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Oil in choppy waters, gold holds gains

Demand to pick up later this year

It’s been a choppy session in the oil market, where Brent is hovering around $80 and WTI $75. We’ve now seen three sessions on the bounce in which oil prices have rallied before ending the day well off the highs. Not a particularly bullish signal.

There’s a lot to consider in oil markets at the moment and the near-term risks probably are more tilted to the downside. The start of the year could see countries fall into recession as the cost-of-living crisis bites, interest rates are hitting a level that could significantly hurt economic activity and China is likely to experience the worst of the Covid surge after relaxing its approach.

Beyond that, things could start to look up for a number of reasons. China could bounce back strongly, especially if backed by monetary and fiscal stimulus, central banks may discover they have room to cut rates if inflation falls substantially and economies are in recession and Russian output could be squeezed as sanctions take their toll. A lot of ifs and buts of course, but that is the uncertain world we now live in.

Holding on

Gold is holding onto gains well considering the Fed’s efforts to address market interest rate expectations. Yields remain near their recent lows and gold near the highs around $1,880, indicating that policymakers have a lot more convincing to do. That may be made harder on Thursday if core inflation is lower than expected, undermining the central bank’s hawkish stance. Of course, there will come a time when that will have to change and it may be fairly abrupt.

For now, the yellow metal faces strong resistance around $1,880-$1,920, a region that we’ve seen a lot of activity around in recent years. Momentum remains favourable for the bulls but that may change now that the price is testing that $40 range.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary.

His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News.

Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.

Craig Erlam
Craig Erlam

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