Markets Tumble on Trade War Tensions

Posted by Kelly Burke on Aug 5, 2019 3:49:12 PM

china-us trade

The NYMEX tumbled back down today, erasing Friday's rally. At the close, ULSD shed .0546 to $1.8356, and RBOB dropped .0635 to $1.7180, with Crude closing at $54.69, which puts us back in the territory we saw on Thursday, essentially. (We were $1.8529, $1.7499 and $53.95 at the close Thursday after record slides).

The NYMEX wasn't the only market down today, as global stock markets slid on US/China trade war tensions.

So today, China threatened retaliatory action after the Trump Administration did not back down from tariff imposition threats. And then (stop me if you have heard this one before) Chinese currency hit suspicious new lows against the US dollar, which prompted renewed accusations of currency manipulation on the part of China by President Trump, which didn't sit well with Wall Street, who is looking for any sign of hope that tariffs and a potential full on trade war are not looming on the horizon....And then everything tumbled across the board, from the Dow Jones to the Nikkei. Phew. 

Bank of America also announced today that should China choose to purchase Iranian oil in response to US Tariffs, we could see oil tumble to "$20-$30/bbl" (although they did not revise their 2020 prediction of $60/bbl). The decision to purchase from Iran would serve to both weaken the impact of US backed sanctions on that country, as well as take a substantial amount of the impact out of the tariffs imposed on China. However, the move would not be without consequence, as Iran would be stepping outside the agreed upon production cut strategy in the region and that would likely not go over well with their neighbors (particularly Saudi Arabia) and would essentially force a heavier partnership than China may be interested in maintaining.

On the fundamentals, supply is still vastly outpacing demand, and economic indications continue to suggest that global demand will continue to soften. Whatever does or does not happen in terms of shorter news cycle events - seized tankers, trade disagreements, etc, the fundamental supply/demand levels will ultimately dictate a large portion of where crude & refined products settle out.... at least until another short term cycle event throws a wrench in the gears.

Stay Tuned!  

Read More

Topics: Iran Sanctions, china, tariff, trade war

Refinery Explosion & Iran/US Escalations Push Prices Up

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jun 21, 2019 11:40:37 AM

shutterstock_1099946876

Gasoline spiked this morning, after a refinery explosion shook Southern Philadelphia. At around 4am, a butane vat exploded at the East Coast's largest  refinery, causing large fires and prompting an shelter in place order for the surrounding areas. There are no injuries reported, and CNBC is reporting the flames were relatively controlled with the SIP order lifted around 7am. You can follow this story here: Massive explosion at biggest gas refinery in East Coast 

We won't know how long term an impact refinery issues will cause, but looming larger on the horizon is the US/Iran tensions hitting crisis point. The market has jumped substantially this week in response to the escalations.

In lieu of the deep dive really looking into the Iran/US issues would require, the following is a quick synopsis of what's been happening in the past weeks' escalations: 

Tensions have been simmering since last May, when Trump withdrew the United States from the so-called "Iran Nuclear Deal" reached with that country & President Obama that would have capped uranium enrichment for Iran at 3.67%.
  • Last week, as discussed, oil vessels were attacked in the Gulf of Oman.  The Trump Administration has placed the blame on Iran for the vessel attacks, although it is unconfirmed still at this moment in time. 
  • Monday, Iran announced that by the 27th, they would officially breach the caps on uranium enrichment set by the "Iran Nuclear Deal"  As mentioned, the Trump Admin withdrew from that deal in 2018, but it is important to remember that the other countries involved did not withdraw, the deal was supposedly still in effect between Iran & several other European nations.
  • In response to the announcement about uranium, President Trump announced he would be redirecting 1,000 troops to the Middle East.
  • Thursday, Iran shot down an unmanned US drone. Iran claimed the drone was within Iranian airspace, while the US argues their coordinates show the drone within International airspace near the Strait of Hormuz (there is about a 9 mile variance between the coordinates cited by Iran and those cited by the US)
  • Thursday night, President Trump ordered retaliatory strikes on Iran, but held off at the last minute. According to him, he called off the strike because the expected casualty rate would be higher than what he considered proportional to the attack by Tehran, so it is unclear whether a different type of retaliatory strikes will commence in the next several days. (This is still developing, follow live updates here: "Trump confirms he called off retaliatory strike against Iran in last minutes" 

We will continue to keep an eye on developing news and how it impacts the market.

