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  • 31
    JUL14
    Sanctions – yesterday evening’s headlines from EU are the opening salvo

    Last night, Bloomberg carried the headline «NO MAJOR RUSSIAN BANKS ON EU SANCTIONS LIST», among others announcing the addition of 8 individuals and 3 entities (Almaz Antey, an air defence systems manufacturer; Dobrolet, Aeroflot’s low-cost subsidiary, which opened flights to Crimea; and RNCB, a Russian bank (# c.183 by assets), which opened branches in Crimea). The headline, however, is misleading, as the Regulations published yesterday (here) only expand the list of persons on Regulation No. 269...

  • 29
    JUL14
    Sanctions – decision expected today

    Late on Monday night, the French President’s office reported that the heads of state and government of the US, France, UK, Germany and Italy “confirmed… their intention to adopt new measures against Russia.” According to an unnamed source cited by Bloomberg, the new additions to the EU sanctions list might be unveiled ‘late’ on Wednesday 30 July. In addition to this, the Deputy National Security Advisor to the US President, Tony Blinken, has been quoted by Bloomberg as indicating the possibility...

  • 21
    APR14
    Almost a zero return for the week

    Global developments. A busy week ahead for US earnings reports (Apple and Facebook on Wednesday, with Thursday the busiest day for earnings including GM and Amazon). The S&P500 had a positive run last week (its biggest weekly rise since last July), though Japan’s Nikkei was the top performer of the major markets on the week. However, developments in Ukraine are likely to feature at the start of the week, with the BBC reporting on Russian outrage at recent fatal shootings of pro-Russian activists...

  • 18
    MAR14
    Positive start to the week

    Global developments. The initial reaction of the major equity markets to the result of the Crimean referendum was positive, and they also shrugged off the announcement of US and EU sanctions on named Russian individuals. The announcement by the PBoC at the weekend of a widening in the RMB’s trading band seems likely part of a strategy to unwind the RMB carry trade, which is seen by the authorities as contributing to the surge in Chinese credit pressures. Spot USDRMB rose to 6.16 having been at 6...

  • 5
    MAR14
    Sentiment turns positive

    Global developments. Global equity markets recovered as Ukrainian tensions eased and international investors took the view that any potential spill-overs onto the global economy and markets are limited. Otherwise, it was an uneventful day in terms of economic data flow and there were no surprises from President Barack Obama’s Budget for fiscal year 2015. China’s annual meeting of the National People’s Congress starts today and is to feature updates on economic growth targets. It was expected the...

  • 11
    FEB14
    A calm

    Global developments. The main focus today is Janet Yellen’s monetary policy report to the House and Senate. We expect little change to the Fed’s policy stance and Yellen will likely want to emphasise dovish forward guidance and that tapering will continue, but remain data-contingent. Her assessment of the US economic situation will also be important, but she is likely to reiterate that she wants to see a further improvement in labour market conditions. Overall, Yellen’s testimony is expected to be...

  • 4
    FEB14
    Keystone XL review progresses

    The US Department of State has published its Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SIES) on the Keystone XL pipeline project, which aims to deliver Canadian heavy crude south, across the border, with a capacity of up to 830kb/d. The application to construct the pipeline was first submitted in 2008 and envisioned crude delivery to the US Gulf Coast via Cushing, Oklahoma, the pricing point of WTI. It has since been split into two projects, with the southern leg, the Gulf Coast pipeline from...

  • 31
    JAN14
    Turning back to a healthier tune

    Global developments. In the aftermath of the FOMC’s decision to taper its monthly bond purchases by another USD 10bn, global equity markets regained some poise after recent concerns over EM currency volatility and the interest rate response of some EM central banks. However, it might be premature to sound the all clear, as the backdrop of a retreat in EM capital flows, thin levels of fx reserves and economic growth uncertainties still persist. Yesterday’s economic data releases featured a slightly...

  • 14
    JAN14
    Sharp drop in net speculative positions in Brent; Iran interim deal start date

    Net managed money futures and options positions on the ICE in Brent, regarded as the most directionally driven speculative category, dropped 26.7%, or by 36,515 positions to 100,096 positions, in the week ended 7 January. Net speculative positions have been see-sawing since dropping to a twelve-month low at the start of November which might reflect market uncertainty over the near-term direction of oil prices. Total Open Interest for futures and options was flat WoW. Over the same period, Brent dropped...

  • 19
    NOV13
    Drop in speculative net longs in Brent; MENA region fiscal breakeven oil price rises

    Net managed money futures and options positions on the ICE in Brent, regarded as the most directionally driven speculative category, dropped 13.1%, or 13,456 positions to 89,088 positions, in the week ended 12 November (Figure 1). Total Open Interest for futures and options dropped 3.2% WoW. Over the same period, Brent gained USD 0.48/bbl WoW to USD 105.81/bbl. On the other side of the Atlantic, net managed money futures and options positions on NYMEX in WTI dropped 4.3%, or 10,117 positions, to...

