Crypto Update: Altcoin Sell-Off Continues as Bitcoin Holds Support
While trading volumes remained low on the first day of the week in the cryptocurrency segment, the top coins traded in wider ranges following the weekend consolidation. Bitcoin remained stable throughout the day, but altcoins lost ground across the board. While the market saw a rebound after the US close, the short-term charts are still wounded, and the lows from last week are dangerously close or already broken, as in the case of the Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
Looking at the top 3 coins, Ripple remains clearly the weakest, but Ethereum got close to the $145 level yet again, despite the brief period of strength during the weekend, while Bitcoin is still technically stable, giving hope to bulls that the broader counter-trend move might still resume. Despite BTC’s stability, the segment still doesn’t have much of a leadership, and the previously stronger coins haven’t shown signs of resilience, and with that in mind, downside risks remain high here.
The longer-term bearish pressures could start to dominate the market again, barring a quick recovery, and should the price levels preceding the early-April surge be tested, a strong wave of selling might hit the market. For now, the until we see broad technical strength, traders and investors still shouldn’t enter positions here even in the relatively stronger coins.
BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis
Although Bitcoin got close to the key $5050 level, it remained within its short-term trading range, keeping the bullish short-term consolidation intact in the face in the bearish market-wide trend. That said, the coin’s stability is still not enough to warrant an upgrade in our trend model, as there is still no sign of the bullish momentum that another leg higher in the counter-trend rally would require.
For now, traders shouldn’t reenter the market here, even though BTC is the strongest among the top coins, with the $5400 resistance being the line-in-the-sand from a short-term perspective. Our trend model is still on sell signals on both time-frames, with further support levels found near $4850 and $4450, while above $5400 the next major resistance zone is ahead near $5850.
ETH/USD, 4-Hour Chart
While Ethereum fell back almost to the primary support level near $145, it managed to hold above last week’s low, and that’s a positive sign for the whole segment, given the coin’s leadership. Despite the late-day bounce, the short-term trend remains negative, and with the bearish long-term pattern in mind, traders should remain defensive here, even in the case of a rally above the $160 resistance.
A more likely move below $145 could quickly open up the way towards the $130 and $112 levels, and a move below $130 would likely seal the fate of the broader counter-trend rally as well. Our trend model is on sell signals on both time-frames, with strong resistance above the primary zone also ahead near $180 and $200.
Ripple Nears $0.28 as Litecoin Violates $70
XRP/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis
Ripple’s technical position remains precarious, and the coin got close to testing the $0.28 level yet again today. While the late-day bounce saved the coin from break-down, for now, a move below it, towards the August low near $0.26 is still likely.
Bulls would need a quick recovery to avoid another leg lower in the bear market, but with the coin still being under apparent selling pressure, traders should stay away even from speculative short-term positions. Should the coin recover above the strong $0.30 resistance another strong zone would be ahead near $0.32, while below the $0.26 level, the next support zone is found near $0.23.
LTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis
After the showing weakness ever since last week’s steep sell-off, Litecoin confirmed the selling pressure by leading the way lower during today’s drop. The coin bottomed out near $65 just above the strong long-term support zone that we have pointed out, near $64. Below that zone, the sell-off might accelerate in the previously leading LTC, as the weaker $61.50 support/resistance level and the $60 price level, which marked the start of the April surge will also come into play.
With its recent weakness and the downside risks in mind, traders and investors should still stay away from the coin, as a move below $64 would likely leave to, at least a drop to the next strong support level near $56. Our trend model is still on sell signals on both time-frames with resistance ahead between $72.50 and $75 and between $85 and $90.
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Disclaimer: The analyst owns cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but doesn’t engage in short-term or day-trading, nor does he hold short positions on any of the coins.