(Bloomberg) — Bitcoin surged over $21,000 on Saturday amid optimism that it may have bottomed and inflation may have peaked.
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The largest cryptocurrency rose as much as 7.5% to $21,299. It hadn’t been above $20,000 since Nov. 8, and Saturday marked its 11th straight day advancing. Second-largest Ether surged as much as 9.7%, and other tokens like Cardano and Dogecoin also notched solid gains. The overall market cap of the crypto universe rose above $1 trillion for the first time since early November, according to data from CoinGecko.
The gains came amid a report on consumer prices last week that showed inflation declining in January from December levels. The Federal Reserve is on track to downshift to smaller interest-rate increases following that further cooling, though it’s likely to keep hiking until price pressures show more definitive signs of slowing. That’s helped boost risk assets like the Nasdaq 100 stock index, which has gained for six straight days.
“Cryptoassets performed well following the soft CPI print, suggesting that crypto’s correlation to macro is not going away anytime soon,” said Sean Farrell, head of digital asset strategy at Fundstrat. “This week’s follow-through in price action is certainly encouraging,” and barring any forced liquidations from troubled crypto company DCG “there is a high probability that the absolute bottom is in for crypto prices.”
The price of Bitcoin was stuck in a narrow range around $16,000 to $17,000 for weeks before this latest breakout. The upward moves have caught shorts by surprise — crypto short liquidations have topped $100 million in five of the past six days, according to data from Coinglass. Saturday’s total was the highest, topping $296 million.
“Declining CPI coupled with the announcement that the FTX liquidators have recovered $5 billion in liquid assets have given crypto markets plenty of factors to forget the macro picture, which is still bearish,” Hayden Hughes, chief executive officer of social-trading platform Alpha Impact, said in a message Saturday. “Markets have plenty of positive momentum heading into the next FOMC meeting later this month.”
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