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Crude Oil Prices Hold Gains As Market Looks To OPEC, Aramco IPO

Crude Oil Prices Hold Gains As Market Looks To OPEC, Aramco IPO

David Cottle, Analyst


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Crude Oil and Gold, Talking Points:

  • Crude oil prices held on to the US session’s gains with a key couple of days in prospect
  • Thursday will see OPEC meet and also the pricing of Saudi Aramco’s Initial Public Offering
  • Gold prices were underpinned by weaker US jobs data

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Crude oil prices kept most of their previous session’s gains in Asia Thursday as investors contemplated what’s likely to be a crucial couple of days for the commodity.

Those gains came on the back of a surprise US inventory drawdown in the previous session, but the market is now firmly fixed on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Its December meeting starts Thursday. Comments made by various officials in the run-up has oil bulls on watch for longer, perhaps deeper, production cuts. The ‘OPEC plus’ group which includes Russia will meet on Friday.

Also awaited is the final pricing of Saudi Aramco’s Initial Public Offering. This seems to have been coming forever for the world’s largest and most profitable corporate. The Saudi government will sell a 1.5% stake in the state oil producer, which is valued in total at over $1.5 trillion, in a Riyadh listing thought likely to raise more than $25 billion.

Of course, US-China trade tensions are never far from the surface of all major markets, but they made a somewhat confused impact on Thursday’s action. Bloomberg reported that Washington and Beijing were indeed edging closer to an agreement, citing people familiar with the talks. This seemed to contrast with President Trump’s comments, made just 24 hours earlier, in which he speculated that a deal could be delayed until after the US Presidential Election next year.

Gold prices were steady despite broad appetite for riskier assets like equity, as the US Dollar lost some support after weaker-than expected private-sector US jobs data which has investors casting nervous glances at the official numbers coming up at week’s end. A weaker Dollar generally supports gold prices by making it cheaper for non-US investors to step in.

The snapshot from payroll specialist Automatic Data Processing showed found November the slowest month for job creation for six months. Private payrolls 67,000 rise was well below the markets’ median forecast of 140,000.

Crude Oil Technical Analysis

The daily chart here looks more upbeat after Wednesday’s sharp gains.

US Crude Oil Prices, Daily Chart

They’ve stopped prices from probing the lower bound of the established uptrend channel and propelled them instead back toward November’s peaks, much closer to the channel top.

US crude is now likely in a trading band between those peaks and the $57.17/barrel area which dominated trade through the middle of last month. Unless OPEC disappoints, and it has been known to, the uptrend looks very safe and that channel top could well face a near-term test.

Gold Technical Analysis

On a medium-term view gold shows clear signs of topping out, with a quite-steep monthly chart downtrend starting to bed down.

Gold Prices, Monthly Chart.

Of course, the current month is just getting started and it may be that, given the sheer scale of uncertainty facing global markets, that we see a broad range develop between November’s lows and the five-year peaks of September which mark 2019’s high.

Even so it seems that the impressive run of monthly gains seen since October 2018 has run out of vigor. Further retracement seems likely as we head into next year, unless global fundamentals deteriorate markedly.

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.