Crude ends the Week in the Red on Strong Dollar, Supply

Posted by Kelly Burke on Oct 23, 2015 2:52:47 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

Crude prices are on track to be down around 5% on the week. There were some initial jumps this morning on hope that the newly announced Chinese Stimulus Package could ramp up demand. Prices reversed sharply and quickly, however, as the dollar continues to crush other currencies, which almost universally sends commodities in general on a slide. 

On Wednesday prices touched near 3 week lows on the EIA reporting yet another gain in US Inventories, despite our being into the typical "slow down" phase, when refineries go offline for maintainance, and despite continuing drops in rig counts (and therefore a theoretical drop in production).

Also, on Wednesday morning we still had a sliver of hope that the OPEC meeting would come out with supply cuts - nope, wrong again. Now we will have to wait until the December 4th policy meeting of OPEC to know for sure if there will be supply cuts, but it seems extremely unlikely to most-  as the Saudi's have demonstrated, their main goal is market share retention, and they seem to accept that the crumbling economies of other oil producing countries is essentially a cost of doing business (much to the chagrin of those countries).

However, Bloomberg and others are reporting that the low pricing is starting to hurt for Saudi Arabia as well, as reportedly they have deferred payments to government contractors as the country begins to slide into a deficit. (Excellent read on MarketWatch on the subject here: "Will fiscal pain of low prices force Saudi Arabia's hand ). 

Thursday saw a quick reversal, but again, that's history now on the back of the dollar. The European Central Bank stated they are looking at "options" for economic stimulus for the Eurozone, which thus far has only really pushed the euro lower versus the dollar, and weighed on Crude and other commodities. 

At the close today, WTI settled the week at 44.60, and Brent at 48.02. (ULSD closed down -.0106 on the day to 1.4544 and RBOB was down slightly by -.0031 to 1.3036)

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Topics: European Economy, CRUDE, OPEC, Dollar Strengthens, brent, wti

Standing Headline: Fed Talks,Chinese Economic Data Pummel Stocks,Crude

Posted by Kelly Burke on Sep 28, 2015 3:46:53 PM

Man grasping his head looking at computer screens

WTI dropped 2.8% today to close out at $44.43 a barrel, while Brent closed out down 2.5% . On the refined products side of the NYMEX, ULSD and Gas both took a pummeling as well, with both down over 4 on the day. To be exact, ULSD closed out down (-.0453) to 1.4772 and RBOB closed down (-.0471) to 1.3488.

So whats going on?

For one, the news from China today was that industrial companies there have seen profits plummet at a faster level than they have in four years, resparking speculation that China's economy is really struggling a lot more than everyone has been assuming. As previously discussed, Chinese economic data is such a huge indicator because they are a top commodities consumer, and strong economic data from China is basically what traders and analysts are "hanging their hat on" as a potential for growing demand to stave off the price crushing effects of the oil glut.

The IMF Managing Director also announced today that although the economy was still recovering from the recession, the pace had decelerated, and the 3.3-3.8 GDP goals for 2015 & 2016 were now "unrealistic". This in combo with the bleak Chinese data pushed crude down quickly both overseas and domestically. 

In related news, Shell announced today that they will be pulling out of Arctic drilling exploration in Alaska. This is primarily a result of the sustained drop in oil prices, and follows a growing trend industry-wide. Over half of American rigs have been decomissioned, and investment into new oil sands projects and new gulf drilling projects has dropped substantially.

Simply put, theres just too much oil out there now to invest huge sums of money into procuring even more of it.  

Wall Street took a beating today as well on Chinese data, the IMF remarks, and continued rumor milling over the timing of the Fed Rate hike. The president of the NY Fed suggested it could happen as soon as October, where others have speculated December was the likely target date. So once again, Fed talks and the resultant speculation, combined with some more "surprise" bleak economic data hammered stocks today - which is starting to seem like a standing headline at this point. 

Stay Tuned!

 

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Topics: CRUDE, FED rates, economic data, stock market, IMF, brent, wti, china, fed

Fed Uncertainty and Major Layoffs Spook Wall Street  

Posted by Kelly Burke on Sep 24, 2015 3:18:26 PM

Stock market numbers

Stocks are getting pummeled today in anticipation of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's scheduled 5 o'clock speech on the economy and Fed policy re: rate hikes. (Deja vu anyone?). 

Today Caterpillar announced that they will be both revising sales projections down and cutting 10,000 jobs by the end of 2018. That announcement is really crushing stocks, because Caterpillar is seen as an indicator of strength or weakness in the industrial and manufacturing sectors given their size and dominance in the sphere of heavy equipment. To the traders on the Street, less demand for Caterpillar implies fewer large scale construction projects coming online, which is obviously not good news for the economy.

