Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was changing hands at $39,300 at press time, falling below $40,000 for the first time since Monday as stocks continue to sell off over the war in Ukraine.
It’s been quite the back and forth for bitcoin this week, with bulls buoyed by a dramatic move higher from midday Monday that took the price from $38,000 to over $45,000 earlier Wednesday. However, the divergence in struggling stocks did not last long, and bitcoin’s hasty pullback has gathered steam this afternoon.
Looking at stocks, the Nasdaq is down another 2% on Friday and the S&P 500 Index down 1%. The action in Europe is much worse, with Germany’s DAX shedding 4.4%, France’s CAC 40 down 5% and Italy’s stock losing more than 6%.
Not to forget the US Federal Reserve, with Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday concerned about the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, however promising a 25 basis point rate hike later this month. The US central bank doesn’t need more ammunition to tighten monetary policy, but it got some anyway in Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report. The data showed a whopping 678,000 jobs added in February versus expectations of just 400,000.
Adding to market pressures on Friday was a report that the Biden administration is considering a ban on oil imports from Russia. That has helped fuel the big rally in oil, with WTI crude now up 7.1% at $115.35 a barrel.