Bitcoin awaits Fed Powell speech as sellers cement $23.5K resistance

Bitcoin (BTC) preserved its active trading range into the Feb. 1 Wall Street open as markets looked to the day’s key macroeconomic data.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

$23,500 becomes level to beat for Bitcoin bulls

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView followed BTC/USD as it continued to move in a narrow corridor around $23,000.

An upcoming interest rate hike and commentary from the United States Federal Reserve preoccupied traders across risk assets, this potentially sparking fresh volatility in line with previous months.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell was due to speak at 2.30pm Eastern Time on the day.

On the Binance order book, resistance shifted higher on the day, broadening price targets in the event of a catalyst moving the market.

On-chain analytics resource Material Indicators noted that “an entire ladder of BTC ask liquidity was removed from the active trading range and stretched up to $23,500.”

“Clearing liquidity makes way for volatility in both directions,” it commented, warning opportunistic traders not to “get trapped.”

BTC/USD order book data (Binance). Source: Material Indicators/ Twitter

Investment research resource Game of Trades likewise said that the market’s reaction would be “more important” than the rate hike confirmation, with markets practically unanimously expecting 25 basis points.

“Volatility ahead,” Maartunn, a contributor at on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant, agreed while responding to the Material Indicators data.

U.S. stocks treaded water at the open, riding high on January returns in step with crypto; the S&P 500 saw its best monthly gains in four years.

Trader sees “potential retest” of $21,600

On the topic of where a BTC price downturn could take it, Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe eyed the mid-$21,000 area.

Related: Best January since 2013? 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week

The cloud of resistance below $24,000, he said, was now “crucial” – and a failure to knock a hole in it could have consequences.

“Bitcoin rejects crucial area, through which we can assume that we’ll need to crack $23.3K if we want continuation,” he told Twitter followers.

“Otherwise, I’m projecting a sweep at $22.3K and expecting to see $21.6K as a potential test here.

BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Michaël van de Poppe/ Twitter

For fellow trader Jibon, a bearish retest was also on the cards. Employing Wyckoff analysis, he argued that Bitcoin had seen the peak of its gains for the time being.

“Volume doesn’t support this rally. Textbook say, Price Up, Volume Down = Trap,” part of a Twitter thread on the topic warned.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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