The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the fundamental changes which were already underway in global markets, as I discuss in a new interview with Will Beacham of I.C.I.S. Companies and investors need to focus on the challenges and opportunities created by 5 major paradigm shifts as we move into the New Normal. These will impact individual
Oil prices are finally starting to reconnect with other fossil fuel prices, as the chart shows. It compares US WTI prices in terms of $/MMBtu value (WTI/5.8), versus US natural gas and coal prices: In January 1990, WTI was $3.94 versus natgas at $2.30 and coal at $1.45 (all $/MMBtu) In January 2000, WTI was
Oil markets can’t quite make up their mind as to what they want to do, as the chart confirms. The are trapped in a major ‘flag shape’. Every time they want to move sharply lower, the bulls jump in to buy on hopes of a major US-China trade deal and a strong economy. But when
Back in 2015, veteran Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi was very clear about Saudi’s need to adopt a market share-based pricing policy: “Saudi Arabia cut output in 1980s to support prices. I was responsible for production at Aramco at that time, and I saw how prices fell, so we lost on output and on prices
We are living in a strange world. As in 2007 – 2008, financial news continues to be euphoric, yet the general news is increasingly gloomy. As Nobel Prizewinner Richard Thaler, has warned, “We seem to be living in the riskiest moment of our lives, and yet the stock market seems to be napping.” Both views […]
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Its been a long time since oil market supply/demand was based on physical barrels rather than financial flows: First there was the subprime period, when the Fed artificially boosted demand and caused Brent to hit $147/bbl Then there was QE, where central banks gave free cash to commodity hedge funds and led Brent to hit […]
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it“. George Santayana 9 months ago, it must have seemed such a good idea. Ed Morse of Citi and other oil market analysts were calling the hedge funds with a sure-fire winning strategy, as the Wall Street Journal reported in May: “Dozens of hedge-fund managers […]
The myth of oil market rebalancing has been a great money-maker for financial markets. Hedge funds were the first to benefit in H2 last year, as Reuters has reported, when: “OPEC and some of the most important hedge funds active in commodities reached an understanding on oil market rebalancing during informal briefings held in the […]
The past few weeks have been a nightmare for the many hedge funds who gambled on higher oil prices. They obviously hadn’t realised that OPEC’s November quota agreement was most unlikely to lead to a major rebalancing of today’s vastly over-supplied market. But as I suggested in December: “The simple fact is that the arrival […]
“Within 20 years, we will be an economy or state that doesn’t depend mainly on oil“. This critical statement from Saudi Arabia’s deputy Crown Prince has been lost in the hype surrounding Q1′s hedge fund-inspired rally in oil, commodities and Emerging Markets. There has seldom been a better example of markets failing to see the […]
Last year’s ‘Chart of the Year’ was headlined “China’s auto sales bubble begins to burst“. Few would disagree with this view today. Similarly, there is little doubt about 2015′s Chart of the Year. It has been the focus of industry and analyst attention all year: Those who believed that argument that the world faces an […]
Did your company or investment manager use $50/bbl as a forecast Scenario price for oil this year? If not, why not? And has this question even been asked, as you finalise forecasts for 2016? In recent months, many readers have told me despairingly of their efforts to suggest alternative Scenarios to last year’s “consensus” view […]
Simple stories aren’t always true. That’s certainly the case with the fiction that the fall in the number of US oil drilling rigs will soon reduce US oil production. Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson recently reminded us of this critical point: “Clearly a significant decline in rig activity did not diminish the continued growth of […]
The Great Unwinding of the central banks stimulus policies is underway, as discussed last week. Oil markets have been one of the first to feel the change, as the chart shows, with prices finally falling out of the ‘triangle’ shape built up since 2008. The value of the US$, interest rates and the S&P 500 […]
Slowly but surely the myths over supposed supply shortages in the crude oil market are being exposed. As leading US investment magazine Barron’s wrote this week: “In May, U.S. production hit its highest monthly average level since 1988 and is projected to keep rising. Domestic supplies have piled up in storage, especially on the Gulf […]
The annual BP Energy Statistics publication is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in global energy markets. One key area is the impact of today’s higher oil prices on consumption growth, as highlighted in the chart: It starts from 1965, and shows consumption growth for oil (red line), gas (blue) and total energy (green) Oil’s […]
Crude oil and the major commodity markets have been a “fool’s paradise” in the past 4 years, created by the arrival of the central banks’ massive liquidity programmes. Pension funds rushed to buy, in the belief they would be a “store of value”. Hedge…
Trading volumes in financial markets are very low these days. Many ordinary investors are on holiday, and others are focused on the Olympics. So it is easy for the high-frequency computers to create major volatility – and large profits for their owne…
Brent oil prices have just finished a record sequence of 240 days above $100/bbl. This was longer than the 170 days in 2008. And longer, on an inflation-adjusted basis, than in any previous period of high oil prices.
In Europe, prices were actuall…
Parabolic price movements are great fun whilst they last. The dot.com technology stock boom was a great example, when prices would jump 1% or 2% a day towards its end. And then, sadly, it all collapsed.
The NASDAQ technology index doubled in a yea…
ExxonMobil’s annual energy review is always a fascinating read. This year’s issue looks out to 2040 for the first time. It thus forecasts the relative share of the major fuels over the next 30 years.
Interestingly, it also shares the blog’s belief, …
Europe is at the eye of the storm when it comes to energy pricing. This is the last thing required by its struggling economy.
As the chart shows, Brent in euros (green line, RHS) is now back at the same level as June 2008, whereas WTI is 35% cheaper …
The investment banks have maintained a consistent focus on oil market supply disruptions and demand surges in recent years, alongside forecasts of sharply increasing prices. We discussed their role in more detail in the recently published Chapter 3 of…