201709.11
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COT Report: Black (Crude) and Blue (UST’s)

Over the past month, crude prices have been pinned in a range $50 to the high side and ~$46 at the low. In the futures market, the price of crude is usually set by the money managers (how net long they shift). As discussed before, there have been notable exceptions to this paradigm including some…

201708.18
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Commitment of Traders: Crude Confounding Confusion

The price of oil can’t seem to climb out of the $40’s despite a lot going for it at the moment. Oil prices matter right now as much as three years ago when they signaled serious trouble ahead. For them to get above $50 and then continue on would indicate for a lot of important…

201706.07
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All About Inventory

Andy Hall has been called the God of Oil. As chief of Astenbeck Capital, he has proven at times that even gods can be mortal. In the “rising dollar” period, for example, after making money on the way down Mr. Hall went bullish. That was March 2015: We suspect their projection of current prices into…

201705.04
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About Those Secondary Speculators

Back when the WTI curve was at its steepest contango, who was it that was buying up all that oil? A sheer vertical curve is an invitation to almost free money, very much like other curves everywhere else during the “rising dollar.” You could simultaneously buy crude at spot and sell it for delivery years…

201701.25
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The Inconvenience of Oil

For the first time in three years, oil inventories in the United States are not rising precipitously more than the seasonally expected. At the start of both 2015 and 2016, oil stocks exploded higher as oil prices crashed, all related to the “dollar” flex on the front end of the futures curve creating sufficient contango…

201609.13
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More Bad Economic News From The Oil Patch

At the end of August, the US Energy Information Administration reported that it had been overstating domestic demand for oil and energy products to a considerable degree. Using imprecise and lagging data, the calculations for the amount of product being exported overseas was understated by an average of 16%. That meant more output was being…

201607.22
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The Narrative of Energy Inventories

While there is a direct relationship between the steepness of contango in the oil futures curve and the amount of crude siphoned from the market to storage, it is not an immediate one. When crude prices originally collapsed starting in late 2014, twisting the WTI curve from backwardation to so far permanent contango (of varying…

201602.10
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Fundamental About Oil

The front month WTI futures contract traded as low as $27.27 this morning, a few dimes less than the low of January 20. Just three months out, however, the June 2016 contract is trading at $33.17 and up $0.43 on the day (as of this writing). Just two months further to August, that futures price…

201508.17
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Corporate Bubble Pricing Revised, Effect Is The Same

The S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan 100 was updated this weekend through August 13, confirming that market values in those “liquid” names fell below the December 16 levels for the worst prices since before QE3. There isn’t any further information on the reasons for the delay, though revisions to the BofAML High Yield indices suggest an answer….

201503.04
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Oil Updates On Supply And Inventory (Demand)

There were several updates in the crude oil data flow, including the latest “unexpectedly” huge increase in inventory that pushed spot WTI back below $50 yet again. The US EIA estimated that domestic inventory rose by a gargantuan 10.3 million barrels, far exceeding predicted builds. That figure has to include oil being shipped to the…