  • 27
    SEP13
    European spot gas price increasing

    European spot gas is showing signs of life as winter looms, and remains at multiples of the US gas price. Since the end of August, the European spot price has risen from USD 349/kcm (USD 9.88/mmbtu) to USD 370/kcm (USD 10.49/mmbtu) for a total increase of USD 21/kcm (USD 0.61/mmbtu) or 6% (Figure 1). Over the same period, the US gas price has eased slightly to USD 122/kcm (USD 3.47/mmbtu), or a third of the European spot price, confirming that these markets continue to price completely independently...

  • 9
    SEP13
    Global: risk found empowerment in US jobs report

    Last Friday, US nonfarm payroll employment figures were released, showing an increase of 169k in August, just short of expectations of a 180k rise. The previous two months were revised down 74k. The BLS noted that 34k workers in non-agricultural jobs were unable to work due to inclement weather. Manufacturing jobs rose 14k, with service sector jobs up 134k, of which transport and retail trade accounted for a large part of the gains. The unemployment rate slipped to 7.3% from 7.4%, though the labour...

  • 4
    JUL13
    EIA data

    The US EIA data for the week to 28 June saw a sharp, and counter-seasonal, drop in total oil inventory, down 14.7mmbbl WoW. At 1,129mmbbl, total oil inventory remains high, above the top of the seasonal range. The large stock draw was mainly due to a drop in crude inventory, down 10.4mmbbl (-2.6%) WoW to 383.8mmbbl and now only a fraction above the top of the seasonal range. That came about as crude imports were sharply lower, down 0.9mmb/d WoW at 7.4mmb/d, while refinery crude throughput rose to...

  • 2
    JUL13
    European Gas Market Outlook

    Despite significant reductions to our forecast for European gas demand, we also expect the supply of LNG to Europe to drop sharply and are increasing our estimate for the European call on Russian gas in 2013 by 16bcm to 160bcm. We expect future demand for Russian gas to be robust. Although we are cutting our forward gas price estimates 9%, we expect European gas prices to remain strong, despite the development of a US LNG export business by 2020. This analysis supports our Buy recommendation on Gazprom...

  • 20
    JUN13
    EIA data –Total oil inventory builds to near-record level

    US EIA data for the week to 14 June saw a stronger than average build in total US inventory, up 6.8mmbbl WoW, taking inventory levels further above the top of the seasonal range. Total inventory is now just 9.2mmbbl short of the all-time high of September 2010. Crude inventory rose both unexpectedly and counterseasonally, up 0.3mmbbl where the market was expecting a 0.5mmbbl stock draw. A second consecutive 0.6mmb/d WoW increase in crude imports more than offset a rise in refinery crude throughput...

  • 14
    JUN13
    Russia has largest shale oil resource

    ..., with 75bbbl potential, approximately 29% more than the US, which has the second TRR largest shale oil base; Russia accounts for some 22% of the global total shale oil TRR. The study lists China as having the largest shale gas TRR with 31.6tcm, the USA fourth at 18.8tcm and Russia ninth with 8.1tcm. In total, the study estimates shale oil TRR of 345bbbl, accounting for some 10% of total global oil resources of 3,357bbbl, with shale gas TRR of 207tcm accounting for some 32% of total global gas resources ...

  • 13
    JUN13
    EIA data – Demand disappoints

    US EIA data for the week to 7 June saw all-product demand drop 0.9mmb/d (-4.6%) WoW to 17.9mmb/d, one of the lowest readings YTD despite incremental demand as a result of the driving season. Distillate demand was the only oil product category that saw a WoW increase, up 0.3mmb/d (8.7%) to 4.1mmb/d and above the top of its seasonal range. Implied demand for gasoline dropped 0.2mmb/d (-2.0%) WoW to 8.6mmb/d, clearly boosted by the driving season but below the bottom of the seasonal range. The cumulative...

  • 6
    JUN13
    EIA data – strong crude inventory draw

    US EIA data for the week to 31 May recorded significantly more bullish inventory numbers than the market had been expecting (notably a 6.3mmbbl draw in crude inventory), although API data released the day before had already pointed towards a strong stockdraw. While total US inventory trended lower WoW for the first time in six weeks, it remains above the top of the five-year range. Crude inventory is still high, above the top of its seasonal range, gasoline inventory is trending the top end of the...

  • 31
    MAY13
    EIA data – bearish inventory data

    US EIA data for the week to 24 May recorded significantly more bearish inventory data than the market had been expecting, notably a 3mmbbl build in crude inventory. Total US inventory continues to trend higher and remains above the top of the fiveyear range. While crude inventory is the main driver to current high inventory levels, gasoline inventory is at the top end of the range and distillate inventory is picking up toward the average. All-product demand fell 0.6mmb/d to 18.3mmb/d, dropping back...

  • 23
    MAY13
    EIA data – Driving season nearly here

    This week’s EIA data saw implied gasoline demand jump over 0.4mmb/d (+5.4% WoW) from last week’s lowly 8.4mmb/d to the highest YTD, in also the largest WoW movement YTD, and back within the seasonal range. The rise in demand comes a week ahead of the start of the US driving season on 27 May (Memorial Day) but also amid particularly subdued YoY demand in recent weeks. In fact, on a 52-week average basis, gasoline demand has stagnated around the -1.5% YoY level in the past ten weeks. Gasoline imports...

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