Bitcoin falls to start the week as investors look ahead to inflation data

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Bitcoin on Monday fell to its lowest level in over a week as investors continued to digest strong jobs data from Friday that pushed risk assets including cryptocurrencies even deeper into the red.

The largest cryptocurrency by market cap was down by about 1.3% to $19,213.00, according to Coin Metrics. Earlier in the day it fell as low as $19,116.43. Ether fell about 1%, to $1,307.58, after falling as low as $1,297.07.

“Today there seems to be some jitters and derisking across all markets as we approach Thursday’s CPI release,” said Riyad Carey, a research analyst at Kaiko. “Bitcoin is moving closely with equities and I’d expect that to continue as there haven’t been many crypto-specific catalysts in recent weeks. I also expect significant volatility on Thursday, with a move up or down depending on the inflation figure.”

On Thursday the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release September’s consumer price index. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect headline CPI to show a 0.3% monthly increase and an 8.1% annual gain. Investors watch these updates closely for clues about the Federal Reserve’s next move in its fight to bring down inflation.

“We believe there is a building narrative that central banks are beginning to make policy errors,” James Butterfill, head of research at CoinShares, told CNBC, citing Bank of England interventions, concerns about the Fed dot plot and timid interest rate rises by the European Central Bank.

“Several of our clients have made the point that they don’t want to buy bitcoin right now, but as soon as the Fed pivots, they will add to positions,” he added. “Key data points to watch out for this week will be the CPI data beat/miss on Wednesday and the FOMC minutes, a whiff of dovishness is likely to be supportive for crypto assets.”

Despite the anxiety hanging over investors, cryptocurrencies’ volatility has been uncharacteristically low in recent weeks, though its correlation with stocks remains positive.

Bitcoin ended Sunday within the $19,000 level for the fourth Sunday in a row, according to Kaiko. The high volatility regime that the crypto market has endured since its big crash in June could be coming to an end, based on hourly returns, the data provider said in a research note Monday.

Bitcoin and ether’s hourly returns spiked 3% to 5% during the crypto credit crisis but have since reverted to around 1% to 2%, the note said. 

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