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  • Escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East support oil prices.
  • Lack of progress in U.S.-China trade talks weighs on the sentiment.

Crude oil is staying calm for the second straight day and is struggling to determine its next short-term direction on Tuesday. As of writing, the barrel of West Texas Intermediate, which lost 0.33% on Monday, was last seen trading at $57.85, adding 0.55% on a daily basis.

On Monday,  the United Nation’s atomic watchdog said  that its inspectors confirmed that Iran has enriched uranium beyond the purity limit set by the nuclear deal and White House  national security adviser Bolton said that they will increase the pressure on Iran until it abandons its nuclear weapons program.

Escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East supported crude oil prices by hinting at supply disruptions but the dismal demand outlook doesn’t allow commodities to gain traction.

Earlier today, Commerce Secretary Ross said Chinese tech-giant Huawei was still on the Entity List. Meanwhile, Chinese news outlet South China Morning Post reported that Chinese President Xi refused to make a specific commitment to agricultural purchases despite Donald Trump’s pressure during G20.

Later in the day, markets will be paying close attention to the weekly API crude oil stock report, which last week showed a decline of 5 million barrels last week.

Technical levels to watch for