Oil Price Spike Will Most Likely Be Averted

Uncertainties for the balance of 2018 imply that stocks could fall sharply or be adequate. As a result, prices may spike or drop into the $50s, depending on what unfolds.

President Trump has sway over Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf producers. He can also fine-tune the implementation of sanctions on Iran and waivers to them. I’m expecting he will do whatever he has to, to avert a price spike going into the November mid-term elections.

July Production Changes

OPEC estimated in its August Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) that its crude production in July averaged 32.323 million barrels per day (mmbd). That was about 40,000 b/d higher than in June. The “compliance” level with the 2016 deal dropped to 97%, the first time less than 100% in nearly a year.

Saudi Arabia’s production was reduced by about 52,000 b/d, but that was more than offset by gains of 79,000 b/d in Kuwait and 69,000 b/d in the UAE.

Iran’s production fell by 56,000 b/d while Venezuela’s output dropped 48,000 b/d. Libya’s output also dropped by 57,000 b/d. Continue reading "Oil Price Spike Will Most Likely Be Averted"

Should The Fed Be Above Criticism?

I suppose it was just a matter of time, but Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) finally hit the bond market last week.

According to some experts, last week’s nearly 10 basis point jump in long-term Treasury bond yields was at least partially due to the president’s unprecedented and impertinent statement that he didn’t like the fact that the Federal Reserve was raising interest rates.

For the past two years, the financial markets have been an island of blissful ignorance, totally disregarding all of the nonsense swirling around the White House, whether real or invented. The S&P 500 has risen about 30% since Donald Trump’s election despite all of the clouds hanging over his presidency, from alleged collusion with the Russians to the Paul Manafort thing to Stormy Daniels to surrendering American sovereignty to Vladimir Putin.

But now apparently the president has finally stepped in it deep enough to rattle the markets.

Last week the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose seven basis points to close the week just below 2.90%, its highest weekly close in a month. The yield on the 30-year bond jumped 10 bps to 3.03%, its highest level since June 26. According to the Wall Street Journal, some of that rise was due to Trump’s comments about Fed policy, neglecting to mention that the yield on the 10-year German government note – the European benchmark – was also up sharply last week, up nine bps on the week to 0.37%, its highest level since June 20.

So what did Trump say about the Fed that was so disturbing that it led some bondholders and traders to dump Treasury bonds and German Bunds? Continue reading "Should The Fed Be Above Criticism?"

Who's Winning The 'Trade War'?

Just how crazy is Donald Trump?

Back at the beginning of March, the president famously tweeted:

“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”
- President Donald Trump

You probably don’t remember what the exact reaction to that was, but you can probably guess it involved hoots of derisive laughter. After all, the idea of the president of the United States upsetting the world apple cart by supposedly starting a trade war with China and our biggest trade partners and closest allies was the height of lunacy.

But who’s laughing now? Continue reading "Who's Winning The 'Trade War'?"

Copper To Retest $1.94 After Breaking Support

Last September I posted a monthly chart of Copper futures to warn you that the metal has been approaching the area of strong multi-year resistance. In that very same post, I set specific triggers to watch for further price action.

Recently, one of those triggers was broken, and now it’s time to update the chart.

Chart. Copper Futures Monthly: Crucial Support Was Broken

Copper
Chart courtesy of tradingview.com

The global chart structure hasn’t changed, and I posted its full reconstruction adding some new annotations to highlight the most recent price action. Continue reading "Copper To Retest $1.94 After Breaking Support"

Hoist by Their Own Petard

George Yacik - INO.com Contributor - Fed & Interest Rates - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


I certainly don’t agree with Mick Mulvaney’s purported efforts – if true— to emasculate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but I am thoroughly enjoying the consternation he’s putting his enemies through – although probably not nearly as much as he probably is. The blatant hypocrisy they’re displaying as they fall over themselves with their fake outrage has been fun to watch.

In case you haven’t been following the story, Mulvaney – who also heads the White House Office and Management and Budget – has been running the CFPB on an interim basis ever since his predecessor, Richard Cordray, resigned from the agency the Friday after Thanksgiving last year so he could run for governor of Ohio. On his way out the door, when he thought no one was looking, Cordray appointed his second-in-command, chief of staff Leandra English, to succeed him, a move that was thrown out by a federal judge. At the same time, President Trump appointed Mulvaney – a very vocal opponent of the agency – to run the CFPB until a permanent replacement is named and seated. Continue reading "Hoist by Their Own Petard"