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Bitcoin drops below key technical mark as rate concerns mount

The largest cryptocurrency fell as low as $41,918 on Monday morning in Asia, retreating for the seventh day in the past eight. Since peaking at just above $48,000 in late March, Bitcoin -- and other tokens -- have been dragged lower by concerns about tighter monetary policy.

April 11, 2022 / 06:48 AM IST
A Bitcoin logo inside a cryptocurrency kiosk in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, March 17, 2022. Bitcoin edged higher following reassurance from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the U.S. economy was strong enough to weather tightening monetary policy. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

A Bitcoin logo inside a cryptocurrency kiosk in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, March 17, 2022. Bitcoin edged higher following reassurance from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the U.S. economy was strong enough to weather tightening monetary policy. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Bitcoin briefly dropped below its 50-day moving average, sliding back further into the range in which it has traded this year.

The largest cryptocurrency fell as low as $41,918 on Monday morning in Asia, retreating for the seventh day in the past eight. Since peaking at just above $48,000 in late March, Bitcoin -- and other tokens -- have been dragged lower by concerns about tighter monetary policy. Even the buzz around last week’s Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami wasn’t enough to reverse the trend.

U.S. inflation likely accelerated to 8.4% in March, the fastest pace since early 1982, economists surveyed ahead of data due Tuesday predict. The Federal Reserve may need to hike interest rates above 4%, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Economist Jan Hatzius said Friday.

“Now the sugar rush of Bitcoin 2022 has passed, Tuesday’s (likely) ugly U.S. consumer price report is a reminder that the Fed is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to tackling runaway inflation without sinking the economy,” said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner of crypto lender Nexo, in emailed comments.

If Bitcoin drops below the 50-day moving average, “$38,000 comes into play, along with all the talk that comes with being in the nervous thirties,” he said.

Close

Bitcoin has been in a trading range of around $35,000 to $45,000 for much of the year so far. The breakout above $48,000 last month took it to year-to-date highs, but the token hit resistance around its 200-day moving average.

The token traded at $42,100 at 8:05 a.m. in Hong Kong, down 2.4% for the day. Ether slipped 2.8% to $3,196.

Miller Tabak + Co. Chief Market Strategist Matt Maley said he doesn’t see the selloff as particularly concerning.

“The pullback from the late March high is more technical than anything else,” Maley said in emailed comments. “After its 35% rally from January to late March, Bitcoin had become very overbought. So it’s just working off that condition. As long as it can hold above $40,000, its multi-month upward trend will remain intact.”

Still, Bitcoin’s tendency to move in sync with assets such as U.S. tech stocks makes the drop less of a surprise after a tough week for American markets last week. Its correlation with the Nasdaq 100 Index is now back at record levels.

“The Nasdaq 100 closed below its 50-day moving average on Friday, so now wouldn’t be a bad time for Bitcoin to break its correlation with the tech-laden index,” Nexo’s Trenchev said. “Close above $45,000 again and we’re back in the game.”
Bloomberg
first published: Apr 11, 2022 06:48 am
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