The uncertainty surrounding the inevitability, if not the exact timing, of multiple and possibly overlapping volatility drivers is itself a source of volatility. For the average person, these signs can be scary. Taking steps to avoid the circus as much as possible, such as extracting money from the markets, securing personal assets, and waiting out the swings, can be a source of emotional comfort and future financial stability.
Futures Flat With Greece In Spotlight; UBS Reveals Rigging Settlement; Inventory Surge Grows Japan GDPSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/20/2015 07:00 -0400
The only remarkable macroeconomic news overnight was out of Japan where we got the Q1 GDP print of 2.4% coming in well above consensus of 1.6%, and higher than the 1.1% in Q4. Did it not snow in Japan this winter? Does Japan already used double, and maybe triple, "seasonally-adjusted" data? We don't know, but we do know that both Japan and Europe have grown far faster than the US in the first quarter.
What to expect from the FOMC minutes...do they even have any idea themselves?
Our present situation is like that of the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote. The oil price collapse is not over yet. It is more likely that the Brent price could fall back into the mid-$50 range than that it will continue to rise toward $70 per barrel. That is because oil prices have risen based on sentiment alone. The fundamentals of supply and demand indicate a dismal reality: oil prices will fall and may fall hard in the near term.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi may be one of the most powerful individuals in the global oil industry. But for all his power, is he the most ingenious? That question arises from the release of two reports on the current state of the oil industry that look at whether or not OPEC’s strategy of forcing US shale to cut back is succeeding.
Dollar downmove still seems corrective in nature. Fed hike in September still seems most likely scenario. Taalk of US recession is over the top when unemployment, broadly measured is falling and weekly initial jobless claims are at new cyclical lows.
Yesterday, the FT reported that Saudi Arabia gloated in declaring victory over US shale. “There is no doubt about it, the price fall of the last several months has deterred investors away from expensive oil including US shale, deep offshore and heavy oils,” a Saudi official told the Financial Times in Riyadh, giving a rare insight into the kingdom’s thinking on oil strategy. Which is great, but there are two problems. First, any time someone say "there is no doubt about it", or "unambiguously this or that", it is a lie. Second, Saudi Arabia is dead wrong.
Want to know where the USD is headed? Call Riyadh!
- Obama, McConnell missteps undercut trade pact in U.S. Senate (Reuters)
- Bears Beware: Rout Puts Investors on Wrong Side of Central Banks (BBG)
- U.S. Set to Rip Up UBS Libor Accord, Seek Conviction (BBG)
- Greece’s Creditors Said to Seek EU3 Billion in Budget Cuts (BBG)
- Amtrak train derails in Philadelphia, killing at least five (Reuters)
- Oil glut worsens as OPEC market-share battle just beginning (Reuters)
- China Stimulus Aims at Restructuring Trillions in Local-Government Debt (WSJ)
Following yesterday's turbulent bond trading session, where the volatility after the worst Bid to Cover in a Japanese bond auction since 2009 spread to Europe and sent Bund yields soaring again, in the process "turmoiling" equities, today's session has been a peaceful slumber barely interrupted by "better than expected" Italian and a German Bund auction, both of which concluded without a hitch, and without the now traditional "technical" failure when selling German paper. Perhaps that was to be expected considering the surge in the closing yield from 0.13% to 0.65%. Not hurting the bid for 10Y US Treasury was yesterday's report that Japan had bought a whopping $23 billion in US Treasurys in March, the most in 4 years so to all those shorting Tsys - you are now once again fighting the Bank of Japan.
History has been so fascinated with oil and its price movements that it is indeed hard to imagine our future without oil. The world is still myopic when it comes to energy. Yes, it wants to embrace renewables but not at the cost of oil. Whatever happens to oil prices in the coming years, one thing is certain: that the age of oil isn’t ending anytime soon, at least not in the next 30 years.
The oil market rebalancing has started: weak prices in 1Q15 pushed producers to cut capex while supporting demand. But, as Goldman Sachs details below, while the rally in oil prices has closed the valuation gap to equities, these trade on historically high multiples and oil itself is now trading at a premium to its own still weak fundamentals in their view. Goldman therefore views this rally as derailing this rebalancing and setting the stage for sequentially weaker prices, especially with oil speculative length as long as when oil traded at $100/bbl.
As Barclays recently noted, there is a complete decoupling between futures and physical markets for crude oil and nowhere is that more evident than the high volume spike in crude that just happened after Saudi Arabia boosted crude production for a second month to the highest level in at least three decades, helping to raise OPEC output as U.S. growth showed signs of slowing.
Whether it is more posturing ahead of OPEC's June meeting is unclear but the message from 'sources', according to The Wall Street Journal is "OPEC won’t agree to go lower," with regard global market share (which has fallen from more than 50-% to just 32% currently). The cartel's latest strategy report forecasts oil prices won't reach $100 - “$100 is not in any of the scenarios,” in the next decade (and could drop below $40) with its most optimistic scenario $76 in 2025 (which only Qatar and Kuwait can cover expenditures with). “If they want to sustain the organization, they have no choice,” but to reintroduce production quotas, adding any concession by stronger members would be temporary.
For many reasons the answer to the question: “will the commodity price rally continue?” is particularly important at this juncture, and the answer from Barclays is 'no' - it will prove very tough to make further significant gains in commodity prices from here unless supply/demand conditions improve very fast indeed. There are a multitude of factors but what erks them the most is the huge disconnect between price action in physical markets where differentials are signalling oversupply and futures markets where all looks rosy. The risks for a reversal in recent commodity price trends are growing, and with fewer market makers to absorb the shocks, potentially, a period of high volatility could lie ahead.