Why Is Bitcoin Surging Against the Odds?
- Bitcoin has rallied today in spite of concerns in broader markets.
- Investors have their eyes peeled for the so-called “Fed pivot,” or a softening in the U.S. central bank’s stance on interest rates.
- The markets appear to have begun pricing in negative developments in the U.S. economy as bullish catalysts, with the idea being that harsh numbers will force the Fed to reconsider its rate hikes.
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Bitcoin has posted surprising gains today. Stocks are also performing well for the second day in a row.
Despite a worrying macro landscape, Bitcoin, stocks, and other equities are enjoying gains on the week thus far.
The moves are surprising considering recent hawkishness from the Federal Reserve, which has been resolute throughout the year in its commitment to raise interest rates. Risk assets such as stocks and crypto typically suffer against such moves, but the Fed has shown little indication that it is willing to slow down.
Ironically enough, however, investors seem to be viewing signs of weakness in the American economy (for example, today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reveals a drop in the number of job openings—from 11.2 million to 10.1 million) as positive signs for markets. The reasoning behind such bullishness is that explicit signs of recession may force the Fed to reconsider its policies.
This hope was fueled yesterday by a plea from a United Nations agency that the Federal Reserve dramatically slow or even cease its rate increases. In a report published yesterday, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development argued that the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes run the risk of provoking a recession, with poor countries faring the worst.
The so-called “Fed pivot” would be a welcome development for crypto investors, at least in the short term. Market watchers have worried throughout the year that the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes could tip an economy bloated by quantitative easing into a full-scale recession. Nonetheless, every indication from the Fed is that it intends to stay the course, with Chair Jerome Powell warning this August of “pain” ahead.
Bitcoin’s daily gains are coming in at a modest 3.64% at the time of writing; the bounce is nevertheless refreshing in the brutal and long-lasting bear market. Indeed, while stocks are also up today, last week’s rut in the stock market left Bitcoin mostly unaffected. This has lent some weight to the oft-cited theory that Bitcoin could one day decouple from stock performance, but the markets will need to produce much more data before any such trend can be verified.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. The material presented in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.
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