Oil Price Volatility Soars Near Record Highs

Oil prices (and the broader financial markets) have suffered from acute bouts of volatility so far in 2016, with dramatic intraday swings the most worrying feature, and as's Charles Kennedy warns, this shows no signs of letting up.

Fed's Kashkari Says "We Won't See Next Crisis Coming", Compares Banks To Risky Nuclear Reactors

"Unfortunately, I am far more skeptical that these tools will be useful to policymakers in the second scenario of a stressed economic environment. Given the massive externalities on Main Street of large bank failures in terms of lost jobs, lost income and lost wealth, no rational policymaker would risk restructuring large firms and forcing losses on creditors and counterparties using the new tools in a risky environment, let alone in a crisis environment like we experienced in 2008. They will be forced to bail out failing institutions—as we were."

Crude Crashes 8% From OPEC "Cut Hope" Highs On Storage Concerns

Hope for production cuts were dashed early on as producers agreed to no change from the record high levels of production January - which Barclays says means 1mm bpd excess supply at current levels. However, following a Genscape report suggesting a major 705k build in Cushing crude inventories, WTI just broke down to a $28 handle (down over 8.5% from overnight highs)...

Saudis, Russians Fail To Cut Oil Production, Will Freeze Output At Record January Level

Last night when previewing today's main event, the "secret" meeting between the Saudi and Russian oil ministers, we explicitly said this deal would not "lead to a cut in production", and sure enough just two hours ago the meeting between the two oil superpowers concluded and as expected the two failed to agree to any production cut; instead what they did agree on was to "freeze" production at January's already record levels, and furthermore make the agreement contingent on other OPEC members complying, something Iran has already said it would not agree to.

Yuan Tumbles Most In A Month; Stocks, Crude Maintain Gains

Having rallied all the way back to unchanged for the year thanks to yesterday's China re-opening "adjustment," the Yuan selling has resumed with onshore down by the most in a month and offshore fading also.  With Crude and USDJPY holding gains (for now), US and Asian equities are in the green as hope springs eternal that tomorrow's oh-so-secret Russia-OPEC meeting solves the world's energy problems.

DeBeers Cartel Deathwatch: Russia Set To Flood Diamond Market With Firesale Of 167,500 Carats

First it was the OPEC oil cartel which died a slow, painful, death. Now, another historic cartel may be on its last legs: the DeBeers diamond cartel, because according to Russian daily Izvestia, as part of Russia plan to combat its creeping budget deficit, Russia’s state minerals depository, Gokhran, will conduct two auctions on February 29 and March 10, in which it plans to sell as much as 167,500 carats of diamonds.

UAE Offers India Free Oil To Ease Storage Woes

In an oil sector first, the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) has offered free oil to India in return for a storage deal at India’s planned underground facility as the supply glut worsens and some analysts predict that "peak storage" could sending prices crashing further.

Global Stocks Soar On Stimulus Hopes After Miserable Chinese, Japanese Data; Short Squeeze

"The Chinese market didn’t react as bad as we feared and with the weak export data there is some big hope that he central banks will react quite fast," John Plassard, senior equity-sales trader at Mirabaud Securities LLP in Geneva, told Bloomberg. "It’s a mix of hope of intervention from the Asian central bank, short squeeze and also a relief in some energy and banking sectors, the most shorted sectors." And there are your catalysts for today's surge: hope of more central bank intervention and a global short squeeze.

In Milestone, Iran Ships First Oil To Europe Since Sanctions Lifted

In case you haven’t noticed, Iran is on a roll. Much to the chagrin of Israel and any number of GOP lawmakers in the US, the nuclear accord is a done deal and creates a $100 billion windfall for Tehran. That's in addition to the billions upon billions in extra revenue the country will be able to generate each month now that the economic noose has been removed from the country's neck. On Sunday, in yet another milestone, Iran loaded its first cargo of oil to Europe since sanctions were lifted.