With the threat of a potential 'black swan' event with a Trump Victory, The Elite have pulled out their "Ace in the Hole" - Russia. Russia is the most feared and misunderstood of all US artificial villians (even more than Islamic Terrorists).
While Yellen still speaks in her historic "first rate hike in years" press conference, the sellside has shares its kneejerk reaction to the Fed's announcement, and as Citi notes, "It’s calm on the floor considering the first rate hike in years. More attention on WTI crude, which remains 4% lower to 35.80 after DOE inventory build."
Stocks were not impressed at all out of the gate but once Janet started talking, the algos lifted them to the highs (and of course gold was whacked). Crude oil was dumped, along with "sell the news" USDollar longs. Bonds were well bid at the long-end...
Following last night's surprising 2.3mm barrel inventory build, reported by API, DOE reports a massive 4.8mm build against expectations of a 1.5mm barrel draw and way above the highest estimate of a 2.6mm draw. This is the biggest build in 2 months at a seasonally 'weak' time of year (and biggest December build since 1993). Crude ramped overnight to regain the losses from the API dump, but dropped back to lows (under $37) before the DOE data, then crashed below $36. Furthermore, production was up in the lower 48.
“The deal to lift the crude ban is a significant change in U.S. policy, but in terms of the near-term impact on prices, we expect that to be blotchy and sentiment driven. All that you’re doing is transferring the glut from the U.S., where most of the storage capacity is, to elsewhere in the world.”
The day has come when the boxed-in Fed has no choice: with the vast majority of the market expecting a rate hike, Yellen has to deliver or suffer a crushing confidence blow like no other. And deliver she will, with expectations that said hike will be "as dovish as possible." For now however, the market is desperate to convince itself that just as more easing and more QE were bullish for the market, so rate hikes are just as bullish. Recall from late 2013: "tapering is not tightening," then the 2015 version of this refrain is "tightening is not tightening."
Following last week's huge draw, total crude inventories were expected to drop 1 million barrels this week driven by expectations that refinery utilization rose last week. When API reported a hugely surprising 2.3 million barrel build, crude prices, which had drifted off highs after NYMEX close, dropped further as disappointment set in, back under $37.
Presented with little comment.. aside to note that every rip from a dip is greeted by the mainstream stock enthusiasts as a balls-deep buying opportunity in every oil & gas stock... only to be grossly disappointed a day or two later...
“In our estimates, one should hardly expect any serious growth of the oil price above $50," Oreshkin told a breakfast forum hosted by Russian newspaper Vedomosti on Friday. “The oil industry is changing structurally and it may happen that... the global economy will not need that much oil."
The start of the Fed's most eagerly awaited two-day policy meeting in years has finally arrived with the market expecting Yellen to announce the first 25 bps rate hike in 9 years tomorrow with nearly 80% probability, and so far US equity futures are enjoying a last minute relief rally, while emerging market stocks rose for the first day in ten after the longest losing run since June. Europe's Stoxx 600 Index has also rebounded from a five-day losing streak, the worst in over four months.