Bitcoin missed out on a rally in global markets sparked by cooling US inflation, triggering some caution about the token’s outlook.
The largest digital asset on Thursday added to losses of 0.7% from a day earlier, while stocks and bonds extended gains on bets that an end to US Federal Reserve monetary tightening is getting closer.
Bitcoin has stalled this month after a June surge courtesy of a flurry of applications by investment heavyweights like BlackRock to start US exchange-traded funds investing in the token’s spot market. Investors are now asking whether bitcoin’s 83% rebound this year still has room to run.
“Bitcoin was an outlier in terms of widespread risk-seeking in pretty much every asset class after the US inflation data,” said Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG Australia. “To me that’s not a good sign.”
The odds of bitcoin falling towards $25 000 to $26 000 — roughly the zone of its 200-day moving average — are building, according to Sycamore.
Crypto analysts flagged speculation that the US might be readying to sell some seized bitcoin as a possible reason for its muted post-inflation performance.
“The disinflationary environment coming through after relatively quick interest-rate increases should be good for risk assets, including crypto,” said John Toro, head of trading at digital-asset exchange Independent Reserve. “But suggestions that bitcoin seized by the US are being moved around — which served to highlight the risk that some could be sold — hit sentiment.”
The US inflation rate slid to a more than two-year low of 3%, contributing to climbs exceeding 1% in global shares, a bond gauge, gold and oil on Wednesday. A dollar index hit a 14-month low, sending ripples through currency markets.
Bitcoin and a gauge of the largest 100 digital tokens both lost ground in a marked contrast to the mood across other asset classes. For some prognosticators, it may just be a matter of time before bitcoin resumes its partial recovery from a crypto rout in 2022.
Crypto fund provider Grayscale Investments wrote in a note that “we would expect lower US inflation and reduced odds of Fed rate hikes to support digital asset markets broadly over the medium term”. Grayscale argued investor appetite for higher-risk crypto coins could increase, leading to a drop in bitcoin’s dominance of the $1.2-trillion digital-asset market.
Bitcoin fell as much as 0.3% on Thursday and was trading at $30 290 as of 1.19pm in Singapore, well below its 2021 record high of almost $69 000. — Sunil Jagtiani, (c) 2023 Bloomberg LP