Bitcoin Faces Price Pullback Amid Extremely Overbought Conditions

Omkar Godbole
Apr 4, 2019 at 11:00 UTC
Updated Apr 4, 2019 at 11:53 UTC


  • Bitcoin’s quick drop from a 4.5-month high of $5,345 to levels below $5,000 validates the extremely overbought readings on the 14-day relative strength index.
  • BTC could consolidate around $5,000 with a negative bias over the next day or two. A pullback back to key support levels at $4,672 and $4,565 (200-hour MA) can’t be ruled out.
  • The longer-term outlook will remain bullish as long as bitcoin’s price holds above the former resistance-turned-support of $4,236.

Bitcoin (BTC) could be in for a minor price pullback as the RSI is showing the most overbought conditions for 16 months.

The crypto market leader cruised past the crucial resistance at $4,236 on Tuesday, confirming a longer run bearish-to-bullish trend change and hit a 5.5-month high of $5,345 yesterday, according to Bitstamp data.

With the near 30 percent rally to 4.5-month highs seen in the last 48 hours, bitcoin’s 14-day relative strength index – a widely-followed momentum indicator – has jumped above 70.00, indicating overbought conditions. In fact, the RSI is currently seen at 89.11, its highest level since December 2017.

An overbought reading on the RSI is often taken to be a sign of impending bearish reversal. In reality, however, an above-70 print merely indicates that the rally is overdone and a reaction – a price pullback – could be in the offing.

These overbought indicators become valid only when the price begins to flash early signs of buyer exhaustion, which seems to be the case with BTC.

The cryptocurrency witnessed a sharp drop to $4,800 within two hours of hitting highs above $5,300 at 21:00 UTC yesterday and is now struggling to hold onto price points above $5,000.

As a result, price consolidation or a deeper pullback to $4,600 could be seen in the next couple of days.

Daily and 4-hour charts

The long upper shadow attached to Wednesday’s candle (above left) indicates the bullish move is running out of steam.

Validating that argument is the big bearish engulfing candle seen in the 4-hour chart (lower left), which indicates that the period began with optimism but ended on a pessimistic note.

Both candlesticks add credence to the extreme overbought reading on the 14-day RSI (right).

Hourly chart

On the hourly chart, the RSI has rolled over from the overbought territory, having charted lower highs over the last 48 hours, contradicting the higher highs on price.

That bearish divergence also favors a price pullback to key support levels lined up at $4,672 and $4,565 (200-hour MA).

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

This article is intended as a news item to inform our readers of various events and developments that affect, or that might in the future affect, the value of the cryptocurrency described above. The information contained herein is not intended to provide, and it does not provide, sufficient information to form the basis for an investment decision, and you should not rely on this information for that purpose. The information presented herein is accurate only as of its date, and it was not prepared by a research analyst or other investment professional. You should seek additional information regarding the merits and risks of investing in any cryptocurrency before deciding to purchase or sell any such instruments.