Oil slides but remains in range
We’re continuing to see oil prices fluctuate, although recent choppiness has occurred largely near the upper end of their range since early December. Brent and WTI are on the decline on Friday, matching up with overall risk appetite in the markets but broadly speaking, little has changed.
One major upside risk to prices remains China and its recovery from the transition to living with Covid. Russian output remains another, following reports that its output will fall by half a million barrels per day from March as a result of the price cap. Some suggest that could double later in the year. There are downside risks, of course, not least a slower global economy as a result of much higher interest rates. But for now, traders seem content with it remaining in the range.
Warm weather has enabled gas prices to continue drifting lower, albeit at a slower pace after falling back to pre-war levels. European gas stores remain strong as a result, although that could shrink over the remainder of the winter.
Thursday’s PPI numbers were the latest setback for gold, coming on the back of the red-hot jobs report, stubborn CPI data, and strong retail sales. Gold has fallen around 7% over the last couple of weeks and it appeared to be stabilizing around $1,820-$1,830 on Thursday.
It’s trending lower once more today though, off almost 1% but there isn’t an enormous amount of momentum at this point. We could see it consolidate around here or even pare losses, although a break of $1,820 could see the sell-off intensify again with $1,780-$1,800 being the next major test.
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