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06 Sep 2021
2 min read

Bitcoin Briefly Tops $52,000 While Ether Spikes Above $4,000

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Key Takeaways

  • The biggest digital assets continue their strong recovery from the market selloff in May
  • US stocks and European equities slide on Friday after disappointing nonfarm payrolls report

A Brief Upswing for Bitcoin

Major cryptocurrencies jumped to their monthly highs over the past few days. The sudden upside swing briefly took bitcoin above $52,000 early on Monday. Accordingly, the price of bitcoin climbed over $52,000, reaching nearly a four-month peak. While ether advanced to $4,025 on Friday, trading at its highest level since mid-May.

Indeed, leading cryptocurrencies received a boost last week. The entire crypto market capitalization gained about 10% to settle at $2.3tn, up from $2.1tn at the beginning of the week. However, bitcoin slipped back near its upper end of a trading range that’s been narrating its price movement for over two weeks. Ether, on the other hand, remained well bid during the weekend and traded near $4,000 per coin.

Following recent waves of investment institutions and corporations onboarding the crypto bandwagon, digital asset proponents say the fast-evolving cryptocurrency space is bound for further gains.

Since the market meltdown that began in early May and lasted near the end of July, the price of bitcoin has pared most of its losses. The coin is now hovering about 20% from its all-time high of $64,800 set April 14.

The Ethereum blockchain’s native token has more than doubled over the last 45 days. Currently, the asset floats about 8% away from its record high of $4,380 reached on May 12. Ethereum has recently enjoyed a surge of interest fueled by investors seeking exposure to the fastest-growing segment of the market, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized finance (DeFi). Many of the NFT and DeFi projects are built on the Ethereum network, resulting in a boost to ether’s price.

Stocks Drop After Disappointing Data

Meanwhile, stocks mostly dropped on Friday as a lower-than-expected jobs report highlighted a weakening labor market. The August nonfarm payrolls, coming in short of expectations for 720,000, showed employers added 235,000 new jobs, according to the US Labor Department.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined moderately by about 75 points, after hovering in the green earlier in the session. The S&P500 edged lower by less than 2 points, while the Nasdaq Composite finished higher by roughly 30 points or 0.2%. The tech-heavy index was lifted by gains in technology giants. Shares of Apple and Amazon closed up about 0.5% apiece.

The surprisingly lower jobs number, according to analysts, could delay tapering actions by the US Federal Reserve. Previously, economists projected the US Central Bank could decide to tighten monetary policies at their upcoming meeting on September 21-22. Following the weak jobs growth over the last month, however, Fed officials could pause their tapering plans and keep their support to the economy unchanged.

Furthermore, a recent rise in Delta variant cases could present increased challenges for US employers. This is especially worrisome if new restrictions are imposed as the colder months approach. On the bright side, cases and hospitalizations are in decline in some states.

In Europe, major indexes slipped across the board on Friday as the weaker US employment data indicated a slowdown in the economic expansion globally. The pan-continental Stoxx 600 lost 0.6%, while benchmarks of individual economies in Europe slid between 0.4% and 1.3%.

On Monday, US stocks will be closed for trading due to the Labor Day holiday. European markets opened fairly flat to slightly positive.

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