Opinion

Oil Prices Ravaged By Financial Turmoil


By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com

Oil prices fell back suddenly over the last few trading sessions, dragged down by some forces beyond the oil market.

The steady decline of the U.S. dollar has helped drive up crude prices for weeks, but that came to an abrupt halt last week. A rebound for the greenback led to a steep decline in oil prices on Friday.

At the same time, sudden turmoil in the broader financial system also bled over into the oil market. Volatility in the stock market flared up on Friday, sparking the sharpest single-day upheaval in years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 600 points, only the ninth time in history that a fall of that magnitude has occurred. "The stock market and interest rates can really affect oil a lot," Mark Waggoner, president of Excel Futures, told The Wall Street Journal. "It's spilling over into the energy markets and causing these ripple effects."

The stronger-than-expected job growth and wage increases fueled speculation that the Fed would tighten interest rates more than previously thought. Bond yields continue to rise, undercutting equities. Signs of higher inflation also led to speculation of interest rate hikes from the central bank. The dollar gained 0.7 percent on Friday.

That led to a selloff for Brent and WTI. And if the turmoil continues, the trouble for oil benchmarks will also linger. "The potential is present for a big move lower should fear return to the stock market and spark liquidations across the board," analysts at TAC Energy said Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal. "The cross-asset class correlations have returned over the past several weeks."

The problem for oil is that both oil prices and broader stock indices are seen as overvalued by some analysts. Hedge funds and other money managers have piled into bullish bets on crude, leaving positioning in the futures market overextended.

"The price slide is due to a general worsening of sentiment. Stock markets around the world are under pressure, which confirms that the steep price rise in the preceding weeks was for the most part sentiment-driven," Commerzbank wrote in a note. "There is only limited fundamental justification for the high price level … It is therefore conceivable that the correction in oil prices will continue."

An unraveling of positions from major investors could expose WTI and Brent to sudden losses. That correction tends to occur when a spate of news goes against existing sentiment. The broader financial system is finally facing some questions after a remarkable bull run, which is magnifying the danger for crude benchmark prices.

"A global selloff in risk assets is gathering pace and sending the energy complex lower amid a sea of red," PVM Oil Associates Ltd. analysts Tamas Varga and Stephen Brennock wrote in a report. "The risk-off environment throughout the energy complex comes as U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a second consecutive week."

"You're starting to see a whiff of what I call the GMO trade — get me out," Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management, told The Wall Street Journal.

It isn't all sentiment trading, however. We now have several catalysts that could provoke a liquidation of bullish bets: inventories rose last week for the first time in months, the rig count continues to rise and U.S. production is breaking records. Seasonally, oil demand is at a lull, pushing up inventories. These trends were expected, but still present downside risk to what is looking like an overvalued oil price.

Perhaps most importantly, supply growth from the Permian looms large over oil prices. Ed Morse, global head of commodities research at Citigroup, told The Wall Street Journal that U.S. shale could wreck the oil market once again. He argues that the industry is ramping up production, and that assurances over a more cautious drilling approach from shale executives should not be trusted. As production increases continue unabated, oil prices could collapse again. "2018 could turn out to look a lot like 2014 — a year that started with very high prices and ended at very low prices," he said.

Link to original article: https://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Oil-Prices-Ravaged-By-Financial-Turmoil.html


Visit source site

https://tinyurl.com/yadfse9u

oil priceoilpriceTurmoilCrudeUS DollarDJIA

More items from oilprice


Saudi Arabia And Iran Reignite The Oil Price War

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is becoming increasingly evident in the oil pricing policies of the two large Middle Eastern producers. The two countries are currently reigniting the market share and pricing war ahead of the returning U.S. sanction ...

Oilprice Staff


Posted 2 days agoOpinion > oilpriceKingdom of Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia +9

Coke, Meth And Booze: The Flip Side Of The Permian Oil Boom

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com The fastest-growing oil region in the U.S. is fueling not only the second American shale revolution—it's fueling a subculture of drug and alcohol abuse among oil field workers. The Permian shale play in West Texas is once again booming with drilling and i ...

Oilprice Staff


Posted 17 days agoOpinion > oilpricePermian BasinOil +4

Strong Dollar Could Cap Oil Prices

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com The strength of the U.S. dollar poses an obstacle to further gains in oil prices. President Trump's trade war with China, which is still in its early stages, has already battered the yuan. The dollar has gained more than 8 percent against the Chinese currency sinc ...

Oilprice Staff


Posted 20 days agoOpinion > oil priceUS Dollaroilprice +3

The New Oil Cartel Threatening OPEC

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com When reports emerged that India and China are in talks about forming an oil buyers' club , OPEC was probably too busy with its upcoming June 22 meeting to concern itself with that dangerous alliance. Now, it may be time for it to start worrying. "The timing is ri ...

Oilprice Staff


Posted 1 month agoOpinion > oilpriceOPECIndia +2

3 Breakthrough Technologies Changing The Energy Sector

By Gregory Brew for Oilprice.com Energy has seen some big changes in the last few years. Coal has stumbled. Renewables have surged. Oil fell hard, then spent years clawing its way back up. But the biggest change in energy has been in tech. The shale revolution unlocked millions of barre ...

Oilprice Staff


Posted 1 month agoOpinion > oilpriceEnergyTechnology +4
All posts from oilprice