First Mover Asia: Bitcoin, Altcoins Regain Ground After Early Weekend Spiral; Trading Volume Levels Off After an Intense Saturday
By Muyao Shen, Damanick Dantes
Market moves: Investors bought up bitcoin quickly after Saturday’s sharp sell-off. Trading volume spiked on Saturday, although by Sunday it had leveled off as traders await Monday’s opening of equity markets.
Technician’s take: BTC buying has been weak despite short-term oversold signals. ETH is also taking a breather and has not yet confirmed a breakout relative to bitcoin.
Bitcoin (BTC): $49,179 +0.2%
Ether (ETH): $4,153 +1.4%
S&P 500: $4,538 -0.8%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: $34,580 -0.1%
Nasdaq: $15,085 -1.9%
Gold: $1,784 +.06%
Bitcoin slowly recovered to the $49,000 level over the weekend after dropping nearly $10,000 in roughly an hour to as low as around $42,000 early Saturday. The precipitous decline came in response to a broader sell-off across financial markets, which have been spooked by the omicron coronavirus variant.
Saturday’s sudden decline marks bitcoin’s biggest price drop since a May sell-off when bitcoin slumped from over $43,000 to under $32,000 over a 24-hour period, a nearly 27% decline.
BTC/USD pair four-hour price chart on Coinbase
The trading volume of roughly $20 billion on Saturday across 11 major centralized exchanges reached high levels, according to data compiled by CoinDesk, although by Sunday the volume had dropped sharply as traders and investors await the opening of traditional markets.
But unlike the aftermath of the May drop, investors this time have bought up bitcoin quickly. Some, including El Salvador, announced that they have bought “the dip” following the price slump. At the time of publication, bitcoin was trading at $49,179, 0.2% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data. Ether was at $4,153, up 1.4%.
Other cryptocurrencies also fell sharply on Saturday. But many of these altcoins, led by ether, have been showing more resilience compared to bitcoin. Over the past week, ether’s price was down 3.7% versus bitcoin’s 14.6% drop-off. How cryptos perform in the days ahead is difficult to predict.
Bitcoin Drops Below $56K as Momentum Slows, Support at $53K
Bitcoin daily price chart (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk)
Prior to early Saturday’s massive sell-off, Bitcoin (BTC) sellers were active the previous day, pushing the cryptocurrency toward the bottom of its weeklong price range. Lower support at about $53,000 could stabilize the current pullback.
Upside momentum was starting to slow on the daily and weekly price charts, which means upside could be limited toward $60,000 resistance. For now, the intermediate-term uptrend remains intact given the upward sloping 100-day moving average.
Further, the relative strength index (RSI) on the daily chart was just below neutral territory, although buying was weak following an oversold reading on Nov. 26.
Also, on a relative basis, ether was poised to outperform bitcoin if a breakout above 0.08 in the ETH/BTC ratio is confirmed next week. Charts still show significant resistance, which preceded downturns in ETH/BTC during the 2018 crypto bear market.
How all of the above evolves remains to be seen once equity markets that have been jittery as the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus spreads globally reopen on Monday.
ETH/BTC price ratio (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk)
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