May 18, 2024

Ether Prices in Downtrend as Bitcoin Challenges $64K

Some other catalyst needs to happen before bullish sentiment returns, says one trader.

Ether (ETH) was changing hands just above $3,000 during the opening hours of the Asia trading day as the CoinDesk Indices Ethereum Trend Indicator flipped negative, signaling a bearish shift in momentum.

At the same time, bitcoin (BTC), is trading slightly above $64,000 after challenging it for most of the Asia trading morning.

“Unexpected higher U.S. treasury yields, a stronger dollar, and geopolitical risks in the Middle East weighed down on crypto markets,” Jun-young Heo, a Derivatives Trader at Singapore-based Presto, said in an interview on Telegram with CoinDesk.

Yeo said that risk-off sentiment was also reflected in the derivatives market, with funding rates in some exchanges turning negative and three-month basis yields “plunging” to 10%.

“Short-term put options are more expensive than call options for both BTC and ETH,” Heo continued.

Liquidations in the last 12 hours came in almost evenly split between bullish and bearish futures bets, with $31.1 million in long positions getting liquidated and $36.49 million in shorts getting rekt.

“It seems investors have been unable to break all-time highs but remain unwilling to completely turn bearish either,” Justin d’Anethan, head of business development at Keyrock, a crypto market maker in Hong Kong, said in a note to CoinDesk.

The CoinDesk 20, an index measuring the performance of the world’s largest digital assets, is effectively flat trading at 2,174.

“It is a difficult environment to navigate with a series of positive crypto-centric catalysts,” he continued. On the other hand, the macro side of things seems to be dominating all risk assets, with more hawkish rate expectations in light of surprisingly higher inflation and, of course, the increase in tension in the Middle East.”

d’Anethan also noted that sideways price action and settling into a range could, in crypto, set the stage for more explosive moves, with leveraged traders taking a view and then suffering from violent liquidation events when the scene clears up, bringing a decisive move in markets.

“It might need some time or other catalyst rather than known events to turn this sentiment back to bullish,” added Heo.

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