Oil crushed under pressure of lockdowns
Oil is getting crushed once again, with the latest Covid restrictions in Europe taking a heavy toll on crude prices. There’s a massive imbalance forming in the supply/demand outlook which is weighing heavily at the moment, as we await a response from OPEC+.
The group has previously signaled a willingness to respond in the event of more lockdowns and the time has come for just that. Market pressures are not going to ease, even if prior warnings cushion the blow to an extent.
Brent and WTI have both pulled off their lows this morning as sentiment in financial markets has improved but they are coming off a low base. Brent is almost 20% lower than it was a couple of weeks ago and the lowest it’s been since mid-May.
If OPEC+ don’t respond soon, the pressure will continue to increase and both Brent and WTI could find themselves closing in on USD30 a barrel once again. The group can only sustain so much and these lockdowns are only going to spread further. It’s not a case of if they’ll push back production increases, it’s now a case of when.
In terms of notable levels, the next major support for WTI is USD33, with USD30 being a major psychological level below that. For Brent, USD36 represents a big test – one it passed earlier today – but USD33 is the bigger challenge.
Any rallies may be tested by the sellers and, should it get that far, USD37 would be a major barrier to the upside in WTI, with USD40 posing a similar challenge for Brent.
Gold support passes first test
Gold has found some support in recent days around the late/post-summer lows. The region around USD1,850-1,860 has been key for the yellow metal during that period and a break of it would be a major psychological blow in the near term.
Nothing has changed about my medium to long term outlook, as far as gold is concerned, but the downside risks remain significant and election uncertainty will only add to that. Covid is sucking optimism out of these markets and weighing heavily on risk assets and gold is being taken down with it.
A move back above USD1,900 would be a positive move for the yellow metal but I don’t think it fundamentally changes the outlook. It’s one barrier to the upside but only a move above USD1,930 would represent a significant shift in momentum.
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