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Bitcoin price today: around $64k as rate jitters grow following PCE data

Published 04/26/2024, 02:00 AM
Updated 04/26/2024, 09:09 AM
© Reuters.
- Bitcoin price fell slightly on Friday as sentiment towards crypto markets was largely quashed by growing expectations of higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates following the latest U.S. inflation data.

Bitcoin fell 1.3% over the past 24 hours to $64,032.8 by 13:54 ET (18:54 GMT). The world’s largest cryptocurrency was set for a muted weekly performance, as it sat squarely within a $60,000 to $70,000 trading range established over the past six weeks.

Fears of continued regulatory pressure on crypto came to fore this week after reports said U.S. prosecutors were seeking a three-year prison sentence for disgraced Binance founder Changpeng Zhao, after he pleaded guilty to violating anti-money laundering laws. 

Bitcoin outlook dim as rate cut bets wane 

The token, along with the broader crypto market, took little advantage of an overnight decline in the dollar, following weaker-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product data. 

But a stronger GDP price index reading saw traders further price out expectations for interest rate cuts by the Fed. 

The CME Fedwatch tool showed traders only pricing in rate cuts by September, or the fourth quarter of 2024. 

The prospect of higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates kept traders largely averse to Bitcoin and crypto, given that it diminishes the appeal of volatile, speculative assets.

Bitcoin tends to thrive in low-rate, high-liquidity environments. 

This saw the token also disregard positive cues from U.S. technology stocks, following strong earnings from tech giants Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL).

The token's correlation with U.S. tech stocks was seen coming back into play in recent weeks, although largely in a negative context.

Crypto price today: altcoins listless after PCE data 

Broader crypto markets were also down, following the key U.S. inflation data. 

World no. 2 token Ethereum fell 0.9%, while Solana dropped substantially more, declining 4.1%. XRP, fell by 0.8%.

PCE price index data for March is due later on Friday. The index is the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, and is widely expected to factor into the central bank’s outlook on interest rates.

Cathie Wood’s ARK divests its remaining ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF holdings

In other crypto-related developments, Cathie Wood's ARK Invest completed the sale of its remaining shares in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), divesting 237,983 shares valued at $6.7 million based on the closing price of $28.22.

These shares were held in its Next Generation Internet ETF (ARKW).

ARK initially acquired over 4 million shares of BITO late last year, treating the investment as a short-term strategy in anticipation of U.S. approvals for spot bitcoin ETFs, with intentions to exchange them upon such approvals.

After ongoing sales beginning in January, ARK disposed of the final BITO shares over the past week.

In the meantime, ARK's ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) has become the firm’s largest holding, comprising 2,480,644 shares valued at $160.6 million, based on Thursday’s closing price of $64.76.

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