WTI lacks firm intraday direction, remains below $74.00 mark amid mixed fundamental cues

WTI lacks firm intraday direction, remains below $74.00 mark amid mixed fundamental cues
NEWS | 01/19/2024 02:37:34 GMT | By Haresh Menghani
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WTI Oil prices struggle to attract follow-through buying and consolidate during the Asian session on Friday.
Optimistic demand forecasts and concerns over disruptions in Middle East supplies lend support to Oil prices.
Hopes that the markets will remain well supplied, China’s economic woes and a bullish USD seem to cap gains.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) US Crude Oil prices struggle to build on a two-day-old uptrend and oscillate in a narrow trading band during the Asian session on Friday. The commodity remains below the $74.00/barrel mark, though remains on track to register modest weekly gains in the wake of optimistic demand forecasts.

In fact, both the Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasted an improvement in the global Oil demand over the next two years. Adding to this, an unexpected drop in US crude inventories, led by a 40% drop in North Dakota’s Oil output due to extreme cold weather and operational challenges, helps offset fears of slowing economic growth and could act as a tailwind for the black liquid.

Meanwhile, concerns over disruptions in Middle East supplies remained in play as the US-led forces continue to clash with the Iran-backed Houthi group in the Red Sea. Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles at a US-owned, Greek-operated tanker ship on Thursday. In response, the US carried out its fifth strike against Houthi anti-ship missiles, raising the risk of a further escalation of geopolitical tensions and lending support to Oil prices.

That said, dismal economic data from the Eurozone and persistent worries about sustained economic weakness in China – the world’s largest Oil importer – continue to fuel concerns about sluggish demand. Adding to this, expectations that the markets will remain well supplied in the first half of 2024, in the wake of underwhelming production cuts from OPEC and record-high US output, further contribute to keeping a lid on any meaningful upside for Oil prices.

Furthermore, the recent US Dollar (USD) rally to over a one-month top, bolstered by reduced bets for an early interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve (Fed), acts as a headwind for the USD-denominated commodity. This, in turn, warrants some caution for aggressive bullish traders and before positioning for any meaningful appreciating move for Oil prices.

Technical levels to watch
Today last price 73.77
Today Daily Change -0.12
Today Daily Change % -0.16
Today daily open 73.89

Daily SMA20 72.62
Daily SMA50 73.63
Daily SMA100 79.65
Daily SMA200 77.38

Previous Daily High 74.18
Previous Daily Low 72.12
Previous Weekly High 75.28
Previous Weekly Low 70.21
Previous Monthly High 76.79
Previous Monthly Low 67.97
Daily Fibonacci 38.2% 73.39
Daily Fibonacci 61.8% 72.91
Daily Pivot Point S1 72.61
Daily Pivot Point S2 71.33
Daily Pivot Point S3 70.54
Daily Pivot Point R1 74.67
Daily Pivot Point R2 75.46
Daily Pivot Point R3 76.74

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