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Oil Stays Range-Bound, Gold Clings to Bond Prices

Oil Stays Range-Bound, Gold Clings to Bond Prices

2010-03-31 11:23:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist
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Commodities - Energy

Oil May Decline on Risk Trends, Factory Orders Data

Crude Oil (WTI)        $82.84       +$0.47       +0.57%
Prices continue to track sideways above the $80 figure with range resistance lining up at $83.16. The 20-day percent change correlation between crude and the MSCI World Stock index remains substantial at 0.84, hinting at a slight bearish bias with US equity index futures trading a bit lower (0.1 percent) ahead of the opening bell on Wall St. The US Factory Orders report headlines the economic calendar, with expectations calling for an increase of 0.5 percent in February, the smallest gain in six months, which further supports the case for a downside scenario. A pullback in on the March Chicago PMI figure – the first since September – likewise favors the bears. DOE crude inventory figures are also on the docket. On balance, a trend-defining breakout is unlikely until the week’s main event, the Nonfarm Payrolls report, crosses the wires on Friday.

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Commodities - Metals

Gold, Silver in Line With US Rates, Inflation Outlook

Gold        $1108.98        +$5.38       +0.49%
Positioning is little changed from yesterday, with prices stalling near resistance at the top of a falling channel set from the swing high in early March, now at $1115.42. A break beyond this boundary will expose the $1128.91 level. Gold’s function as an inflation hedge remains the primary force behind directional momentum with prices closely tied to the medium-term outlook on US interest rates and inflation. Indeed, the 20-day percent change correlation between gold and 2-year Treasury notes now stands at 0.65, the highest in nearly a year.

Silver        $17.50       +$0.21        +1.19%
As with gold, the outlook for US interest rates and inflation is the primary catalyst, with the percent-change correlation between silver and the 2-year Treasury note at 0.62. Technically, prices are wedged between double-top resistance at $17.65 and a rising trend line set from the swing low in early February, with a push higher exposing the $18.00 figure while a reversal below support eyes the $16.86-17.00 area.

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