Stuck in the doldrums today, bitcoin needs a quick break above $12,500 or the tide may turn in favor of the bears, the charts suggest.
The "V" shaped recovery in bitcoin (BTC) from Wednesday's low has stalled below the $12,000 mark in the last 12 hours. Prices on CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI) did rise to $12,045.09 at 15:14 UTC yesterday, before retreating to sub-$11,500 levels by 22:00 UTC.
The slide from the high of $12,045 was extended further to $10,988.79 in Asian hours today. However, bitcoin soon regained poise and rose to an intraday high of $11,808.49 (at 08:44 UTC).
As of writing, bitcoin is trading at $11,660. The world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has appreciated by 3.17 percent in the last 24 hours, according to data source OnChainFX. BTC is also up 27 percent from the week's low of $9,199.59 (as per the BPI).
However, the price chart analysis says the immediate outlook is neutral and only two consecutive daily closes (as per UTC) above $12,500 would improve odds of BTC rallying sharply in line with the historical pattern.
The above chart (prices as per Coinbase) shows:
- Bearish exhaustion below the 100-day moving average (MA) (as indicated by long-tailed candles), coupled with a close above $11,004 (61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement) has neutralized the immediate bearish outlook.
- Still, the previous day's doji candle shows indecision in the marketplace following the sharp recovery from the low of $9,005. Further, the 5-day and 10-day MAs carry a strong bearish bias (sloping downwards), while the 100-day MA is flatlined (neutral).
- Hence, the bulls need progress soon - specifcally a quick move above $12,500 (Dec. 30 low) - or the bears may push BTC below the strong support level of $11,004 (61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement + 100-day MA).
- The higher lows (marked by green arrows) add credence to bearish exhaustion below the 100-day MA discussed above and successful defense of $11,004 (61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement + 100-day MA) in Asian hours today.
- Thus, BTC could move above $12,500 (Dec. 30 low) and possibly extend gains to $13,000 (descending trendline hurdle).
- However, 50-MA, 100-MA, and 200-MA are all sloping downwards in favor of the bears and that could cap gains above $12,500 levels.
- An intraday rally to $12,500 cannot be ruled out, but gains above that level are unlikely, courtesy of downward sloping MAs.
- Only two consecutive closes (as per UTC) above $12,500 would confirm that a bottom is in place at $9,005 and open doors for $17,174 (Jan. 6 high).
- Bearish scenario: Failure at $12,500 and a close (as per UTC) below $11,004 could yield a deeper sell-off to 200-day MA located at $7,269 today, and seen shifting higher to $7,500 over the next couple of days.
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