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Finding The Catalyst That Moves Oil Markets

U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international benchmark Brent crude oil futures are in a position to post solid gains for the week despite below-average volume and volatility toward the latter half of the week. Natural gas is also starting to show signs of life after taking a beating for more than a month.

Crude oil opened the week with a bullish tone as buyers took insurance against a potential supply disruption due to rising tensions between the United States and Iran. Prices were further supported by another bigger than expected drawdown in U.S. stockpiles.

However, the markets became rangebound into the end of the week as many of the major players took to the sidelines ahead of the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan on Saturday. Also contributing to the range-bound trade was general uncertainty ahead of the OPEC meeting in Vienna on July 1-2.

Natural gas began the week flat despite weather forecasts calling for hot temperatures throughout the United States. Helping to keep a lid on prices were mixed cash prices and strong production. However, the market is likely to finish the week with an upbeat tone following a weaker than expected government storage report and the anticipation of increasing heat over the next 10 to 15 days.

Technical Analysis

Weekly August West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil

The main trend is down according to the weekly swing chart.…



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