An Old Resistance Hurdle Is Back and Could Stall Bitcoin’s Price Rally

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  • Bitcoin clocked highs above $4,000 over the weekend and ended last week on a positive note, strengthening the short-term bullish outlook.
  • The ongoing recovery rally, however, could pause around $4,000 or we may see a fall back to key support levels lined up at $3,775 and $3,658, as the bearish (downward sloping) 21-week simple moving average (SMA) is currently lined up at $4,073. That SMA served as a stiff resistance last year.
  • Bitcoin’s outlook as per the daily chart would turn bearish if prices see a UTC close below the Feb. 27 low of $3,658. That would open the doors for a re-test of lows near $3,300 seen at the end of January.

Bitcoin’s (BTC) four-week price rally now faces a former support-turned-resistance level that repeatedly capped gains in 2018.

The cryptomarket leader closed (UTC) yesterday at $3,965 on Bitstamp, representing a 1.73 percent gain on a
weekly basis, according to Bitstamp data. That was the fourth straight weekly gain – the longest winning streak
since April 2018.

With strong volumes backing bitcoin’s move to a three-week high of $4,040 over the weekend, the case for
an extension of the ongoing recovery rally from lows January lows looks strong.

Even so, a long-term bearish-to-bullish trend change above $4,236 may remain elusive for few weeks, as the 21-month simple moving average (SMA) – a technical line which acted as strong resistance in 2018 – is
currently located at $4,073.

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More importantly, the average line is still trending south in favor of the bears, which is all the more reason
why bitcoin is less likely to breach it with a 90-degree rally.

Notably, the bullish momentum is already beginning to wane: Bitcoin is struggling to hold on to gains above
$4,000 for the third day.

As of writing, the crypto market leader is changing hands at $3,955 on Bitstamp, having hit a high of $4,016
earlier today.

Weekly chart

As seen above, bitcoin charted bullish higher lows along the 21-week SMA throughout the 2016-2017 uptrend. The average support was breached on Jan. 29, 2018 and has reversed rallies ever since.

So, a convincing move above that SMA, currently at $4,073, could be considered an early sign of a long-term
bullish reversal.

It is often observed that markets tend to consolidate post-break above a downward sloping MA and pick up
a strong bid once the average has shed bearish bias (bottomed out).

For instance, BTC jumped above the descending 100-day MA on Feb. 19, but the follow-through quickly fizzled
out near $4,200 and prices fell back to the long-term MA on March 4. More importantly, bitcoin lacked
clear directional bias and rose back to $4,000 only after the average turned flat on March 14.

So, any break above the 21-week SMA needs to be viewed with caution as long as the average line is trending
south.

Further, a repeated rejection at the average line could invite selling pressure, as seen in November.

Daily chart

Bitcoin closed above $3,950 (Mar. 9 high) on Saturday, bolstering the short-term bullish setup as indicated
by both the ascending trendline and the upward sloping 5- and 10-day MAs.

So far, however, the follow-through has been anything but bullish, which adds credence to the possibility of
a pause suggested by the weekly chart.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View

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