Cryptocurrencies fall on concerns over U.S. inflation data


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The cryptocurrency market has been seeing significant volatility as the Federal Reserve prepares to release updated economic projections this week.

Despite little growth, market watchers and investors expect these projections to indicate fewer interest rate cuts.

JPMorgan and Citi drop estimates for July rate cut

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has signaled that actual results may vary. Unexpected economic conditions have called into question the Fed’s latest forecasts.

While the most important measures that address inflation have held steady after aggressive rate hikes between 2022 and 2023, the economic dangers are now more nuanced, with data often contradictory.

By way of example, U.S. businesses created nearly 272,000 jobs in May and wages increased at an annual rate of 4.1%. However, the unemployment rate rose to 4%.

“In recent months, there has been no further progress toward the Committee’s 2% inflation target,” wrote the Fed after its last meeting held on May 1.

As a result, the Fed is behaving cautiously about lowering rates until inflation improves considerably. Policymakers are questioning whether inflation can reach the 2% target without tightening monetary policy.

The Fed’s approach to rate cuts contradicts that of some global counterparts, such as the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Canada (BoC), which have cut rates in recent times.

According to Nick Timiraos, a Wall Street Journal reporter, JPMorgan and Citigroup abandoned their July rate cut forecasts after last Friday’s jobs report.

“Most sell-side economists and other professional Fed watchers now anticipate one or two rate cuts this year, in September or December,” he added.

Aside from JPMorgan and Citigroup, several financial institutions have produced their forecasts for Fed rate cuts in 2024. Most projections point to the first rate cut taking place as early as September, although some expect it in December.

Developments in the cryptocurrency market

Some cryptocurrency market analysts share the perspective that more accommodative monetary policies are highly favorable for assets with high investment risk, such as cryptocurrencies and stocks. This is particularly important when rate cuts do not come with an impending recession.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) was trading at $67,482, down 2.8% in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, major altcoins such as Ethereum (ETH) and Solana (SOL) were down 3.9% and 3.4% over the same period.

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization now stands at $2.59 trillion, down 2.7% year-on-year.

Indeed, these developments are decisive for cryptocurrency traders and investors. The Fed’s interest rate decisions clearly influence market liquidity, borrowing costs and general economic conditions, all aspects that influence the evolution of the cryptocurrency market.

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