Commodity bulls got the bounce they needed as Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court Ok’d the European Central Bank’s bond buying program, with limitations. The court says that Germany can contribute to the European Stability Mechanism but only up to a contribution of €190 billion, or about $240 billion. Of course when it comes to limitations in Europe, we already know they are always subject to change.
The EU’s commissioner, José Manuel Barroso, added that the EU needs greater political union and must become a Federation of States. In other words, they need to be able to issue Euro bonds, yet another bullish comment for the euro and commodities in general.
The attack on the US embassy in Libya and turmoil in Egypt, not to mention the increasing tension between allies, Israel and the United States, will help reignite oil’s risk premium. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the U.S. for not taking a harder line on Iran and Obama placed a hastily arranged phone call. Then the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff were killed in a rocket attack on their car. This comes after an attack in Egypt on a US embassy. The Mid-East is looking more dangerous.
Gas prices are somewhat justified by the American Petroleum Institute which reported a drop of 4.2 million barrels. The API also reported that crude supply was down by 382,000 barrels and distillates up surprisingly by 2.5 million barrels.
While many people are focusing on the negative with the historic report from the Energy Information Administration, I think we should focus on the positive. While some focused on the fact the US oil demand was at a 15-year low at 18.67 million barrels per day, the real story was that US oil imports will fall below 40% for the first time since 1991. The US is on its way to energy independence and while weak demand is helping, we must realize that demand patterns are changing in the US. We are becoming more efficient.