First Mover Asia: Crypto Prices Rise on Better-Than-Expected US Inflation News
By Damanick Dantes | Bradley Keoun
Market moves: Bitcoin rose to its highest point in a week; most of the leading altcoins also saw increases.
Technician’s take: BTC’s sell-off appears exhausted as buyers attempt to reverse a short-term downtrend.
Bitcoin (BTC): $43,907 +2.5%
Ether (ETH): $3,369 +3.7%
DJIA: $36,290 +0.1%
Nasdaq: $15,188 +0.2%
Gold: $1,826 0.2%
Bitcoin price chart, past 24 hours.
Bitcoin (BTC) rose to its highest price in a week, recovering somewhat after last week’s abysmal start to the year.
At the time of publication, the largest cryptocurrency was changing hands around $43,900, after dipping a few days ago below $40,000 for the first time since September. The bitcoin price is still down 5.2% so far in 2022.
The bitcoin market may have gotten a boost from a U.S. Labor Department report Wednesday showing that the Consumer Price Index, a key inflation gauge, rose to an annual clip of 7% in December, the highest since the early 1980s.
But there had been fears in the market that prices might have climbed even faster, which would have put additional pressure on the Federal Reserve to move more aggressively to tighten monetary conditions and cool down the economy.
Bitcoin is viewed by a growing number of investors as a hedge against fast inflation, and the price has climbed since the Fed started printing money – more than $4 trillion so far – and pursuing ultra-loose monetary policies since the coronavirus hit in March 2020, roiling markets and the economy.
“The market reaction to this new data might be a bit confusing as we see the crypto markets taking a victory lap,” Mati Greenspan, founder of the cryptocurrency and foreign-exchange analysis firm Quantum Economics, wrote Wednesday in his newsletter. “This time however investors seem a lot more relaxed about the Fed.”
U.S. stocks closed higher, also due to cooling concerns that the Fed might get more aggressive in tackling inflation, according to Reuters.
In cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin, the Near Protocol’s NEAR token rose Wednesday to an all-time high, on signs the up-and-coming blockchain might be undervalued as it attracts more activity.
Some analysts warned that NEAR might be looking frothy on some metrics, and that bullish bets on another popular blockchain token, Fantom’s FTM, have become a “crowded” trade.
Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain and the second-largest overall, rose 4.2% over the past 24 hours to about $3,370, based on CoinDesk pricing.
Bitcoin Rises Above $43K; Resistance at $45K-$48K
Bitcoin (BTC) buyers held support around $40,000 as oversold signals appeared on the charts.
The relative strength index (RSI) on the four-hour chart is approaching overbought levels, similar to what occurred in late December, which preceded a brief pullback. The RSI on the daily chart, however, continues to rise from oversold levels, which means buyers could remain active on price dips.
Still, given the short-term downtrend, upside appears limited toward the $45,000-$48,000 resistance zone. And on weekly and monthly charts, momentum signals remain negative, which means price rises could be limited for now.
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