s certainly a positive development.”