The ongoing rhetoric from Washington along with the "spin doctors" in the media are "painting a picture" of economic recovery. Unfortunately that picture is reminiscent of "Dorian Gray" where the "portrait" is the actual "recovery."
The oil complex is in a battle between the perception traders, who look for more stimulative measures, and the reality traders, who see the global economy is slowing and demand for oil will continue to decline.
While gold prices have held above the $1,600 pivot level, the action in either direction has been anything but orderly, and it often has not take more than a hint of a delay in easing actions by the Fed or the ECB to send enthusiasm withering.
At the moment oil prices are being driven by the direction of the euro and the US dollar as well as by a view that the global economy is continuing to slow and one or two of the major central banks will come to the rescue.