Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dominick Chirichella: Crude Oil Prices Lower on Profit Taking Selling

Some of the uncertainty that was looming over all of the markets this week is now in the background. The OPEC meeting ended with a rollover agreement (as I suggested) with the group kicking the can down the road for a year on the election of a new Secretary General. A view that the economy is starting to show signs of stabilization coupled with the main oil demand growth engine of the world... China now projected to show its oil demand growth growing at a faster pace than previously projected (latest IEA monthly report) was enough for OPEC to take a wait and see approach to production levels. This will be an issue that will most likely have to be dealt with sometime during the first half of the year especially if supply continues to outstrip demand.

Today in the EU another tranche of aid was approved for Greece while the EU Finance Ministers finally agreed to put the ECB in charge of all of the banks. Greece is now moving further into the background and will remain a secondary market driver for the next several months or until the next Greece crisis emerges. The agreement to put the ECB in charge of all of the banks will move the EU one step closer to financial integration. The agreement opens the door for the EU's financial firewall to now provide direct bailout to the banks under the direction of the ECB. As is always the case with the EU there are still many details that will have to be worked out prior to the start date of the new ECB authority on March 1, 2014. Overall pushing Greece into the background coupled with the new agreement by the EU Finance Ministers is a positive for the EU economy as well as the EU equity markets at least for the short term.

In the US at least one of the major uncertainties is out of the way... the outcome of the last US FOMC meeting of the year. As expected the Fed replaced Operation Twist with a new or additional round of quantitative easing... let's say QE3a or QE4 that will entail the buying of another $45 billion dollars of long term Treasury instruments. Thus starting in January the Fed will be printing about $85 billion dollars per month to provide liquidity to the long term bond markets...both mortgage and treasury instruments.....Read the entire article and see Dominicks charts.

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