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Crude Oil Slips On Worries G7 Coronavirus Response Will Underwhelm

Crude Oil Slips On Worries G7 Coronavirus Response Will Underwhelm

2020-03-03 07:00:00
David Cottle, Analyst

Crude Oil and Gold Talking Points:

  • Crude oil prices made early gains but slipped back
  • The prospect of lower world interest rates still underpins all such risk correlated assets
  • Gold prices held up, supported as usual by lower bond yields

Crude oil prices failed to hold on to early gains Tuesday as the spread of coronavirus continues to dominate all financial market action.

Growth-sensitive assets such as crude have generally picked up this week, despite widespread new infections worldwide, as investors look hopefully to the world’s monetary and fiscal authorities for remedial support. These hopes bore early fruit Tuesday with an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia. Its base rate is are now 0.5%, a new record low. Moreover the European Central Bank proclaimed itself ready to act if needed, with other major monetary authorities expected to do the same.

However, risk appetite hit a hurdle later in the session when Reuters reported that a statement on virus response in preparation by the Group of Seven advanced industrial democracies doesn’t include specific commitments to either fiscal or monetary action. The news service reported that while finance leaders will work together to mitigate economic damage, the ultimate statement remains under discussion.

Still, the energy market remains very hopeful that this week’s Vienna meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia will see production cuts both deepened and lengthened significantly.

Oil - US Crude BEARISH
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Change in Longs Shorts OI
Daily 1% -7% -3%
Weekly 19% -19% -4%
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Gold prices gained with the prospect of lower global interest rates for longer burnished the metal’s appeal.

As a non-yielding asset gold has a strong tendency to gain when the yields of competitors such as bonds are forecast to be held down by central bank action.

There’s very little on the day’s scheduled economic data slate likely to tear market attention away from the coronavirus and the political response to it. Eurozone Consumer Price Index figures are coming up, with a modest deceleration expected in the annualized rate.

Gold BEARISH
Data provided by
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Change in Longs Shorts OI
Daily 3% -10% 1%
Weekly 13% 1% 11%
What does it mean for price action?
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Crude Oil Technical Analysis

Crude Oil Prices, Daily Chart

Growing hopes for that production cut haven’t seen the overall daily-chart downward channel threatened at all at this point. However, prices bounced last week at lows not seen since December 2018 and are now constrained by a support band from the following month. The market isn’t likely to stray very far from current levels until investors know what OPEC has in mind.

Substantial production cuts might well see the psychologically important $50/barrel mark regained but, with speculation already centered around reductions of around a million barrels per day, the meeting may struggle to beat expectations.

Gold Technical Analysis

Gold Prices, Daily Chart

Gold prices are flirting with the top of their current daily-chart trading range. They topped it on an intraday basis Monday and have done so again in Tuesday’s Asian session but a daily close above it so far eludes the bulls.

On the fundamental side, further confirmation that monetary policy will be loosened around the world is likely to see gold extend its gains, but the market is clearly nervous about a return to the eight-year highs of late February even though support looks strong above the $1568/ounce level.

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--- 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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