Bitcoin Gives Up Gains, Slips Below $26K Ahead of Fed's Jerome Powell at Jackson Hole

The Kansas City Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole Symposium is underway, and Powell will deliver his keynote address Friday morning.

AccessTimeIconAug 24, 2023 at 3:59 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 24, 2023 at 5:59 p.m. UTC
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Bitcoin's (BTC) price is back below the $26,000 level Thursday, giving up nearly all of yesterday's advance alongside declines in traditional markets

BTC was changing hands at $25,990 at press time, down roughly 3% from its Wednesday high of $26,789. Ether (ETH), the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was trading at around $1,640, also a near 3% decline from yesterday's high.

Both assets remain stuck in "significant downtrend," according to CoinDesk Indices' trend indicators, following the sudden tumble in digital asset prices last week.

Equity markets have also turned lower, led by the Nasdaq Composite's 1.3% decline. The S&P 500 is down by 0.8%. Among individual names of note, chipmaker and AI favorite Nvidia (NVDA) has given up most of its post-earnings gains from last night, now higher by just 1% for the session.

Eyes on Powell's Jackson Hole keynote

Market observers are awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's public remarks on Friday at the Kansas City Federal Reserve's annual Jackson Hole Symposium, a high-level gathering for central bankers and economists. Investors will watch the speech closely in search of signals about monetary policy outlook.

"Anyone looking for an indication that the rate hiking cycle is nearing the end will likely be disappointed," John Glover, chief investment officer of digital asset lender Ledn, said in an email.

"The Fed is at an interesting decision point in their rates cycle as we continue to see the economy absorbing the circa 500 bps of tightening in the past 16 months without too much negative impact on consumer and industrial spending, or on unemployment," he explained. "However, households and businesses are beginning to feel the impact of higher financing costs at a time when balance sheets are not looking healthy."

Economy showing few signs of slowdown

U.S. initial jobless claims fell to 230,000 last week, according to a government report earlier Thursday. That's down from 240,000 the previous week and lower than economist forecasts for 240,000. The print suggests there's very little slowdown in what remains a strong labor market.

The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow model is now forecasting very speedy 5.9% economic growth in the U.S. in Q3. That's up from 5.8% forecast last week and just 4% the model was predicting in early August.

Update (19:00 UTC, Aug. 24): Adds updated price action.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

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