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Bitcoin holds support at $16.5K as the Fed signals a slowdown in rate hikes

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(Kitco News) - Crypto prices trended higher on Wednesday after the release of the minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting showed that the Fed is seriously considering a slowdown in the pace of its interest rate hikes.

The traditional markets, likewise, benefitted from the signaled slowdown, with prices across the major indices closing higher on the last full trading day of the holiday week in the U.S. At the closing bell, the S&P, Dow and Nasdaq finished up 0.59%, 0.28% and 0.99%, respectively.

Data from TradingView shows that Bitcoin (BTC) bulls staged a rally in the early hours on Wednesday and managed to push it to a high of $16,682 before settling into consolidation mode around support at $16,500.

BTC/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Kitco senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff noted the early morning rally for BTC, suggesting that enterprising traders were “bargain hunting after prices Monday dropped to a two-year low.”

But bulls should not revel in celebration just yet, Wyckoff warned, as “bears still have the firm overall near-term technical advantage, which means the path of least resistance for prices is sideways to lower in the near term.”

Current events cause a decoupling

The events of 2022, including the ongoing implosion of FTX, have weighed heavily on BTC and the wider crypto market. According to Mikkel Morch, Chair of ARK36, the FTX scandal resulted in Bitcoin adopting an “uncorrelated relationship with other risk-on assets (Nasdaq, S&P 500, etc.) and correlated with USD.”

Had the FTX collapse not occurred, “Bitcoin would have risen along with the indices in the last couple of days,” Morch said.

Moving forward from here, Morch suggested that “Bitcoin seems to be creating a double bottom” on the daily chart, which is a bullish pattern. But the executive director cautioned that it won’t be a quick and simple journey higher as multiple resistance levels have been established in recent months.

“There are many resistances on the way up and will probably see a push up to $17,500 - $18,500, followed by another dropdown,” he said. “If $18,500 holds as a support, $19,500 - $20,000 are the next resistances to be tested.”

This outlook was confirmed by market analyst Michaël van de Poppe, who posted the following tweet highlighting a possible run-up to the $17,500 - $18,000 region once resistance at $16,550 is overcome.

Altcoins rally higher

The altcoin market responded positively to the day's developments as only a handful of tokens in the top 200 were in the red for the day.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

The best performances of the day were seen in Nano (XNO), which gained 79.34%, followed by a 30.29% increase in price for (TIME) and an 18.88% gain for Solana (SOL).

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $829 billion, and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 38.4%.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.