Oil prices continue to rise on Thursday, building g on big gains from the previous session amid optimism that the crude glut isn’t as bad as first thought and amid signs that fuel demand is slowing stating to pick up as states and countries ease out of lock down. Crude for June delivery jumped 22% in the previous session and is trading an additional 13% higher in early trade on Thursday, having hit a high of $17.73 per barrel.
Whilst we still expect volatility in the oil market, there is a sense that the worst is over and that there is at least a floor in place. With countries gradually reopening, demand will continue to grind higher. The biggest risk for the price of oil would be a second wave of infections forcing countries back into lock down. Germany faces the prospect of having to restore stricter lockdown measures as its number and rate of coronavirus infections grew again. Whilst this risk remains very real we can expect to see process oscillate around these levels. Any moves to increase storage in he US, or further output cuts by OPEC could see the floor that is forming raised.
EZ GDP & ECB under the spotlight
Today is a busy day on the economic calendar with a slew of data from the eurozone due, including German retail sales, Eurozone inflation and German unemployment numbers. However, the most closely watched with be Eurozone GDP figures and the ECB monetary policy announcement.
EUR/USD is holding steady ahead of Eurozone Q1 GDP, which is forecast to reveal a -3.3% contraction, following 1% growth in Q4 2019. The data will reflect the beginning of lock down which started in Italy in the second week of March. Recently data has had a tendency to surprise to the downside so a weaker reading could well be on the cards.
Following the failure of EU leaders to agree to an economic recovery plan for the bloc, the ball is firmly back in the ECB’s court. The ECB are expected to expand the PEPP QE programme, most likely with “fallen angels” and possibly going as far as the Fed to include junk bonds. Expectations are rising high. Failure to act could drag on the Euro dragging it back towards $1.08