If you have questions regarding current pricing, or want to learn about the options for fixed prices or prompts available in the face of volatility in the market, please don't hesitate to reach out. 

Stay tuned! 

 

 

Read More

Topics: Iran, Iran Sanctions, Straits of Hormuz

Crude Hits New Lows After Hopeful Bounce Overnight

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jan 19, 2016 3:35:02 PM

Downwards facing arrow constructed of the words oil and brent

Overnight and early trading on Crude was up - bolstered by the performance of the Chinese Markets (they went up instead of crashing hard enough to trigger the circuit breaker this time). US Stocks, bonds and equities all climbed along, and it looked like today was poised for a rally, or at least the proverbial "dead cat bounce"

However, once the temporary amnesia wore off, Iran coming back online came back into play and the markets took a beating across the board.

WTI Crude closed out at $28.46 - slightly below the $28.50 sub-$30 benchmark some analysts had projected (or more likely hoped) would be the new "bottom". That remains to be seen.

ULSD followed suit with WTI, dropping .0256 to settle at $0.9087, while gas was up 50 points to stay in the $1.02 range ($1.0262 to be precise).

Stocks unfortunately also followed suit with WTI  - as of writing  the Nasdaq, Dow Jones, and S&P are all down - keeping 2016 in the red as it has been thus far. 

The EIA inventories later this week could have a major impact, particularly if there are builds. Most predict draws, but a build on gas could be significant as we could in theory see RBOB follow ULSD below the $1 benchmark. 

Stay Tuned!

Read More

Topics: Iran, Iran Sanctions, RBOB, WTI Crude, $1

Crude Rallies Again on Escalation in Syria & Uncertainty in Iran

Posted by Kelly Burke on Oct 8, 2015 3:38:13 PM

Line charts depicting the stock market scattered on a table

Crude came back in a big way in trading today – with intraday highs briefly breaking $50 before settling out at $49.43/bbl. (Fun fact – we haven’t seen WTI break $50 since July)

ULSD and RBOB rallied as well, with ULSD closing up (+.0222) to 1.6018 and RBOB up (+.0178) to 1.4078.

It appears that yesterday’s inventory-induced drops were a one-time thing, and the market has shifted its focus to escalation in Syria.

On Wednesday Russia launched its first round of naval assaults on Syria, and today saw more airstrikes. Of note, in one of today’s campaigns, the Russians reportedly fired 26 Cruise missiles at Syrian targets. Reportedly however, at least 4 of them hit Iran instead. Yes, Iran. There has been no comment from Moscow, but US sources are confirming the hits.

This obviously fuels concern about the conflict in Syria not just escalating, but spreading throughout the region. Adding to the regional uncertainty, Ayatollah Khomeini has reportedly balked at further negotiations with the US on the controversial so called “Iranian Nuclear Deal,” claiming the US would use it to undermine the Islamic Republic’s fundamental interests, which will likely lead to more uncertainty in the Middle East, and also led to speculation that Iranian sanctions may not, in fact, be lifted which would obviously result in their exports not coming back online.

However, despite today’s jump and the ongoing conflict, there is still consensus among many that the US stockpiles are the indicator to watch. Goldman Sachs announced they would not only not be raising their price forecast for 2016, but that they were not ruling out dropping it further. Their calculation is based on the continued presence of the oil glut and record production.

Of note domestically, the House is expected to vote on and pass a repeal of the Crude Export Ban tomorrow. It’s unclear whether it will pass the Senate yet, but the White House has already issued a statement that it will veto the bill. There may be some market rumblings depending on how the bipartisan bill fares in the Senate early next week.  

Stay Tuned!

Read More

Topics: Iran, Iran Sanctions, CRUDE, Syria, russia

Inventories & Iran Continue to Pummel Crude Prices

Posted by Kelly Burke on Aug 20, 2015 1:59:15 PM

Man grasping his head looking at computer screens

Oil prices are continuing their tumble - and it doesn't look likely they'll rebound in any significant way any time soon.

