Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which supposed had thawed as part of Obama's landmark 2015 nuclear deal which also allowed Iran to resume exporting its oil, are once again on the fence following a statement by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which accused the United States of scaring businesses away from Tehran and undermining a deal to lift international sanctions.
Weeks from now when we’re used to the mild air and the greened world, going coatless and care-free, is when the storms of summer strike and the life of the nation turns from fairy tale to horror comic. Both Clinton and Trump are perfect representatives of the nascent forces moving towards some kind of civil war in comic book America.
As increasingly more of Iran's tanker fleet is currently utilized or is otherwise out of commission, Iran desperately needs foreign ships to execute its plans for a big export push to Europe and elsewhere and meet its target of reaching pre-sanction sales levels this year. There is just one problem: nobody is willing to give their spare tankers to Tehran, no matter the price.
Failure to proceed with crude output freeze plan seen as a "serious blow" to oil-market sentiment by Energy Aspects; Barclays expects mounting tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran to boost volatility. Separately, Kuwait oil workers strike viewed as price-supportive. Here, courtesy of Bloomberg, is a summary of what analysts have said so far on meeting’s outcome as well as comments on Kuwait:
Goldman On Doha: "Bearish For Prices ", Expect "High Price Volatility"; Saudi Oil Production May JumpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/17/2016 19:35 -0400
"we view this outcome as bearish for oil prices given consensus expectations for a “soft guidance” freeze at January production levels"... "We therefore view risks to our Saudi forecast as skewed to the upside: it is at the guidance provided by the deputy crown prince in his latest interview with Bloomberg this week, with such volumes presented as contingent on a deal to freeze production being reached."
- Italian Bank Stocks are Surging on the Back of Rescue Reports (WSJ)
- European Stocks Rise Led by Italian Banks; Emerging Markets Gain (BBG)
- Oil price dips on prospects for producers' meeting (Reuters)
- U.S. shale oil firms feel credit squeeze as banks grow cautious (Reuters)
- U.S. banks' dismal first quarter may spell trouble for 2016 (Reuters)
- Miserable Year for Banks: Stocks Suffer as Rates Stay Low (WSJ)
Customs officials at the Greek-Turkish border crossing of Kipoi have confiscated the largest amount of gold that anyone has ever attempted to smuggle out of the country. The loot was found hidden in a taxi and consisted of 18 bars of unrefined gold, weighing 33.5 kilos, along with four crosses made of oure gold (11.6 grams). The gold was found last Friday during a police check on cars planing to cross the border. The suspects hid seven gold bars and the four crosses in the car’s passenger armrest while the other 11 bars were concealed in their luggage.
Lars Schall explores the time-honored tradition of following the money in an attempt to discover answers to yet unresolved questions regarding the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York City. Mr. Schall is an independent investigative journalist that has produced many hard-hitting pieces regarding Central Bankers' manipulation of gold prices, and the failure of the US Central Bank (The Federal Reserve) to return all of Germany's gold reserves in the past.
China's choice of Djibouti as the country that will host Beijing's first overseas military outpost has put the tiny African nation in the geopolitical spotlight. Situated on one of the planet's most critical oil chokepoints, and nestled amongst countries that serve as operations bases for some of the world's most notorious terror groups, Djibouti is set to become a focal point for power poltiics in the years ahead.
This morning's Brussels suicide attacks have led to risk-off sentiment across European asset classes, with Bunds higher and equities firmly in the red, although if the Paris terrorist attacks of November are any indication, today's tragic events may be just the catalyst the S&P500 needs to surge back to all time highs. FX markets have also been dominated by events in Brussels, with USD and JPY strengthening, while EUR and GBP softening throughout the European morning.
A Boeing 737-800 operated by Dubai-based budget carrier Flydubai, flying from Dubai to Russia, crashed yesterday at 0340 local time (0040 GMT) on its second attempt to land at Rostov-on-Don airport on Saturday, Russian officials said. All 62 people on board, most of whom were Russian. were killed. "The aircraft hit the ground and broke into pieces," the Investigative Committee of Russia said in a statement on its website.
Two months back, in a series of lengthy exposes we profiled the ins and outs of the “petrogold” trade that allowed Iran to skirt international sanctions that froze Tehran out of the banking system by way of conduits and shady go-betweens in Turkey and Dubai. Now, the man behind the Iranian side of the sanctions end-around has been sentenced to death in his own country. Did he really embezzle nearly $3 billion? Or was his demise preordained?
China is hurting refiners and the global petroleum market in two ways then. First, the sudden shift in Chinese economic models has curtailed domestic oil demand, leading to falling oil prices and falling domestic demand for industrial oil derivatives. Second, to help Chinese refineries cope with the new harsh market conditions, China has started allowing many independent Chinese refineries to ship their output abroad.
Following a week of crazy volatility, overnight exhausted markets took a breather.
There is not one America today, nor two. Politically, there are at least four.