Oil stabilises, gold looks for direction

Oil steadies as IEA prepares details of reserve release

Oil prices have pulled back considerably since peaking last month in the early days of the invasion. Declines over the last couple of weeks have been aided by lockdowns in China and a massive SPR release by the IEA, the details of which should become known early this week.

The US has already made its contribution known which will go some way to easing the tightness in the market and supply shock from Russia, where sanctions are biting. This is only a temporary solution but offers a buffer over the next six months as producers ramp up production, including OPEC+ which has until now refused to accelerate its efforts in any significant way.

Oil prices remain high but they’re certainly at more sustainable and less economically threatening levels. WTI slipped below USD 100 and could remain there depending on the full details of the IEA release and the length of Chinese lockdowns but the war in Ukraine remains a significant upside risk.

Gold holding up as recession signals flash

Gold is holding up fairly well in the face of multiple super-sized rate hikes being priced into the markets and risk appetite remaining fairly strong. The inflation risk is seemingly providing plenty of support which is why we’re seeing so many rate hikes being priced into the markets, along with the downside economic risks that continue to mount.

One thing that has come with these super-sized hikes is recession risks, as evident by the inversions we’re now seeing on the US yield curve. The 2-10 inversion is now clear for all to see and has previously been a fairly reliable recession indicator. Of course, it doesn’t offer any kind of specific timeline and there are doubts about its reliability in an enormous Fed balance sheet world. The economic data may also provide some comfort.

But gold is holding firm and is actually up marginally on the day. It appears to have consolidated just above USD 1900 over the last few weeks with brief dips below being quickly bought into. Equally, it’s not making any real headway to the upside, making it quite a choppy market at the moment that offers little in the way of directional clues.

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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.