Crude Oil Prices Stall as Gold Drops on Upbeat US Economic Data
- Crude oil prices ignore supportive Iraq comments, EIA inventory data
- Markets may be turning deaf to OPEC jaw-boning as key meeting nears
- Gold prices sink as US durables report drives hawkish Fed outlook shift
Crude oil prices drifted sideways despite seemingly supportive news-flow coming across the wires. First,Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said his country will participate in an OPEC production cut deal, reversing previous demands for an exemption. This may help break the deadlock in negotiations on output reduction quotas ahead of a cartel meeting next week that is meant to finalize the scheme’s implementation details. Second, the weekly EIA inventory data set showed a drawdown of 1.26 million barrels, beating forecasts calling for a 289.7k barrel build.
The EIA report was closely foreshadowed by the API estimate a day earlier, which may have undermined the figures’ market-moving potential. As for the OPEC saga, jaw-boning may be losing its ability to move prices (as expected). The lead-up to September’s unveiling of the output cut agreement was marked by frequently conflicting remarks from stakeholders that fueled seesaw volatility. The subsequent period ahead of the November 30 meeting has been no different and markets may be turning a deaf ear to commentary until something tangible emerges. A reluctance to take directional bets against a backdrop of ebbing liquidity ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday may have also played a part.
Gold prices slumped after October’s preliminary US Durable Goods Orders data crossed the wires. The report showed a gain of 4.8 percent, the largest in a year. Economics were projecting a far more modest 1.7 percent increase. US front-end bond yields rose and the 12-month rate hike outlook implied in Fed Funds futures steepened, hinting the outcome amplified the recent hawkish shift in US monetary policy bets following the US presidential election. This boosted the US Dollar and undermined demand for non-interest-bearing and anti-fiat assets, weighing on precious metals.
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GOLD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – Gold prices posted the largest decline in two weeks, breaching the $1200/oz figure and hitting the lowest level in almost ten months. From here, a daily close below the 123.6% Fibonacci expansion at 1171.83 targets the 138.2% level at 1152.30. Alternatively, a rebound above the 100% Fib at 1203.40 exposes the 76.4% expansion at 1234.97.
CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – Crude oil continue to tread water after launching a rebound from support near the $43/bbl figure, as expected. A daily close above the 50% Fibonacci expansion at 48.55 exposes the 61.8% level at 50.05. Alternatively, a reversal below the 38.2% Fib at 47.05 targets resistance-turned-support at 45.92, the November 9 high.