Higher China Exports & US Inventories
Exports in the world's second largest economy and consumer of oil, surged 16.9% in May year-over-year in USD terms, from 3.9% prior. Imports rose 4.1% and the trade balance expaned to US$78.76bn.
After recent steep decline, US commercial crude oil stockpiles increased by 2.0 million barrels for the week ending in June 3, as Thursdays' report by the by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Despite this buildup, at 416.8 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 15% below the five-year average for this time of year, while motor gasoline stockpiles dropped by 0.8 million barrels. 
Lower GDP Forecasts
Over the last couple of days, we saw two international organizations slashing their global economic growth forecasts, which added fuel to the fire of stagflation fears.
The World Bank projects global GDP to grow by 2.9% in the current year, lower compared to the 5.7% expansion in 2021 and the 4.1% it had projected in January. 
USA and China GDP figures for 2022, are also seen lower from last year and previous projections, to 2.5% and 4.3% respectively.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was also gloomy, as it projects GDP growth to slow sharply this year to 3%, around 1.5% weaker than projected in the December. 
Last week the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, a group referred to as OPEC+, had decided to accelerate its output increase plan, increasing production by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August.
This did not do much to contain the surge in oil prices however, since the decision did not exclude Russia, which has been facing sanctions from Western countries that have curtailed its output.
Despite the OPEC+ output boost, USOil runs its seventh straight profitable month and third consecutive week of gains. This brings the 14-year high from March (129.46) in its eyesight, but will need fresh impetus for conquering them and look towards 135.09.
However, USOil is cautious today as markets digest latest mixed data and threat of stagflation persist. This week's unexpectedly aggressive rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia seems to have renewed these fears, while investors now brace for today's policy decision by the ECB and Friday's US CPI Inflation.
Given today's difficulties and the Relative Strength Index (RSI) hovering close to overbought levels, we could see a pullback towards 117.13, but the downside seems well protected, since the daily Ichimouku Cloud and the EMA200 follow. Daily closes below the latter (at around 115.70) would halt the upside bias, but that looks like a tall order at this stage.
Senior Market Specialist
Nikos Tzabouras is a graduate of the Department of International & European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He has a long time presence at FXCM, as he joined the company in 2011. He has served from multiple positions, but specializes in financial market analysis and commentary.
With his educational background in international relations, he emphasizes not only on Technical Analysis but also in Fundamental Analysis and Geopolitics – which have been having increasing impact on financial markets. He has longtime experience in market analysis and as a host of educational trading courses via online and in-person sessions and conferences.
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