Tuesday has seen major indices in the US and Europe trade in relatively narrow ranges, but there has been more activity in currencies and commodities.
Crude oil has staged significant moves in both directions with OPEC and Non-OPEC countries meeting on compliance with production cuts. Three of the countries which have lagged the most on compliance, Iraq, UAE and Kazakhstan have agreed to do a better job of getting with the program. This news didn’t have much of an impact on prices with traders likely wanting to see more evidence of compliance.
Meanwhile, the focus of energy trades has turned back to the US, starting with the ADP inventory report. Two weeks ago, ADP inventories fell by 10.2 mmbbls which then rose last week by 1.5 mmbbls. This week inventories plunged 7.8 mmbbls confirming a downward trend and WTI has picked up a bit on this news. With the Baker Hughes oil drill rig count starting to fall during a time of year it usually rises, Halliburton indicating slowing demand for oilfield services and Big Oil companies cutting capital budgets, oil production may not be set to rise as fast as the street has been thinking. Inventory reports this week and going forward may indicate to traders what impact slowing spending is having on production growth and the supply/demand situation.
Currency markets have been relative steady today but there are a couple of situations of note. The South African Rand (ZAR) has come under pressure after South Africa’s President Zuma managed to stay on power following a non-confidence vote that failed 177-198.
North Korea was back in focus on reports the country has developed a nuclear bomb small enough to fit onto a missile. JPY picked up on the news while gold held steady, indicating that traders remain complacent toward political risk for now, but also that this could change rapidly if something happens.
It’s a busy day for earnings but another light day for economic news. After the close, Walt Disney produced another mixed report. The house of Mouse beat the street earnings but missed on sales with networks and the studio underperforming expectations. Disney also announced it is ramping up its sports video streaming services with an ESPN branded service to launch early in 2018.Perhaps more importantly, Disney also announced it plans to pull all of its content off of Netflix and launch its own streaming service in calendar 2019. Shares of both Disney and Netflix have been falling in the aftermarket on this news.
In economic news today China inflation may attract some attention from traders but the main event remains tomorrow’s DOE US energy inventory reports with traders looking for confirmation that inventories continue to come back down after a big build earlier this year.
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