Middle East turmoil causing price surge

Posted by Mark Pszeniczny on Feb 21, 2011 10:08:00 PM

Presidents Day is historically a quiet day as most participants are off for the long weekend, but today’s moves have bucked the historical trend.

Values have surged in electronic trading up over .08 cents on HEAT and over .06 cents on RBOB. Crude is currently trading at $91.42 up $5.22! On what do we owe this pleasure? Over the weekend continued political unrest came to a head in Libya as forces fired on crowds marching for the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime. Gadhafi, in recent years, appeared to be kowtowing to the West. As the movements seen in Egypt spread throughout the Mid East and into the OPEC member nation of Libya, many investors are playing it safe and have pushed HEAT back up to the $2.80 level. New reports have Gadhafi fleeing to Venezuela overnight, but have yet to be confirmed. The ultimate fear is not that Democracy will spread to the region, but that a regime worse than what is in place takes power and impedes production. This instability could not have come at a worse time for the Oil markets, already what most contend to be largely overbought trade. Libya exports about 1m bbls per day, certainly one of the smaller OPEC nations, and easily absorbed if the 1.6 billion barrels of strategic reserves were tapped, but significant none the less. Long term, this appears to be a good thing, we just need to live through the short term pains.

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Topics: Libya, Market analysis, OPEC

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