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Crude Oil Today - Tightening supply and Middle East tensions dominate

Market Analysis - Greg McKenna | 31 Jul 2018

Welcome to Crude Oil Today, my brief look at what's happening in oil markets and what it might mean for prices. 

As ever, feedback welcome

QUICK SUMMARY

Oil is higher as traders worry a little further about what the Saudis are up to and what the Houthi rebels may or may not be able to do to supply lines. Worth noting though is that in a press conference with Italian PM Conte President Trump said he’ll meet the Iranians. Anyway WTI climbed 1.95% to $70.03 while Brent was 0.9% to $75.55 in LCOc2 terms as the front contract rolls off.

BIGGER PICTURE

Much is going on geopolitically in oil at the moment. We have worries about the Houthi rebels ability to hit shipping routes through Bab el-Mandeb feeding fears of a conflagration in the Middle East but then this morning we also heard from President Trump that he is willing to meet with the Iranians without pre-conditions. On balance though that’s still given Brent a lift. 

I think that could be because while President is again showing his almost singular belief in the power of his personality to deal with adversaries it also signals that the rhetoric could increase if the Iranians don't take up the offer. 

Source: EIA Website
Source: EIA Website

But the reason WTI is belting higher is that inventories are getting really tight at Cushing. That much is clear in this chart from the EIA. That’s helping keep the bid in the market and it’s giving WTI a chance to run back toward the highs in the weeks ahead. We’ll see, but inventory data is of uber-import right now and we get API tomorrow morning. 

On the charts my outlook for oil has evolved a little in the sense that I relaised what I've been saying in my daily videos isnt necessarily reflected in this brief note. Anyway, Brent bounced of the bottom of the current daily upchannel and WTI is still holding the overall uptrend. 

Here's WTI

Click on me, I'll expand
Click on me, I'll expand

DATA:

Here at home today it's private sector credit and building approvals.  But it's a big day in Asia and Europe. 

The global manufacturing canary – South Korea – releases business confidence, construction output, industrial and manufacturing production, along with retail sales. We get Japanese industrial production and unemployment this morning before the BoJ this afternoon and of course, we get the NBS China PMI’s for manufacturing and services.

Retail sales are out in Germany, Euro area inflation for July and GDP for Q2. Canada releases its monthly GDP (yeah I know) as well as PPI and in the United States we get very important employment costs, PCE prices, Personal income, and spending data as well as the Chicago PMI and Case Shiller housing.

Have a great day's trading.

Greg McKenna

Chief Market Strategist

gregmckenna.com.au

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