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Crude Oil, Gold Prices Look Ahead to US Jobs Data for Direction

Crude Oil, Gold Prices Look Ahead to US Jobs Data for Direction

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

Talking Points:

  • Crude oil prices break monthly uptrend, expose support near $42/barrel
  • Gold prices in corrective mode after testing resistance near 3-month high
  • Directional commitment likely to wait for Friday’s US employment data

Crude oil prices have pulled back from six-month highs alongside retreating stock prices. The move seems to reflect a broad-based moderation in risk appetite ahead of Friday’s much-anticipated release of April’s US Employment report.

A concurrent moderation in priced-in 2016 FOMC rate hike expectations implied in Fed Funds futures suggests the markets are positioning to evaluate the outcome at face value. This implies that a soft result will be interpreted as negative for sentiment trends even as it argues for a more dovish monetary policy stance.

Interestingly, gold prices have pulled back from three-month highs despite deterioration in the outlook for interest rates, which might have been expected to boost anti-fiat assets. This may speak to the broadly corrective mood in Fed-sensitive assets ahead of the US jobs data release.

Absent unexpected headline risk, pre-positioning flows are likely to remain in focus into Wall Street Friday morning. Commentary from James Bullard, Dennis Lockhart and John Williams – Presidents of the Fed’s St. Louis, Dallas and San Francisco branches respectively – may stir interim volatility. Officials’ penchant for hedged rhetoric will probably limit lasting follow-through however.

Are DaliyFX analysts expecting a larger crude oil recovery? See our forecast here !

GOLD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – Gold prices are edging cautiously downward after finding resistance in the 1294.26-1307.49 area, marked by the January 22, 2015 high and the 38.2% Fibonacci expansion. The first layer of support is at 1261.70, the 23.6% level, with a break below that on a daily closing basis exposing a rising trend line at 1229.07. Alternatively, a push above resistance targets the 50% Fib at 1324.58.

CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – Crude oil prices declined after a Spinning Top candlestick identified earlier in the week developed into a full-blown bearish Evening Star pattern. A breach of trend line support guiding the upswing from the early-April swing low suggests a larger downward reversal may be in the cards. A daily close below the 41.87-42.35 area (March 22 high, 38.2% Fibonacci retracement) exposes the 50% level at 40.99. Alternatively, a push above the 14.6% Fib at 45.07 opens the door for a retest of the April 29 top at 46.76.

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for

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DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.