Today's Saxo Market Call podcast
Global Market Quick Take: Europe
Crude oil prices continue lower after tumbling 5% on Tuesday amid fresh technical momentum selling following Monday’s failed attempt to reach safer grounds above $80.50 in Brent and $76.50 in WTI. In the process prices have slumped back to levels last seen during the March banking crisis which helped trigger the OPEC+ production cut on April 2. However, following a brief spike in response to the cut, the market has since then been on the defensive with technical and macro-economic developments once again favouring those holding short positions.
Despite OPEC’s best efforts to confront emerging signs of a slower than expected demand outlook for the second half, and to ensure a stable high price for its crude oil, negative price developments since April 2 has rendered these efforts fruitless. Not only has Russia’s ability to export its crude and fuel products exceeded most expectations, in addition we are seeing a less commodity intensive recovery in China than during earlier government supported growth sprint. Combining these developments with continued weakness in economic data, especially in the US, and the ongoing crisis among US regional banks, the demand outlook for the second half continues to be downgraded, thereby forcing price downgrades, most recently from Morgan Stanley who have cut their end of year Brent crude oil price by 12.5 dollars to $75 a barrel.
For now, the market will continue to worry about the risk of recession and its impact on demand, a concern that during the past month has been on clear display through a dramatic slump in refinery margins across the major regions, first for diesel and more recently also for gasoline. Diesel which powers heavy machinery such as truck and construction equipment are often seen as the canary in the coalmine and if continued it may lead to lower refinery demand and with that lower demand for crude oil.