Financial markets are experiencing a traditional decline in trading activity associated with the holiday period. Notable events:
- the S&P-500 and NASDAQ-100 stock indices updated their maximum for the year after the holiday Monday, thereby confirming the idea that the decline on Wednesday, September 20, was in the nature of a correction. Santa and his rally do not disappoint.
- The dollar index drops to six-month lows due to expectations of an interest rate cut in March 2024.
- The price of oil reached a new high in December.
The rise in oil prices is caused by geopolitical tensions:
- WSJ: Iran-backed militias fire at US bases in the Middle East.
- Bloomberg: Continued Houthi attacks on shipping and US strikes on targets in Iraq raise the risk of the war expanding in the Middle East.
- Reuters: The war in Gaza will last several months. Concerns about the spread of the conflict are growing.
- Barron's: Dispute between Venezuela and Guyana could threaten oil production and higher prices.
If military action disrupts the production and supply of oil, this could sharply increase its price.
The XBR/USD chart shows that:
- the price is still in a downtrend (as shown by the red channel);
- moving within the ascending channel (shown in blue) in December, the price has reached the upper limit of the red channel, and is now in a vulnerable position.
On the one hand, bears may try to resume the downward trend. On the other hand, if demand forces truly dominate the market, then only a minor pullback from the upper boundary of the red channel can be expected. Note the 77.50 level, which acted as resistance but changed its role after the breakout. Around this level there is a value of 50% of the price increase from the December low. So as long as the price is above 77.50, it is acceptable to assume that the chances of an attempt at a bullish breakout of the red channel will remain high.
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