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Bitcoin Awaiting Breakout from the 250-270 Consolidation

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) 1H Chart 3/20

click to enlarge

Bitcoin was bearish this week after a failed attempt to climb back to 300. In the 1H chart we can see that price fell from around 295 down to just under 250. The technicals have turned bearish in the near-term:
1) The 200-, 100-, and 50-hour simple moving averages (SMAs) are now sloping down and in bearish alignment.
2) The RSI has dipped below 30, even below 20, which shows strong near-term bearish momentum. However, the fact that the RSI reading has been swinging from oversold to overbought area and back reflects an indecisive market. If the 1H RSI starts to hold under 60, the bearish momentum would still be in play.

As we get into the 3/20 session, we can see that price has started to consolidate roughly between 250 and 270. If price stalls again around 270 while the RSI stalls around 60, look for a bearish attempt in the near-term back towards the 250 area.

However, if price breaks above 270 and the 1H RSI clears above 60, the technical picture would remain sideways, with some near-term bullish outlook back towards the 280-285 area, which contain a previous support area as well as the 200-hour SMA.

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) 4H Chart 3/20

(click to enlarge)

In the 4H chart, where I am squeezing in price action since mid-January after a low on the year at round 167, we can see that price is stalling at a key support/resistance pivot area around 250.

However, the technicals are turning bearish in the 4H chart too:
1) Price has broken the rising trendline from mid-January.
2) Price is now trading below the 200-, 100-, and 50-period SMAs in the 4H chart.
3) The RSI dipped below 20 showing bearish momentum.

The 280-285 area is indeed key because a break above 285 would take bitcoin back above the cluster of moving averages and revive the bullish outlook. Otherwise, below 280, espcially if price holds below 270 (today’s consolidation), there is downside risk first towards the February lows around 210. Below 210, btcusd will have the 167 low on the year in sight.