Hurricane Harvey Hits Oil as Gold Relaxes in Jackson Hole

Hurricane Harvey’s landfall tonight in Texas promises severe disruption in the oil sector while gold continues to chill ahead of the Jackon Hole Symposium.

Oil prices moved lower overnight with WTI by far the worst performer, falling 1.60% in New York trading despite Hurricane Harvey bearing down on the Texas coast, promising extensive disruption to both refining and extraction operations. The answer may well lie with gasoline futures, which moved the opposite way and rose 2 percent on the day. We suspect that a stronger U.S. dollar overnight and position squaring ahead of Janet Yellen’s keynote speech at Jackson Hole were the underlying drivers as Brent also fell, but only by 0.70%.

If Hurricane Harvey’s potential to cause disruption and damage in Texas is what the experts are predicting, we expect that the sell-off in WTI may only be transitory. Damage and flooding to refineries and shale fields disrupted production in the Gulf of Mexico and infrastructure damage is unlikely to be bearish for WTI.

WTI spot trades at 47.60 this morning, at its 100-day moving average. Overnight it broke its trend line support of the last week with this line now resistance just above at 47.80. Overnight support lies at 46.90 followed by 46.45. The picture is not positive from a technical perspective, however, given the event risks mentioned we will take it with a grain of salt for now.

Brent spot continues to trade at a healthy premium to WTI, moving slightly higher from its close to 52.40 this morning. It tested but closed above its 200-day average at 51.85 and support remains untested at 51.20. Resistance at 52.70 continues to be the center of attention. Otherwise, the contract seems content to range trade at the upper end of its monthly range into the weekend.


The summer doldrums continued overnight as gold produced a sideways day ahead of the start of the Jackson Hole Symposium. The trend line support, today at 1282.50, remained untested overnight with gold trading in a 1284.50/1291.50 range.

Ms. Yellen’s speech will decide the near term fate of the U.S. dollar, so patience will be required until her keynote address this evening.

Gold’s price action continues to be constructive as it consolidates the gains of the last ten days. Resistance remains at 1296.00 followed by the Friday high at 1301.00 with support at 1279.00 and 1267.00.

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Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Currency Analyst
Based in Singapore, Jeffrey has over 25 years experience in the financial markets, having traded currencies, options, precious metals and futures. Jeffrey started his career at Barclays Bank in New Zealand. However he has spent most of it in London and Asia.Jeffrey focuses on the Asia time zone across asset classes. A regular commentator on business news TV and Radio, he is originally from New Zealand and holds an MBA from Cass Business School, London.