U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls Eyed as Bitcoin Heads for Largest Weekly Loss Since FTX's Collapse

The jobs data, due later Friday, is forecast to show that the pace of job additions in the world's largest economy slowed sharply in June.

AccessTimeIconJul 5, 2024 at 7:05 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 5, 2024 at 7:08 a.m. UTC
  • Mt. Gox fears have put BTC on a path to its largest weekly decline since November 2022.
  • Weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs growth could put a floor under BTC, according to Bitfinex.
  • The payrolls data due Friday is expected to show that the pace of job additions slowed sharply in June.

As the sell-off in bitcoin (BTC) becomes unhinged, one analyst is pinning hopes on Friday's U.S. jobs report to temper the decline.

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency by market value, dipped below $54,000 early Friday amid reports that the defunct exchange Mt. Gox moved BTC worth $2.6 billion, supposedly for creditor repayments. Later on, Mt. Gox said that it has begun repayments to its customers, which led to a subdued reaction from bitcoin.

As of writing, the cryptocurrency was down over 13% for the week, the most significant single-week percentage decline since FTX's collapse in November 2022, according to CoinDesk data and TradingView.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is set to release the nonfarm payrolls (NFP) report for June on Friday at 12:30 UTC (08:00 UTC). According to the consensus forecast of economists surveyed by FactSet, the NFP data is expected to show the economy added 190,000 jobs in June, a significant moderation from May's 272,000 additions while maintaining the jobless rate steady at 4%.

In a potentially positive news on the inflation rate, the average hourly earnings growth is forecast to slow to 0.3% in June from 0.4% in May, equating to a 3.9% year-on-year rise, down from May's 4.1%.

The primary concerns for macro traders, who have been dipping their toes in the BTC market since 2020, are the timing and number of Fed rate cuts. Since last Friday's soft U.S. PCE inflation data, traders have nearly priced in two rate cuts for this year, according to the CME's FedWatch tool.

The so-called dovish, pro-risk assets expectations will likely strengthen further if Friday's jobs figure shows weaker-than-expected jobs growth, according to Jag Kooner, head of derivatives at the crypto exchange Bitfinex.

"If the NFP report shows weaker-than-expected job growth, it could increase expectations for future rate cuts, which might bolster bitcoin prices as investors seek alternative assets in anticipation of a looser monetary policy," Kooner told CoinDesk in an email.

Kooner explained that inflows into the spot bitcoin ETFs listed in the U.S., preferred by macro traders and institutions, could pick up the pace if "market participants believe economic uncertainty will drive the Fed toward eventual rate cuts."

Kooner, however, warned that the magnitude of inflows will be impacted by overall market sentiment and demand for risk assets in general.

"However, significant inflows would depend on broader market sentiment and risk appetite. Currently, however, we've recently seen quite underwhelming flows and a lack of "dip-buying," Kooner said. "If the job market appears more resilient, bitcoin might face downward pressure as the likelihood of near-term rate cuts diminishes."

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.