Bitcoin crosses $45,000 in early 2024 trading
The world of cryptocurrencies started the new year with a strong jump as Bitcoin touched its highest level in 21 months at $45,532.
Analysts said the rise came amid growing expectations that the US Securities and Exchange Commission would soon approve the listing of bitcoin spot trading funds.
Hayden Hughes, co-founder of social trading platform Alpha Impact, confirmed to Bloomberg that there was a fear among some traders in the US and Europe of missing out on the opportunity ahead of immediate approval, and investors “started buying on January 1st. First thing…doing it on New Year's morning.”
Bitcoin rose 4.3% to its highest level since April 6, 2022 in today's trade, while other currencies also advanced, with second-largest coin Ethereum up 2.6%.
Bitcoin is up more than 20% since the start of last December, as the Jan. 10 deadline for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to give its blessing to bitcoin ETFs approaches.
Bitcoin's nearly 160% recovery in 2023 repaired some of the damage from its sharp 2022 decline that reverberated throughout the cryptocurrency industry.
The cryptocurrency has outperformed global stocks and gold over the period, but remains below 2021's pandemic-era record of $69,000.
The rise of the dollar
In currency markets, the dollar rose on the first trading day of the new year as attention turned to economic data released this week that could provide signs of impending moves by the Federal Reserve.
2023 saw a decline in the dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency's performance against 6 rival currencies, ending two years of gains.
According to Reuters, the index hit 101.44 in recent trade, up 0.059%, amid investors' assessment of the possibility of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates this year.
The Japanese yen was the biggest hit by the dollar's rise, with the Asian currency falling 0.35% to 141.36 yen against the dollar, after the yen fell 7% in 2023.
According to the CME Foundation's “Feed Watch” tool, markets now expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to cut interest rates by 86% starting next March, with interest rates expected to fall by more than 150 basis points this year.
Attention now turns to more economic data scheduled for release this week, including job vacancies and nonfarm payrolls.
Minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent meeting in December are scheduled to be released on Thursday and will provide a closer look at central bank officials' thinking about interest rate cuts this year.
The euro fell 0.13% to $1.103, moving from a 5-month high of $1.11395 it touched last week. The single European currency rose 3% last year, the highest annual increase since 2020.
The pound sterling rose to $1.2729 in recent trade, up 0.05% on the day, after posting its strongest performance since 2017 last year, up 5%. However, a weak economy and uncertainty surrounding the election makes it unlikely that a rebound will occur.
On the other hand, the Australian dollar rose 0.35% to $0.68335. The New Zealand dollar was at $0.63155.
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