Oil markets move on prospects of war or peace

War and Peace

Global petroleum markets continue to price in the odds of war and peace. Tough negotiations between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov continue in Geneva as they seek a way to avoid war and to rid Syria of those nasty chemical weapons. You know those chemical weapons that they denied they had. (Oh, yeah, those chemical weapons.)  So today we are in the twilight zone between war and peace and the petroleum markets (NYMEX:CLV13) will move on the perception of success or failure of the Geneva talks.

In fact they already are. Whether it is the volumes in the March 90 oil puts or the October and November 120 calls, traders are preparing for the best and the worst. Looking at the puts, they are buying further out in the curve suggested that if war is avoided or not there will be more downside than upside regardless.

Yet we know that that is not risk to supply. In a wild headline driven session Brent crude soared as reports of Syrian rockets going into the Golan Heights caused a panic. When it was reported that it was just a mistake (I hate when that happens), we saw some relief. Yet we saw another spike when Libya declared a force majeure on oil supply as dock worker strikes continue to impact production.  That helped support U.S. products as the U.S. is being viewed as the stop gap for the global product market. RBOB also popped on problems with the BP Whiting Refinery, which is a very important cog in the U.S. refining wheel. Since upgrades were made at the plant, it has had a major impact on Crude Supply in Cushing, Okla. and in turn the price of WTI crude. The markets are in significant ranges and trade levels can give you areas where we should see the buying and selling.

Natural gas number hit right on the head with a 65 bcf injection. The market increased on the number and now we look at the Gulf. Lots of storms, but so far little risk to supply! Of course will the trade feel comfortable being short over the weekend with a weather map that looks like someone spilled coffee on it? I think not.  

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.


Futures and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone. The information presented by The PRICE Futures Group is from sources believed to be reliable and all information reported is subject to change without notice.

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