Bitcoin (BTC) headed toward $40,000 on April 22 after a major retracement in equities speared bulls' latest advance.
Bitcoin sheds $3,000 on U.S. stocks plunge
April 21 had seen United States markets react sharply to "surging" Treasury yields, the Nasdaq 100 dropping 2% and taking highly-correlated crypto down with it.
With that, Bitcoin briefly lost over $3,000 in a matter of hours, wicking to around $39,800 before recovering.
Another macro trigger, meanwhile, came in the form of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet reduction finally getting underway. Also set to pressure stocks and risk assets, the move to combat forty-year record inflation was long priced in but was not visible in the data until now.
"Looks as if Fed balance sheet expansion has stopped shortly before the $9tn mark is reached," markets commentator Holger Zschaepitz summarized on the day.
"Fed's total assets have shrunk by $9.6bn to $8,955.9bn. The balance sheet is now equal to 37.3% of the US's GDP vs ECB's 83% and BoJ's 137%."
As Cointelegraph reported, the European Central Bank (ECB) has yet to show signs of reducing its own balance sheet, itself near $10 trillion.
Comments from Fed chair Jerome Powell served to add additional angst to sentiment, hinting at further key interest rate hikes for May.
Crypto traders thus remained cautious, with several noting that the week's run to near $43,000 had not been accompanied by suitable volume, suggesting its validity was suspect from the start.
"Low volume pumps are not to be trusted. They are used for distribution or keeping sellers in control," popular Twitter trader Roman warned.
"We’ve seen many instances of low volume pumps over the last 6 months that all failed at major resistance. Be careful."
That six-month period has seen Bitcoin bulls fail to shift a stiff trading range despite multiple surges within that range.
Ethereum risks return to $2,600
April 21's rout meanwhile spelled additional pain for altcoins, with Ether (ETH) dropping under $3,000.
In classic style, the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap copied Bitcoin's weakness with daily losses of around 4%.
For trader and analyst Rekt Capital, the Ethereum retest was of significance, opening up the door to a deeper comedown to $2,600.
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