Oil lower as Iran’s nuclear intentions questioned

$110 or bust?

While oil came just shy of a key target level of $110 on surging open interest as traders priced in an Iranian confrontation, it seems that a weekend New York Times story is raising doubts about the rush to war. The New York Times said, “Even as the United Nation's nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.” This article may slow the march to war in the minds of bullish traders and have them pull back on their bullish bets.

The surge in open interest seemed to suggest that traders were convinced that we would see a disruption in supply in late April or early May. These reports and the memories of flawed intelligence leading up to the Iraq war, may give President Obama some pause before it gets involved in any pre-emptive action in Iran. In other words, perhaps they won’t bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities. Of course with reports that Iran still has a goal of wiping Israel off of the face of the earth, it may not matter what American intelligence analysts think, but what Israeli analysts think.

Oil is once again focusing on fears that the global economy may be slowing and concerns surround the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis. G-20 finance ministers decided not to give the EU cash to bail out. The G-20 said that Europe needed a viable financial firewall before any consideration can be made to boost resources for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

At the same time the IMF warned that the world economy is “not out of the danger zone because of fragile financial systems, debt and rising world oil prices.” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde gave the stark warning mentioning Iranian tensions as another reason to worry about the way forward.

IMF warned on global growth as well raising fears that the rising oil prices could help sink already fragile economies.

Phil Flynn is senior energy analyst for PFGBest Research and a Fox Business Network contributor. He can be reached at (800) 935-6487 or at pflynn@pfgbest.com.

About the Author
Phil Flynn

Senior energy analyst at The PRICE Futures Group and a Fox Business Network contributor. He is one of the world's leading market analysts, providing individual investors, professional traders, and institutions with up-to-the-minute investment and risk management insight into global petroleum, gasoline, and energy markets. His precise and timely forecasts have come to be in great demand by industry and media worldwide and his impressive career goes back almost three decades, gaining attention with his market calls and energetic personality as writer of The Energy Report. You can contact Phil by phone at (888) 264-5665 or by email at pflynn@pricegroup.com. Learn even more on our website at www.pricegroup.com.

 

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