With all of the focus on oil, not much attention has been paid to the impact the commodities downturn has had on other things people pull out of the ground in North America. Courtesy of the Washington Post, we get an in-depth look at the dramatic effect slumping demand and acute overcapacity in China has had on one corner of America’s Heartland: Minnesota's "iron ridge."
The volatility in crude oil trading has reached the highest levels since Lehman's systemic crisis in 2008. Intraday swings of 5-10% are now de rigeur with OPEC and geopolitical headlines jockeying for narrative amid collapsing fundamentals.. but there is another, much bigger driver of this sudden chaos. As Reuters reports, the sudden liquidation of a $600 million triple-levered fund bet on falling prices wreaked havoc through the entire crude complex.
"Speculators (like hunters) sense wounded prey, and already bets are being laid on a riyal devaluation. Although it is possible Saudi Arabia can afford to maintain its oil regime and U.S. dollar peg, this will come will escalating costs, financial and political, and one suspects the Saudi citizenry is not big on sacrifices."
Yesterday it was chatter of 6 (non-Saudi) OPEC members agreeing to an emergency meeting (to do what exactly?) that ramped crude (despite dismal production, inventories, and demand data). Today it is talk of Turkey potentially invading Syria from the Russian defense minister...
After yesterday's torrid, chaotic moves in the market, where an initial drop in stocks was quickly pared and led to a surge into the close after a weaker dollar on the heels of even more disappointing US data and Bill Dudley's "serious consequences" speech sent oil soaring and put the "Fed Relent" scenario squarely back on the table, overnight we have seen more global equity strength on the back of a weaker dollar, even if said weakness hurt Kuroda's post-NIRP world and the Nikkei erased virtually all losses since last Friday's surprising negative rate announcement. Oil and metals also rose piggybacking on the continued dollar weakness as the word's most crowded trade was suddenly shaken out.
According to a report by the Bloomberg Intelligence analysts William Foiles and Andrew Cosgrove, Saudi Arabia may have its work cut out for it as it will be far harder to kill many U.S. E&Ps than analysts originally thought. The reason: a break-even model for the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford shows that oil production across five plays in Texas and New Mexico may remain profitable even when WTI prices fall below $30 a barrel, according to a 55-variable Bloomberg Intelligence model for horizontal oil wells.
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver rose 31.7% in January. That’s 46% above the 10-year sales average for the first month of the year and the second highest January ever, the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board reports. The benchmark price for a detached home in Vancouver: $1,293,700. The "benchmark" price represents what the Real Estate Board says a "typical" home would go for on the market. If we simply take the arithmetic mean (i.e. the average), the numbers are even more astounding.
It's a miracle - Dudely speaks, CHNJPY mysteriously spikes higher, , Crude oil soars 8%, and The Dow soars 400 points off its lows. The question is - what now - as Dow runs stops to Monday's cash open...
"Yest was one of the largest global net sell days over the past year and the largest sell day of 2016 so far, a 2.5 standard deviation (SD) event. L/S funds were the main sellers as they BOTH sold longs AND added shorts."
Crude has soared back above $31 as it seems a new bullish narrative around seasonally high crude refining has sparked dreams of demand...
After initial weakness, crude prices have rallied since last night's across the board inventory build reported by API (especially gasoline). Against headline expectations of a 3.8mm build, DOE reported a huge 7.8mm rise with Gasoline also surging 5.9mm barrels. The overnight ramp gains on OPEC rumors have been erased and WTI is back below $30.