Selling pressure regains control in oil markets

Oil prices decline as concerns over decreased demand escalate

By Raed Alkhedr | @raedalkhedr | 22 August 2023

July _ Oil 102
  • Oil prices have fallen below $80 per barrel

  • Disappointing economic data from China is exerting pressure on oil prices

  • The People's Bank of China has lowered the lending rate for a one-year term

Oil prices decline amidst Chinese demand uncertainty

Oil finds itself once again following a downward trajectory, as the gains it had previously achieved are now being erased. These declines are unfolding in the midst of the uncertainty surrounding Chinese demand, a consequence of the real estate crisis currently plaguing the world's second-largest economy. This prevailing uncertainty casts a shadow over global demand projections.

The People's Bank of China recently announced a reduction of 10 basis points in the benchmark lending rate for a one-year period. However, this falls short of the anticipated 15 basis points reduction. This development marks the second instance within three months where China has chosen to lower this rate, a strategic move by authorities to invigorate credit demand.

Conversely, data from Chinese customs exposes a notable monthly decline of approximately 31% in Saudi Arabia's exports to China during July. This has paved the way for Russia to assume the position of the primary oil supplier.

Financial markets are in eager anticipation of the release of several critical economic indicators in the United States this week. Notably, the upcoming speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on Friday holds substantial weight. Additionally, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is poised to unveil crude oil inventory data tomorrow evening, a report closely monitored by industry experts.

In terms of trading performance, crude oil initiated the second session of the week with a considerable decline of more than 1%, hovering at approximately $79.94 per barrel.

Critical technical levels impacting oil market dynamics

The intricate landscape of oil trading is intertwined with its technical and pivotal levels. Presently, oil prices have reverted to their downward trajectory subsequent to their inability to breach the significant resistance at $81.50 per barrel, consequently retracting below the $80 threshold. The backing of technical indicators suggests a probable continuation of this decline in the upcoming period, directing prices towards the support levels set at $78.50.

Conversely, an alternate scenario emerges when prices once again ascend past the $80 per barrel mark. In this case, a potential corrective upward movement towards $81.50 might be in the offing. However, it remains imperative to surmount these barriers in order to establish robust technical support for an upward trend and sustain its momentum towards the coveted $83 per barrel.

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