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WTI & Brent Crude Oil – How Will Inflation Impact Energy Prices?

Commodities / Crude Oil Dec 18, 2021 - 06:31 PM GMT

By: P_Radomski_CFA


Once inflation is set free, it never returns to the previous state. The fight requires fast thinking, but major banks still sit on the fence.

On the global economic scene, major central banks still don’t really know which pedal to use - either the one to fight inflation (tapering) or the other one to keep taking their shoot of quantitative easing (money-printing) policies. Inflation, however, is like toothpaste: once you got it out, you can’t get it back in again. So, instead of squeezing the tube too strongly, both the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB) are likely to maintain an accommodating tone this week, which could eventually benefit the price of black gold.

Crude oil prices were looking for a direction to take on Tuesday, after mixed reports emerged, one rather pessimistic on global demand (published by EIA) and the other, more optimistic over sustained demand, from the OPEC group. Indeed, the first report came from the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Tuesday morning. It slightly lowered its forecast of world oil demand for 2021 and 2022, by 100,000 barrels per day on average, mainly to consider the lower use of air fuels due to new restrictions on international travel.

The second one, from OPEC, stated on Monday in a more optimistic bias that the cartel has indeed maintained its forecasts for global oil demand in 2021 and 2022. It estimated that the impact of Omicron should be moderate and short-term since the world is becoming better equipped to face new variants and difficulties they may cause.

Therefore, while the prospect of possible travel restrictions and new lockdowns worries investors, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday a drop in commercial crude reserves of 800,000 barrels last week.

On the geopolitical scene, growing tensions between Russia and the West over the conflict in Ukraine are contributing to escalating gas prices, given that a third of European gas comes from Russia.

WTI Crude Oil (CLF22) Futures (January contract, daily chart, logarithmic scale)

Brent Crude Oil (UKOIL) CFD (daily chart, logarithmic scale)

Henry Hub Natural Gas (NGF22) Futures (January contract, daily chart, logarithmic scale)

In summary, we can witness more volatile markets than usual for the month of December. Even though this could be accentuated by the end-of-year adjustment operations among traders, some uncertainties with central banks’ monetary policies remain and are certainly weighing on the financial markets, especially in the inflationary context. Thus, the week ahead could be an interesting one for both the black gold and the greenback.

Have a nice weekend!

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Thank you.
Sebastien Bischeri

Oil & Gas Trading Strategist
* * * * *
The information above represents analyses and opinions of Sebastien Bischeri, & Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. At the time of writing, we base our opinions and analyses on facts and data sourced from respective essays and their authors. Although formed on top of careful research and reputably accurate sources, Sebastien Bischeri and his associates cannot guarantee the reported data's accuracy and thoroughness. The opinions published above neither recommend nor offer any securities transaction. Mr. Bischeri is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Sebastien Bischeri’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Sebastien Bischeri, Sunshine Profits' employees, affiliates as well as their family members may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

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