Benchmark U.S. crude futures will likely remain unchanged around $103 a barrel as investors debate whether Friday's sub-par payrolls data builds the case for more stimulus from the Federal Reserve, CNBC's weekly survey of market sentiment showed.
Cyclical commodity markets will also be watching first-quarter gross domestic product data from China, the world's second-largest economy, scheduled for Friday. China's annual inflation rebounded sharply in March to 3.6 percent, driven by rising food prices, data showed on Monday, surprising investors who had bet on cooling price pressures to give Beijing room to ease monetary policy.
Exactly fifty percent, or five out of ten respondents, polled in a weekly CNBC poll of analysts and traders, expect oil prices to remain steady this week. U.S. crude futures will be in a "holding pattern" between $103-$107, said Peter McGuire, CEO of FX Global Capital, who has a 'neutral' call on prices this week. Meanwhile, three respondents believe prices will fall, suggesting a short-term bias towards lower prices, while two expect a rise.
"Economic data will likely continue to be mixed with most of the upside already priced in," said Kirk Howell, Chief Operating Officer, of SunGard's energy and commodities business SunGard Kiodex. "Without any significant events out of the Middle East and no change in stance from the Fed, the greater risk continues to be to the downside in the short term."Page 1 of 6 | Next Page