Bitcoin in an Imminent Bearish Breakout

Bitcoin in an Imminent Bearish Breakout

Bitcoin ended last week stalling after a bearish swing that came down to about 234. The 1H chart shows the bearish attempt turning into a narrow sideways consolidation range. This range is approximately before 239 and 234, with a spike down to 232 and contained price action throughout the weekend.

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) 1H Chart 5/18
bitcoin 1h chart 5/18
(click to enlarge)

As we begin the 5/19 session, btcusd has uncertain momentum, but does maintain a bearish bias as price holds under the 200-, 100-, and 50-hour simple moving averages (SMAs), which are sloping down and in bearish alignment. If price can close under 234, we are likely going to have a bearish signal at least for the near-term for the 5/18 session. The bearish outlook would be even more clear if a subsequent pullback finds resistance at or under 237.

When we look at the 4H chart, we can see that a break below 232 would signal a bearish reversal to May’s choppy rally.

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) 4H Chart 5/18
bitcoin 4h chart 5/18
(click to enlarge)

The 4H chart shows a bearish market that has turned sideways and slightly bullish. Price has broken a rising channel support, but the breakout is not convincing since it is a sideways break. However, if price falls below 252, it will clear not only the very short-term range we saw in the 1H chart, but also the 200-period SMA in the 4H chart. Combined with the 4H RSI falling below 40, this would signal a bearish outlook towards the 214 low from late April.

When we look at the daily chart, we can see that this potential bearish signal would also be relevant in the medium-term, as a bearish continuation signal.

Bitcoin (BTCUSD) Daily Chart 5/18
bitcoin daily chart 5/18
(click to enlarge)

Even though price has been relatively flat since January, the daily chart still shows a bearish bias as price holds under the 200-, 100-, and 50-day SMA and the daily RSI stays under 60 after tagging 30. Thus, a break below 232 not only open ups the 214 support pivot, but also the 166-167 low on the year.

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Fan Yang has been a professional forex trader and analyst since 2007. He specializes in technical analysis and has a Chartered Market Technician designation since 2011. He was the chief technical strategist at CMSFX He was also the founder and chief currency strategist at FXTimes Over the years, Fan has not only been a trader and analyst but also an educator. As a proponent of both technical and fundamental analysis in trading, Fan advocates simplicity and discipline as key factors in making trading decisions when faced with so many "clues" and "signals". Currently Fan Yang is the chief currency analyst and webinar instructor at