Double Black Friday - Commodities & Spending Both Dropped Off
A doubly "Black Friday" this year as OPECs decision resulted in a commodities free fall. The second part is that it was hoped that the relief consumers have been getting at the pump since the summer would have helped boost retail sales for the season. As the numbers are coming in though, it's not looking good.
Despite the mayhem in shopping centers we've all seen on YouTube, it looks like Black Friday spending was down 0.5% or so this year over last (bad news, as last year was not a stellar one).
Today is cyber monday - but dont look to that for relief and an influx of money to retailers either - analysts project that Cyber Monday sales will be off around 3% this year over last.
The NYMEX was down this morning but has rallied into positive territory again, but who knows for how long.
Analysts across the board are now pegging the new "floor" price to be around $40/bbl, with Murray Edwards, the Canadian Natural Resources Chairman saying WTI could drop to $30, although he does not expect thats where it would stabilize for very long. (As reported in Business Insider this morning).
Why so low?
Well, the global picture is still lackluster, to put it as kindly as possible. Japan is back into a recession, and Moody's downgraded their credit rating. Chinese economic growth is still in the toilet, which puts their demand level in the same place.
It appears the move by OPEC to keep prices falling to maintain market share is working, US exports to Asia have essentially screeched to a halt as low Middle East prices become more attractive to the Asian markets.
It's not all doom and gloom from the analysts though, Goldman Sachs maintains its $75/bbl forecasted price for WTI for 2015, maintaining the assumption that the OPEC move is to slow US production by reducing profitability and "test the bottom" as it were. However, once they get a feeling for the level they may want prices to start going up again, as so many OPEC nations economies rely on oil generated revenue. Its probably likely Russia enters the debate soon as falling oil revenue is tanking the Ruble and their general economy is really feeling the pinch.