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Crude Oil Prices Up as China Pledges to Lift Some US Import Tariffs

Crude Oil Prices Up as China Pledges to Lift Some US Import Tariffs

David Cottle, Analyst

Crude Oil and Gold Talking Points:

  • Crude oil prices made gains as risk appetite bounced back
  • China said it would get rid of some US trade barriers, stock markets liked that
  • Gold prices were pressured, with US labor market numbers in focus

Crude oil prices rose in Asia on Thursday, in step with a general revival in risk appetite.

Markets appear more sanguine about the economic impact of coronavirus, although the disease continues to spread. China surprisingly announced that it would halve tariffs on a range of US goods from February 14, in a move Beijing said was aimed at advancing the health and stability of China-US trade.

Products worth about $75 billion annually to the US are apparently included.

This news sent regional stock markets higher, while, more specifically to the energy market, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in the ‘OPEC Plus’ group are continuing to meet in Vienna. Investors suspect that those countries may decide to lengthen and deepen production cuts in response to this year’s price falls.

The energy market like all others will now look ahead to official US labor market data, due for release on Friday. Still arguably the most important single release from the monthly global numbers round, economists are looking for a so-so rise of 160,000 non-farm jobs in January.

Gold Weighed Down By Brighter Risk Appetite

Meanwhile Gold prices headed lower as the day’s trading action saw riskier assets far more in vogue. The yellow metal was already weighed down by this week’s broadly punchy readings on US manufacturing, services and the private labor market.

Various central bankers have this week played down the coronavirus as a likely temporary headwind for the global economy, notably those from Australia and the Eurozone. Market seem inclined to be cheered by this assessment even as the virus’ death toll and geographic footprint continues to expand.

Crude Oil Technical Analysis

US Crude Oil prices seem to be forming a tentative daily chart base around the lows of early January, 2019.

US Crude OIl Prices, Daily Chart

The market seems to believe that major traditional producers aren’t going to allow prices to get below the psychologically crucial $50/barrel mark without taking action, although of course no one can be certain that this is the case.

For as long as it appears to be, the current lows may provide a cushion for the market and prevent full retracement of last year’s gains. 2019 started with a rise up from the $42 lows seen in December of the previous year, but at this point it looks unlikely that that point will be revisited. The bulls’ first order of business will probably be to recapture last week’s highs in the $54.60 region, and it will be interesting to see if they can accomplish this into the week’s close.

Gold Technical Analysis

Gold Prices, Daily Chart

Gold prices have been quite torpid since Tuesday’s sharp falls brought hem back into their former daily trading range. They remain below the uptrend broken by that lurch lower, and the bulls may well try to regain the top of that if they can.

However, given the enduring uncertainties which beset global markets, it seems unlikely that gold is going to face a downside range break anytime soon, with prices still holding very close to the more than seven-year highs made in January. Unexpected strength in US job creation could see the range base challenged, however.

Commodity Trading Resources

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Follow David on Twitter@DavidCottleFX or use the Comments section below to get in touch!

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