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Bitcoin rally pauses at $23,400 as investors digest better-than-expected jobs data

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(Kitco News) - Bitcoin (BTC) took a well-deserved break from its feverish push higher on Friday after the first month of 2023 saw the best performance from the top crypto since 2013, stoking optimism among the crypto faithful and helping to put the disaster that was 2022 in the rearview mirror.

Many analysts interpreted the pause in BTCs climb higher as a good sign as no market goes up indefinitely, and regular corrections and consolidation periods are part of a healthy market cycle.

Stocks largely traded sideways for the first half of the day but fell under pressure in the afternoon after government data showed more than half a million jobs were added in January, which put a damper on hopes that the Fed would pause any further interest rate hikes. The S&P, Dow and Nasdaq all closed the day lower, down 1.04%, 0.38%, and 1.59%, respectively.

Data provided by TradingView shows that Bitcoin price oscillated between a low of $23,215 and a high of $23,725 in trading on Friday, with bulls and bears duking it out at the $23,400 support level at the time of writing, a decline of 1.35% on the daily chart.

BTC/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The early morning weakness in Bitcoin was referred to as “a normal corrective pullback after hitting a six-month high Thursday” by Kitco senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff, who noted that “BC bulls still have the solid overall near-term technical advantage as a price uptrend is firmly in place on the daily bar chart.”

This advantage means that “bulls still have the power to push prices higher in the near term,” Wyckoff concluded.

In the latest “Matrix on Target” newsletter from MatrixPort, head of research Markus Thielen

pointed to the Bitcoin halving in March 2024 as a potential driver of a bull market in 2023 as previous halvings have “tended to be very bullish for crypto prices.

“Hence, there is a high statistical probability that Bitcoin prices could double from here until

year end,” Thielen said. “This could bring Bitcoin prices to $45,000 by Christmas 2023.”

And for the more visually inclined, Into the Cryptoverse newsletter founder Benjamin Cowen posted the following tweet, which includes a graph of the previous Bitcoin cycles that shows that BTC still has a long way to go before it tops out.

In the near term, market analyst Rekt Capital said, “it's crucial that BTC holds $23,400 as support because, in August 2022, BTC failed its retest and dropped back into the blue-blue range.”

According to Rekt Capital, a “key retest” is currently in progress.

Altcoins finish the week mixed

It was a mixed day for the altcoin market, with the top 200 tokens split evenly among winners and losers.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

The performances on the day were posted by Orbs (ORBS), SingularityNET (AGIX), and LooksRare (LOOKS), which gained 54.77%, 40%, and 26.72%, respectively.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.08 trillion, and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 41.7%.

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