This Price Hurdle May Pave Way for Bitcoin’s Next Leg Up

Bitcoin's stalled rally could take off again if the bulls can convincingly breach a new resistance level above $5,200.

Apr 16, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:04 a.m. UTC
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  • Bitcoin’s rally from April 2 lows below $4,200 has stalled near the three-day chart's 100-candle moving average (MA), currently at $5,238.
  • A three-day close (UTC) above that MA level could invite buying pressure, leading to a sustained move higher toward $5,500 and more.
  • That bullish close, however, looks unlikely in the short-term, as the cryptocurrency has created a bearish candle on the daily chart, validating signs of bull exhaustion (doji candle) on the weekly chart.
  • A UTC close below $4,948 today would add credence to yesterday’s bearish candle, opening doors for a deeper pullback toward the 30-day moving average, currently at $4,550.

The stalled bitcoin (BTC) rally could again pick up the pace if a new resistance level above $5,200 is convincingly breached.

The market-leading cryptocurrency picked up a strong bid at lows below $4,200 on April 2 and jumped to 4.5-month highs above $5,300 on April 8, confirming a bullish reversal.

The rally, however, has stalled in the last few days, courtesy of overbought conditions and other factors, as discussed yesterday.

Notably, the three-day chart's 100-candle moving average (MA), currently at $5,238, has been proving a tough nut to crack since April 2. As a result, that lesser-known average is now the level to beat for the bulls.

A convincing move above that MA resistance could bring in more buyers, reviving the prospects of the further rally.

As of writing, bitcoin is trading at $5,080 on Bitstamp, representing a 1.5 percent drop on a 24-hour basis.

3-day chart

The 100-candle moving average has recently been put to test for the first time since May 2018. Back then, the average was trending north, indicating a bullish setup and was located just above $8,400.

As of writing, it is sloping downwards, representing a bearish bias, and is seen at $5,238. That bearish signal, however, is of little concern to the bulls, as longer duration averages are lagging indicators.

That said, bitcoin has repeatedly failed to secure a three-day close above that average over the last 15 days. A break higher, therefore, may embolden the bulls and allow a sustained move higher toward $5,500.

That, however, looks unlikely in the short-run, as the repeated failure at the 100-candle MA is accompanied by early signs of bearish reversal on the shorter duration charts.

Daily chart

BTC created a bearish outside reversal candle Monday – a pattern that occurs when the day begins on an optimistic note, but ends with pessimism. The candlestick is widely considered a sign of potential trend reversal, especially when it appears after a notable rally, as is the case with BTC.

Traders, however, wait for confirmation in the form of strong follow-through, preferably a close below the candle’s low.

So, a UTC close below $4,948 (Monday’s low) would shift risk in favor of a deeper drop toward the ascending 30-day MA, currently at $4,550. It is worth noting that the 30-day MA served as strong support throughout last month.

A bearish close below $4,948 looks likely, as the 5- and 10-day MAs have produced a bearish crossover, validating the signs of buyer exhaustion seen on the weekly chart (last week’s candle was a doji).

That said, the longer duration outlook will remain bullish as long as prices are trading above $4,236.

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

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View

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