Crude Oil Stabilizes at $31, US Jobless Claims Rise

US Crude is steady on Thursday, as February futures are trading just above $31 a barrel in the North American session. On the release front, US Unemployment Claims rose to 281 thousand, above the estimate of 275 thousand. On Friday, there are a host of key US releases, led by Retail Sales and PPI.

With the Federal Reserve rate hike now behind us, there is intense market speculation as to when the Fed might strike again. A rate hike in late January is not seen as likely, coming so soon after the December move. Many experts are forecasting another hike in March, contingent on a strong US economy. The Fed has hinted that it could raise rates up to four times in 2016, but experts like Chase Chief Economist Anthony Chan don’t think this will be the case. A rate hike in late January is not seen as likely, coming so soon after the December move. A move by the Fed in March is more likely, contingent on a strong US economy. Although the economy is in good shape, one major area of concern is the inflation picture. Inflation levels have not kept up with other economic indicators and remain at low levels. The minutes of the December meeting indicated that some Fed members strongly considered voting against a rate hike due to weak inflation. Another concern is a lack of wage growth, despite a robust labor market. This was underscored by the last Average Hourly Earnings report, which came in at a flat 0.0% in December. The Fed will be keeping a close eye on inflation and wage growth data before reaching a decision to raise rates for a second time.

WTI/USD Fundamentals

Thursday (Jan. 14)

  • 8:30 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 275K. Actual 281K
  • 8:30 US FOMC James Bullard Speaks
  • 8:30 US Import Prices. Estimate -1.4%. Actual -1.2%
  • 10:30 US Natural Gas Storage. Estimate -152B. Actual -168B
  • 13:01 US 30-year Bond Auction

Friday (Jan. 15)

  • 8:30 US Core Retail Sales. Estimate 0.2%
  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate -0.2%
  • 8:30 US Retail Sales. Estimate -0.1%
  • 10:00 UoM Consumer Sentiment. Actual 92.7 points

*Key releases are highlighted in bold

*All release times are EST

WTI/USD for Thursday, January 14, 2016

WTI/USD January 14 at 9:10 GMT

WTI/USD Open: 30.76 Low: 30.28 High: 31.75 Close: 31.07

WTI/USD Technical

S3 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
22.28 26.64 30.00 32.22 35.09 37.75
  • WTI/USD was flat in the Asian and European sessions. The pair has shown slight gains in North American trade.
  • The round number of 30.00 remains a weak support level
  • There is resistance at 32.22

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 30.00, 26.64 and 22.88
  • Above: 32.22, 35.09, 37.75 and 39.87

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.