Crude Oil Nears Resistance, Gold Up On Fed. BoE, Moderna Vaccine Approval Next

Crude oil prices aimed higher on Wednesday, propelled by the latest EIA inventory report. Last week, stockpiles contracted by 3.1 million barrels, far larger than the -1.1m projection. This helped offset losses from softer-than-expected US retail sales earlier in the session, hinting at trouble brewing in the largest component of GDP from the world’s largest economy - consumption.

Anti-fiat gold prices also rallied over the past 24 hours, particularly enjoying the last FOMC monetary policy announcement of the year. While the Fed upgraded economic projections, including those to inflation, Chair Jerome Powell clearly underpinned the central bank’s accommodative stance. Keeping benchmark lending rates low, while continuing asset purchases to bolster CPI, makes for a favorable XAU/USD environment.

The US Dollar also weakened, amplifying gains in commodities and precious metals that are traded mainly in the greenback around the world. Gains in growth-linked crude oil and gold extended during Thursday’s Asia Pacific trading session. A healthy jobs report out of Australia, coupled with the aftermath of the Fed, likely played a role in keeping risk trends afloat and the USD under pressure.

The focus shifts to the Bank of England, US data and the FDA’s anticipated approval of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine. The BoE may echo the dovish undertones of the Fed, further supporting gold. During the Wall Street session, initial jobless claims could disappoint as policymakers remain in a stalemate over bipartisan fiscal aid. This is as the country just hit a grim record of 3.8k Covid deaths in a day.

Crude Oil Daily Chart

WTI crude oil prices are extending gains beyond 46.24, the former resistance level that held persistently last week. This is bringing prices closer to the 49.42 inflection point from earlier this year. Moreover, these movements reflect the bullish underpinnings of a ‘Golden Cross’ between the 20-day and 50-day Simple Moving Averages (SMAs) that formed in November. Keep a close eye on these in the event of a turn lower.

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