More signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy may not be enough to overcome a potential slowdown in U.S. oil output. The preliminary Caixin/Markit China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 47.0 in September, its lowest since March 2009 yet only down slightly from last month. The weakness was well telegraphed by other readings but how well telegraphed was the drop in U.S. oil inventories?
Crude oil posted its biggest 3-day rally since 1990 and put futures back in bull market territory based on a report that U.S. oil production may be falling faster than previously reported, and OPEC is willing to talk with non-Opec oil producers to try to establish a "fair price for oil."
One day after shocking the globe by devaluing its currency, the Chinese government is now trying to tell us not to worry; that the move is not a sustained devaluation even after China's Central Bank for the second day in a row cut the guiding rate for the Yuan.
Many oil companies had trimmed their budgets heading into 2015 to deal with lower oil prices. But the rebound in April and May to $60 per barrel from the mid-$40s suggested that the severe drop was merely temporary.
Crude oil is trading on very important historical support as the market tries to find support at $44 a barrel. For oil to go much below these price levels and stay there we would have be in a new paradigm, because according to research by Dave Boyce at Dixie-Industrial, it is a level that oil has been in only 3% of the time in the last 10 years.
A Greek deal and a possible Iran deal is giving crude oil mixed signals. On one hand, it seems that a deal in Greece will allow the market to focus on the more positive data that has been coming out of the Eurozone.