Bitcoin climbs back above $40 000

As risk appetite returns.
A worker cleans the floor next to a cryptocurrency exchange kiosk in Istanbul, Turkey. Image: Bloomberg

Bitcoin gained the most in four months as investors show signs of renewed risk appetite following a volatile week across financial markets.

The largest cryptocurrency by market value jumped as much as 10% to $40 730, the most since October 1. It hasn’t been above $40 000 in more than two weeks. Ether climbed as much as 12%. Even SOL, the native currency of the Solana blockchain that has tumbled in the wake of the Wormhole project hack, surged about 12%.

The top cryptocurrencies began to rally in overnight trading after strong earnings from Amazon.com Inc. bolstered confidence in technology stocks, which digital tokens have largely tracked over the past months.

Meanwhile, a report showed U.S. employers extended a hiring spree last month despite a record spike in Covid-19 infections and related business closures, with surging wages adding further pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

“The fact that AMZN’s earnings went the way of AAPL, MSFT and GOOGL — and not the way of FB — has given investors more confidence to reengage with the risk-on trade,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co, said.

Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of institutional crypto-platform FRNT Financial, said Bitcoin seems to be consolidating in a similar way to equities around the 200-day moving average. Over the last two days, Bitcoin correlated to Facebook declines, and on Friday to Amazon gains, according to Ouellette.

“In spite of today’s move from a technical perspective I don’t think we can start saying anything definitive until at least a definitive breakout beyond” $40,000 to $41,000, he said.

The big cryptocurrencies have been largely trapped in a range over the past couple of weeks, after experiencing widespread declines in January. Their struggle to break out came as growth stocks and other riskier assets faltered amid investor concern about the impact of imminent Fed rate hikes and a trend toward tighter monetary policy globally.

“Although there were concerns about accelerating monetary policy, there is now a sense among many capital markets that a 50 basis point rate hike is priced in given recent movements in equity markets,” said Hayden Hughes, chief executive officer at Alpha Impact, a trading social media platform. He also cited the restoration of $320 million from the Wormhole hack and oversold technical levels for bolstering the mood.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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