Precious metals climb, oil stays range-bound

Slight gains in oil prices

A weaker US dollar, and strong OPEC+ compliance, saw both Brent and WTI carve out modest gains overnight. Brent crude rose 0.70% to USD45.30 a barrel, and WTI rose by 1.25% to USD42.75 a barrel. In Asia, some profit-taking has been evident, ahead of the OPEC+ monitoring meeting, both contracts easing slightly by 0.10%.

Despite the decent gains overnight though, both Brent and WTI remain in range-trading mode. Plentiful global supply and Covid-19 derived consumption fears continue to plague oil markets, limiting their upside.

That is highlighted by the contango in the Brent crude futures curve, with Brent crude for immediate delivery at a lower price than the futures forward dates. That implies that immediate supplies globally remain plentiful, which is one of the significant reasons that both contracts remain stuck in range-trading mode. The contango will need to reduce substantially, or ideally, move into a modest backwardation, for prices to move materially higher.

The FOMO-trade is back for precious metals

Gold and silver rallied powerfully overnight as the hot money finished licking its wounds and piled back en masse into long precious metal positioning. Gold rose 2.10% to USD1985.00 an ounce, and silver rose 4.0% to 27.4850 an ounce. The rally has continued in Asia as US dollar weakness persists in the region today. Gold has climbed to USD1991.50 an ounce, and silver has risen to USD27.7800 an ounce.

As I stated earlier, it’s all about the yield and the move lower by the US 10-year was all the greenlight that markets needed to reinstate long precious metal positioning. The ensuing weaker dollar also gave a tailwind to both trades. But the real story here is negative real US dollar yields, which have moved more negative again after nominal ones fell overnight. That is the underlying driver for gold and silver’s outperformance, and we appear to be back to business as usual.

The debasement of the US dollar as a tsunami of US government debt, combined with Federal Reserve quantitative easing from here to eternity, are the culprits. Both themes will serve gold and silver well throughout 2020 and 2021. Such moves will not be linear, as evidenced by the emotional corrections lower seen last week, but the underlying theme remains undiminished.

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.

Jeffrey Halley

Jeffrey Halley

Senior Market Analyst, Asia Pacific
With more than 30 years of FX experience – from spot/margin trading and NDFs through to currency options and futures – Jeffrey Halley is OANDA’s senior market analyst for Asia Pacific, responsible for providing timely and relevant macro analysis covering a wide range of asset classes. He has previously worked with leading institutions such as Saxo Capital Markets, DynexCorp Currency Portfolio Management, IG, IFX, Fimat Internationale Banque, HSBC and Barclays. A highly sought-after analyst, Jeffrey has appeared on a wide range of global news channels including Bloomberg, BBC, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Sky TV, Channel News Asia as well as in leading print publications including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among others. He was born in New Zealand and holds an MBA from the Cass Business School.
Jeffrey Halley
Jeffrey Halley

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