Bitcoin Fluctuates as US Employment Figures Send Mixed Signals to Fed
The price of bitcoin (BTC) fell slightly along with US stock market futures in the early hours of the US trading session today after US payroll figures missed their forecast by a relatively wide margin. Shortly after, however, the situation improved, with stocks in the green and BTC largely unmoved.
But although job creation disappointed, the unemployment rate in the US has continued to move lower, the data showed, decreasing 0.3 percentage points to 3.9% in December. Further, the data also revealed a slight improvement in the share of the population that is either employed or actively looking for a job.
“We have non-farm payrolls today and will that have an effect on rate hike expectations? I don’t think it will,” Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets, was quoted as saying by Reuters. According to him, the Fed is on a course to start gradual, incremental rate increases, and “the key question will be how many the markets will allow them to get away with and a lot of that will be down to guidance.”
Following the release, bitcoin initially reacted by trading higher, before sentiment quickly turned around, sending the cryptocurrency lower for a period of time.
At 14:46 UTC, BTC had once again trimmed some of its losses, trading just above the USD 42,000 mark, down by 0.7% since the release of the employment figure at 13:30 UTC. Ethereum (ETH), meanwhile, traded at USD 3,211, down a mere 0.4% since the release.
At the same time, the US S&P 500 stock index was up by 0.12% for the day, trading at USD 4,704.
Commenting on Twitter immediately following the release of the numbers, the popular economist and trader Alex Krüger wrote “VERY BULLISH,” before later adding that the initial spike higher for bitcoin was a “fakeout.”
“No idea if lows will hold today,” the trader said, noting that the crypto market appears to be following stocks lower.
wages came in high … at the end what matters most is the market reaction more than the number … nfp often reverses in full by the time US stocks open when the numbers are not very one sided so it can be hard to read much into it— Alex Krüger (@krugermacro) January 7, 2022
Meanwhile, commenting more broadly on the US Federal Reserve’s (the Fed) handling of the economy, NorthmanTrader founder Sven Henrich pointed out several contradictions in the Fed policy.
“In 2015 they started raising rates with [unemployment] at 5% & then started cutting rates in 2019 with [unemployment] at 3.5%. Now with UE at 3.9% & CPI at 6.8% rates are still zero. But they keep claiming employment & price stability to be their mandates. The Fed is so full of it,” the popular trader wrote.https://www.twitter.com/NorthmanTrader/status/1479457583966609411
If you want an employment measure that adjusts for changes in— Skanda Amarnath (@IrvingSwisher) January 7, 2022
Use the Full-Time Prime-Age Employment Rate.
Rocketed up to 70.9% from 70.4% in December.
1.0% gain in Q4 (avg). 1.3% in last 3 months
Just 0.8% from 2019Q4 levels pic.twitter.com/pzMcjQXShu
True, but that number is still skewed by a very weak labour force participation rate. pic.twitter.com/Yhzk69E7wx— Braden Brock (@Brockey23) January 7, 2022
Aggregate weekly payrolls locked in at a 10% pace, close to twice the pre-pandemic pace. This translates into nominal spending capacity. With 10% nominal spending growth and 2% inflation, we need 8% real spending growth. I don’t think that’s going to work. pic.twitter.com/0TX3x6FWZx— Tim Duy (@TimDuy) January 7, 2022
– Bitcoin, Ethereum Could Benefit If Stocks Drop After Fed Tightening – Strategist
– How Global Economy Might Affect Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Crypto in 2022
– Blame Fed and Leveraged Traders for This Crypto Seloff
– Bitcoin, Ethereum Jump as Fed Doubles Tapering, Signals Rate Hikes, Talks Crypto
(Updated at 15:20 UTC with a comment from Michael Hewson.)