So, President Trump is using his leverage with the Saudis saying you must replace Iranian oil because we have got your back against your nemesis. The Saudis, of course, must look like any move they make is within the boundaries OPEC and Russia has set. Iran Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said any production increase above limits agreed to by OPEC would “breach” the deal, according to a letter he sent to OPEC President Suhail Al Mazrouei and distributed by the Iran Oil Ministry’s news service Shana. OPEC should reject the U.S. call for a production increase which is “politically motivated against Iran,” he said, as reported by Bloomberg.
With the Trump Administration working toward zero Iranian exports by November, Libyan oil supplies at risk due to clashes with militias, and crashing supply from Venezuela, reports of tightening U.S. supply is keeping oil on edge. Crude oil price continued its drive, hitting $74 a barrel for the first time since that fateful OPEC meeting in November 2014.
The global oil market supercycle that we predicted would happen a few years ago is becoming increasingly clear to the crude oil market. It is hard to ignore what is happening when the data in the United States and around the globe is seeing the seeds of a bull market in energy that will last for years.
Last week, West Texas Intermediate crude oil traded down to $63.70 per barrel intraday, the same level it was trading at in early January. Much like the US stock market, prices had traveled both higher and lower in the first six months of the year, but was trading essentially unchanged from the level seen on the first trading day of the year.
Financial markets are once again in risk aversion mode on Wednesday, as investors continue to take shelter from the ongoing trade spat. There hasn’t been much progress – positive or negative – in recent days although U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin did deny reports that the country is looking to block investment from China in U.S. tech, instead claiming there will be a statement aimed at all countries trying to steal technology.
It is slowly shaping up to be another rough and rocky trading week for global equity markets as escalating trade tensions between the United States and China weigh on risk sentiment. A risk-off vibe continues to linger in the air with investor confidence clearly shaken after the Trump Administration announced plans to restrict Chinese investments in American businesses.
The U.S. State Department laid down the gauntlet as the United States threatened to slap sanctions on countries and companies that don’t cut oil imports from Iran to “zero” by Nov. 4. That’s right, zero, zip, nada you name it. There will be no waivers granted at this point and the United States is going to issue penalties to those that decide to buy Iranian oil.
Crude oil prices had a tough time staying higher as trade war fears and distraction took the market focus off tightening global oil supply. While many are making ominous predictions of what this trade war may do to economic growth, the reality is that if we are overestimating these concerns the oil market is going to be woefully undersupplied.
The market is starting to look like it is rolling over for real. My new Kairos 2.0 indicators are giving me great intel on these charts and, specifically, we’ve been looking at the CAC, FTSE and the HGX. All three extended losses last week. It finally came to the point where the Dow, as well as the European indices, gave signals for a bounce.
All is well in OPEC land. OPEC kept it together with a unanimous deal, even though there is still disagreement on what the deal in Vienna means. Post OPEC, we have a rising dollar on China/U.S. trade tensions and a major Canadian oil sands outage that will buoy U.S. prices.