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Crude Oil Prices Gain As Risk Appetite Holds Up After Fed's Powell

Crude Oil Prices Gain As Risk Appetite Holds Up After Fed's Powell

David Cottle, Analyst

Crude Oil and Gold Talking Points:

  • Crude oil prices were higher as stock markets continued to rise on Wall Street optimism
  • China reported another day of lower coronavirus infection numbers
  • Gold prices slipped with riskier assets tempting investors

Crude oil prices were higher in Asia Pacific trade on Wednesday as risk appetite held up even as investors continued, inevitably to monitor the spread of coronavirus.

US equities made new record highs in the previous session, and that optimism was maintained across the region. Federal Reserve Charmain Jerome Powell said in his scheduled testimony to lawmakers that he thought the US economy was in a good place and performing well even as the Fed closely monitored the virus.

Meanwhile China reported a lower number of new infections for a second straight day. This is to be sure a crumb of comfort, but markets seemed dispose to latch onto it.

Still, US crude inventories rose by six million barrels in the week to February 7, smashing expectations for a three-million-barrel build. More data on this subject is due later Wednesday.

Gold prices crept lower as risk appetite held up and some continued broad strength in the US Dollar weighed on the oldest haven asset of all.

This market will like all others look to Jerome Powell’s second day of testimony as he is due to appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday.

Still the metal seems highly unlikely to face significant downward price pressure in such nervous markets. Holding in larges exchange-traded gold-backed fund SPDR reportedly rose to 922.23 tonnes on Tuesday, it’s highest mark for more than three months.

Crude Oil Technical Analysis

Crude Oil Prices, Daily Chart

US crude oil prices have managed to stage an upside break out of the well-respected downtrend channel which has previously bounded market action since January 5. However, it may be a mistake to read too much into this more bullish signal as the market still looks decidedly rangy and daily ranges remain quite low, suggesting perhaps a lack of conviction. The fate of the range which has been in play for the last couple of weeks may be a more meaningful directional clue.

Gold Technical Analysis

Narrow daily ranges are also to be seen on gold’s chart.

Gold Prices, Daily Chart

The market seems to have topped out under the previous highs, made in late February but, so far, the dominant uptrend channel has held. It’s coming close to the market though. Should it break, focus will return to the range in place since January 9. The base of that is quite a long way below current prices, however at $1536.91 ounce. That’s unlikely to be revisited without clear improvements in the conronavirus contagion story.

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.

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