LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Oil markets have swung from
irrational exuberance in the first half of the year to
increasingly irrational pessimism in recent weeks.
Participants risk exaggerating the risk of a deep and
prolonged recession hitting demand in both the advanced
economies and emerging markets.
LONDON (Reuters) – The most important fundamental in commodity markets is not supply, demand, inventories or spare capacity but the passage of time itself.
Successful traders learn time is the most important influence on their profits. Not just in the simple sense of picking peaks and troughs but on the cost of holding positions and time’s impact on all the other variables affecting prices (investment in new capacity, demand destruction and stock building).
LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – According to the Wikileaks
diplomatic cables, China’s powerful Vice-Premier Li Keqiang told
the American ambassador he paid little attention to official
data on industrial production and GDP — preferring to focus on
railroad cargo volumes, power consumption and bank loans as more
reliable metrics for growth.
Unlike China’s notoriously unreliable data, the United
States spends more than $100 million a year on data collection
and analysis by the Bureau of the Economic Analysis and the
Census Bureau, and has the most comprehensive, timely and
accurate macro data among the advanced economies.
LONDON (Reuters) – Commodities suffered the equivalent of a meteorite strike last Thursday and Friday.
Macro fears triggered an extraordinary plunge across a broad range of futures, with over-extended markets routed amid an acute lack of liquidity and the need to raise cash.
LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – The Fed’s decision to extend
the maturity of its government debt portfolio and reinvest the
proceeds of maturing mortgage-backed securities in housing bonds
had been read as an act of desperation, rather than a decisive
measure capable of spurring more investment.
There are sound theoretical reasons for the Fed’s policy,
and it has good precedent.
LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Persistent supply shortfalls
have kept Brent oil supported around $110 per barrel, even as
the economic outlook in Europe and North America darkens and the
market prices an increasing risk of recession.
But the relative weakness of forward prices suggests most
market participants expect the current tightness to prove
temporary, gradually easing in the next 12 months.
LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – External Monetary Policy
Committee (MPC) Member Adam Posen on Tuesday delivered a
passionate appeal for the Bank of England to ignore “policy
defeatism” and engage in more quantitative easing and even
consider direct lending to small and medium-sized enterprises
unable to get credit elsewhere.
In a counterblast against “unduly influential voices” who
claim aggressive monetary responses would be ineffective,
counter-productive or corrupting, Posen demanded policymakers
refuse to be “slowed, confused or intimidated by such false
LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Learning from the Yorkshire
adage about making money from waste (“where there’s muck there’s
brass”) U.S. refiners are making big profits from processing the
poorest crudes and unwanted residues from other countries’
Importing low-value oils from refineries in Europe and
Africa that cannot process them further to wring out additional
fuel oil and gasoline has become an increasingly important and
profitable business for the biggest and most complex refineries
on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Sunoco’s decision to put
its East Coast Philadelphia and Marcus Hook refineries up for
sale has probably condemned both to closure.
In a world where seaborne light sweet oils are much more
expensive than landlocked U.S. crude and heavier and sourer
imports, Philadelphia and Marcus Hook are the two worst
refineries to own in the United States.
LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) – A raft of eminent economists have
called for a short, sharp, controlled burst of inflation to
solve the problem of over-indebtedness and pull the advanced
economies out of a protracted slump.
But even if monetary policy could produce just the right
amount of inflation (not too little, not too much), rising
prices will compound the misery for consumers across North
America and Western Europe, and do nothing to ease the burden of
paying down mortgage debts or bolster confidence.