Bitcoin begins to claw back Fed-related losses, back above $27,500

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin traded up by 1%, moving back above $27,500 over the past few hours. 
  • Galaxy Digital’s Head of Firmwide Research said bitcoin was holding up well.
  • UBS sees light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a Fed pause.

Bitcoin, ether and other coins inched higher, clawing back some of the losses after crypto assets sank during Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference yesterday. 

Bitcoin was trading around $27,504 by 9:15 a.m. EDT, up 1% in the past few hours, according to TradingView data. It had flirted with $29,000 yesterday ahead of the Fed's decision to raise interest rates, before briefly plunging below $27,000 following Powell's press conference.

BTCUSD chart by TradingView

Inflation is still high, and the Fed had to act, Galaxy Digital's Head of Research, Alex Thorn, told The Block.

"Despite issues we've seen in the banking sector, Jerome Powell isn't stopping the tanker just yet," Thorn said.

Bitcoin retraced a bit, Thorn said, but it continues to hold up well, he added.

"If the banking crisis plays out further, there's no reason why the bitcoin safe-haven narrative can't also continue, pushing prices higher," Thorn said. 

Between a banking crisis and an inflation headache

Powell said yesterday that the past few weeks of banking woes and potential credit tightening could impact inflation in its own way, which might lead the central bank to assess its increases. Powell wouldn't say whether this meant rates would pause. 

UBS analysts see the light at the end of the tunnel based on a tweak to the committee's statement, which removed reference to "ongoing increases," instead noting that "some additional firming may be appropriate." 

Powell elaborated on the tweak in his press conference, saying the line referred to additional interest rate hikes, though he emphasized the "may" in the sentence from the FOMC statement. 

Nomura analysts expect significant headwinds due to the limited supply of bank credit. As such, they maintain the view that the "Fed has already reached the terminal rate policy rate of the current hiking cycle and will hold that federal fund's rate at 4.75-5.00% until March 2024."

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