Oil prices surge while gold prices remain subdued

Geopolitical concerns propel oil prices upward, while gold prices take a breather

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 4 January 2024

Market close
  • Oil prices surged 1% on Middle Eastern supply concerns stemming from protests at Libya's Sharara oilfield.

  • Gold prices faced profit-taking amid a strengthening dollar, post-FOMC minutes, causing a retreat from 2023 peaks.

  • Investors eye Non-Farm Payroll data projecting a decline to 168k jobs and a rise in the unemployment rate to 3.8%.

On the Market Watch!

Oil prices

Oil prices rose by 1% following concerns over Middle Eastern supply disruptions due to issues at Libya’s Sharara oilfield. Local protests led to the shutdown of production at the Sharara oilfield, capable of producing up to 300,000 barrels per day.

Brent crude futures were up by 1.4% to $79.20 a barrel, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by 1.3% to $73.63.

Both benchmarks had already gained 3% on Wednesday, supported by erupting complications in the red sea, protests in Libya, two explosions in Iran aside from on-going war in Gaza.

Gold prices

Gold prices were hit by some profit-taking activities since the beginning of the year and as the dollar regains its strength on the back of uncertainty when it comes to when the Fed will start trimming rates.

This trend intensified following the release of FOMC meeting minutes, which provided clues on this year's anticipated rate cuts, deviating from market expectations and causing a retreat in gold from its 2023 peaks.

The yellow metal was muted today trending near $2043 with oscillators still holding in the positive territory. Investors are closely watching key data scheduled for release tomorrow, including Non-Farm Payroll figures, which are anticipated to see a marginal decline from the previous 199k to 168k. Simultaneously, there is an expectation for an increase in the unemployment rate to 3.8% from 3.7% in November.