Crude Oil Prices Soar on Demand Hopes, US Inventories and Jobs Data Eyed

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CRUDE OIL OUTLOOK:

  • Crude oil prices jump to 32-month high as demand outlook brightens
  • EIA inventory flow data, Friday’s US jobs report now in the spotlight
  • Technical positioning hints a push to test above $70/bbl may be next

Crude oil prices continue to push upward, with the WTI benchmark rising to the highest level since mid-October 2018. The energy complex has thrived in the past two weeks, echoing a broader upshift in cyclical inputs that has also included agricultural commodities and industrial metals (although the latter has softened a bit more recently).

This probably reflects an upshift in baseline economic growth projections. Data from Bloomberg suggests that analysts now expect global GDP to rise by 6 percent in 2021, up from 5.8 percent projected in mid-May. The outlook for 2022 has turned rosier over the same period as well, calling for a 4.4 percent rise. That is an increase from 4.1 percent previously.

Near-term, additional support is probably coming from a pause in US-Iran nuclear deal negotiations – where a successful outcome may bring a substantial increase in supply as sanctions lift – and API data showing US crude inventories shed a hefty 5.36 million barrels last week. Meanwhile, Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and IEA director Fatih Birol have talked up demand growth prospects.

Looking ahead, the spotlight turns to EIA inventory figures. A draw of 2.4 million barrels is expected. An upside surprise echoing the API estimate may give oil prices another nudge upward, although reluctance to pre-commit ahead of Friday’s US labor-market data may keep upward follow-through contained for now. Traders worry that the report may encourage the Fed to pull back stimulus relatively faster.

CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSIS

Crude oil prices pushed past would-be double top resistance in the 66.76-68.00 area. The focus now turns to the 38.2% Fibonacci expansion at 70.37, with a break above that setting the stage for a test of the 50% level at 74.42. Alternatively, a move back below 66.76 with confirmation on a daily closing basis may precede a pullback to challenge the 63.53-81 inflection zone anew.

Crude oil price chart created using TradingView

CRUDE OIL TRADING RESOURCES

— Written by Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC for DailyFX

To contact Ilya, use the comments section below or @IlyaSpivak on Twitter

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