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Markets Today – RBNZ, BoC, UK Inflation, US Inflation, Oil, Gold, Bitcoin



Gold and Bitcoin - Investors King

Tightening Continues Amid Higher Inflation

By Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA


Another mixed session on Wednesday, with Europe edging lower once more and US posting small gains early in the day.

There is so much focus on the inflation outlook right now and what policymakers are doing to get to grips with it. Two central banks have raised interest rates by 50 basis points today and the Fed is expected to follow that with a similar move in a couple of weeks’ time.

The moves from the RBNZ and BoC were not surprising, although the consensus for the former was 25 basis points prior to the meeting with the potential for an upside surprise. But they do support the view that more needs to be done now from central banks to avert the need for more later, with most viewed to already be late to the party.

US data on Tuesday allayed some inflation fears in the markets, with CPI being almost in line with expectations while the core reading was actually a little lower. It was still far too high but ended a period of above consensus readings which may be a sign of inflation peaking.

The same cannot be said in the UK, where inflation was once more well above expectations at 7%. The core number was a little lower at 5.7% but as with the headline that was well above the consensus forecast. And with the energy price cap only rising in April – by 54% – the peak is yet to come, with forecasts putting that around 8.5% this month.

While the BoE was among the first to start its tightening cycle, raising at three consecutive meetings since December, there’s no less pressure on them to continue their tightening cycle with rates seen rising much further over the course of the year. The apparent cooling in the hawkish language after the last meeting may be short-lived if recent economic reports are anything to go by.

Oil pushing higher as OEPC continues to disappoint

Oil prices are continuing to push higher after spiking on Tuesday. The slight easing of restrictions in China and pushback from OPEC to EU requests for higher output triggered a sharp rally yesterday just as the price was flirting with double digits. Chinese restrictions have weighed on demand forecasts and eased the pressure on prices recently but that was always likely to be temporary.

Longer-term, the market remains very tight and with plenty of upside risks in the price. Russian output remains a source of uncertainty given the impact of the war in Ukraine on its exports. While the reluctance of OPEC+ to significantly raise output – well, those within the group that can – isn’t helping ease the pressures in the market. Even OPEC hitting current targets would help.

Gold eyeing $2,000 on day six of the rally

Inflation concerns appear to be driving the latest move in gold which is rallying for a sixth consecutive day. After breaking through the upper end of its range in recent days, the yellow metal appears to have its sights on $2,000 which would be a major psychological breakout at a time when central banks are expected to hike as aggressively as they are.

There isn’t an abundance of risk aversion in the markets at the moment, although investors will no doubt continue to be cautious in such a highly uncertain environment. There appears to be plenty of momentum in the rally at the moment which could make the test of $1,980 resistance interesting.

Bitcoin seeing some reprieve after a rough week

Bitcoin is enjoying a bit of a recovery alongside other risk assets today. It’s suffered so far this week and spent a bit of time below $40,000 as a result which could have been the catalyst for further pain. But it’s showing a little resilience today, up around 3%, and now the test becomes $42,000 which has previously been a level of interest.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Decline for Third Consecutive Day on Weaker Economic Data and Inventory Concerns



Crude Oil

Oil prices extended their decline for the third consecutive day on Wednesday as concerns over weaker economic data and increasing commercial inventories in the United States weighed on oil outlook.

Brent oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 51 cents to $89.51 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 41 cents to $84.95 a barrel.

The softening of oil prices this week reflects the impact of economic headwinds on global demand, dampening the gains typically seen from geopolitical tensions.

Market observers are closely monitoring how Israel might respond to Iran’s recent attack, though analysts suggest that this event may not significantly affect Iran’s oil exports.

John Evans, an oil broker at PVM, remarked on the situation, noting that oil prices are readjusting after factoring in a “war premium” and facing setbacks in hopes for interest rate cuts.

The anticipation for interest rate cuts received a blow as top U.S. Federal Reserve officials, including Chair Jerome Powell, refrained from providing guidance on the timing of such cuts. This dashed investors’ expectations for significant reductions in borrowing costs this year.

Similarly, Britain’s slower-than-expected inflation rate in March hinted at a delay in the Bank of England’s rate cut, while inflation across the euro zone suggested a potential rate cut by the European Central Bank in June.

