Crude Oil Focus Back on Libya, Gold and Silver Rise on Risk Aversion
Commodities – Energy
Crude Oil Focus Shifts Back to Libya
WTI Crude Oil (NY Close): $104.27 // -$0.52 // -0.50%
Commentary: Crude prices slid in New York trading following an unexpected surge in weekly inventory figures but have quickly recovered above the $105/barrel overnight as forces loyal leader Muammar Qaddafi lashed out at opposition forces, sending the rebels fleeing east. The move amounts to a setback for the now NATO-led coalition forces bolstering the anti-Qaddafi side of the conflict with air strikes, hinting that more may need to be done to prevent a protracted and costly stand-off. US stock index futures have trimmed early gains and most European bourses are in the red, hinting the spike in oil is spilling over into broad-based risk appetite. Looking ahead, economists’ forecasts suggest an improvement on US jobless claims figures will compete with a downtick in Factory Orders for influence over price action, with the bulls seemingly holding the upper hand as long as pro-Qaddafi forces hold on to momentum.
Technical Outlook: Prices are bouncing from support at a rising trend line set from mid-February’s swing low, with the bulls poised to challenge the $106/barrel figure. A break above this barrier clears the way for a run to the 3/7 high at $106.93. Alternatively, a move back below the trend line exposes $102.70.
Commodities – Metals
Gold Edges Higher on Risk Aversion
Spot Gold (NY Close): $1423.02 // +$4.52 // +0.32%
Commentary: An uptick is geopolitical turmoil is once again seeing gold take up a safe-haven role, rising along with crude oil prices as tensions in Libya weigh against risk appetite. Traders will now keep a close eye on the US Dollar as the benchmark currency finds an overnight bottom and begins to rebound on the back of safe-haven demand; a supportive set of jobless claims figures heading into Friday’s Nonfarm Payrolls report may help stoke Fed tightening expectations (which perked up after policymaker James Bullard suggested QE2 may be cut short yesterday), giving the greenback an added edge and limiting the yellow metal’s gains.
Technical Outlook: Prices are rebounding from resistance-turned-support at a falling trend line set from the March 2 session high, targeting a retest of $1439.95. Alternatively, a reversal lower through trend line support exposes support $1393.85.
Spot Silver (NY Close): $37.47 // +$0.42 // +1.14%
Commentary: As with gold, risk aversion has pushed silver prices higher. The gold/silver ratio continues to push lower, suggesting the cheaper metal will continue to outperform its more expensive counterpart.
Technical Outlook: Prices have produced a bearish Hanging Man candlestick below resistance at $37.66, hinting a move lower is ahead, with initial support lining up at $37.15. Alternatively, a push higher through near-term resistance clears the way for a probe above the $38.00 figure.
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