The price of bitcoin (BTC) continued to pull back after having touched $31,000 less than one week ago, sending the shares of related stocks down sharply in Thursday trading. At press time, bitcoin was lower by 3.4% over the past 24 hours to $28,200.
Leading declines were the miners, with Marathon Digital (MARA) and Riot Platforms (RIOT) both lower by about 10% and Hut 8 Mining (HUT) by 9%.
Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) and MicroStrategy (MSTR) – which holds 140,000 bitcoins in its treasury – both fell more than 6%.
While traders may not have been able to point to any specific news on Thursday that set off bitcoin’s more than 3% decline, the U.K. consumer price report early Wednesday morning – which unexpectedly showed inflation continuing to hold at above 10% in March – soured the mood among many who were expecting Western central banks to back off of or even begin to reverse their series of rate hikes.
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On the other hand, U.S. economic veri released Thursday morning showed some weakness. Initial jobless claims rose 5,000 to 245,000 versus expectations for 240,000. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index for April fell to -31.30 versus expectations for -19.2 and against March’s read of -23.2. Finally, existing home sales for March fell 2.4% versus forecasts for a rise of 5%.
The next meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is two weeks away and short-term rate traders have priced in a nearly 100% chance of another 25-basis point rate hike. One week ago, trader bets on another rate hike were closer to 70%.