Crude Oil Today - Waiting for the next shoe to drop

Market Analysis /
Greg McKenna / 21 Aug 2018

Welcome to Crude Oil Today, my brief look at what's happening in oil markets and what it might mean for prices. 

As ever, feedback welcome

QUICK SUMMARY

Oil is higher despite the announcement the US DoJ is going to release 11 million barrels of oil in time for the Iran sanctions to really bite. So this morning WTI is up 1% at $66.43 while Brent is 0.5% higher at $72.17.

BIGGER PICTURE

French energy giant Total announced last night it was pulling out of Iran.

It’s another sign that companies find it more difficult than their governments to disagree with the US and President Trump’s rhetoric. Balancing that out to a certain respect is news that China is replacing US crude with Iranian crude using Iranian ships to get around the US sanctions. All very messy and still much water to flow under the bridge.

But the release of 11 million barrels from the SPR which was announced last night is to my mind an important intervention from the US side in energy markets. Certainly it did not have much impact on prices last night. Indeed it had very little in the end as prices rose anyway. But it does signal a commitment from the US side to seek to alleviate the potential price spike that could accompany the Iranina sanctions coming into effect in a couple of months time.

For the moment though important support in Brent and WTI is still holding.  Yesterday I shared a WTI chart, so today here’s Brent. The downtrend is still holding for the moment but a break of $72.73 would negate that. Brent was last at $72.17.

Click on me, I'll expand
Click on me, I'll expand

 

DATA:

API data is out tomorrow morning my time around 6.30am. That will be important given the current market sentiment. 

On the day we get the RBA minutes here in Australia. South Korean PPI is also out this morning along with visitor arrivals in New Zealand and Japanese industry activity. Tonight its very quiet with wholesale sales in Canada and the Redbook in the US.

Have a great day's trading.

Greg McKenna

Chief Market Strategist

gregmckenna.com.au

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