Bitcoin stabilizes at $49,000 after Friday's overnight plunge

  • Bitcoin prices stabilized on Sunday after sharp selling on Friday night sent the cryptocurrency tumbling more than 17%.
  • The cryptocurrency stood around $49,000 on Sunday, up from Saturday's low near $43,000. On Friday morning, bitcoin stood around $57,000.
  • The selling came as investors fled risky areas of the market amid fears over what the new omicron variant means for the economic recovery.

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Bitcoin prices stabilized on Sunday morning after wild trading sent the cryptocurrency tumbling more than 17% in just 24 hours.

The cryptocurrency traded at $48,953 around 9:15 a.m. Sunday on Wall Street, according to data from Coin Metrics. The move towards the $50,000 mark comes after bitcoin dropped to a low near $43,000 on Saturday, after trading around $57,000 on Friday.

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Bitcoin's sharp tumble follows Friday's risk-off tone in the broader market. All three major averages finished Friday's trading in the red and posted losses for the week amid fears over what the omicron Covid variant means for the ongoing economic recovery.

Investors ditched equities in favor of safer areas of the market, with the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury moving lower.

The Nasdaq Composite underperformed the Dow and S&P 500 on Friday, with technology stocks getting hit especially hard. This selling extended to cryptocurrencies, with no fundamental reason prompting the sharp declines across the crypto universe.

Still, the selling over the last 48 hours builds on recent declines for bitcoin. The cryptocurrency officially entered bear market territory on Nov. 26, after dropping to a then seven-week low around $54,000.

Bitcoin is now nearly 30% below its all-time high close to $69,000, which it hit in early November.

"Bitcoin is in 'no man's land' right now and that does not seem to be changing anytime soon," noted Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. "The long-term bullish case remains intact but prices seem poised to consolidate between $52,000 and $60,000," he added.

Ether also stabilized on Sunday, advancing about 1.5% to $4,176. On Saturday the cryptocurrency hit a low near $3,500, after plunging more than 16% between Friday and Saturday morning. Ether is the world's second-largest cryptocurrency by market value.

– CNBC's Weizhen Tan and Tanaya Macheel contributed reporting.

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