WTI Crude oil managed to hold above 90 psychological level and recovers today on renewed Egypt concern while brent crude oil breaches 103 mark, making a 28 month high. Pro-president Hosni Mubarak group opened fire on protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, wounding at least seven. The incident complicated the process of power transition in Egypt and raised the prospect of contagion into other countries of Middle East and North Africa. WTI crude oil shrugged off yesterday's bearish inventory rise and remained firm above 90 level so far. It looks as if more consolidations would be seen below 93 first though.
On the other hand, gold is struggling to stay above 1330 level as markets are getting more optimistic on global recovery. Solid job data from US sent DOW closed above 12000 level for the first time since June 2008. Silver's recovery also lost momentum after falling below 29 level. Nevertheless, base metal is strong with copper jumped to $10,000 a metric ton for the first time on speculation of surging demand on global recovery.
ECB meeting will be a main focus today. The ECB is expected to leave the main refinancing rate unchanged at 1% and reiterate the current monetary policy as 'appropriate' in February. Concerning inflation, President Trichet will regard recent rise in inflation as temporary and stress that the ECB will be act if needed if it sees second-round effects from rising commodity prices. We retain our view that the central bank will leave the policy rate unchanged throughout 2011. However, an early rate hike cannot be ruled out if there are signs significant upside pressure from domestic prices.
Other focuses ahead include US initial jobless claims, which is expected to drop to 420k. US ISM non-manufacturing index is expected to be steady at 57 in January.