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Signs of Slowing US Shale Output Lifts Crude

ETF Securities Commodity ETP Weekly Signs of Slowing US Shale Output Lifts Crude

Investors lock in profits as crude benchmarks rally.

Investors shed long copper exposure as price rebounds.

Soft US data prompts precious metal price recovery.

ETFS Weekly

After last week’s revelation that US consumer prices had tipped into deflation on an annual basis and retail sales surprised to the downside, investors will be monitoring US manufacturing and home sales data for continued signs of weakness. Any subpar data readings that reflect a moderation of US growth could delay market expectations of tightening and prove bullish for precious metals. In Europe, investor’s brace for a Greek default as signs emerge of deteriorating relations between the newly elected Syriza party and international creditors, calling into question Greece’s Eurozone membership.

Investors lock in profits as crude benchmarks rally. I
nvestors withdrew US$52mn of funds from ETPs providing exposure to US crude this week as the price hit the highest level this year. Following a 25 week streak of inflows, long WTI ETPs have experienced the largest four weeks of outflows since 2010. ETFS Daily Leveraged WTI Crude Oil (LOIL) witnessed US$21.1mn of outflows, as US crude inventories grew by 1.3mn barrels, 2.7mn barrels below market expectations, indicating that US shale production may finally be declining in the face of recent price weakness. The weak inventory build corroborated an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released earlier in the week that forecasted that US shale oil production would start to drop in May. Adding further to bullish sentiment was the withdrawal of government forces from oilfields in Yemen, reflecting a deteriorating internal situation which threatens the security of key oil transit routes. Going forward the price of crude will likely grind higher as shale output shows further signs of curbing and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East remain elevated. The main downside risks to the price in the near term are US Dollar strength and the potential for onshore oil storage capacity to reach limits and force supply onto the market.

Investors shed long copper exposure as price rebounds. The price of copper has rebounded from January lows, driven in part by the recent pullback in the US Dollar and the reduction of the Chinese Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR). Long copper ETPs saw US$14.2mn of redemptions as investors harvest profits from the recent price bounce. Following data that showed that China grew at the slowest pace in six years, policy makers are under intensifying pressure to support growth targets. Investors in the copper futures market have cut short positions from record highs as accommodative measures are likely to boost the red metal and sustain its recent strong performance.

Soft US data prompts precious metal price recovery. Recent weak retail sales and jobs data has relieved bearish pressure on the precious metals complex. Soft US data pushed back expectations of rate normalisation which weakened the Dollar and boosted precious metals, with gold and silver rising 0.8% and 1.0% respectively. Gold and silver ETPs benefited seeing a total of US$7.1mn of inflows.

Key events to watch this week. This week cyclical commodities are likely to be in focus following recent stimulus measures announced by Chinese authorities and the release of manufacturing data for US, China and Europe. In Europe, aside from Greek debt negotiations, the UK will be under the spotlight as the Bank of England (BOE) releases minutes from its April meeting and the general election draws closer.

Video Presentation

Joshpreet Tiwana, Research Analyst at ETF Securities provides an analysis of last week’s performance, flow and trading activity in commodity exchange traded products and a look at the week ahead.

Important Information

This communication has been provided by ETF Securities (UK) Limited (”ETFS UK”) which is authorised and regulated by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority.

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