WTI Crude Oil Fails to Extend the Bullish Bias of the Previous Weeks – A Fundamental Outlook!
Arslan Butt • 3 min read
During Monday’s Asian trading session, the WTI crude oil prices failed to extend their bullish streak of the past few weeks, as they came under some selling pressure around the $ 45.00 level, due to the investors’ cautious sentiment ahead of an OPEC+ meeting to decide whether the OPEC+ group will extend its massive production cuts to balance global markets. As a result, the crude oil prices have been trading between $ 44.62 and $ 46.30, after hitting their highest level since March last week. Apart from this, the delay in the US COVID-19 aid package and the worries over the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases across the globe are also exerting downside pressure on the crude oil prices. It should be noted that the positive mood surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines failed to keep the buyers happy for long, as traders are still awaiting the actual delivery of the vaccine, which everyone hopes will bring the pandemic under control, and this has put further pressure on the crude oil prices.
In the meantime, the on-going uncertainty over the Brexit trade talks and fears of a full-fledged trade/political war between the West and China are also playing a major role in undermining the crude oil prices. On the contrary, the upbeat Chinese official Manufacturing and Services PMIs recently sparked hopes over the recovery of the Chinese economy, which has become one of the leading factors that has helped to limit deeper losses in the crude oil prices. Meanwhile, the weakness of the US dollar, triggered by the possibilities of further monetary easing by the US Federal Reserve, could also be considered as one of the key factors that is helping to probe the bearish bias of the crude oil prices, as the price of oil is inversely related to the price of the US dollar. At the moment, crude oil is trading at $ 44.97, and consolidating in the range between 44.78 and 45.36.
Despite the lingering vaccine optimism, the fears of rising numbers of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the US, Europe and some of the notable Asian nations, continually fueling worries over the global economic recovery, which in turn undermined the crude oil prices. As per the latest report, the coronavirus (COVID-19) figures from Texas and California have been increasing day by day, while the news of the National Football League’s virus-led shutdown raised further fears. Across the pond, Britain and the European Union (EU) remain in dispute over the key issues of the Brexit deal, despite suggestions that the deal is closed.
Elsewhere, the declines in crude oil prices were further bolstered after US President Donald Trump added Beijing’s leading chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to its blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, which in turn, exerted downside pressure to the market trading sentiment and contributed to the losses in crude. Furthermore, relations between the US, the United Kingdom and Australia, with the Asian major, have also soured of late, as was witnessed after the UK banned the installation of the new Huawei 5G kit.
Despite the worsening coronavirus (COVID-19) conditions and the worries over the full-fledged trade/political war between the West and China, the market trading sentiment has been flashing mixed signals since the Asian session started. The reason for this could be associated with the upbeat Chinese official Manufacturing and Services PMI data, which recently sparked hopes over the recovery of the Chinese economy and became the key factor that helped to put a stop to the bearish rally in the crude oil prices. On the data front, the NBS Manufacturing PMI rose to 52.1, exceeding both the forecast of 51.5 and the previous 51.4, whereas, at 56.4, the Non-Manufacturing PMI exceeded the prior 56.2 and the expected 52.1.