(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin hit the highest since August as investors interpreted Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's comments about progress on inflation as a sign that a less harsh monetary policy backdrop lies ahead.
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The largest token rose as much as 2.4% and was trading at $24,020 as of 9:35 a.m. in Singapore amid wider crypto gains, including a 3% climb in second-ranked Ether. A gauge of the top 100 digital assets has added 37% this year.
A range of investments from stocks to bonds and crypto pushed higher after Powell said the disinflationary process is underway. He didn't push back aggressively on a rally in global markets this year that's loosened financial conditions, which can make it harder to temper price pressures.
He was speaking after the Fed downshifted as predicted to a quarter-point interest-rate hike. Powell said policymakers expect to deliver a "couple" more rate rises before putting their aggressive tightening campaign on hold.
"Cryptocurrencies are rallying on risk-on sentiment after dovish comments from the Fed overnight," said Cici Lu, founder of Venn Link Partners, a blockchain adviser. She added that she's detected more purchases by institutional clients in recent weeks.
Digital assets are rebounding from steep losses last year, a period pockmarked by blowups like that of the FTX exchange.
"Usage, adoption and innovation remain a much more positive picture than pricing and investor sentiment was reflecting," said Richard Galvin, co-founder of fund manager Digital Asset Capital Management.
For crypto market prices: CRYP; for top crypto news: TOP CRYPTO.
--With assistance from Sunil Jagtiani.
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