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The Oil Price Tug Of War

Oil markets are moving sideways this week and passively digesting a massive amount of bullish and bearish news. Perhaps it was simply time for a break? Did the world’s oil traders simply need a collective nap after a sleepless month? Maybe. And while we aren’t sure whether oil’s next move will be higher or lower, we do think the non-stop flow of news on US/China, Saudi/Iran and OPEC+ will ensure that the current sideways regime will not last long.

On the trade front, the White House’s newly hawkish stance on Huawei - banning US companies from doing business with the Chinese Telecomm giant- pulls the US and China further apart on a trade deal. The US had labeled Huawei as a security threat dating as far back as 2012 making this a non-surprise move, but the strategic power of Huawei as a bargaining chip in US/China trade relations is still significant. Communications from both sides have maintained a frustrated, non-cooperative tone this week with both governments play hardball and seemingly entrenching further into their own tough positions. In the US the government is preparing another $20b aid package for farmers who have been cut off from Chinese buyers. In China, a song posted on WeChat touting the nation’s ability to withstand the trade war has received more than 100,000 views. Both sides are taking steps to protect themselves from the impact of a slowing economy rather than working together to resolve the dispute. Unfortunately, both…




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