Crude oil price has dropped below 70 and then rebounded and attempted to test 80 within a month's period. The great volatility has been driven by macroeconomic events and economic indicators, instead of oil-specific fundamentals. In fact, we are concerned about the demand/supply outlook as weekly US inventory data have been disappointing recently.
In European session, WTI crude oil retreats as investors take profits after last Friday's rally of +3.07%. Currently trading at 78.1, price earlier surged to as high as 79.38 on speculations that tropical storm Alex would develop into hurricane and threaten production and oil spill cleaning at the Gulf of Mexico.
Gold continues to trade narrowly but remains at elevated level. Apart from flight for safe-haven against the backdrop of highly uncertain deficit problems in the Eurozone, geopolitical tensions in Iran and the Western world also boosts demand for the yellow metal.
CIA Director Leon Panetta said that Iran may have enough fissile material to make two atomic weapons. If that proves to be true, the UN may implement more sanctions and tensions should escalate.
Stock markets are mixed today. In Asia, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index changed little but Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost -0.5%. Appreciation in Japanese yen hurt export-oriented companies. In Europe, bourses open higher as led by automakers and energy companies. A UK explorer reported encountering oil-bearing sandstones in a well in the North Sea.
In NY session, the US government will report personal income and spending which should have increased +0.5% and +0.1% respectively in May. Last month, both the number of payrolls and the number of hours worked increased. These should result in higher wages and salaries earned. However, sluggish growth in spending suggests that consumers prefer saving more rather then spending because of uncertainty in economic outlook.