Their announcement is also not a good sign for diesel usage increases, either,  which we need in the face of oversupply and the resultant continually dropping prices. 

On the other hand  - first time jobless claims were up 3,000 to 267,000, not a bad job market indicator, and new home sales beat estimates, both of which are positive signs. 

Ironically, what some analysts are saying is that these positive indicators signal that we can withstand an increase - and the panicked selling off is essentially coming from a concern about why we did not see the Fed move forward with the anticipated rate hike last week. If the market looks like it can accept it, then not passing the rate hike essentially implies the Fed is concerned about economic strength despite positive signs, and this is apparently making traders very nervous. 

On the commodities side, the EIA report out Wednesday showed inventory draws of 1.9mmb on Crude, draws of 2.1mmb on distillates, and a build of 1.4mmb on gasoline. We actually saw drops at the close however, despite the inventory draws, with WTI settling at 44.48 for November (Brent at 47.82), ULSD for October delivery closed out at 1.5056 (-.0264) and RBOB was down (-.0348) to 1.3816. 

Today, the NYMEX was mixed throughout trading - up on diesel, down on gas, neither straying too far from the open. At the close, ULSD settled up (+.0181) to 1.5237, and gas settled out (-.0164) to 1.3652.

Expect another possible crazy day tommorow, depending on how the Fed Speech goes, and how traders and analysts interpet its likely short term implications. 

Stay tuned!

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Topics: Jobless numbers, Wall Street, stock market, brent, wti, fed

Gains After Another Black Monday - Dead Cat Bounce or Rebound?

Posted by Kelly Burke on Aug 25, 2015 3:38:47 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

Today we saw some reversals in the abject panic selloffs we saw Friday and especially Monday. (Click here to recap Friday)

First, lets recap Monday's insanity:

Monday saw WTI tumble another 5.5% to close out below $40 to $38.24 for October delivery. Brent fell in tandem, about 6% to settle out at $42.69 for October delivery. 

We saw stocks extend losses as well - shortly after Monday's open, the Dow was down an unprecedented 1,000 points, it ended up bouncing around and settling down 588 points on the day. Monday saw the S&P in full correction mode for the first time since 2011, as was the Nasdaq,  and it was the Dow's worst performing day since 2011 as well. 

What happened? Essentially everyone is in full on panic mode in terms of selling off. Panic over Chinese economic data gave us Friday's plummet, and then The Shanghai index was down 8.5% Monday which kept the selling right on going. 

This morning we're seeing some rebounding on stocks as well as commodities, after the Chinese made a surprise interest rate cut in an attempt to stem the bleeding. It's uncertain if this is really inspiring confidence in investors, or we're just seeing the infamous "dead cat bounce" that often accompanies several days of heavy losses. Time will tell. 

As of 3pm, the markets are all positive on the day - a trend unlikely to reverse before the close... but, perhaps not likely to continue through the week either. 

On the commodities side, Crude rebounded this morning somewhat, finally settling out in positive territory from yesterday at $39.31.

ULSD and RBOB have gone back and forth from positive to negative throughout the trading day, but at the close, diesel was essentially flat (+.0023) at $1.3952, and RBOB was down -.0324 to $1.4386.

Don't forget that the EIA Inventories come out in the morning as well, which could impact how the markets shake out tommorow. 

Stay Tuned!

 

 

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Topics: CRUDE, stock market, brent, wti, china

#TBT - Crude Prices This Year vs. Last

Posted by Kelly Burke on Aug 13, 2015 12:20:29 PM

Downwards pointing arrow with the words BRENT, WTI and OIL

#TBT - It's hard to believe it but just about exactly a year ago, we were still looking at Crude oil that was dancing around the old $100 "new normal" benchmark.

Front month trading in August of last year  saw WTI for September at $96.07 (August 20th), with a 52 week high of $106.64 and a 52 week low of $89.09.

Yesterday front month Brent closed at $49.66 and WTI settled at $43.30.  The 52 week high for WTI as of today is $92.31, and the 52 week low is $42.07 - however, today's trading looks like it may break that low.

Trading in July for front month August was over $100/bbl. 

From June 2014 to December 2014, Crude dropped over 40% from its highs (and continued to slide in 2015). 

You can view the drop in interactive chart form by clicking here.

Where do you think the bottom is?

 

(Also, if you want a recap of some of the major events affecting pricing since the slide began, you can read up on them here:

Greece Nears Default, sends Commodity Prices Reeling - June 2015

Oil Slides on Economic Data - August 2015  )

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: CRUDE, brent, wti

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