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The Next Leg Higher For Oil Prices

This week in oil is all about last week. Which is to say, the main force pushing markets is still the digestion of Trump’s surprise move to end Iran’s waiver program with a goal of pushing Iranian exports to 0 bpd come May 2nd.

So far, Trump seems to be getting what he wants in the deal in the form of strict sanctions on Iran and moderate oil prices. After an initial price spike north of $75 towards the end of last week, the President was able to push the market lower with a string of tweets highlighting the cooperative efforts between the White House and OPEC to maintain the currently well supplied state of the market.

We’re still at least a little bit skeptical that the President and his state department are accurately judging the current state of the oil market and the willingness of the Saudis to help him keep gasoline prices where American voters want them. On the fundamental front, yes, global oil markets are still reasonably well supplied. This is in part due to the monstrous production efforts coming out of West Texas which is keeping oil inventories above seasonal norms. The US currently has 28.5 Days of Supply of crude oil, which is 0.3 days above its 5yr seasonal average for late April - early May. This is a meaningful indication that oil markets have a reasonable level of cushion against upside shocks. Unfortunately for Mr. Trump, hedge fund managers and physical traders have a substantially more bullish opinion of where market fundamentals…




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