Bitcoin rose to about US$51,000 and touched the highest level in more than two weeks, buoyed by wider positive sentiment in financial markets.

The largest cryptocurrency has advanced some 4 per cent over the past two days and at one point reached US$51,524 on Friday in Asian trading. Ether, the second-largest token, was near US$4,100. 

Risk ardor has improved in global markets, evidenced by a record-high close for the S&P 500 on Thursday. It remains to be seen whether a receding tide of central bank liquidity will bring bigger challenges for cryptocurrency demand.

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“I view Bitcoin as a high-beta risk asset,” said Ross Mayfield, an investment strategy analyst at Baird. “When risk appetite is up, it’s up big. And when risk appetite is down, it can be down big. It’s not perfectly correlated, that’s definitely too simple of a read, but it’s certainly not a volatility hedge.” 

A technical study shows that Bitcoin has breached the upper bound of a so-called pennant technical pattern, and scaled its 20-day moving average. 

While that suggests more gains may lie ahead, other technical signals point to the US$53,000 to US$55,000 zone as a potential test of the strength any such rally.

Cryptocurrency-related stocks in Asia such as Woori Technology Investment Co., Remixpoint Inc. and Ceres Inc. got a tailwind from Bitcoin’s recent performance.

The digital coin is up some 76 per cent so far in 2021, on course for a third year of gains.