Meanwhile, concerns about U.S. crude inventories persist, with a Reuters poll indicating a rise of about 1.4 million barrels last week. Official data from the Energy Information Administration is awaited, scheduled for release on Wednesday.

Adding to the mix, Tengizchevroil announced plans for maintenance at one of six production trains at the Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan in May, further influencing market sentiment.

As the oil market navigates through a landscape of economic indicators and geopolitical events, investors remain vigilant for cues that could dictate future price movements.

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Dangote Refinery Cuts Diesel Price to ₦1,000 Amid Economic Boost



Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Dangote Petroleum Refinery has reduced the price of diesel from ₦1200 to ₦1,000 per litre.

This price adjustment is in response to the demand of oil marketers, who last week clamoured for a lower price.

Just three weeks ago, the refinery had already made waves by lowering the price of diesel to ₦1,200 per litre, a 30% reduction from the previous market price of around ₦1,600 per litre.

Now, with the latest reduction to ₦1,000 per litre, Dangote Refinery is demonstrating its commitment to providing accessible and affordable fuel to consumers across the country.

This move is expected to have far-reaching implications for Nigeria’s economy, particularly in tackling high inflation rates and promoting economic stability.

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and the owner of the refinery, expressed confidence that the reduction in diesel prices would contribute to a drop in inflation, offering hope for improved economic conditions.

Dangote stated that the Nigerian people have demonstrated patience amidst economic challenges, and he believes that this reduction in diesel prices is a step in the right direction.

He pointed out the aggressive devaluation of the naira, which has significantly impacted the country’s economy, and sees the price reduction as a positive development that will benefit Nigerians.

With this latest move, Dangote Refinery is not only reshaping the fuel market but also reaffirming its commitment to driving positive change and progress in Nigeria.

The reduction in diesel prices is expected to provide relief to consumers, businesses, and various sectors of the economy, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future.

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Crude Oil

IEA Cuts 2024 Oil Demand Growth Forecast by 100,000 Barrels per Day



Crude Oil

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reduced its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2024 by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The agency cited a sluggish start to the year in developed economies as a key factor contributing to the downward revision.

According to the latest Oil Market Report released by the IEA, global oil consumption has continued to experience a slowdown in growth momentum with first-quarter growth estimated at 1.6 million bpd.

This figure falls short of the IEA’s previous forecast by 120,000 bpd, indicating a more sluggish demand recovery than anticipated.

With much of the post-Covid rebound already realized, the IEA now projects global oil demand to grow by 1.2 million bpd in 2024.

Furthermore, growth is expected to decelerate further to 1.1 million bpd in the following year, reflecting ongoing challenges in the market.

This revision comes just a month after the IEA had raised its outlook for 2024 oil demand growth by 110,000 bpd from its February report.

At that time, the agency had expected demand growth to reach 1.3 million bpd for 2024, indicating a more optimistic outlook compared to the current revision.

The IEA’s latest demand growth estimates diverge significantly from those of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). While the IEA projects modest growth, OPEC maintains its forecast of robust global oil demand growth of 2.2 million bpd for 2024, consistent with its previous assessment.

However, uncertainties loom over the global oil market, particularly due to geopolitical tensions and supply disruptions.

The IEA has highlighted the impact of drone attacks from Ukraine on Russian refineries, which could potentially disrupt fuel markets globally.

Up to 600,000 bpd of Russia’s refinery capacity could be offline in the second quarter due to these attacks, according to the IEA’s assessment.

Furthermore, unplanned outages in Europe and tepid Chinese activity have contributed to a lowered forecast of global refinery throughputs for 2024.

The IEA now anticipates refinery throughputs to rise by 1 million bpd to 83.3 million bpd, reflecting the challenges facing the refining sector.

The situation has raised concerns among policymakers, with the United States expressing worries over the impact of Ukrainian drone strikes on Russian oil refineries.

There are fears that these attacks could lead to retaliatory measures from Russia and result in higher international oil prices.

As the global oil market navigates through these challenges, stakeholders will closely monitor developments and adjust their strategies accordingly to adapt to the evolving landscape.

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