Crude Oil Prices May Turn Lower As Market Risk Appetite Sours

Crude oil prices rose yesterday, shrugging off souring risk appetite across broader financial markets that might have been expected to weigh on the cyclically-sensitive commodity. The benchmark WTI contract closed at the highest level in nearly 11 months. Gold prices idled in choppy range confining them all week.

The upswing came as OPEC signaled that its supply-restriction efforts are on track to deplete the world’s brimming inventories. Nigeria was forced to declare force majeure and suspend exports from the country’s leading Forcados terminal amid reports of leaks, which may have helped underpin prices.

Meanwhile, stocks slumped as bond yields rose amid reports that President-elect Biden would propose an expansive fiscal stimulus plan, which he subsequently did. Markets appear worried that the effort might push the Federal Reserve to rein in ultra-loose monetary conditions sooner than previously thought.

Looking ahead, a risk-off tilt seems to be solidifying in the final hours of the trading week. Bellwether S&P 500 futures are pointing convincingly lower and crude oil prices are following suit having seemingly recoupled with overall sentiment trends.

More of the same may be ahead if the downbeat mood is amplified by economic data. US PPI may add to Fed-linked worries if the figures top expectations, echoing the trend in recent price-growth statistics. Meanwhile, the University of Michigan is seen showing that consumer confidence cooled this month.



Crude oil prices are testing resistance just below the $54/bbl figure, marked by the 50% Fibonacci expansion. A daily close above that may set the stage for a challenge of the 61.8% level at 55.84. Negative RSI divergence warns of ebbing upside momentum, however, hinting at potential topping. A turn back below the 38.2% Fib at 52.15 faces a formidable hurdle in the 49.41-51.03 inflection zone.

Crude Oil Prices May Turn Lower as Market Risk Appetite Sours

Crude oil price chart created using TradingView

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