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  • WTI is navigating in the lower end of the weekly range near $52.40.
  • Risk-off sentiment, USD-buying continues to weigh on crude oil.
  • US-China trade dispute is back to the fore as driver for global mood.

Prices of the barrel of WTI are now navigating the lower bound of the weekly range, although it so far manages to keep business above the key $52.00 mark for the time being.

WTI looks to data, trade

Prices of the West Texas Intermediate remain on the defensive so far this week, prolonging the leg lower after hitting fresh 2019 peaks in the $55.60 region on Monday.

The performance of the barrel of WTI has been recently deteriorating pari passu with a pick up in the risk-off sentiment, all following concerns of a global slowdown and renewed jitters on the US-China trade front. Regarding the latter, President Trump has practically ruled out a meeting with his Chinese peer before March 1, the deadline for the 90-day truce agreed between both parties in December.

Later in the session, Baker Hughes will report on the weekly US drilling activity.

What to look for around WTI

The current OPEC+ deal to cut oil output remains the exclusive source of support for oil prices, while US sanctions against Venezuelan and Iranian oil exports and the so-called ‘Saudi Put’ are also limiting occasional dips somewhat. However, concerns over the US-China trade dispute have re-emerged as of late and are collaborating with the downside in the commodity.

WTI significant levels

At the moment the barrel of WTI is up 0.02% at $52.49 facing the next hurdle at $52.97 (21-day SMA) followed by $53.50 (10-day SMA) and finally $55.59 (2019 high Feb.4). On the downside, a breakdown of $51.68 (low Feb.7) would aim for $51.13 (low Jan.28) and then $50.34 (low Jan.14).