Bitcoin (BTC) seems to be holding its ground below $27,000 as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hinted that credit stress in the banking sector might result in a softer stance on interest rate hikes. Recently trading at roughly $26,800, the cryptocurrency gained a modest 0.3% within the past 24 hours. Powell’s remarks at the Thomas Laubach Research Conference, along with former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, triggered a surge in BTC’s price to nearly $27,200 late Friday morning.
Powell stated that the financial stability tools had helped to ease conditions in the banking sector. He added that credit stress is contributing to tighter credit conditions which could affect economic growth, hiring, and inflation. Consequently, the Fed’s policy rate “may not need to rise as much as it would have otherwise to achieve our goals.” It’s crucial to consider that upcoming interest rate decisions will rely on continuing assessments of data and the evolving economic outlook.
According to the CME FedWatch tool, 79% of traders predict the U.S. central bank will halt rate hikes during its mid-June policy meeting, with some even expecting a rate cut later this year. Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign exchange market maker Oanda, mentioned that “Bitcoin held onto its gains as debt-limit struggles abruptly ended and as Fed Chair Powell signaled openness to pause the Fed’s tightening campaign.”
As the crypto market responds to these developments, most top assets turned green late Friday. Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, hovered around $1,809, marking a 0.8% increase. Decentralized smart contracts platform Injective Protocol’s INJ experienced significant growth, rising 10% for the day to trade at $7.07. Layer 2 blockchain Optimism’s OP was among the few to experience a decline, dropping by 3% to $1.66.
With the CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) indicating a 1% overall increase in the crypto market performance, it contrasts with equity markets that appeared slightly weaker. The S&P 500 experienced a 0.2% drop, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and tech-heavy Nasdaq each decreased by approximately 0.35%.
Furthermore, in bond markets, the 2-year Treasury note yield saw a 3 basis-point rise, settling around 4.30%. The 10-year Treasury note yield, on the other hand, experienced a 4 basis-point increase to reach 3.69%. These market dynamics showcase the delicate balance between factors impacting market movements and the potential implications for the future of cryptocurrency and the wider financial system.