BTCUSD has been experiencing a prolonged period of consolidation in the four-hour chart, with the price failing to escape its narrow range. Since the beginning of 2023, the cryptocurrency has been attempting a rebound, but its advance has been repeatedly held down by the 200-period simple moving average (SMA).
The momentum indicators currently suggest that near term risks are tilted to the upside. Specifically, the RSI is pointing upwards above its 50-neutral mark, while the stochastic oscillator is set to post a bullish cross.
Should bullish forces prevail and push the price above its 200-period SMA, the recent resistance of 16,983 could prove to be the first obstacle. Conquering this barricade, the price could challenge the December resistance of 17,420 before the 17,971 zone comes under examination. Failing to halt there, further advances could turn the spotlight to the December high of 18,370.
On the flipside, bearish actions could encounter initial support at the 16,759 barrier. Violating that zone, the price could descend to challenge the 16,600 support region. A break below that region may then open the door for the December 2022 low of 16,252.
Overall, BTCUSD appears unable to exit its sideways pattern as the 200-period SMA continues to act as a strong ceiling. Hence, a break above that hurdle could lead to some upside for the king of cryptocurrencies.