The price of ether fell to 19-month lows just over $80 today and is now down 94% from its January peak.
Ether’s dollar-denominated exchange rate (ETH/USD) slipped to $81.30 at 02:15 UTC – the lowest level since May 2, 2017 – according to CoinDesk’s Ethereum Price Index (EPI).
As of writing, ETH is trading at $83.00, representing a 17.8 percent drop on a 24-hour basis. Just three weeks ago, it was teasing a short-term bullish reversal above $200.
That key support (now resistance), however, was breached on Nov. 14, as bitcoin’s drop below the crucial support of $6,000 dashed hopes of a major bullish reversal, leading to broad-based risk aversion in the cryptomarkets.
Ether prices have dropped close to 60 percent in the time since and are currently down a staggering 94 percent from the record high of $1,431 hit in January.
So, it is not surprising that bearish sentiment has reached extremes, as seen in the chart below.
ETH/USD shorts at record high
Notably, ETH/USD short positions on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex rose to a record high above 340,000 soon before press time – up 183 percent in the last three weeks. Meanwhile, long positions have dropped to the lowest since Sept. 12, as seen in the chart above.
Such extreme positioning is usually a sign of oversold conditions and presages market bottoms. However, calling a bullish reversal with that information alone could prove costly.
The outlook, therefore, remains bearish until a more credible evidence of trend reversal emerges.
As seen above, ETH created a small doji candle last week, implying bearish exhaustion. That pattern, however, has been invalidated with the drop to 19-month lows.
Moreover, ether has found acceptance below $102.20 (low of the doji candle), meaning the sell-off from $200 has resumed.
The chart also shows that 5- and 10-week simple moving averages (SMAs) are trending south.
As a result of all these bear indicators, ETH may extend the decline toward the next major support lined up at $59.00 (March 2017 low).
We can, though, expect the momentum may weaken somewhat, as the 14-week relative strength index (RSI) is reporting oversold conditions for the first time December 2016.
- ETH may test crucial support at $59.00 (March 2017 low) in the near-term.
- With oversold readings on the weekly RSI and bearish sentiment at record highs, there is always a risk of a sudden corrective rally. The outlook, however, would turn bullish only if ETH violates the recent bearish lower-high pattern with a daily close above $128.00 (Nov. 28 high).
Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.