The odds are on for a March rate increase after Wednesday’s FOMC minutes, but stocks also fear geopolitical instability this week.
Bitcoin dipped below $43,000 on Feb. 17 as another day on ranging compounded hopes for an incoming breakout.
Data from showed BTC/USD acting in a slightly widened zone with $44,500 as a ceiling over the past 24 hours.
The pair had returned to the top of its intraday range overnight on the back of United States Federal Reserve comments.
Expected to provide cues about potential interest rate hikes, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes from a meeting in late January ultimately provided few surprises.
A hike could come in March, but no firm commitment was voiced over the process.
“The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run,” an accompanying statement read.
“In support of these goals, the Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent. With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate.”
The FOMC added that it was aiming to halt asset purchases altogether in March, in line with previous plans, with February’s purchases due to amount to at least $30 billion.
With little in the way of fresh news, crypto markets were thus uninspiring going into Thursday. Zooming out, however, optimism was still firmly present on the strength of the past two weeks’ BTC price action.
“My bias has changed a bit and now favor a squeeze towards 53k before mid March,” popular trader and analyst Pentoshi said as part of his latest Twitter update.
Others likewise noted the comparatively robust price performance this month compared to previous episodes in Bitcoin’s comedown from all-time highs last November.
By bouncing at near $33,000 in January, for example, a miner capitulation event — where miners are forced to sell or stop mining altogether due to Bitcoin’s spot price being less than their cost of production — was successfully avoided.