OPEC Supply Strangle and Sanctions Impact on Oil Price
It was not demand but OPEC's supply strangling and sanctions on Russia that caused oil prices to rise above $100 last year. The price decrease to $70 was largely due to the Biden administration releasing over 200 million barrels from the U.S. reserve. China's COVID controls also had a significant impact on demand.
UAE Contemplating Leaving OPEC
When the Wall Street Journal reported that the UAE was considering leaving OPEC, the oil market briefly hit. If the UAE were to leave OPEC, it would diminish the group's power to set oil prices, as they are the third largest producer in OPEC and produce over 3 million barrels daily.
Oil Price Rebound
A couple of hours after the report, Reuters issued a rebuttal, saying the Journal's account was "far from the truth." The crude oil prices, which initially fell more than $2.30 a barrel, rebounded and ended the day up 2% and the week 4% higher. John Kilduff, a partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital, said the positive week for oil was due to record U.S. crude exports and an increase in gasoline demand.
Oil Price Outlook
WTI needs to establish above $79.90 next week to clear the major resistance of $80 and above, according to Sunil Kumar Dixit, Chief Technical Strategist at SKCharting.com. He added that there is also the possibility of a price rejection from $80.60, which could push WTI back toward the support zone of $76.50.
Natural Gas: Market Settlements and Activity
Natural gas futures rose 23% on the week and returned to the critical $3 pricing after a 2-and-a-half-month selloff. The rebound in gas prices is due to late winter chills expected across the United States.
Natural Gas: Price Outlook
Natural gas futures are showing growth potential, with major indicators RSI and Stochastics strongly positioned on weekly charts, supporting the rebound. Immediate resistance is seen at $3.18 and $3.26 before the 50-Day EMA of $3.30.
Gold: Market Settlements and Activity
Gold for April delivery on New York's Comex settled at $1,854.60 an ounce, up $14.10, or 0.8%, on the day. For the week, the benchmark gold futures contract rose $45.40, or 2.5%.
Gold: Price Outlook
Gold can potentially experience a pullback to $1,850, and if it breaks below, it could reach the support areas of $1,845 - $1,838, according to Dixit. On the way up, gold has the potential to reach $1,865 and then $1,876, marking the 200-SMA on the 4-Hour chart and the 23.6% Fibonacci level at $1,879.