201802.12
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COT Black, Green, and Blue; Extremes But Not Extremes

No matter where one looks, there is extreme positioning in all the key markets. Each one is pulled further and further toward “reflation”, too, or in the case of the euro this “falling dollar” consistent with that idea. The world is betting big on it finally coming true, the “globally synchronized growth” to this point…

201801.11
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COT Black: All The Trades Are Crowded Here

Watching the crude oil market over the past few months has been a study in winding a rubber band, or a game of chicken. Each week it has been largely the same thing repeated: oil prices gently rise, backwardation in the futures curve keeps deepening, Money Managers in the futures market bet on higher oil,…

201712.07
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COT Black: Bad News For Jerome, Swap Dealers Seem Really Convinced

US domestic stocks of crude oil continue to be quite high and now the futures curve is only a few pennies in the front month contract from being fully backwardated again. Contango is gone, which suggests that oil market is in sight of achieving some measure of balance. That anticipated equilibrium, however, is registering at…

201712.05
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Reduced Trade Terms Salute The Flattened Curve

The Census Bureau reported earlier today that US imports of foreign goods jumped 9.9% year-over-year in October. That is the second largest increase since February 2012, just less than the 12% import growth recorded for January earlier this year. In both monthly cases, however, the almost normal rates of increase which would have at least…

201711.17
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Chart of the Week; Deconstructing and Applying BRL

Last week’s Chart of the Week kicks off this week’s, though it will have to wait for a series of explanations to get us from that one to this. A week ago, we noted the growing divergence between leveraged loan prices and WTI, two risk indicators that used to be pretty well correlated for obvious…

201711.16 2

Huge Crude Stakes

There is a titanic struggle going on right now in the oil market. On the one side of the futures market are the usual pace setters, the money managers. Last week, the latest COT data available, they went the most net long since March. If it continues, it will close in on the most positive…

201711.13
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Broad Market Calibrations: Nowhere Near Good

In later 2014, the Bank of Russia began to repo out eurodollars to local Russian banks. These financial institutions were being increasingly deprived of “dollar” funding on global markets. It made sense that Russia’s central bank would step in on their behalf, redistributing what it could out of its own pocket (though exactly which one…

201711.10
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Chart of the Week: Another Compelling Note of Caution

Leveraged loan prices and WTI tracked each other pretty well during the “rising dollar”, unsurprising given that the oil sector was over-represented in most new deals as the one truly booming part of the domestic US economy.  That was the case on the rebound, too, where leveraged loan prices rose at the same time oil…

201711.10
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COT Black: Crude Balance Here?

Oil prices have had a very good run for several months now. Dating back to the recent low reached June 21, WTI is up an impressive 35% to a new two-year high. Crude hasn’t traded at $57 since June 2015. During this latest increase, the oil futures curve has finally achieved backwardation (which isn’t necessarily…

201709.13
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Harvey’s Muted (Price) Impact On Oil

The impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf energy region is becoming clear. There have been no surprises to date, even though the storm did considerable damage and shuttered or disrupted significant capacity. Most of that related to gasoline, which Americans have been feeling in pump prices. According to the US Department of Energy, as…