(Bloomberg) -- As September comes to a close, Bitcoin is poised to end the quarter on a down note in its first quarterly decline this year.
The largest cryptocurrency by market value is down about 11% since June, and traded at around $26,970 on Saturday in New York. It surged 83% in the first six months of this year, rebounding in part from a 64% plunge seen in 2022 as the digital asset sector was roiled by scandals and bankruptcies.
Bitcoin has languished in a narrow trading range since late in the second quarter amid an uncertain macro outlook. The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged last Wednesday, but signaled that interest rates will be higher for longer. Higher rates tend to diminish the allure of riskier assets.
“The Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance has heightened investor apprehension, leading to declines in both traditional and digital asset markets,” said Hosam Mahmoud, a research analyst at CCData.
Over the course of nine weeks ending in mid-September, investors withdrew nearly half a billion dollars from cryptocurrency products, according to a report by CoinShares. Bitcoin comprised 85% of outflows, reaching $45 million.
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On Thursday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission deferred decisions on BlackRock Inc.’s spot Bitcoin ETF proposals, just days after it delayed decisions for Ark 21Shares and GlobalX until January.
“Current investors got very excited about the possibility of a Bitcoin ETF spurring a new wave of demand,” said Peter Tchir, head of macro strategy at Brean Capital. “A few years ago, it would have helped a lot, as it was difficult to own crypto, but now it just isn’t that hard. It still hasn’t materialized and maybe there is some doubt that it ever will, at least in the near term.”
However, the increasing prospects of a US federal government shutdown also has some Bitcoin advocates predicting a rally similar to one that happened in response to the regional bank crisis earlier this year. In March, Bitcoin jumped roughly 25% over a one-month period, when three small- to mid-size U.S. banks failed over the course of five days.
Read More: Bitcoin Refuge Appeal Touted Again as US Shutdown Prospects Rise
“There are signs Bitcoin’s corrective phase is maturing,” Will Tamplin, senior analyst at Fairlead Strategies said. “It has cleared the 50-day moving average and reflected improved momentum off the back of oversold conditions.”
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