Oil trades sideways in Asia
Oil markets reversed their losses from Monday overnight, rising after Russia announced natural gas export bans on Poland and Bulgaria from today unless they paid in roubles. Brent crude rose by 2.85% to USD 105.40, and WTI rallied by 3.10% to USD 101.60 a barrel. In Asia, both contracts booked one per cent gains in early trading but have since given all of those back to be almost unchanged from the New York close.
The rally, spurred by rising China Industrial Profits, which alleviated slowdown fears, has evaporated as quickly as it began, suggesting that Asia markets remain much more concerned about China’s slowdown than events in eastern Europe. That complacency could come back to bite them. If Russia makes little progress in its latest offensive, the Kremlin could lash out and widen those export bans if Europe doesn’t accept the rouble blackmail. Once Germany is included, we can assume energy prices will be heading higher once again. For now, risk aversion is capping oil’s gains.
With that in mind, I am sticking to my guns and continue to expect that Brent will remain in a choppy USD 100.00 to USD 120.00 range, with WTI in a USD 95.00 to USD 115.00 range.
Gold ponders its next move
Gold managed to gain some risk aversion support overnight, shrugging off a much stronger US dollar to post a modest 0.40% gain to USD 1904.50 an ounce. In Asia, upward momentum has quickly subsided, gold reversing 0.35% lower to USD 1898.50 an ounce.
The question now is, has gold’s correction lower run its course, and are we approaching levels to buy, given an escalation in geopolitical risks once again? The price action suggests not as gold rallied only modestly overnight and has quickly given back those gains today. It remains anchored at the bottom of this week’s range. Gold has support at USD 1891.50 and USD 1880.00 an ounce. Failure of USD 1880.00 signals a capitulation trade targeting triangle support at USD 1835.00, and then USD 1800.00 an ounce. On the topside, gold has resistance at USD 1915.00, USD 1940.00, USD 1980.00, and USD 2000.00 an ounce.
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