Market Wrap: Bitcoin, ETH Fall as Traders Brace for Volatility Ahead

BTC regained correlation with safe-haven assets this week, only to diverge Thursday

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key takeaways

  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fell sharply on Thursday as traders looked to lock in recent gains
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the Ukraine-Russia conflict could worsen inflation and supply chains issues

Most top cryptocurrencies took a hit Thursday, selling off after notable pumps earlier in the week.

Bitcoin was still up 7.5% over five days — earlier in the week, the digital asset earlier regained its correlation with safe-haven assets such as gold and Treasurys as the conflict in Ukraine built up interest in such plays.

However, bitcoin dipped while gold gained Thursday, suggesting the correlation isn't absolute, especially when taking into account other factors driving the typical volatility in digital asset markets.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified for the second day before the Senate Banking Committee, saying inflation will likely increase. He said the conflict in Ukraine is a troubling development for an already-congested global supply chain.

“We’re going to see upward pressure on inflation, at least for a while," Powell said. “The [Ukraine-Russia war] is not going to help at all with supply chains, because ships are not being off-loaded."

February’s initial jobless claims report, released Thursday, showed a two-month low, hinting the Omicron variant's effect on the job market may be waning.

The S&P 500 fell by 0.53% Thursday, while the Nasdaq and Dow lost by 1.46% and 0.29%, respectively. Continued decreases movements over the past month are likely the result of geopolitical conflict and inflation, leaving investors in a lingering lurch.

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Bitcoin fell sharply, shedding $1,855 or 4.27% by the end of stock trading hours. Ether took an even bigger hit, losing 4.75%. Anchor Protocol, which powers crypto savings accounts, was the biggest gainer among top coins by market capitalization two days in a row, jumping another 9.7% after yesterday's gain of almost 13%.

It is unclear why Anchor booked such large gains.

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Going forward

Bitcoin, other cryptos and equities all fell Thursday while gold, other safe havens and defensive stock ETFs jumped. It remains to be seen whether bitcoin trades in tandem with safe-haven assets as traders parse the influence of typical crypto volatility on market moves.

Volatility is expected to be a market mainstay in the buildup to the Fed's mid-March interest rate hikes and as the Ukraine conflict drags on.


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