ASX 200 shares trim gains as oil volatility persists

We take a look back at the last two sessions on the ASX 200. Banks are still in positive territory, but WTI oil broke its winning streak.

Local shares rise slightly over past two sessions

Australia 200 shares lost some of their lustre on Wednesday but were still in positive territory for the last 48 hours as energy prices came off their recent highs.

The benchmark ASX 200 index finished Wednesday’s session at 5,385.60 points, up 65.8 points, or 1.2%, over the last two sessions.

The 0.4% decline during Wednesday’s session undid some of the good work on Tuesday, when the ASX 200 rallied an impressive 1.6%.

Australia’s all-important banks helped keep the index in positive territory over the last two sessions, with the ASX 200 Financials index up 1.0%.

Materials also proved helpful, up 2.2% since Monday’s close; while healthcare was almost unchanged. Energy stocks were up 4.5% as oil price swings continued to dominate the headlines.

Oil prices in focus, iron ore and gold range-trades

Oil prices were mixed during Wednesday’s session, ending multiple days of gains, as investors zeroed in on oversupply risks in the US.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute indicated US crude inventories rose 8.4 million barrels last week, more than expected, according to Reuters.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were changing hands around US$24.05 at 16:25 AEST, down from their intraday high of US$26.08 a barrel. WTI snapped a five-day winning streak in the process.

In the previous session, WTI futures surged as much as 7.6% to US$22.06 a barrel. With efforts from major oil exporting nations to cut supply in full swing, traders shrugged off news that the little-known Texas Railroad Commission backflipped on its audacious intention to use decades-old legislation to enforce a US production cut as well.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures prices, which is what the rest of the world uses, were changing hands at US$31.11, slightly higher for the session. Brent prices climbed 13.9% in the previous session.

Spot Gold prices were stable over the last two sessions as easing investor risk appetite and a firming US dollar were met by lingering concerns about the Covid-19 outlook.

Gold was changing hands at US$1,705.25 on Wednesday, little changed from their opening price around US$1.703 on Tuesday.

Iron ore prices were hovering around US$82 on Wednesday, little changed from the previous session. But Citigroup expects iron ore to slip from its current levels around US$80 a tonne to hit US$70 before the end of the month, a Reuters report indicates.

How to trade the ASX 200

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For example, to buy (long) or sell (short) the ASX 200 index using CFDs, follow these steps:

  • Create an IG Trading Account or log in to your existing account
  • Enter ‘Australia 200’ in the search bar and select it
  • Choose your position size
  • Click on ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ in the deal ticket
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