Good morning. Here’s what’s happening:
Market moves: Bitcoin slipped to below $44,000 after Fed minutes release, altcoins followed.
Technician’s take: BTC broke below $45K support intraday; short-term oversold indicators intact.
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Bitcoin fell below $44,000, after a Federal Reserve official in the U.S. implied a high level of discomfort with high inflation during the Fed’s meeting in December, according to minutes of the meeting that were released on Wednesday.
At the time of writing, bitcoin, the oldest cryptocurrency, was trading at $43,423, down by 5.87% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk Data.
Data from TradingView and Coinbase shows that after minutes were released at 19:00 UTC on Wednesday, bitcoin fell 2.73% to $44,500 on the hourly chart.
“Participants generally noted that, given their individual outlooks for the economy, the labor market and inflation, it may become warranted to increase the federal funds rate sooner or at a faster pace than participants had earlier anticipated,” according to the Dec. 14-15 meeting minutes. “Some participants also noted that it could be appropriate to begin to reduce the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet relatively soon after beginning to raise the federal funds rate.”
As CoinDesk reported previously, bitcoin and traditional risk assets would potentially face price pressure if the minutes signal an internal debate on raising rates and starting the balance sheet contraction along with the end of asset purchases in March.
Even though bitcoin is viewed by some as a hedge against inflation, it is also an emerging technology, and so it is sensitive to a tightened monetary policy – similar to the tech-heavy Nasdaq index.
Other cryptocurrencies also followed the sell-off. Ether was down by 2.51% to $3,644.44 in the hour after the minutes release, based on the hourly chart on TradingView. The loss came after the No. 2 cryptocurrency by market capitalization rose as high as almost $3,900 during early U.S. trading hours on Wednesday.
Bitcoin below $45K Support
BTC has broken below $45,000, which was the bottom of a monthlong price range. It remains to be seen if buyers will enter on the dip given persistent oversold signals on the daily chart.
For now, upside momentum continues to slow, which means short-term buying could be limited at below $50,000. There is strong resistance ahead, which defined a downtrend from the November all-time high of around $69,000. Sellers remain in control.
Lower support is seen at around $40,000-$42,000, a range bitcoin hit during its crash in early December.
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