Crude oil is being driven by more plotlines than an afternoon soap opera. With upcoming sanctions on Iran, the Fed on pace for gradual interest rate increases, strikes in the North Sea and a big drop in the U.S. oil rig count (which fell by 9 rigs, the biggest drop since May of 201), there is enough drama for both the bulls and the bears.
If you get the dollar right, you will get a lot of things right. Hard-lined policy in Washington has created a safe-haven flight to the dollar. Trade policy and sanctions have resonated an uncertain atmosphere for growth in many areas of the world
Commodities tried to turn the corner on reports of low-level talks about a framework to end the trade war and this made everyone realize that perhaps some of the fears of the backlash from a trade war were overblown. China is feeling the pain of the trade war while the United States looks to be gaining. If recent trade trends continue, it is possible that the United States may find it harder and harder to lift tariffs.
Snapback after a whack, give a dog a bone, this old man comes rolling home. It looked doomy and gloomy in crude oil for a while as trade war fears and reports of increases in OPEC and Russian oil production weighed on market psyche. Yet, after a report about another drop in supply in the Cushing, Okla., delivery point, and talk that U.S. oil production is not what it was reported to be, the mood quickly shifted.
Crude oil is trying to hold ground after Friday’s fear-based market sell-off. Tariff fears and then talks of global growth fears after a sub-par jobs report, not to mention a rising rig count, sent oil lower. Yet, we also have current strong demand, falling OPEC productions and a possibility of a major reaction by the United States after Syria allegedly crossed the chemical weapons line in the sand.
The crude oil sell-off was just downright crazy. Oil got caught up in trade war fears, tech wreck fears, OPEC/Non-OPEC compliance fears, and a build in Cushing, Okla., oil stocks, as reported by Genscape. Stocks had the worst start to April since 1929, but really the magnitude of this sell off was a big April’s Fools Day joke that just one day late.
U.S. stocks tumbled Monday as President Donald Trump continued his criticism of Amazon, sending those in the technology and consumer discretionary sectors lower. The selling also comes ahead of the Trump administration's plan to unveil this week the list of Chinese imports targeted for US tariffs. The list of $50 billion to $60 billion worth of annual imports is expected to target "largely high-technology" products.
So far, China’s response has only been on the aluminum and steel tariffs, announced by the White House last month, and not on the proposed $60 billion in annual tariffs against Chinese products. This shows Beijing is unwilling to enter a trade war with the United States, knowing that it has more to lose than to win. However, trade dispute will continue to dominate investors’ decisions heading into Q2.