Crude Oil bounces back on Iran talk
The oil market’s roller coaster ride continues. After a 5% drop yesterday, crude is once again on the rebound with more talk swirling around Iran’s potential return to the oil market. Iranian leaders indicated overnight that last week’s agreement is a framework not a deal and that the country would not sign off on a final agreement unless all sanctions are removed. In other words, this could still all go off the rails between now and the June deadline.
In addition, there was talk overnight that OPEC may need to adjust member quotas to accommodate Iran’s return to the world market should sanctions be lifted. These developments helped to shore up support for oil in the short term although the wider battle among suppliers for market share continues.
In stocks today, European indices are on the rise again boosted by positive economic news out of Greece (yes Greece) where industrial production rose and unemployment fell a bit (although 25%+ is still a humanitarian disaster and depression any way you slice it). Also Greece either has made or is about to make its IMF payment on time, kicking the can down the road for now but there’s still the potential for a big showdown in the coming weeks. Apparently the ECB just increased its emergency liquidity assistance to Greek banks by another €1.2B, another encouraging step.
US indices have been levelling off digesting the two days of gains that kicked off the week. Alcoa started off earnings season on a high note but reporting doesn’t really get into gear until next week when traders should get a better idea of which way the wind is blowing.
In major currencies today, Sterling is underperforming its’ peers after the Bank of England left interest rates and its QE target unchanged again which was no surprise. EUR and CHF also are near the bottom of the league table.
Asia Pacific markets continue to rally, particularly in China and Japan. AUD, NZD and JPY have been the top forex performers overnight as positive sentiment toward China stocks spills over into currencies and Australia posted a big improvement in construction PMI. Chinese inflation figures due tonight may keep China sensitive markets in focus.
CAD and NOK are benefitting from the rebound today trading in the upper half of the league with oil on the rebound once again. The loonie could be active through the rest of the week with Canada employment figures due tomorrow.
Alcoa $0.28 vs street $0.26, 2015 demand growth was 9%, above the previous estimate of 7%, guides 2015 demand growth to 6.5%
Economic reports released overnight and this morning include:
UK interest rate and QE 0.50% and £375B no change as expected
US jobless claims 281K vs street 283K
Canada new house prices 1.4% as expected
Germany industrial production (0.3%) vs street 0.6%
Germany trade balance €19.2B vs street €19.0B
UK Halifax house prices 3m/yr 8.1% vs street 8.2%
UK trade balance (£2.8B) vs street (£1.5B)
Greece industrial production 1.9% vs street (2.1%)
Greece consumer prices (2.1%) as expected
Greece unemployment rate 25.7% vs street 26.2%
Sweden household consumption 3.4% vs previous 2.9%
Australia construction PMI 50.1 vs previous 43.9
Economic reports due later today include:
10:30 am EDT US natural gas storage street 8 BCF