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Bitcoin, Ether Continue Surge Into February

Bitcoin and ether finished another positive week, even as the stubbornly strong jobs market raised questions about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next interest rate move.

The U.S. added a whopping 517,000 jobs in January, 98% higher than the prior month, and 172% higher than expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, while the labor force participation rate rose to 3.4%.

Investors may view the robust job market negatively as it suggests the economy is not cooling as much as other economic data indicates, and may prompt the U.S. central bank to extend its current series of rate increases. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly said taming inflation, which topped 9% at one point in 2022, remains a priority.

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Central bankers must weigh the United States’ own interest obligations, along with recessionary concerns, as they mull additional changes to monetary policy that would staunch rising prices. The United States interest payments have increased 41% since the first quarter of 2022.

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