Monday, April 19, 2010
Oil N Gold: Commodities Extend Weakness as Investors Avoid Risks
Crude Oil prices extend weakness for a third consecutive day as global risk aversion jumps amid Goldman's case. WTI crude oil price slides to 80.8 in European session, after plummeting -2.69% to 83.24 last Friday. Declines in heating oil and gasoline also accelerate with losses of -3% and -2% respectively.
After disclosing production of 29.26M bpd in March (+5.6% y/y), OPEC will probably increase shipment, by +0.9%, in the 4 weeks ending on May 1. This further increases oil supply which is already in a surplus in the market. Member countries are boosting production regardless insufficient demand.
In an interview over the weekend, Qatar's oil minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said there's no need for a special meeting before its October meeting but he mentioned that recent rally in oil price was is 'not related at all to there being a shortage...We see that inventories are at their highest'.
Natural gas has fallen in consolidative phase since April. However, resumption of inventory builds indicates risk of price is to the downside. Gas supply will likely remain ample in coming years as large producers are not going to cut output despite slump in prices.
Although Algeria's energy minister Chakib Khelil plans to seek commitments from 11 gas exporting nations to reduce output, both Russia and Qatar, respectively the biggest and the third biggest holders of the world's reserves, will probably refuse to collaborate.
Gold price slides due to broad based decline in commodities and weakness in the Euro. Currently trading at 1130, the benchmark contract fell to as low as 1124 earlier today. Despite the fall, gold's performance is relatively resilient when compared with oil prices. Some investors buy gold as they lose confidence on currencies on Greece's issue.
Talks on Greece involving the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank have been delayed until April 21 as a volcanic ash cloud disrupted air travel. The market expects the EU and the IMF will impose tough conditions for the rescue package for Greece. The spread between Greek and German 10 year government debt widened +32 bps to 462 bps, the highest level since October 1998.
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