Crude Oil, Gold Refocus on Global Economic Growth Concerns
- Crude Oil Back on the Defensive After Caterpillar Earnings Disappoint
- Gold and Silver Inch Higher as Post-EU Summit Optimism Dissipates
WTI Crude Oil (NY Close): $99.13 // +0.99 // +1.01%
Crude traded higher for much of the European session amid buoyant optimism in the aftermath of an unexpectedly bold announcement of measures to shore up the Euro Zone debt crisis following a summit of EU heads of state in Brussels. However, prices enter the final hours of the trading week on the defensive after a disappointing earnings report from Caterpillar – a bellwether of global economic growth – missed analysts’ estimates on sagging Chinese demand.
The result reminded investors that despite apparent removal of the threat that a sovereign default in the Euro Zone would bring (at least for now), the macroeconomic landscape remains unnerving as all three of the world’s leading growth engines – China, the EU and the US – show signs of weakness into the second half the year. Sentiment is likewise under pressure as President Obama struggles to cajole his own Democrat party into a deal with rival Republicans to slash the US budget deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade ahead of a looming deadline to raise the legal debt limit on August 2nd. Democratic lawmakers are balking at the plan, saying its proposed spending cuts would unduly hurt their agenda. Earlier in the week, Republicans had also expressed opposition at the plan’s proposed tax hikes, arguing the shortfall should be closed with spending cuts alone.
Resistance at $99.22 continues to hold for now, with prices appearing to be carving out a Triangle continuation pattern below this juncture. The setup points to bearish continuation, of the larger down trend initiated from the May 2 high. A break through the formation’s support exposes initial barriers at $94.13 and $92.51. Alternatively, a push higher through resistance exposes the $100/barrel figure, followed by the familiar barrier at $103.30.
Spot Gold (NY Close): 1590.70 // -9.80 // -0.61%
Gold is in consolidation mode above support at $1578.82, the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level, having taken out rising channel support that upheld the rally since the beginning of the month. Prices are being pulled in opposing directions as disappointing Caterpillar earnings and lingering uncertainty on the US Debt ceiling front pressure the metal higher on safe-haven demand while yesterday’s encouraging EU summit continues broadly underpin sentiment and thereby cap rallies. On balance, only a push above the July 19 high at $1609.95 would neutralize near-term selling pressure. A resumption of bearish momentum that clears current support initially exposes $1559.56. Longer-term positioning remains broadly bullish.
Spot Silver (NY Close): $39.41 // +0.63 // +1.56%
As before, the key drivers of silver price action continue to mirror those of gold, with the early-morning retreat in share prices underpinning the cheaper metal on safe-haven demand. Broadly speaking however, prices remain locked in consolidation below resistance at $41.06, though the presence of a Bearish Engulfing candlestick pattern suggests the path of least resistance favors the downside. A break below initial support at $39.01 exposes downside targets at $37.17 and $36.29.
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