Oil edges higher, gold struggling on US rate concerns

Oil remains range bound but ending the week on a positive

Oil prices are edging higher again today but given how they’ve traded over the last couple of months I’m struggling to read too much into it. The inventory data on Wednesday was bullish on the face of it and the eurozone inflation data today won’t do it any harm either, but uninspiring Chinese PMIs overnight don’t fill me with confidence.

Broadly speaking, it’s range-bound as it has been since early May, and showing little signs of breaking in either direction. The range is getting very gradually smaller but at such a slow pace that it doesn’t really tell us much at this point. It very much feels like traders are awaiting more information on inflation and, by extension, interest rates, and until we have a better idea of the outlook, it could remain in this pattern.

Gold struggling amid US interest rate concerns

Gold continues to languish around $1,900 after slipping below here briefly on Thursday for the first time since March. Strong economic data from the US has reaffirmed fears that a resilient economy may stand in the way of the Fed ending the tightening cycle, increasing the possibility of more hikes and a harder landing.

There are clear signs of progress on inflation but with the economy and labour market showing such resilience, officials may be concerned that getting from 4.4% to 2% may be much harder than what’s been achieved so far. And the longer it remains above, the longer rates will remain high which is a big risk to the longer-term economic prospects.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Former Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.