Crude oil prices decelerated on Tuesday, pulling back earlier gains recorded at the previous trading session on growing concerns that surging COVID-19 cases in the world’s biggest oil user, the United States, would limit the upside in energy demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost about 0.66%, to trade at $40.46 a barrel at 6.11am local time after surging as high as $40.36 in its intra-day trading session. Brent crude also lost about 0.63%, to trade at $42.83, after hitting an intraday high of $43.19.
“The potential for demand destruction as lockdown re-instatement looks more likely are combining with concerns about OPEC+ discipline to weigh on oil prices,” CMC Market’s Chief Market Strategist Michael McCarthy said in a note to Reuters.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, are lowering output by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for a third month in July.
Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp, in an email to Nairametrics, explained the macros limiting the prospect of oil demand. He said:
“The faltering re-opening of the US States is also partially offset by the muscular approach by Saudi Arabia. They are seeking to enforce compliance with OPEC+ quotas – both are currently important in maintaining market balance and ultimately drawing down global inventories.
“It seems traders are getting more accustomed to minor retracements and rallies than expecting a significant price shift this week as a range trade mentality continues to resonate where Brent $40 per barrel does give the appearance of something of a floor.
“With the market torn between robust cyclical data and rising virus case counts in the Sun Belt, putting in significant headroom above $WTI 40 was also challenged by a possible resumption of US shale production as price move higher. While no less concerning is OPEC+ could roll back cuts in August.”
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In addition, data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group scheduled to come out later today and the U.S. Energy Information Administration data planned to be out tomorrow, are expected to show a 100,000 barrel rise in crude oil stockpiles, six experts polled by Reuters estimated.
Brent Crude price trades at $45 per barrel, as fuel demand picks up
Brent crude held most of it gains from the previous trading session.
Brent Crude oil prices dropped slightly at Asia’s trading session.
Brent crude prices held most of it gains from the previous trading session after U.S. government data showed a fall in U.S Crude Stockpiles supporting the view that fuel demand is picking up despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brent crude was slightly down by 0.07% to trade at $45.40 a barrel by 04.32 GMT, after a gain of around 2% in the previous session.
Quick fact: Brent crude is the leading global benchmark for Atlantic basin crude oil. The international benchmark is used to set the price of crude oil of about two-thirds of the world’s traded crude oil including Nigeria’s crude.
However, Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp in a note to Nairametrics, revealed vital macros, that could keep crude oil relatively stable in the coming days. He said;
“But even worries around stalled US fiscal talks are partly offset by the US administration’s conciliatory tone on China’s compliance with the ‘Phase One’ trade deal.
“The upcoming six-month assessment seems unlikely to prompt any significant fireworks. Also, investor’s optimism remains high on a vaccine cure that is no longer being viewed as a pie in the sky.
“Finally, the US dollar’s weakness helps Oil prices in general, but even more so in this environment, as the weaker US dollar reflects a global “risk-on” environment, not a flagging US economy. “
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Global COVID-19 cases now exceed 20 million, so in the absence of meaningful progress on a COVID-19 vaccine, traders are still looking over their shoulders to where new lockdowns might be necessary.
Gold prices drop below $1,900 after U.S dollar strengthens
The plunge came as appetite for risk assets recovered thanks to a stronger greenback and real rates.
Gold prices dropped sharply on Wednesday at London’s trading session. Gold futures were down 2.69% to trade at about $1,893.20 as at the time this report was drafted.
The plunge came as appetite for risk assets recovered, thanks to a stronger greenback and real rates. The U.S dollar is up on Wednesday, continuing to rise from its two-year lows.
The present huge sell-offs recorded in the precious metal market astonished many gold traders after the per-ounce price of the yellow metal plunged below $1,900.
Here’s an Insight: Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp, in a note to Nairametrics, explained the macros, giving Gold bears such strength, as the precious metal continues its sudden downward trend. He said;
“The real pain trade gold as swollen positions got hit with the truncheon, and gold plunged the most in seven years as the bottom fell out of the markets with US Treasuries and bunds bear-steepening and real yields higher.
“Gold markets sold off picking speed exponentially as freshly minted gold longs ran for the exit.
“And in typical low liquidity August fashion, market makers were merciless pounding gold to within a hair’s breadth of $1900 as the steam roller got heading downhill when the afternoon Shanghai session saw waves of Asia banks selling en masse.”
Whether or not gold can regain its previous highs will depend on whether there is more room for downside in real yields or more dovish policies by the US Federal Reserve. Still, the possibility of squeezy price action remains in play after the US Bond market sent out the most explicit warning last week.
Gold price loses $80 following Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine approval
This marks gold’s steepest daily decline in nearly five months.
Gold futures have lost about 5% or $80 in less than four hours, at the London trading session this afternoon.
Gold futures fell as low as $1,950 per ounce, $80 differential from its opening price of $2,030
This marks gold’s steepest daily decline in nearly five months, even as global stocks went bullish following news that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine has obtained regulatory approval.
The COVID-19 vaccine approval by Russia was met with some skepticism by experts.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that a locally developed vaccine for COVID-19, Sputnik-V, has been given regulatory approval and is ready for use.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that the vaccine had “proven to be highly effective and safe”, with mass vaccination planned to start in October.
But health regulators elsewhere have cast doubts on the vaccine, as it has not yet gone through safety trials and Russia did not offer any scientific evidence of the vaccine’s effectiveness and safety.