The cryptocurrency has retreated following its rally earlier this week, but Ether is currently underperforming.
The crypto market rallied earlier this week, with the total market cap reaching the $1.7 trillion mark. However, the cryptocurrencies have been underperforming over the past 24 hours, with the market cap now around $1.6 trillion.
Bitcoin is struggling around the $36k level after hitting $38,000 earlier this week. However, one of the worst performers amongst the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap is Ether, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain.
Ether has lost roughly 3% of its value over the past 24 hours and is currently trading below the $2,500 psychological level.
The bears are keeping pressure on the cryptocurrency ahead of Friday’s $1.1 billion monthly options expiry. If the bearish sentiment in the market continues, ETH could face further selling pressure over the coming hours.
Currently, most options traders bet that ETH’s price could dip below the $2,400 level over the coming hours. Only a minor percentage believe that Ether could rally past the $2,700 level over the coming days.
Key levels to watch
The ETH/USD 4-hour chart is currently bearish as the cryptocurrency has sustained losses over the past 24 hours. The technical indicators show that Ether is currently struggling.
The MACD line has dropped below the neutral zone, thanks to the selling pressure on the cryptocurrency. The RSI of 51 shows that Ether is no longer in the overbought region and could enter the oversold zone if the market conditions remain unchanged.
If the bears remain in control, ETH could drop below the $2,350 support level over the coming hours. However, unless there is an extended sell-off, ETH should steer clear of the sub-$2,200 level over the next few days.
On the flip side, if the market rally resumes, ETH could top the first major resistance level at $2,614 during the weekend. The resistance level at $3,012 should limit further upward movement in the short term.