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Not Dead Yet: OPEC Can Still Move Markets

OPEC

Friday, August 26 2016

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Speculators close out shorts on OPEC rumors

(Click to enlarge)

- OPEC succeeded in ending the bear market for crude oil when it announced an unplanned meeting in Algeria in September. Oil prices surged more than 20 percent in two weeks.
- Of course, the physical market did not change much in those two weeks, but oil speculators rushed for the exits on their short positions as expectations of a production freeze rose.
- Hedge funds and money managers slashed their short positions by 56,907 contracts for WTI futures for the week ending on August 16, the sharpest fall in a decade.
- "This is all courtesy of some very well-timed comments from the Saudi oil minister," John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC, told Bloomberg. "They’ve been successful over the last year in jawboning the market, and this is the latest example."

2. Saudi Arabia’s cash reserves continue to fall

(Click to enlarge)

- Saudi Arabia’s cash reserves fell by another $11 billion in June, a time when oil prices rose to $50 per barrel.
- Saudi Arabia has been burning through its reserves at a torrid pace in order…

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