Fed Keeps Door Open on More Monetary Stimulus
August 26th, 2019
Crude oil and refined fuel product prices closed lower on Friday with WTI crude oil leading the way down by 2.1%. Prices fell mainly due to China announcing that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion of imports from the US including a tariff on crude oil which increased concerns about the global economy and oil demand. The tariff on crude oil was not expected.
Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, kept the door open for more monetary stimulus but it may not be as quickly as the market expected. He said the US economy is still strong, giving traders the idea that action is not needed as soon as they were hoping it would come.
Baker Hughes on Friday in their rig count update said that rigs looking for crude oil were down 16 putting the total number of rigs looking for crude oil at 754 rigs – the lowest US crude oil rig count since January 18, 2018. It was also the largest weekly decline since the week ending April 26th and the seventh weekly decline the past eight weeks.
The Commitment of Traders Report showed that managed money funds in the crude oil market increased their net long position for the third consecutive week in the week ending August 20th. The funds increased their net long position by 17,541 contract on the week to 217,104 contracts on a combined NYMEX and ICE futures and option basis. Separately, the ICE Brent crude speculators cut their net long positions by 6,568 contracts to a 220,199 contracts in the week ending August 20th.
China supposedly called and asked to restart the trade talks and this news has the market trading higher this morning. China’s top negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, said they were willing to solve the trade problem through consultation and cooperation with a calm attitude. The market watches all this closely as this is a big deal for the global economy and with it energy demand. The market will just have to see how this new optimism goes as there has been hope in these negotiation in the past.
Prices continue to trade in a range and after Friday’s sell off which tested the first line of support getting abound today keeps this market range bound for now.