Oil volatile after a week of mixed messages, US inflation bad news for gold

Oil markets volatile ahead of OPEC+ meeting next weekend

Oil prices are recovering slightly after a volatile week amid conflicting commentary from key members of the OPEC+ alliance. From a “watch out” warning from the Saudi Energy Minister to a suggestion that the group will not cut output next weekend, traders have been left a little confused as to what we can expect.

It may be that Saudi Arabia wants to keep traders on their toes but to make these comments and not follow through could be perceived as weak and see prices drift lower again. Unilateral action may not pack the same punch as a group cut, although you wouldn’t put it past them.

Gold hit by stronger US inflation numbers

Gold is paring losses at the end of the week but still looks vulnerable to further declines amid more unfavourable data. The US inflation, income, and spending data were another blow, indicating more resilience in the economy and stubbornness of price pressures. It’s a common theme this week and a concerning one for policymakers that hoped they could ease off the brake after a gruelling tightening campaign.

The yellow metal broke below $1,960 on Thursday, a loss of key technical support, before trying and failing to break back above today in what could be viewed as confirmation of the initial move and a bearish signal. If it does continue to drift lower, $1,940 could be an interesting level of support, with $1,900 then being a notable psychological level.

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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.