Crude Oil

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Frontrunning: October 30

  • World stocks on course for best month in four years (Reuters)
  • Global Stocks Up Amid Stimulus Hopes (WSJ)
  • BOJ Refrains From Adding Stimulus Even as Inflation, Growth Wane (BBG)
  • U.S. Avoids Debt Default as Congress Passes Fiscal Plan (BBG)
  • China naval chief says minor incident could spark war in South China Sea (Reuters)
  • Exclusive Club: No High-Frequency Traders Allowed at Luminex (WSJ)
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Futures Fade Overnight Ramp After BOJ Disappoints, Attention Returns To Hawkish Fed

Back in September we explained why, contrary to both conventional wisdom and the BOJ's endless protests to the contrary, neither the BOJ nor the ECB have any interest in boosting QE at this - or any other point - simply because with every incremental bond they buy, the time when the two central banks run out of monetizable debt comes closer. Since then the ECB has jawboned that it may boost QE (but it has not done so), and overnight as reported previously, the BOJ likewise did not expand QE despite many, including Goldman Sachs, expecting it would do just that.

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Venezuela Sells Billions In Gold To Repay Its Debt

Venezuela has two immediate bond payments due this and next week amounting to $3.5 billion. Where did the near-insolvent country obtain the funds needed to make these debt payments? The answer: it has been dumping its gold, which its former ruler Chavez worked hard in 2011 to repatriate from London, and which its current president Maduro, just four short years later, is busy sending back to its creditors.

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Crude "Tipping Point" Arrives: China Runs Out Of Space To Store Oil

Something very unexpected happened: the world quietly hit a tipping point when, according to Reuters, China ran out of space to store oil. According to a senior trader familiar with Sinochem's oil trading and cited by Reuters, the tankers "are both for SPR (strategic petroleum reserve), but no tank space is available to take that oil in."

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WTI Extends Gains - Tops $45 - On Large Cushing Inventory Draw

Following last night's API reported 4 million barrel inventory build (against 3.75mm bbl expectations) and Cushing draw, DOE confirms a build (but smaller, at 3.38 million barrels) and Cushing saw a draw of 785k barrels (th elargest in 4 weeks). Crude reactiopn was to extnd gains from the earlier knee-jerk and break back above $45, even as crude production rose.

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Markets On Hold Awaiting The Fed's Non-Announcement As Central Banks Ramp Up Currency Wars

We would say today's main event is the culmination of the Fed's two-day meeting and the announcement slated for 2 pm this afternoon, however with the 90 economists polled by Bloomberg all expecting no rate hike, today's Fed decision also happens to be the least anticipated in years (which may be just the time for the Fed to prove it is not driven by market considerations and shock everybody, alas that will not happen). And considering how bad the economic data has gone in recent months, not to mention the recent easing, hints of easing, and outright return to currency war by other banks, the Fed is once again trapped and may not be able to hike in December or perhaps ever, now that the USD is again surging not due to its actions but due to what other central banks are doing.

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Why A Russian Default Is A Very Real Scenario In 2016

Who holds the majority of the debt that would be at risk in a Russian default? Not China.  Not Iran.  Not Syria.  No, it’s the exact same nations, and banks and funds within those nations, that are applying the sanctions against Russia. So, if Russia does default, what does it mean in terms of its political relationship with the West? Nothing. But what does it mean to its creditors? Everything... Simply put, if Putin believes that the benefits of a default outweigh the consequences to his country, he won’t hesitate to do it, no matter the international ruckus it might raise.

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Futures Flat After Yen Carry Tremors As Fed Starts 2-Day Policy Meeting

Two biggest move overnight came from everyone's favorite carry pair, the USDJPY, which may have finally read what we said yesterday, namely that with the Fed and ECB both doing its job, there is little need for the Bank of Japan to repeat its Halloween massacre for the second year in a row, and as a result will keep its QQE program unchanged. It promptly tumbled from its 121 tractor level, to just above 120.25, where BOJ bids were said to be found. With the FOMC October meeting starting today, the other overnight catalyst was not surprisingly the latest Hilsenrath scribe in which he removed any uncertainty about a Wednesday hike, "leaving mid-December as the central bank’s last chance to raise rates this year."

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If This Really Is "1998 All Over Again", Oil Is About To Soar

If this is indeed a rerun of the post-LTCM/pre first tech bubble days, then oil is about to soar by 150%

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Operational & Financial Stress Unavoidable For Energy Names, Goldman Warns Distillate Storage "Too Full For Comfort"

Distillate storage utilization in the US and Europe is nearing historically high levels, following near record refinery utilization, only modest demand growth (especially relative to gasoline), and increased imports from the East on refinery expansion and Chinese exports. As Goldman warns, this raises the spectre of 1998/2009 when distillate storage hit capacity, pushing runs and crude oil prices sharply lower. This also raises the question of whether today’s oil market can rebalance through financial stress – prices remaining near their current low level through 2016 – or if operational stress – breaching storage capacity and forcing prices below cash costs – is unavoidable.

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Stop Blaming OPEC For Low Prices

OPEC altered the course of the oil markets last year when it decided to cast aside its traditional role of maintaining balance through production cuts. Instead it pursued a strategy of fighting for market share, contributing to an immediate rout in oil prices. WTI and Brent then went on to dive below $50 in the weeks following OPEC’s decision. OPEC is widely expected to continue its current strategy at its next meeting, and as such, no rebound in oil prices is expected, at least not because of the results of the group’s meeting in Vienna. But that raises a question about what the world of oil expects from OPEC: Why is it that the responsibility for balancing the market falls on OPEC? Why should OPEC be the one to fix the imbalances in the global crude oil trade?

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Bank of Japan Will Not Boost QE This Week, Abe Advisor Warns; Yen Jumps

Having soared 175 pips in two days, on the back of ECB and PBOC actions, USDJPY is rolling over this morning as a senior adviser to Japanese PM Shinzo Abe tells Reuters that The Bank of Japan "can wait a while" before easing more. This follows another adviser's comments on Friday that "further easing wasn't necessary." With a trail of broken markets (bonds first and now stocks), and broken promises (only 25% of Japanese now believe Abenomics will boost the economy), Abe faces an uphill battle in winning the fight against the "deflationary mindset" that officials have been so adamant they have already won.

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Oil Hovers Near Crucial Technical Level As Rig Count Decline Slows, China Inventory Soars

Overnight weakness on the back of 8-month highs in Chinese crude inventory (combined with the recent plunge in super-tanker rates - i.e. China is no longer refilling its SPR) sent WTI Crude towards the critical $44 level (which has acted as support for 2 months). The China rate cut weakened crude further as PBOC admitted it was needed because of the state of the economy. And then Baker Hughes reported a total rig count unchanged 787 (lowest since April 2002) and an oil rig count decline of just 1 to 594 (the 8th weekly drop in a row). WTI slipped on the news.

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