This week we have seen some escalation in rhetoric by Western countries and Russia over the war in Ukraine, while hopes for a peaceful solution have subsided.
As per BBC's reporting, Russian President Putin will continue what he calls "special operations", while negotiations with Ukraine have reached a dead end . US President Biden called Mr Putin a "dictator" yesterday, while speaking on his efforts to lower energy cost for Americans and talked of genocide, accusing him of "genocide". 
UK Foreign Secretary Ms Truss had twitted that there are reports for use of chemical weapons by Russian forces on Mariupol and that "We are working urgently with partners to verify details". 
China Covid-19 Developments
Markets also continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation in China, which is the world's second largest consumer of oil. Reuters had reported that Shanghai has eased some lockdown measures, classifying certain areas as lower-risk, but cases saw another increase on Tuesday. 
The Chinese mainland reported 1,500 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 26,525 new asymptomatic carriers (local & imported) for April 12. Shanghai had 1,189 carriers with symptoms (from 994 in the previous day) and 25,141 asymptomatic (from 22,348 in the previous day). 
OPEC Monthly Report
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) released its latest monthly oil report this week, in which it downgraded the oil demand forecasts. In particular, world oil demand is projected to average 100.5 million barrels/day, which is 0.4 million barrels/day lower than the previous month's estimates. 
Total OPEC (13) crude oil production averaged 28.56 million barrels/day in March 2022, higher by 57K barrels/day month-over-month.
Sour sentiment over the war in Ukraine and reported easing of lockdowns in Shanghai helped the commodity defend the ascending trendline from December's lows, which runs its second straight profitable day, aspiring to stop the two-week slide.
It tries to leave the descending trendline from last month's multi-year highs and the EMA200 behind it, which would pause the near-term downside bias. This would allow it to push towards 108.77, but we are cautious at this stage and 116.66 seems distant.
As long as it does not clear the aforementioned confluence, its is in danger of renewed pressure and fresh month lows (92.91), but a catalyst will likely be required to send it towards 85.42-84.00.
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.
Retrieved 13 Apr 2022 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-61077648
Retrieved 13 Apr 2022 https://twitter.com/trussliz/status/1513636563405713416
Retrieved 18 May 2022 https://www.opec.org/opec_web/en/publications/338.htm