Crude Oil Steady Ahead of Fed Minutes

US Crude is showing limited movement on Wednesday, trading at $41.17 a barrel early in the North American session. In economic news, US Building Permits improved to 1.15 million, matching the forecast. Later on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its October policy meeting, and the markets will be keenly interested in the comments of policymakers regarding a rate hike.

The guessing game continues as to whether the Federal Reserve will kick off a series of rate hikes in December, so the markets will be carefully combing through the Fed minutes, which will be released later n Wednesday. Market expectations have risen to 66% that the Fed will make a move next month. The last time the Fed raised interest rates was in June 2006, so such a move is sure to have a significant effect on the global currency markets. With the US economy close to full employment and many economic indicators pointing upwards, one of the last pieces in the puzzle is inflation. Last week’s PPI was awful, posting a second straight decline. On Tuesday, CPI and Core CPI posted small gains of 0.2%, matching the forecast. Are these lukewarm readings enough to convince the Fed to make a move in December? The Fed has said that inflation levels are an important factor in determining its decision in December, but with US inflation stuck at low levels, it remains a guessing game as to whether the Fed will press the rate trigger at its next policy meeting.

The US economy has certainly improved, but the manufacturing sector continues to lag behind. Earlier this week, the Empire State Manufacturing Index posted its fourth straight decline, underlining worsening conditions in the manufacturing sector. In November, the indicator came in at -10.7 points, weaker than the forecast of -5.3 points. We’ll get another look at manufacturing data, with the release of the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. This indicator has also struggled, posting two straight declines. The markets are expecting some improvement in the November report, with an estimate of 0.1 points.

WTI/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (Nov. 18)

  • 13:00 US FOMC Member William Dudley Speaks
  • 13:30 US Building Permits. Estimate 1.15M. Actual 1.15M
  • 13:30 US Housing Starts. Estimate 1.16M. Actual 1.06M
  • 15:30 US Crude Oil Inventories. Estimate 2.0M.
  • 19:00 US FOMC Meeting Minutes

Upcoming Key Events

Thursday (Nov. 19)

  • 13:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 272K
  • 15:00 US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index. Estimate 0.1 points

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are GMT


WTI/USD for Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WTI/USD November 18 at 13:55 GMT

WTI/USD 41.21 H: 41.53 L: 40.67


XAU/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
35.09 37.75 39.87 42.59 44.30 47.04
  • WTI/USD has shown limited movement throughout the day.
  • 39.87 is providing support.
  • 42.59 is the next line of resistance.

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 39.87, 37.75 and 35.09
  • Above: 42.59, 44.30, 47.04 and 49.06

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.

Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.