Bitcoin's daily chart is leaning bearish ahead of U.S. April payrolls and wage-growth data that could influence market expectations about the pace of the Federal Reserve's monetary tightening.
- On Thursday, the leading cryptocurrency fell nearly 8%, printing a UTC close under an ascending trend line that connected bullish higher lows from Jan. 24 and Feb. 24.
- The breakdown of the three-month rising trend line perhaps implies the resumption of the broader decline from November highs. Popular indicators like the relative strength index (RSI) and the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) histogram are also biased bearish.
- Support is seen at $34,322, the Feb. 24 low, followed by the Jan. 24 low of $32,933, according to the charting platform TradingView.
- The non-farm payrolls report scheduled for release on Friday at 12:30 UTC is likely to show the economy gained 391,000 jobs last month after adding 431,000 in March, according to FXStreet.
- The unemployment rate is likely to have dropped to 3.5% in April from 3.6% in March. Wages probably grew 0.4%, or 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, the same pace as the preceding month.
- With the Fed focused on bringing down inflation, the jobless rate and wage-growth numbers are likely to overshadow the payrolls figure.
- A tight labor market and wage increases cause inflation, so an above-consensus wage-growth figure and a drop in the jobless rate may bolster inflation worries and increase the odds of a 75 basis point rate increase next month. That might bring additional downside pressure for risk assets, including bitcoin (BTC).
- The Fed on May 4 raised the benchmark interest rates by 50 basis points and suggested that large increases are likely in the coming months. The central bank also said it would start reducing its near $9 trillion balance sheet.
- While Fed Chair Jerome Powell said policymakers aren't actively considering a 75 basis point hike, that guidance may have been based on expectations the labor market will cool and inflation will peak.
- Powell made it clear the central bank is open to tolerating an economic recession to bring down inflation, leaving the door open for renewed repricing of even bigger increases.
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