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Crude Oil Prices Eye $80 as All Eyes Turn to US Jobs Data


  • Crude oil prices back near 7-year highs after a selloff is rejected
  • Inventories swell offset as US debt ceiling deal lifts market mood
  • US employment data in focus, payrolls and wages interplay eyed

Crude oil prices probed lower following EIA data showing an outsized weekly rise in US inventories, as expected. Selling pressure fizzled intraday however, with the WTI contract storming higher to erase losses and close up over 1 percent. The move marked a sigh of relief as US lawmakers agreed to raise the national debt limit.

Obligations through December 3 will now be paid without disruption, averting a near-term forced tightening of fiscal policy in the (unlikely) event that the government is forced to stop paying its obligations. That buoyed risk appetite across the financial markets.

Looking ahead, all eyes are on September’s US employment report. The economy is expected to have added 500k nonfarm jobs while the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.1 percent. These outcomes will be weighed against the outcome on wage inflation, where a rise to 4.6 percent on-year is seen marking an eight-month high.

Last month, the rise in hiring disappointed while earnings growth picked up, flagging inflationary labor shortages. Leading PMI survey data warned of “historically subdued” employment growth even as a private-sector estimate from ADP pointed to robust recovery after weakness in August, sending mixed signals.

A robust rise in payrolls coupled with higher participation that keeps wage pressure in check would be a “goldilocks” outcome for risk appetite, boosting crude oil along the way. Weak hiring coupled with firm earnings growth may be the most negative version of events, feeding nascent stagflation fears.


Crude oil prices are hovering below swing-high resistance at 79.78 having rebounded from trend support above the $74/bbl figure. Breaking above this barrier on a daily closing basis may face the 38.2% Fibonacci extension at 81.85 thereafter. Neutralizing the near-term bullish bias probably demands re-establishing a foothold below 74.23. That would mark a break in the series of higher lows traced out from the swing bottom in August.

Crude oil price chart

Crude oil price chart created using TradingView


— Written by Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC for DailyFX

To contact Ilya, use the comments section below or @IlyaSpivak on Twitter

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