WTI defends $59 handle ahead of US NFP, drilling data
- WTI consolidates the downside, manages to hold 59.00
- Easing Mid-East concerns, rising US crude supplies hurt oil.
- Next of relevance remains the US jobs and rigs count data.
WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) is seen extending its overnight side trend into the European trading, as the bears consolidate this week’s sell-off to four-week lows of $58.66.
The black gold trades in an extremely tight trading range above the 59 handle, as it stands 0.50% lower so far, lacking a clear directional bias ahead of the critical US Non-Farm Payrolls and Rigs Count data due on the cards later today. Meanwhile, markets refrain from placing any big bets on the barrel of WTI heading into the weekly closing.
The bearish bias remains intact in the commodity amid receding fears over a US-Iran war after both sides called for de-escalation. Oil prices are trading nearly $2 below the levels they were seen last Friday after the US killed the Quds Force Commander in an airstrike on Baghdad airport. The major US escalation saw Iran’s retaliatory military action on the US airbases in Iraq on Wednesday.
Additionally, the sentiment around oil remains dampened by worries over rising US crude inventories, especially after Wednesday’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) crude inventories data showed that the US crude oil stocks rose by 1.2 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 3 to 431.1 million barrels vs. a 3.6 million-barrel drop expected.
WTI Technical levels to consider