WTI pared back approx 50% of March’s decline to close week higher (+0.5%)
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WTI pared back approx 50% of March’s decline to close week higher (+0.5%)

  • Oil prices were quite a show on Friday ahead of the nonfarm payrolls data, dropping heavily below key techncial support.  
  • WTI fell within a range of $56.49bbls and $54.55bbls, below the horizontal support line of 55.60 meeting support at the Kijun-sen.  
  • Currently, WTI is stabilising into the close of the week on the 56 handle, up 0.5%  for the week.  

WTI was extending its losses after the nonfarm payrolls data, reaching a low of 54.55 before recovering back to the 56 handle.  

The  nonfarm payrolls  data arrived as follows:  

20k vs 180k headline – This is the worst since Sept 2017. the prior was 304K and revised to +311K. However, not all is bad in the detail of the report.  

  • Two-month net revision +12K
  • Unemployment rate 3.8% vs 3.9% expected
  • Participation rate 63.2% vs 63.2% prior
  • Avg hourly earnings +0.4% vs +0.3% exp
  • Avg hourly earnings 3.4% y/y vs +3.3% exp
  • Private payrolls +25K vs +170K exp
  • Manufacturing +4K vs +12K exp
  • U6 underemployment 7.3% vs 8.1% prior

Dollar’s reaction

The Greenback dropped from 97.40s to a low of 97.25 in the DXY and then chopped sideways for the rest of the day between 97.31/43 (Besides the drop, the dollar is still strong following the break-up from the H&S neckline at 96.60/70 area ( At a 10-year high, wage growth for American workers likely to keep accelerating and that is something from the jobs data that is supporting the greenback (as well as dovish ECB/RBA/BoC).  

Oil prices were already struggling on the China and US trade data this week on signs of a worsening demand outlook due to concern over global growth slowing down. China recently downgraded domestic GDP from 6.5% to between a range of 6-6.5% – The Australian GDP was also a big disappointment. However, oil price managed to recover a good portion of the losses on Friday, bounding from the lows with a surge to the upside of over a dollar, finishing higher for the week following a third-weekly decline in U.S. oil-drilling rigs pointed to a potential fall in domestic production activity. Baker Hughes reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil dropped by nine to 834 this week, following a decline of 10 in the oil-rig count a week earlier –  The total active U.S. rig count also edged down by 11 to 1,027, according to Baker Hughes.  

WTI levels  

The price has proven its fragility at the trend line support est.11th Feb which shall no longer be trusted. That support  has been shifted to the lows on Friday located at 54.55 – The Kijun-sen. An additional offer at this juncture will make for a bearish case according to the bearish cloud in development. If the 55.56 lows seen at the start of this month are broken again, bears will look for a run back towards the 50 handle with the confluence of the 23.6% Fibo target at 50.20. Bulls have eyes on a target of the recent tops of 57.17 (78.6% Fibo) ahead of the 57.85/93 double-tops – (However, bulls need to get and hold above the 50% retracement of the March decline at 56.20).

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