Bitcoin Traders Brace for 'Hawkish Pause' at Fed Meeting
Bitcoin traders are preparing for the U.S. Federal Reserve's upcoming meeting, expecting a 'hawkish pause' in interest rate hikes. While the central bank is likely to maintain the current interest rates, there are indications of potential future tightening. Traders are showing a defensive stance, with bearish bets on Bitcoin outweighing bullish calls. The nervous market sentiment is reflected in the options risk reversals data. The recent decline in the U.S. headline consumer price index provides room for the Fed to hold rates steady, but inflation levels remain above the target, limiting the possibility of ending the tightening cycle. Positive real rates tend to negatively impact zero-yielding assets like gold and Bitcoin. Traders are uncertain about the correlation between Bitcoin and stock markets, which may no longer follow historical patterns. Equity bulls anticipate a celebration if the Fed opts for a hawkish skip, potentially fueling a recovery in risk assets. However, the consensus for a hawkish skip makes it challenging for Chair Jerome Powell to exceed market expectations. Bitcoin's current price remains relatively stable.