WTI Prices Dip in Asia Amid Rate-Cut Uncertainty

Zarith Sofea · 28 Feb 13.5K Views


Oil prices faced headwinds in Asian trading on Wednesday, succumbing to a combination of factors that offset the positive momentum generated on Tuesday. Brent crude futures took a dip of 0.36%, dropping 30 cents to $83.35 a barrel by 0302 GMT. Simultaneously, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures experienced a 28-cent decrease, reaching $78.59 a barrel.

The primary factors influencing the downward pressure on oil prices were the potential delay in the U.S. rate-cutting cycle and an increase in U.S. crude stocks. The previous day's optimism, stemming from reports that OPEC+ might extend its output cuts, seemed to wane as market participants reassessed the broader economic landscape.

Traders are closely monitoring the U.S. rate-cutting cycle, and any indication of a delay could further impact oil prices. Additionally, the rise in U.S. crude stocks underscores concerns about oversupply, contributing to the cautious sentiment in the oil market.

Given these factors, traders should approach the oil market with caution. An extended analysis of U.S. economic indicators and policy decisions may provide more clarity on the trajectory of oil prices. In the short term, maintaining a watchful eye on key support and resistance levels could guide entry and exit strategies.


XAUUSD prices exhibited a flat-to-low range on Wednesday, continuing a trend of muted performance. The precious metal traded within a range of $2,000 to $2,050, reflecting persistent anxiety over higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates. The Federal Reserve's consistent message that it is in no rush to trim rates early in 2024 has limited the upside for gold.

The strength of the U.S. dollar, hovering near three-month highs, has further pressured gold prices. Investors continue to monitor economic readings and central bank communications for clues about the future direction of interest rates.

Traders operating in the gold market should exercise caution and consider the prevailing economic conditions. The established trading range suggests a potential breakout if there is a significant change in the fundamental landscape. Paying attention to key economic indicators, such as inflation data and employment figures, can provide insights into potential movements in gold prices.


The GBPUSD pair faced substantial selling pressure during the Asian session on Wednesday, dropping to the 1.2665 region. The market displayed two-way directionless moves in the previous session, creating a mixed technical setup that warrants caution for bears.

To support prospects for additional gains, a sustained move beyond the 1.2700 mark is deemed necessary. Despite the disappointing release of U.S. Durable Goods Orders on Tuesday, investors appear convinced that the Federal Reserve will postpone any interest rate cuts until the June policy meeting.

The market sentiment for GBPUSD remains delicate, with a potential tug-of-war between bullish and bearish forces. Traders should closely monitor key support and resistance levels to identify potential entry points. The cautious approach is advised due to the mixed technical setup, and waiting for a clear directional signal could be prudent.

Entry Suggestions:

WTI: Traders should closely monitor U.S. economic indicators and policy decisions for clues about the U.S. rate-cutting cycle. If there are indications of a delay in rate cuts, it may further impact oil prices. Consider entering a long position if there is a clear bullish signal, such as a break above key resistance levels.

XAUUSD: With gold trading within a well-defined range, traders should watch for potential breakout opportunities. A breach above $2,050 or below $2,000 could signal a directional move. Consider entering a position based on the breakout direction and confirmed by supporting economic indicators.

GBPUSD: Given the mixed technical setup and uncertainty in the GBPUSD pair, traders should exercise caution. Wait for a sustained move beyond the 1.2700 mark to support prospects for additional gains. Alternatively, a break below key support levels might signal potential short opportunities. Patience is key in navigating the current market conditions.


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Paraphrasing text from FXStreet, Investing and Reuters all rights reserved by the original author.