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Simon Watkins

Simon Watkins

Simon Watkins is a former senior FX trader and salesman, financial journalist, and best-selling author. He was Head of Forex Institutional Sales and Trading for…

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Can Trump Rely On The Saudis As Oil Prices Crash?

A month or so ago U.S. President Donald Trump extracted a promise from Saudi Arabia that it would pump more oil to mitigate the risk of oil price spikes resulting from the end to waivers on Iranian oil exports. There was scepticism at the time about the Saudi willingness and/or ability to make good on this promise, but last week oil entered official bear market territory, defined by a drop of 20% or more in prices from the most recent high. According to historical market data, the average bear market for crude oil lasts 60 trading days, so the question now is: with OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers (NOPEC) meetings on the 25th and 26th of June, can Trump still trust the Saudis to do their part in keeping prices on the low side? In fact, as OilPrice.com reveals, Trump cannot lose, whether the Saudis keep their promise or not.

From the U.S. perspective, there are two key reasons defining this ‘no lose’ position: the first being economic, the second geopolitical. The economic reason is that, despite the U.S. economy continuing to perform robustly over the first quarter of this year - better-than-consensus economic growth of 3.2% - many feel that a recession may be around the corner. In this context has been cited the fall in the IHS Markit U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May by more than two points to 50.5 (the lowest level since September 2009) and the seasonally-adjusted U.S. Retail Sales figure dropping (by 0.2%) in April from…



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