Brent crude prices breached the $90 level, the highest level since 2014, joining a broad risk-on Wall Street move and shrugging off a somewhat bearish EIA crude oil inventory report. Energy traders are anticipating higher energy prices on potential geopolitical risks and as OPEC+ will stick to their plan to deliver another modest increase to production at next week’s meeting.
Oil inventories posted a larger build than expected, jet fuel demand plunged, gasoline imports dropped, demand improved slightly. Cold weather was behind the strong demand for heat.
Crude production dropped again, but that was mainly due to cold weather and so far, earnings season from the oil giants suggest that will change going forward.
Crude prices did not have much of a reaction post-Fed, settling slightly lower off session highs.
Gold prices tumbled as equities roared back. The return of risk appetite dampened the appeal for safe-havens and that sent gold back to the middle of its recent trading range. Just when gold looked like it was going to breakout, they pull it back in. The path higher for gold is there, but it will likely be a tough grind higher.
Gold held onto losses after the FOMC statement laid out their plans for a March rate increase. Powell’s hawkish press conference sent gold to fresh lows as the Fed laid out the possibility of a much more aggressive balance sheet reduction and refused to rule out the potential of having an interest rate hike at each policy meeting.
Calm is entering crypto markets as panic-selling of risky assets appears to be over now that the Fed has calmed markets. Bitcoin has steadied this week and optimism is brewing in the cryptoverse that a strong altcoin season could be coming if Bitcoin can stabilize between the $40,000 and $50,000 trading range.
The regulatory hurdles however will remain a constant headwind for crypto markets. The crackdown on crypto companies that offer high-yield products appears to be heating up as the SEC may be closing in on Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, and Gemini Trust Co. Many crypto traders have relied on these crypto lending products any disruption in this space could impact many coins.
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