Copper, Crude Oil Vulnerable to Impact of US Austerity

Commodities are putting in a mixed performance in overnight trade. Crude oil and copper prices are showing little directional conviction, mirroring European shares. S&P 500 index futures are accelerating increasingly lower however, hinting risk aversion is likely to pick up steam and weigh on both sentiment-linked assets as Wall Street comes online. As we discussed elsewhere, the mood may sour as traders ponder on-coming headwinds from US austerity as the “debt ceiling” and “sequester” battles draw closer.

The likely response from precious metals seems somewhat clouded however. Gold and silver are finding nominal support after Ben Bernanke failed to reinforce hints of early stimulus removal that emerged in December’s FOMC minutes in overnight remarks at the University of Michigan. That suggests that absent a meaningful move higher from the US dollar in the midst of risk aversion, anti-fiat assets may continue to find support even as risk aversion stings elsewhere.

Comex E-Mini Copper (NY Close): $3.634 // -0.020 // -0.55%

Prices are testing below support at 3.620, the 50% Fibonacci retracement. This barrier is reinforced by a rising channel set from early November, now at 3.588. A break below the latter level exposes the 38.2% Fib at 3.569. Near-term resistance is at 3.671, the 61.8% retracement.

 

WTI Crude Oil (NY Close): $94.14 // +0.58 // +0.62%

Prices took out trend line resistance set from late February, initially exposing support-turned-resistance at 94.61. A break above that targets a rising channel top at 96.01. The trend line (now at 92.84) has been recast as support, with a drop back below that aiming for the 92.00 figure.

 

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