Crude prices were due for a rebound after one the worst starts of a year. It’s been a few decades since oil had this bad of a start and energy traders jumped all over the news that the Colonial Pipeline had to halt operations after a leak occurred. The shutdown should be over on Saturday, but the unexpected disruption helped oil prices stabilize.
The EIA crude oil inventory report was mixed but one of the big takeaways that it showed is demand is falling off a cliff. Gasoline demand fell the most since March 2020, crude oil and distillate demand posted significant declines from a week ago. Some traders are focusing on the declines in both gasoline and distillate inventories. Crude exports surged and imports declined as flows from the Keystone Pipeline were impacted.
Oil is trying to rally but demand concerns are keeping the gains small. The Saudis are slashing prices as the short-term crude demand outlook seems like it won’t quite get a major boost from a robust China reopening.
Gold prices weren’t ready for a trip to $1900 and investors quickly locked in profits yields rose and the dollar staged a comeback. Gold is struggling as the latest round of economic data suggests the Fed will have a lot of pressure on them to tighten further.
Labor market weakness is around the corner and until that happens, gold might remain stuck above the $1800 level.
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