(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin soared to its highest price so far this year, as investors took on more risk ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell which could give guidance on whether the US is closer to lowering interest rates.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency rallied as much as 2.87% to a high of $38,834 on Friday. Prices of other digital assets tracked by Bloomberg, such as Ether and Solana, were also up more than 2%. Bitcoin’s jump constitutes the token’s highest value since May 5 last year, just before the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin ecosystem rocked the sector and began a steady decline in asset prices. 

Read more: Bitcoin Brings $40,000 in View After 2023 Surge on ETF, Fed Bets

European stocks also advanced and the dollar fell, with Powell set to speak at Spelman College in Atlanta later on Friday. US futures edged higher while Treasuries were steady, as investors tried to gauge whether November gains across asset classes still have further to run.

“The macro environment is expected to remain a robust tailwind for crypto,” said Markus Thielen, head of research and strategy at Matrixport, in a note on Friday. “Another decline in inflation is anticipated, prompting the Federal Reserve to likely initiate interest rate cuts. Combined with geopolitical crosscurrents, this healthy dose of monetary support should push Bitcoin to new highs in 2024.”

Shares of cryptocurrency-linked stocks also rose in US premarket trading on Friday. Stocks of digital asset exchange Coinbase Global Inc were up 3.5%, while those of miner Marathon Digital Holdings rose 4%.

Read more: Shorting Volatility, Buying Bitcoin Are 2023’s Surprise Winners

Bitcoin has risen more than 133% so far this year, outperforming gains in many other traditional sectors as investors favored exposure to riskier assets. 

Traders are optimistic that the US Securities and Exchange Commission might soon approve the country’s first exchange-traded fund tied directly to Bitcoin. A settlement between US authorities and crypto exchange Binance Holdings Ltd. last month has further soothed nerves, according to Deribit chief commercial officer Luuk Strijers.

(Updates to add context, comments, chart)

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