Altcoins breakout to new highs while Bitcoin price retests a key support

Bullishness in the cryptocurrency market continued on Feb. 18 as Bitcoin (BTC) trades near $51,000 and Ether (ETH) is within reach of the $2,000 level for the first time as retail traders remain long while pro traders are less optimistic in the short term.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows Bitcoin price has pulled back slightly from recent all-time highs to a current value of $51,924 while ETH price has increased 5.66% to a record high of $1,950.

Investors in Canada showed their healthy appetite for access to the top cryptocurrency as the debut of the Canadian Bitcoin ETF saw nearly $100 million in volume during the first few hours of trading.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Meanwhile, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates indicated that he has taken a “neutral view” on Bitcoin and is neither short nor long on the asset, feeling that BTC “can go up and down just based on the mania or whatever the views are.”

New support and resistance levels emerge for BTC

Chad Steinglass, Head of Trading at CrossTower, has identified the next wall of resistance for Bitcoin around $53,000 while its current support level is around $51,000, creating a “narrow channel” that is unlikely to “hold for very long.”

In a private conversation with Cointelegraph, Steinglass stated:

“Below $51,000 there is more support at $49,000, and above $53,000. I expect the next pocket of resistance to come around $56,000, which is another large open interest option strike.”

When it comes to Ether (ETH), Steinglass indicated that the recent selloff in altcoins “dragged ETH down along with them,” but as the selloff subsided on Feb. 18 Ether was able to “break free and drive higher.”

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Steinglass took the resilience shown by Ether during a turbulent market in altcoins as a “sign that the story behind ETH is more broad and robust than the recent frenzy in altcoins that utilized ETH for staking purposes.”

Increase in jobless claims puts pressure on traditional markets

Traditional markets fell under pressure on Feb. 18 as the economic recovery from the Covid pandemic sputters in the U.S. and unemployment claims increased following several weeks of a downward trend in the metric.

The S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ all finished the day in the red, down 0.44%, 0.38% and 0.72% respectively.

Multiple altcoins establish new highs

Altcoins bounced back from their recent dip to see healthy price gains on Thursday, with Binance Coin (BNB) outperforming the rest of the top ten as it increased more than 20% over the past 24-hours to a new all-time high of $218.94

BNB/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Dogecoin (DOGE) and IOTA (MIOTA) have also increased by roughly 16% to a price of $0.059 and $1.52 respectively, while REN gained 20.75% to notch a new record high at $1.21.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.57 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 60.6%.

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