Good morning. Here’s what’s happening this morning:

Market moves: Crypto markets opened December with mixed performances as traders remain in a wait-and-see mode.

Technician’s take: BTC’s uptrend is intact with improving price momentum. Downside appears to be limited around the $53K-$55K support zone.

Catch the latest episodes of CoinDesk TV for insightful interviews with crypto industry leaders and analysis.

Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $57,095 -0.2%

Ether (ETH): $4,593 -1%

Markets

S&P 500: $4,513 -1.1%

Dow Jones Industrial Average: $34,022 -1.3%

Nasdaq: $15,254 -1.8%

Gold: $1,782 +.53%

Market moves

Bitcoin briefly dropped below $57,000 during U.S. trading hours on Wednesday after news broke that health officials in the country confirmed the first case of the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, in California. At the time of publication, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was trading just above $57,000 but still down for the day.

The drop wiped out bitcoin’s earlier gains when it increased above $59,000 from a low at roughly $55,920 a day ago. Stocks also fell, with the S&P 500 dropping by 0.49% on Wednesday.

One analyst remains positive about the potential Omicron’s long-term impact on crypto.

“While the new coronavirus variant has raised concerns over potentially tumbling down crypto prices, it is also essential to note that crypto markets had observed strong growth throughout [the pandemic],” Danny Chong, co-founder of Tranchess, a Binance Smart Chain-based, yield-enhancing, asset-tracking protocol, said via a representative.

Ether also retreated, down to about $4,575 from as high as $4,782.40, according to CoinDesk’s data, ending its four-day winning streak. As an investment asset, ether posted a strong monthly return in November, beating bitcoin and macro assets, including the S&P 500, gold and bonds.

But a few other layer 1 blockchain tokens remained in the green on Wednesday, including polygon (MATIC), terra (LUNA) and solana (SOL).

Technician’s take

Bitcoin Rangebound Between $55K Support and $60K Resistance

Bitcoin daily price chart (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price momentum is improving, which could limit further downside between the $53,000-$55,000 support range.

Buyers will need to make a decisive move above $60,000 resistance to yield an upside target toward the all-time price high of nearly $69,000.

For now, BTC is trading in a tight range and has been roughly flat over the past week. The relative strength index (RSI) on the daily chart is rising from oversold levels of last week, which typically precedes a price bounce.

Support remains intact given the upward-sloping, 100-day moving average. This indicates a positive intermediate-term trend, which could encourage additional buying on pullbacks.

Important events

8:30 a.m. HKT/SGT (12:30 a.m. UTC): Australia imports/exports (Oct. MoM)

1 p.m. HKT/SGT (5 a.m. UTC): Japan consumer confidence index (Nov.)

6 p.m. HKT/SGT (10 a.m. UTC): Eurostat producer price index (Oct. YoY/MoM)

9:30 p.m. HKT/SGT (1:30 p.m. UTC): Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic speaks on housing prices

Art Basel Miami Beach

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here are the most recent episodes of “First Mover” on CoinDesk TV:

Venture Capital Investor Tim Draper on Crypto, Investment Strategy and the State of Economy

“First Mover” hosts spoke with prominent venture capitalist Tim Draper for his insights on the crypto markets, the booming non-fungible token (NFT) space, the state of the economy and his investment strategy. Plus, NFT Ecosystem Enjin’s Chief Technology Officer Witek Radomski shared details behind the $100 million metaverse fund for Efinity.

Latest headlines

Hashed Raises $200M for Web 3 Investments: The South Korean venture firm has now raised $320 million in the past 12 months.

Payments Giant Square Is Changing Its Name to Block: The move creates room for the company to move further beyond its roots as a business focused on serving sellers.

Morgan Stanley Sees Crypto-Banking Regulation Arriving Faster Than Expected: The bank’s analysts say this is positive for crypto banks Silvergate and Signature.

Structure Raises $20M to Fund Development of Mobile App: Polychain Capital led the seed round investment.

AAG Ventures Raises $12.5M to Launch New Learn-to-Earn Platform: The company will also create a platform for building play-to-earn guilds.

Longer reads

The World Bitcoin Will Build

Who Sets the Rules of Bitcoin as Nation-States and Corps Roll In

Today’s crypto explainer: How to Store Your Bitcoin

Other voices: Why it is wise to add bitcoin to an investment portfolio (The Economist)

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