The big story overnight has been continued gains for gasoline which has rallied another 5.8% or 10 cents per gallon amid news that the largest refinery in the US has just been shut in due to flooding.
Hurricane Harvey continues to hammer the Gulf Coast keeping refineries shut in and raising concerns of a growing bottleneck that could lead to a surplus of crude oil and a shortage of gasoline. On top of the refineries, storm related shut-ins of ports and pipelines are also an issue.
Last night's big drawdown in API inventories has been ignores as pre-storm, and today's DOE reports could suffer the same fate. Note a huge gap has opened between the near month future for gasoline and farther out months plus cash contract. For example, the September contract has spiked up to $1.88/gallon while the October contract is trading at $1.65/gallon. This indicates that traders see the hurricane effect as temporary and that gasoline could fall back after the storm blows over.
Stock markets have stabilised as politicians on both sides of the North Korea crisis follow up on yesterday's missile test with more talk but no action. US index futures are up 0.1% while the FTSE is up 0.2 % and the Dax is up 0.4%.North Korea could flare up again at any time along with US domestic political strife. It's like a game of whack-a-mole, with a number of things that could pop up at any time to impact the markets.
The main economic event today is US ADP payrolls. Although the hurricane impact and the risk of a government shutdown is likely to keep the Fed on hold, some traders may try to make a game of the numbers if they are a big enough surprise from the 185K the street is expecting.
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