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Bitcoin Tops $27K as Rates and Oil Retreat; Ether Outperforms on ETF Hopes

Cryptocurrency markets surged higher Thursday, with the price of bitcoin (BTC) breaking above the $27,000 level alongside easing macro pressures.

BTC earlier rose to just shy of $27,300 and was trading at $27,010 at press time, up 3.2% over the past 24 hours.

The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI), which measures the performance of a broad basket of crypto assets, was up 3.8%, led by a 5.5% gain for the CoinDesk DeFi Index (DCF).

COMP, AAVE and MKR, governance tokens of top DeFi lending platforms Compound, Aave, and Maker, enjoyed 21%, 10% and 5% gains, respectively. LDO, the token of the leading liquid staking platform Lido Finance, jumped nearly 9%.

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Ethereum scaling network Arbitrum’s ARB posted a 9.6% rally, recovering losses from earlier this month.

The crypto advance happened alongside a modest rebound in U.S. stocks as the 10-year Treasury yield pulled back from a 16-year high, oil retreated from a 2023 high and the greenback slipped as well.

Read more: Crypto Observers Warn of Risk Aversion as Oil Prices Top $93

ETH price jumps on ETF hopes

Ether (ETH) also outperformed bitcoin, gaining 4.8% to $1,660 as investor hopes rose for a potential U.S. regulatory greenlight for a futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas said in an X post that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly asked ETF filers to update their application to be able to approve and start trading next week because of a looming government shutdown.

In addition, VanEck submitted paperwork for its own futures-based ETH ETF, adding to already submitted filings from Grayscale, ProShares and Bitwise, among others.

Read more: Buy Ether Instead of Bitcoin to Ride ETF Momentum, Crypto Research Firm Says

Options expiry nears

Crypto derivatives traders brace for Friday’s quarterly and monthly options expiry, when some $4.8 billion worth of BTC and ETH options will expire on key derivatives exchange Deribit.

Institutional crypto exchange FalconX noted Wednesday in a market report that open interest on Deribit shows that most of the outstanding contracts are in the $27,000 level for BTC, almost evenly split between calls (3,584 contracts) and puts (3,773 contracts), according to data from Amberdata.

‘This even split indicates that option traders don’t have a clear opinion about where the price will go in the short term,” David Lawant, head of research at institutional crypto exchange FalconX, wrote Wednesday in a market report.

BTC is still ranging between $25,000 and $31,000, and it might be headed to the upper bound after testing the lower threshold earlier this month, Julius de Kempenaer, senior technical analyst at Stockcharts.com, said in an interview on CoinDesk TV’s First Mover show.

“My baseline scenario is bitcoin to move higher and eventually move past that $31,000-$32,000 barrier,” Kampenaer said. But it has to happen in the next 6-8 weeks, he added, otherwise the level could put a lid on BTC’s price for a longer time. “If it remains suppressed and under that barrier, it becomes stronger and more difficult to break.”

In case BTC breaks decisively below the $25,000, it could fall to the next support level at $17,000-$18,000, he added.