Bitcoin Holds Above $40K After Fed Hike, Avalanche’s AVAX Leads Gains Among Crypto Majors

Cease-fire talks could reverse a bearish trend, one analyst said.

AccessTimeIconMar 17, 2022 at 11:06 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 18, 2022 at 3:43 p.m. UTC

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

Bitcoin (BTC) held above $40,000 on Thursday amid a broader uptick in global equities as the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked interest rates by 0.25% as expected.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled the U.S. economy was “very strong” and could handle monetary tightening, causing a jump in equities. Meanwhile, the Bank of England will also holds its policy meeting on Thursday and is expected to raise interest rates to pre-COVID levels.

U.S. futures shed 0.51% during European trading hours ,while Brent crude oil futures jumped 4% to nearly $100 a barrel. Europe’s Stoxx 600 rose 0.22%, while Asian markets added a second day of gains with Hong Kong’s Hang Sang index rising 7% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 increasing 3.46%.

Bitcoin added nearly 4% over the past 24 hours to trade at $41,640 before traders took profits. Ether (ETH) added 4.7% to weekly highs of $2,790, and Terra’s LUNA lost 0.6% in 24 hours.

Avalanche’s AVAX rose over 11% in the past 24 hours to lead gains among major cryptocurrencies as Terra’s UST stablecoins were deployed on the Avalanche network. Users can now deposit, borrow and earn yields on UST deposits using Avalanche.

Investors tied ether’s gains to successful testing on the Ethereum network ahead of its move to a proof-of-stake network.

“Ethereum showed bullish movements on the back of its successful merge on the Kiln testnet, a fundamental milestone in its path toward the transition to proof-of-stake in the course of the year,” Fabio Pezzotti, founder of crypto investment firm Iconium, said in a Telegram message.

“We expect the main assets to gain momentum amid positive developments regarding a cease-fire in Ukraine, which would likely revert the bearish trends of the last few months,” he added.

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AVAX inches toward resistance at $80. (TradingView)

Crypto market capitalization grew by 4% over the past day to $1.82 trillion. The Bitcoin Dominance Index rose 0.2 points to 42.8%. The Fear and Greed index – which calculates market sentiment – added 3 more points in the day to take the “fear” level to 27 suggesting improved sentiment among investors.

Meanwhile, some analysts said strength in bitcoin was buoyed by positive sentiment for the asset among traders.

“Since the last days of February, there has been a solid support line on the declines under $38,000," Alex Kuptsikevich, a market analyst at FxPro, wrote in an email to CoinDesk. “And this is bullish strength, reflecting that long-term buyer interest has migrated from $30,000 to $38,000 due to inflation and geopolitical tensions.

“Such a migration of the level of interest to long-term buyers fully reflects the price jump, which is the actual depreciation of the value of fiat currencies,” he added.

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Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.