Oil ignores US jobs data
Oil prices were almost unchanged on Friday, with Brent crude and WTI maintaining their gains even as headline US jobs data came in soft. Brent crude edged 0.20% lower to USD 81.80, and WTI fell 1.0% to USD 78.85 a barrel. In Asia, prices have risen slightly with Brent crude trading at USD 81.90, and WTI at USD 79.00 a barrel.
Despite prices easing slightly on Friday, oil continues to hold onto almost all its gains from the start of December. That was despite two OPEC+ meetings where production was increased. Part of the answer lies with OPEC+ itself, where overall compliance with production targets by members has been well over 100% for the last six months. The importance of this cannot be emphasised enough as it implies that OPEC+ itself has very little readily available swing production. Assuming that omicron passes and that the global recovery and international travel continue to recover, the supply/demand dynamics for oil will continue to swing towards higher demand and constrained supply. It would not surprise me in the least if Brent crude and WTI rose to near USD 100 a barrel in the coming months.
In the nearer term, Brent crude has support at USD 79.60 and the 100-day moving average (DMA) at USD 78.15 a barrel, with well-denoted resistance now at USD 83.00 a barrel. A rally through USD 83.00 signalling a retest of USD 86.00. WTI has support at USD 78.50 and USD 77.50 a barrel, with resistance at USD 80.50 and USD 82.00 a barrel.
Gold remains unexciting
A lower US dollar on Friday gave gold some solace, rising 0.30% to USD 1796.60 as it remains side-lined in range trading. Gold remains vulnerable to US dollar strength, and I have no doubt that any meaningful rally will continue to be unwound aggressively at the first sign of trouble.
Gold has edged lower to USD 1793.70 an ounce in Asia with no momentum apparent either way. Gold has resistance at USD 1810.00 and USD 1830.00 an ounce. Support lies at USD 1785.00, followed by USD 1780.00 and USD 1760.00 an ounce. The downside continues to look the more vulnerable and I believe gold will trade in a roughly USD 1775.00 to USD 1815.00 range this week.
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