Several prominent cryptocurrencies dipped this morning after an interesting jobs report showed that the labor market slowed in September but also that the unemployment rate improved.
Over the last 24 hours, the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC -2.49%), dropped roughly 1.4% as of 10:38 a.m. ET Friday, with the price hovering around $19,647, as of this writing.
The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that nonfarm payrolls added 263,000 jobs in September, which came in less than the Dow Jones estimate of 275,000. However, the unemployment rate fell from 3.7% in August to 3.5% in September.
Treasury rates spiked higher and as of this writing, the yield on the two-year U.S. Treasury bill was over 4.31%.
The unemployment rate nudged lower because the size of the labor market fell by 57,000 in September. The percentage of discouraged and part-time workers dipped from 7% to 6.7%. Wages also rose by 0.3% from the prior month.
Jeffrey Roach, chief economist at LPL Financial, told CNBC this morning’s jobs report all but guarantees the Federal Reserve will hike its benchmark overnight lending rate by another 0.75% at its November meeting, which would be its fourth consecutive move in a row.
In a note, Jefferies Financial Group economists Thomas Simons and Aneta Markowska said smaller labor participation suggests a continuation of “strong wage pressure,” which could keep inflation persistent.
Rapidly rising interest rates this year to combat stubbornly high inflation have sent growth stocks and riskier assets like Bitcoin reeling, with the price of Bitcoin now down close to 59% this year, deep in a crypto winter. The more persistent inflation is, the longer the Fed will have to stay hawkish and continue raising interest rates, which will seemingly keep pressure on cryptocurrencies.
This is certainly a frustrating jobs report because the narrative coming into this morning was that a weak jobs report would actually be good for the market. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has previously said that there needs to be some deterioration in the labor market for the Fed to ease up.
It certainly seems like this has somewhat occurred when you consider the economy added 315,000 jobs in August and September’s gain of 263,000 is the slowest month of hiring since April 2021.
But because of fewer participants and wage growth, investors still see a strong labor market and expect a 0.75% rate hike at the Fed’s upcoming meeting, which is not good for crypto. I personally would still like to see September inflation data from the Consumer Price Index before I say a 0.75% rate hike is all but guaranteed, but it’s not looking good right now.
I continue to believe Bitcoin and Ethereum are good long-term bets at these levels but would recommend staying away from Dogecoin due to its lack of real-world utility or technical advantage over other cryptocurrencies.
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