Bitcoin price hits $39K as Powell stirs bets Fed rate hikes are over

Bitcoin (BTC) hit $39,000 for the first time since mid-2022 on Dec. 1 as the United States Federal Reserve boosted hopes of policy easing.

BTC/USD 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Powell: Calling end to hikes would be “premature”

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView confirmed a new 19-month BTC price high of $39,000 on Bitstamp.

Bitcoin bulls, already in a strong position, beat out resistance as Fed Chair Jerome Powell took to the stage at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia for a scheduled appearance.

“The FOMC is strongly committed to bringing inflation down to 2% over time and to keeping policy restrictive until we’re confident that inflation is on a path to that objective,” he said in prepared remarks.

“It would be premature to conclude with confidence that we have achieved a sufficiently restrictive stance, or to speculate on when policy might ease.”

While keeping his tone cautious, Powell appeared to boost risk asset sentiment with his comments on the current state of the U.S. economy and progress toward reducing inflation.

Reacting, financial commentary resource The Kobeissi Letter was among those with a more sober take on what the Fed might do in the future.

“Their narrative has not changed since last year, but markets continue to call for a Fed pivot,” it wrote in part of a post on X (formerly Twitter).

“As we have stated before, the Fed would rather spark a mild recession than risk a resurgence of inflation. This means that a long PAUSE is still likely.”

Bitcoin nonetheless took full advantage of the mood, contrasting with a flat reaction to the week’s earlier U.S. macro data prints.

As Cointelegraph reported, the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, is due in mid-December, when any changes to interest rates will be announced. Per data from CME Group’s FedWatch Tool, as of Dec. 1, market expectations unilaterally favored a pause in hikes.

Fed target rate probabilities chart. Source: CME Group

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