Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Phil Flynn: The Good, The Bad And The Bullish And Bearish

It was easy to get caught up in all of the exhilaration as oil rallied strong in the glow of a global bailout frenzy. Promises of re-capitalization of European banks by the French and the Germans and word that a Chinese sovereign wealth fund was buying shares of faltering Chinese banks, eased the markets darkest fears causing a run out of the safe haven dollar and a run in to the euro.

The oil of course dutifully rallied as the risk appetite came back and the VIX fear index fell. Yet despite the fact that it was bailout mania that drove most of the commodity complex, we would be remiss not to point out other bullish factors that were at play in a marvelously bullish day.

For oil there was a lot of bullish news and bullish speculation surrounding Saudi Arabian production. Private forecasters are reporting that Saudi production is falling perhaps by as much as 4% as they seek to take back that extra oil they pumped to replace lost Libyan crude. Also were reports that the Saudis have put on hold their plans to expand production capacity and that was also a potential long term supportive story the crude complex.

What is more OPEC just lowered their global demand forecast by 180,000 barrels per day and at the same time, is warming they are staying alert to market imbalance risk. In other words, if oil prices fall too hard they will take steps to cut production even further. Ah, yes the OPEC boys doing their part to screw up the global recovery.

Even sugar for the ethanol traders had a big news. Floods in Thailand, one major sugar producer and worries about the smaller than expected Brazilian crop shot sugar back above 30. Dow Jones said that strong ethanol demand in Brazil could reignite a rally in sugar futures before the front-month contract expires next March. That is of curse assuming the Europe does not fall on its face again.

Copper soared again on the hope for an improving economic outlook but also as reports of violence at the world's third largest copper mine in Indonesia. Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc says that is continuing to produce and ship copper concentrates at reduced levels from its Indonesian mine while violence broke out and at least one death was reported. In the meantime copper traders are looking for a surge in copper demand from China as they expect that they will be looking to replenish stockpiles. Of course if the economy slows it might not happen.

Jean Claude Trichet in Brussels EU is warning of large scale systemic risk that could impact even the larger countries in the EU! Wow, who knew? Those concerns of course are another reason why the market is wondering whether all of that exuberance was justified. Earnings season begins today and the world is waiting on Slovakia to pass its partipation in the larger EU bailout fund. That's right, Slovakia. The market is worried that a "no" vote could crash the global markets.

In the mean time, mergers and acquisitions in the oil patch could be exploding. Yesterday China raised eyebrows with a major accusation play in the Canadian oil sands. Chinese owned Sinopec signed an agreement to purchase Canadian oil and gas exploration and production company Daylight Energy. Now the question is whether or not the Canadians will approve the deal. Stay tuned!

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