WTI Crude is flat on Monday, trading at $35.65 per barrel in the European session. Taking a look at economic news, it’s a very quiet day, with no US releases. The markets are keeping a close eye on US CPI, which will be released on Tuesday.
Crude oil prices continues to slump on world markets. WTI Crude has plunged some 14% in December, trading at its lowest levels in over six years. OPEC members, who produce some 40 percent of the world’s oil, met for a key meeting in Vienna earlier this month. Despite oil prices falling almost daily, OPEC failed to reach any agreement on cutting production, and in a sign of complete discord, failed to even issue a statement of a production target for the cartel. OPEC reported that it actually exceeded its production ceiling of 30 million barrels a day for most of 2015, and production in November hit a 3-year high. To make matters even worse for oil exporters, Russia continues to produce at high levels, and Iran is chafing at the bit, ready to increase oil production as soon as it receives the green light from the West and sanctions on oil sales are removed. This is expected to happen in early 2016, so it unlikely that crude oil prices will recover anytime soon.
The markets have become somewhat spoiled with strong job numbers out of the US, so weak employment readings last week came as a rude surprise. Last week, Unemployment Claims shot up to 282 thousand, its highest level in two months. The markets had expected a reading of 266 thousand. Still, the four-week average of unemployment claims remains at low levels. This was followed by JOLT Job Openings, which slipped to 5.38 million, sharply lower than the previous month’s reading of 5.53 million. This soft figure was way off the estimate of 5.59 million. Will these weak numbers deter the Federal Reserve from proceeding with an expected rate hike at the policy meeting on December 16? There are no guarantees as to what the Fed has in mind for the markets, but the likelihood remains very high that a rate hike will occur, to the point that we’re likely to see strong volatility in the markets if the Fed doesn’t press the rate trigger next week.
Monday (Dec. 14)
- There are no releases on Monday
Upcoming Key Events
Tuesday (Dec. 15)
- 12:30 US CPI. Estimate 0.0%
- 12:30 US Core CPI. Estimate 0.2%
*Key releases are highlighted in bold
*All release times are GMT
WTI/USD for Monday, December 14, 2015
WTI/USD December 14 at 15:50 GMT
WTI/USD 35.51 H: 35.88 L: 34.54
- Crude was flat in the Asian session. WTI/USD posted losses in the European session but has recovered in North American trade.
- 37.75 is an immediate resistance line
- 35.09 was tested earlier in support in could break in the North American session.
Further levels in both directions:
- Below: 35.09, 33.22 and 30.00
- Above: 37.75, 39.87, 42.59, and 44.30
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