Oil slides on Ukraine hopes, China lockdowns
Crude prices tumbled after Russia-Ukraine talks led to optimism an end to the war could be in sight and as China lockdowns Shenzhen and Jilin. Energy traders quickly abandoned the crude trade after the next round of EU sanctions spared oil from Russian companies. Oil prices did not stand a chance as Russian crude exports still seem protected and on fears the short-term crude demand outlook will take a hit as China sticks to the ‘zero-COVID policy’.
The oil market still remains very tight and while optimism grows that a huge risk to the global economy could be removed, that won’t change short-term crude supply risk, so a pullback towards the mid-USD 90s is not yet warranted.
Gold drops ahead of Fed meeting
Gold prices got hit with an uppercut as geopolitical tensions somewhat eased and as investors brace for the beginning of Fed tightening later this week. Gold is a tricky trade right now and could be subject to further profit-taking as Wall Street tries to get a better handle on how high the Fed will take rates this year. Expectations are for somewhere between 6-7 rate hikes but the risk for more remains elevated until we see a confirmed de-escalation with the war in Ukraine, elevated commodities prices will continue to unleash widespread price increases going into the summer.
Gold selling could target the USD 1930 an ounce level, but that should be a level where buyers emerge. A quick resolution with geopolitical tensions seems unlikely and while the Fed will show they are tackling inflation, the Fed is not in a position to make aggressive calls on tightening until they have a better handle of the situation.
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