Wednesday 09, August 2017 by Jessica Combes

Can OPEC revive oil bulls?

 

There was little excitement in the oil markets during Tuesday’s trading session; with investors on guard as OPEC and Non-OPEC members discussed compliance levels on their output cut agreement, in Abu Dhabi, writes Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst at FXTM.  

Market players seem unfazed by the constant OPEC chatter, with scepticism increasing over the cartel’s plans to improve compliance, after OPEC output hit a 2017 record high and exports marked a record. While OPEC remains optimistic that the current supply cut agreement may eventually rebalance the saturated markets, the lagging compliance from Iraq and resurgent production in Libya, is threatening to undermine efforts made by the rest of the group to prop up oil prices. With Ecuador already pulling out of the OPEC agreement due to financial pressures, the clock is ticking and it will take more than pledges for the cartel to support oil prices moving forward. 

If nothing new is brought to the table in the OPEC meeting and investors are left empty handed once again, WTI Crude is at risk of depreciating further, as oversupply fears attracts sellers. The bearish bias towards oil remains intact amid oversupply concerns and there is a risk of the OPEC deal falling apart before March 2018, if members do not see oil prices recover. 

From a technical standpoint, WTI Crude has found comfort in a wide range on the daily charts with $48.50 acting a support and $50.30 a resistance. A breakdown below $48.50 should encourage a further depreciation towards $47. In an alternative scenario, a breakout above the $50.30 resistance should encourage a further movement towards $51. 

Gold bulls were back in action on Tuesday, with prices spiking towards $1264, as the Dollar lost its post-NFP mojo. With the economic calendar fairly light in the first half of the week, price action is likely to dictate where the yellow metal trades - with intraday bulls eyeing $1270. Much attention will be directed towards the US inflation numbers later this week, which should offer some clues on the pace of monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.  

Concerns over stubbornly low inflation have clouded the prospects of another US interest rate increase this year and investors will closely scrutinise the inflation figures to see if it has picked up. A soft inflation number below market expectations should punish the Dollar and dent expectations of higher US interest rates-resulting in a boost of Gold prices. From a technical standpoint, Gold bulls were back in control after prices traded above $1260. A daily close above $1260 should encourage a further increase towards $1270. In an alternative scenario, repeated weakness under $1260 should encourage a further depreciation towards $1240.