Bitcoin is trading in familiar ranges even as the U.S. dollar gains ground in currency markets on the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate outlook.
While the top cryptocurrency has dropped 5% to $38,000 since Wednesday’s Fed rate guidance, it remains locked in a multi-week range of $30,000 to $40,000, CoinDesk 20 data show.
In contrast, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback’s value against the euro, pound, yen and other major currencies, rose above 92.00 early today, reaching its highest level since April, according to TradingView data. Gold and base metals have also taken a beating since Wednesday, pushing commodity currencies like the Australian dollar lower.
The U.S. dollar’s rally follows an unexpected hawkish tilt at the Fed. On Wednesday, the central bank brought forward projections for the first post-pandemic interest-rate hikes into 2023, challenging the consensus for a weaker dollar for the rest of the year.
One possible explanation for bitcoin’s resilience could be that the cryptocurrency was relatively oversold heading into the Fed’s announcement, as QCP Capital noted in its Telegram channel.
Prices fell from $58,000 to nearly $30,000 in mid-May after a reported surge in the U.S. consumer price index for April increased concerns that the Fed may consider an early rate hike or reduction of liquidity-boosting asset purchases, which is known as quantitative easing.
The cryptocurrency’s bull run ran out of steam in the March-April period, after the annualized growth rate of the U.S. M2 money supply peaked at 21.7% in February. The data show bitcoin was likely the first to take the hit on fears that the Fed would wind down its bond-buying program sooner than expected.
“Bitcoin, considered by fiat-based institutional investors at the extreme end of the risk spectrum, thrives in quantitative easing (QE), irresponsible fiscal and monetary policy, and doesn’t quite like quantitative tightening (QT),” Messari’s Mira Christanto said in a blog post dated May 27. “Crypto investors no longer have the luxury to focus only on token dynamics but also need to follow global macro, equities, and credit markets to understand the direction of cross-asset flows.”
Bitcoin’s resilience could turn out to be short-lived if U.S. economic data continue to paint a positive picture for the economy, amplifying expectations that the Fed will tighten its monetary policy. That could bring more selling pressure from traders who buy bitcoin as a store in value, similar to gold.