With the weekend meeting in Doha, Qatar making headlines today, all the market players’ eyes are on the future of crude oil prices.
For newbies out there, you should know that oil prices are important for forex traders because it affects domestic spending patterns, the economy’s trade activity, central bank policies, and eventually the exchange rates.
Here are three reasons why we think oil prices are looking slippery (pun intended) right now.
1. No deal for major oil producers.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you should know that market players had been closely watching the meeting between the world’s largest oil producers last weekend. You see, they’d hoped that the participants would come up with a plan to address the sharp declines in oil prices. Freezing oil production at January’s levels was one of the more favored outcomes.
Unfortunately, the meeting not only failed to produce results, but it also highlighted the rift between some of the major players. Saudi Arabia, for example, refused to sign the dotted line until Iran also does so.
No luck there, especially since Iran isn’t even in the meeting and has been saying “no thanks” since its oil-related sanctions have been lifted this year. The huddle ended with everyone still “evaluating” their positions and the next meeting set for June 2.
The lack of any concrete output (even after months of planning!) is damaging to oil prices for three reasons. First, it puts a huge dent on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC’s) ability to influence its members into agreeing to collective policies.
It also highlighted the unwillingness of major players to act against their individual interests in favor of oil price stability. Last but not the least, the meeting implied that any rebalancing of oil prices would likely happen without the help of the major players. Duhn duhn duhn.
2. Oil oversupply concerns are still… concerning.
Without any deal among the major oil producers, investors are back to the good ‘ol supply and demand for directions. We’re telling ya, it’s not looking pretty.
Just last week the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) lowered its global demand forecasts. It’s now seeing a demand of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for 2016, down from 2015’s 1.8 bpd consumption, due to “notable decelerations” in China, the U.S., and much of Europe.
Meanwhile the OPEC, worried about China and Latin America, lowered its global demand projections by 50,000 bpd in 2016 and said that demand for its crude oil will average at around 31.46 million bpd, down by 60,000 from last month’s numbers. Yikes!
Lower global demand won’t help the oversupply concerns especially when the major producers are expected to keep on keepin’ on. Russia and Saudi Arabia have been pumping oil at notably high levels since January and Iran has been busy recovering its market share after getting slapped with sanctions. The only bright side is the that the IEA thinks non-OPEC production could fall by 700,000 bpd this year with some of the decline due to lower U.S. shale oil production.
3. Oil charts are attracting the bears
As if the grim fundamental prospects for oil aren’t enough, crude oil charts are also looking as slippery as… well, oil.
Brent crude oil’s daily chart is ripe for a bounce from the 44.00 resistance levels. Interestingly, it’s also sitting on a 61.8% Fibonacci retracement as well as a previous support area.
Meanwhile, WTI crude oil’s chart is sporting what looks like a double top pattern on the daily chart. A break below the $36.00 neckline could take the pair back to its February lows.
There you have it, folks! What do you think? Will we see more oil weakness over the next couple of days? Or will the bulls step up and push the commodity higher? What catalysts do you think could change the tides for oil prices?