Bitcoin Remains Under Pressure Below $30K Following U.S. Retail Sales Numbers
The price of bitcoin (BTC) at $29,780 is barely holding above a one-month low as Tuesday morning’s economic data confirms the U.S. economy remains in growth mode and traders brace for what’s now a near 100% certainty of another Federal Reserve rate hike next week.
On its face, the retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau for June showed some weakness, with the headline number rising 0.2% last month versus forecasts for 0.5% and May’s 0.5%. However, the retail sales “control group” – which filters out some components to compile a more precise gauge of consumer spending – rose 0.6% in June, more than double May’s pace and far ahead of estimates for a decline of 0.3%.
“Score another win for team soft landing,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM. He noted that the control group is higher by 2.1% on a 3-month average annualized basis, implying modest upside risk to his team’s forecast for 1.7% GDP growth in Q2.
What little doubt about the result of next week’s meeting of the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has been essentially fully erased, with traders now pricing in a 97.3% chance of another 25 basis point rate hike, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
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Bitcoin, which appeared set for a major upside price breakout when it rallied as high as $31,800 last Thursday in wake of the favorable court ruling for Ripple’s XRP, now sits at the low end of its recent price range at $29,780.