high frequency trading

3 key questions for the oil market poker game, ahead of OPEC’s meeting

Volatility continues to dominate oil markets, as the above chart confirms.  Some weeks have seen prices move by over 18%.  These are extraordinary moves in a market which is very well supplied, with near-record inventory levels.  Some recent daily moves are equally extraordinary, with prices jumping $2.50/bbl on Tuesday. The volatility highlights the power of […]

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Algorithms drive oil prices up 6%, yet fundamentals remain weak

It only took 2 days for a shocking example to confirm my concern on Monday about the volatility being created by central bank stimulus: As the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) chart shows, a major oil price move took place early in Wednesday’s trading US WTI oil had been trading below $44/bbl, when suddenly prices jumped from […]

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Markets need more cash from the Janet Yellen tooth fairy

Central banks have acted as the proverbial tooth fairy towards financial markets in recent years.  But they have not just left a small amount of money under the pillow when a child lost its first tooth.  Instead they have printed trillions of dollars via Quantitative Easing (QE), to persuade investors to buy shares and commodities, […]

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High-frequency traders pay $millions to be legal highwaymen

In olden days, highwaymen would hang around stagecoach inns, waiting to see when wealthy people were travelling.  Then they would hide out along their likely route, getting wet and cold, in order to take their cash. Today the arrival of electronic trading has changed all this.  High-Frequency Traders (HFT) now have computer programmes to act as their lookouts, […]

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Benzene highlights rising risks in financial markets

The blog is busy preparing its presentations for its World Aromatics and Derivatives Conference later this month, co-organised as always with ICIS.  As well as looking at the impact of the transition to the New Normal, it will be investigating the current state of benzene markets.  These are always an excellent leading indicator for the global […]

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"Its going to be scary"

As the Financial Times wrote on Saturday:

“Earlier this year, it all seemed so straightforward. Central banks printed money and proffered soothing words, and markets went up. Now, it’s getting more complicated.”

In fact, nervous readers might want t…

"Its going to be scary" Read More