Cryptos: Bitcoin slide halts as market attempts to form a short-term bottom

The bitcoin massacre took a pause Tuesday, with the best-known digital currency trading higher.

In Tuesday trading, a single bitcoin

BTCUSD, +2.09%

 was last changing hands at $3,759.63, up 2.2% since Monday’s level at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken crypto exchange.

Read: Bitcoin is on track to do something it hasn’t done in 4 years

After a dire stretch for bitcoin, one chart observer said signs point to a potential bottom around current levels. “After dropping in excess of 40% in the last two weeks, with very little news to drive the move, bitcoin is trying to build a base around the $3,500 – $3,700 level in the last three days,” wrote Nick Cawley, markets analyst at Daily FX.

“While the longer-term chart setup remains negative, with a test of $2,970 likely—in the short-term the charts are showing the cryptocurrency heavily in oversold territory, which may produce a relief bounce higher,” he added, citing the relative strength index (RSI).

The RSI is a technical indicator that measures the magnitude of recent price movements to assess whether an asset is oversold or overbought.

Read: Bitcoin is imploding — here’s where bitcoin bulls and bears see it headed from here

Altcoins, the group of coins other than bitcoin, have erased early morning losses and are trading higher. Ether

ETHUSD, +1.06%

was up 1.7% at $106.04, Litecoin

LTCUSD, +3.49%

was up 3.7% at $30.02, XRP

XRPUSD, +0.34%

the coin that runs on the Ripple protocol, was up 0.2% at 34 cents and Bitcoin Cash

BCHUSD, +1.83%

was trading at $173.50, up 2.4%.

After tumbling more than 10% on Monday, futures markets have turned higher Tuesday. The Cboe Global Markets December contract

XBTZ8, +1.58%

is up 1.9% at $3,715 and the CME Group November contract

BTCX8, +3.05%

was up 3.2% at $3,720.

Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.

Aaron Hankin is a MarketWatch reporter in New York who covers cryptocurrency and financial markets.

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