Commodities and Cryptos: Oil slumps on dollar and virus worries, Gold shines, Bitcoin lower


Crude prices were lower on both a strong dollar and as omicron concerns grow as the current virus surge will likely lead to some Americans to cancel holiday travel plans. Covid news may continue to be a drag for oil prices for the rest of the year, but prospects of $100 oil at some point next year will lead to some buying on every critical support level. 

Iran’s lead negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said, “we have made good progress this week.” Iran’s nuclear talks have concluded the seventh round and will likely continue, but expectations for an imminent breakthrough are far too early.  Additional Iranian crude barrels hitting the market won’t be happening anytime soon.   

WTI crude appears poised to hover around the $70 area.  


Gold had a great week after a hawkish FOMC decision and dot plots triggered a flattening of the Treasury curve, safe-haven flows improved on omicron worries, all while Bitcoin continues to weaken.  Gold is back above the $1800 and how it performs for the rest of the year may be tricky given the thin market conditions that will shortly settle in. 

Omicron remains the biggest risk to the outlook and whether that leads to panic selling of risky assets or triggers some safe-haven flows might have gold trade between the $1775 and $1850 trading range for the rest of the year.   


Bitcoin selling pressure remained in place after reports Russia’s central bank may look to ban new crypto investment.  Today, Russia central bank governor Nabiullina said “we’re skeptical on crypto, to put it mildly. Bitcoin traders are hesitant to buy the dip just yet until perhaps one last push towards the low 40s. 

Bitcoin is known for exaggerated moves during illiquid conditions and that will be pretty much the rest of the year. If risk remains the dominant theme for the remainder of the year, the entire crypto space could be vulnerable to another 5-10% of weakness. 

Given this year’s outperformance with several altcoins, many traders will closely pay attention to if Bitcoin’s dominance continues to fade.  Bitcoin still has around 40% of the total crypto market cap, while Ethereum is near 20%.  Many traders are gravitating to other coins such as Avalanche, Solana, Polkadot, and Hedera.  If the focus primarily falls on altcoins at the beginning of next year, it may take Bitcoin a long time to return back to record high territory.  

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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Contributing Author at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya was a Senior Market Analyst with OANDA for the Americas from November 2018 to November 2023. His particular expertise lies across a wide range of asset classes including FX, commodities, fixed income, stocks and cryptocurrencies. Over the course of his career, Ed has worked with some of the leading forex brokerages, research teams and news departments on Wall Street including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Prior to OANDA he worked with, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news. Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Yahoo! Finance Live, Fox Business, cheddar news, and CoinDesk TV. His views are trusted by the world’s most respected global newswires including Reuters, Bloomberg and the Associated Press, and he is regularly quoted in leading publications such as MSN, MarketWatch, Forbes, Seeking Alpha, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Ed holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.