Apr 3, 2023 - Economy

Bitcoin and tech-heavy Nasdaq were among best-performing assets in Q1

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bitcoin is the big winner so far in 2023, and banks are the big losers.

Between the lines: These two are connected.

  • The banking crisis that broke out in March with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has creamed bank stocks.
  • It's also prompted many in the markets to think Federal Reserve is going to start slowing, and perhaps even reversing, the sharp increases in interest rates it delivered over the last year.

State of play: Expectations that these hikes are largely over — confirmed to many by the Fed's most recent decision to lift rates by just a quarter-point — have helped breathe new life into the investments that were hit the hardest by rate increases last year: Crypto and tech stocks.

  • Meanwhile, easing worries about the energy crunch has allowed crude oil prices to fall, and taken the pressure off European economies — supercharging France's CAC-40 and Germany's DAX.
  • On the other hand, growing worries about low utilization of American office buildings have hammered prices for bond-like packages of mortgages known as CMBS, or commercial mortgage-backed securities.
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