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Oil and USD fall ahead of inventories and Yellen testimony

Oil and USD fall ahead of inventories and  Yellen testimony

Crude oil went off another cliff Tuesday, with Brent and WTI both plunging 7% after the energy Information Administration (EIA) indicates that it expects crude oil prices to remain below $40.00 through August at least as supplies. The Agency indicated that the oversupply in the market is worse than it previously expected. While this seemed at first to be a case of officialdom catching up with what the market already new, increased downward through pressure through the day indicated continued bearishness on the part of traders perhaps helped by reports out overnight of brokers suggesting oil could fall under $20.00. WTI crude oil peaked near $30.00 before falling while Brent was driving down toward a test of $30.00. WTI has been approaching support at its January low near $26.60 which could end in a double bottom or the start of a new downleg. Crude oil and growing concerns about energy producers finances sent energy stocks lower again. The energy heavy S&P/TSX fell 3.0% while the FTSE fell 1.75%. Interestingly, CAD did not take part in the selloff a non-confirmation that suggests crude may be close getting washed out. The market reaction to in line API inventories has been muted, we’ll see what happens with DOE inventories tomorrow. Overall, while indices were down again Tuesday in North America and Europe, declines were less than Monday with the Dow falling only 0.5%, while the NASDAQ 100 continued to hold above 2,900 despite a 1.0% decline. Disney beat the street on revenues and earnings. While a big win from the studio off Star Wars is not a huge surprise, better than expected results from the cable and broadcasting divisions which had been struggling could be seen as a positive. Cable network weakness would not have come as a total surprise since before the news Viacom fell 15.2% on weak earnings while Discovery Communications fell 6%. In contrast theatre chain Cineplex rallied 5% on strong earnings boosted by the Force Awakens’ big box office. USD tumbled again Tuesday and currencies may remain active over the next 24 hours on anticipation of Wednesday’s testimony to Congress from Fed Chair Yellen. At the beginning of the year, the Fed’s party line was calling for four interest rate hikes this year but lately key members like Vice Chair Fischer and NY Fed president Dudley have softened their stance., Others, like Cleveland Fed President Mester and KC Fed President George have suggested volatility is part of the transition process toward normalizing rates. The falling greenback suggests traders are expecting Dr. Yellen to back away from four hikes and perhaps also away from a March increase as well. Ahead of the news, we’ve been seeing defensive currencies rally led by CHF, Gold and JPY (which means it could be another rough day for the Nikkei by the way). Interestingly EUR has also been really strong gaining on USD and GBP while steady against JPY. For currencies, the most important impact of Dr. Yellen’s comments are related to interest rates. A hawkish read could send USD back upward while a dovish read could accelerate USD declines. For stocks, her comments on the health of the US economy and the potential impact of recent market turmoil could have a bigger impact. Hints that the economy is soft or rate hikes could be delayed could be read as a sign of weakness and poor prospects for corporate earnings which could undermine stocks and potentially outweigh any short term cheer from liquidity addicts. Hawkish comments on the other hand, could shore up confidence in companies. With the street still mixed on what the Fed could do, we may see significant intraday swings in both directions creating trading opportunities around the news. Corporate News Disney $1.63 vs street $1.45m revenues $15.2B vs street $14.8B, cable and broadcasting both beat street, uptick in ESPN subscribers Open Text $1.01 vs street $0.90, sales $465M vs street $460M Anadarko Petroleum 81% dividend cut Economic News Significant announcements released overnight include: US API crude oil inventories 2.4 mmbbls as expected UK BRC same store sales 2.6% vs street 0.3% UK trade balance (£2.7B) vs street (£3.0B) Germany industrial production (1.2%) vs street (0.6%) Germany trade balance €18.8B vs street €20.0B Greece industrial production 5.2% vs street 2.4% Upcoming significant economic announcements include: (Note: 11:30 am in Sydney/Melbourne is currently 1:30 pm in Auckland, 4:30 pm in Vancouver, 7:30 pm in Toronto/Montréal, 12:30 am in London and 8:30 am in Singapore) After 7:00 pm EST US New Hampshire Presidential primaries results 10:30 am AEDT Australia consumer confidence previous 97.3 10:50 am AEDT Japan producer prices street (2.8%) 11:00 am AEDT Australia new home sales previous (2.7%) 7:45 am GMT France industrial production street 1.7% vs previous 2.8% 9:00 am GMT Norway consumer prices street 2.4% 9:00 am GMT Norway producer prices previous (10.8%) 9:00 am GMT Italy industrial production street 1.4% vs previous 0.9% 9:30 am GMT UK industrial production street 1.0% 9:30 am GMT UK manufacturing production street (1.4%) 3:00 pm GMT UK NIESR GDP previous 0.6% 8:30 am EST FOMC Yellen testimony text released 10:00 am EST FOMC Yellen testimony to Congress starts 1:30 pm EST FOMC Williams speaking 10:30 am EST US DOE crude oil inventories street 3.2 mmbbls 10:30 am EST US DOE gasoline inventories street 1.0 mmbbls 10:30 am EST US Bloomberg implied oil demand previous 16,357 mmbbls

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