Wednesday's EIA Inventory Report showed a Crude build of 2.6mmb, bringing US Crude stockpiles to 456.2mmb. Analysts had forecast (hoped for?) a decline of 1.2-2.3mmb, depending on which group you looked at. 

Wednesday's trading saw WTI plunge 4% to below $41/bbl  - the lowest it's been in over 6 years. It settled out at $40.80 for September, and $41.27 for October. Brent lost 3.4% as well to settle at $47.16 for October.

$40 is a fairly significant benchmark, both psychologically and because it touches on production cost for some producers, which means it becomes essentially unprofitable to produce if oil goes any cheaper than $40. 

WTI may bounce some today as September trading closes out, but with refineries going offline in the fall for scheduled maintenance and no reason to think Crude stockpiles will suddenly plummet - it's likely that the decline will continue further. The only real question is what the bottom will be. 

Additionally, the pending Iran Nuclear deal if approved (which is essentially guaranteed) would lift sanctions in Iran, which would allow them to export more oil. They currently export around 1 million barrels per day from their 2.7 million barrel production. Reports say they are capable of about 4 million barrels of production, but its unclear how much of that they would be capable of exporting. 

Regardless, the EIA has revised its projection for oil prices throughout 2015. The new numbers put WTI at below $50 dollars ($49) for the remainder of the year, and only project WTI at $54 for 2016. EIA also cautioned that the numbers may be revised again, depending on Iran's ability to put new oil produced up for export. 

OPEC has maintained they will not be reducing supply regardless of the slide - it remains to be seen whether they reverse that stance if oil continues well below the $40, or even $30 dollar benchmarks as some think it may. 

Back to today- US stocks are getting crushed from fears about oil prices and the lack of foreseeable demand increases, the Chinese economy, and employment. The most recent jobs report showed an increase in unemployment claims - the fourth week in a row it both increased and beat estimates of how much it would increase. Unemployment ticking up, and the Fed signaling that the economy may not be strong enough to withstand an interest rate increase yet (according to their recent meeting notes) have for obvious reasons, not inspired confidence. 

Stay Tuned!

Read More

Topics: Iran, Iran Sanctions, CRUDE, OPEC, EIA Inventories, wti

NYMEX Stumbles with Stonger Dollar

Posted by Mark Pszeniczny on Jan 20, 2012 4:33:00 PM

Fears of yet another Greece loan default were on the minds of many investors today as futures showed moderate losses as the dollar strengthened.  Greece is hoping that banks will forgive roughly $130 billion in debt due in the next few months.  If only my bank would forgive half of my mortgage, I would be a happy man!  Positive news from the housing industry was reported as existing home sales increased 5% in December.  The market couldn't rally enough today and with gasoline demand falling over 6% in a month on month comparison, the threat of demand destruction in a slightly improving economy is a real concern.  It is hard to believe that we have seen six down days in the last seven sessions in the Heat pit.  We have peeled off almost 10 cents during that time frame.  This following our prediction that once we touch 3.10ish we should pull back.  As this has been the pattern for the year.  Looming over the weekend is a European vote on accepting Iranian oil, as reports of US ships moving out of the region.  As a quick snow event moves through the region this weekend, lets all remember to keep those fills clear and accessible.  Crude fell $1.93 to $98.46, RBOB lost .0310 and HEAT lost .0476 to $2.9884.

heat chart

RBOB CLOSE
                 CLOSE       CHANGE 
  
FEB    27844       -.0314
MAR   27903      -.0325
APR    29242      -.0293
MAY   29128      -.0295
JUN   28843      -.0297
JUL    28490      -.0303
HEAT CLOSE
          CLOSE    CHANGE
FEB     29884     -.0476
MAR    29848      -.0487
APR     29720      -.0475
MAY   29550      -.0469
JUN    29460     -.0469
JUL     29485      -.0462
Read More

Topics: European Economy, Iran Sanctions, Greece Bailout

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all