As traders bet on a U.S. inflation slowdown and digested news that lawyers for defunct crypto exchange FTX have found billions of dollars of assets, bitcoin surged to its highest price in more than two months on Thursday. It is the first time Bitcoin has surpassed $19,000 by market cap since Nov. 8, increasing in value by 8.4%. Bitcoin last traded at $19,013.30, according to CoinMetrics. U.S. inflation data out Thursday showed a modest retreat. The consumer price index decreased 0.1% in December on a monthly basis, in line with Dow Jones estimates.
Despite this, prices increased by 6.5% year-over-year. This was down from a 7.1% increase in November and well below the 9.1% peak rate in June. Investors hope the decline may pressure the U.S. Federal Reserve to reverse interest rate increases. The Fed and other central banks have been raising interest rates over the past year or so to tame soaring inflation in moves that forced stocks and cryptocurrencies sharply lower in 2022. The hope is that the U.S. central bank will cut rates, taking some pressure off risk assets.