Can Crypto Escape Wall Street’s Ghost? How The ‘Overnight Effect’ In Traditional Markets Affects Bitcoin And Ethereum

For seasoned stock market participants, the whispers are ingrained in the market’s rhythm: significant price movements often occur when the trading floor is deserted.

This phenomenon, dubbed the “overnight effect” or “night moves,” has been documented in academic research, with a recent Columbia University study adding weight to the existing evidence.


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The core of the enigma lies in the observation that stocks tend to generate a disproportionate share of their returns during these after-hours periods.

While the precise explanation remains elusive, a theory points towards the behavior of retail investors.

Their concentrated activity at market opening and closing creates a surge in buying pressure, potentially inflating opening prices.

This effect becomes even more pronounced for “meme stocks” – those captivating the attention of retail investors and experiencing meteoric rises (and sometimes falls) in value.

However, with the advent of cryptocurrencies, a new and dynamic market has emerged, begging the question: does the “overnight effect” hold any sway in the wild world of crypto?

Unlike traditional markets that adhere to specific trading hours, crypto markets operate 24/7, creating a constant state of flux.

This nonstop activity makes them particularly vulnerable to news-driven fluctuations throughout the day. Pivotal announcements made after traditional markets close can send shockwaves through the crypto ecosystem, triggering price swings before the next trading session even commences.

This relentless news cycle fundamentally alters the landscape for crypto, potentially severing the link to the overnight effect witnessed in stocks.

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Yet, a closer examination reveals a more intricate picture.

While crypto operates around the clock, a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York paints a fascinating picture.

The research observed positive returns when holding U.S. equity futures overnight, with the peak gains materializing between 2 AM and 3 AM Eastern Time – a timeframe that coincides with the opening of European markets.

This intriguing finding suggests that crypto markets, despite their continuous operation, might still be susceptible to price movements in traditional markets during their opening hours.

Imagine it as a ripple effect emanating from the traditional markets during their active periods, creating aftershocks that resonate even within the ever-churning waters of crypto.

Understanding the potential influence of the “overnight effect” on crypto prices requires delving deeper into the intricate relationship between the two market ecosystems.

Also Read: Donald Trump’s Crypto Portfolio Is Up 8%, But Which Asset Is The Top Performer?

Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Global Interdependence: The financial world is no longer a collection of isolated entities. Traditional markets and crypto markets are increasingly intertwined. Major economic events or policy shifts in one market can trigger a domino effect, impacting the other. This interconnectedness implies that price movements in traditional markets during their “overnight” hours can still cast a long shadow over crypto prices.
  • Investor Sentiment: Market sentiment, a collective gauge of investor confidence or fear, plays a pivotal role in price movements across all asset classes. If a negative sentiment pervades traditional markets during their off-hours due to unexpected news, it can translate into a sell-off that spills over into the crypto market, even though it remains operational. This herd mentality can cause a domino effect, with investors in both markets reacting to the same anxieties.
  • Tether’s Influence: Tether (CRYPTO: USDT), a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, plays a crucial role in the crypto market. It serves as a bridge for investors to enter and exit crypto positions. If there’s a significant fluctuation in the value of USDT due to events occurring outside traditional market hours, it can have a cascading effect on the broader crypto market.

However, dismissing the unique characteristics of crypto markets entirely would be a mistake. Here’s how crypto’s inherent features can potentially mitigate the “overnight effect”:

  • Decentralization: Unlike traditional markets with centralized control, crypto markets are decentralized, meaning they are not subject to specific opening and closing hours. This constant operation allows for price discovery to occur continuously, potentially mitigating the impact of concentrated buying or selling pressure at specific times.
  • News Saturation: The crypto market thrives on a 24/7 news cycle. News outlets dedicated to covering cryptocurrency developments constantly churn out information, potentially lessening the impact of any single announcement made outside traditional market hours. This constant flow of information allows investors in the crypto market to react and adjust their positions more readily.
  • Volatility: Crypto markets are notoriously volatile, experiencing significant price swings in short periods. This inherent volatility can overshadow the potential influence of the “overnight effect” from traditional markets. Even if there are price movements in traditional markets during their off-hours, the inherent volatility of crypto might mask or even completely negate their impact.
  • Read Next: Bitcoin To $1M? ‘Insane Macro’ Will Make It Happen, Says Arthur Hayes: ‘It’s Time To Even Add More’
  • Photo via Shutterstock

© 2024 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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