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Lior Cohen

Lior Cohen

Hi I'm Lior, an MA graduate in Economics. I have worked for several years in a variety of economic related positions, and in 2010 I…

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Oil Weekly Outlook For October 15-19

Oil Weekly Outlook For October 15-19

During last week, oil prices resumed their upward trend as the price of WTI oil and Brent oil increased. OPEC's monthly report showed there was a modest decline in OPEC's oil production; according the IEA, the projected growth in oil's demand was revised down. These two reports didn't seem to affect much the development in the price of oil. The oil stockpiles declined again during last week by 4.3 M bl. The tensions in Middle East remains high but I still think the recent rally in the price of oil won't last long. During last week, WTI oil rose by 2.2%; Brent oil, by 1.7%. The gap between the Brent oil and WTI widen again: The difference between Brent and WTI ranged between $21 and $24. During the upcoming week there are several reports and events that may affect the oil market including: U.S CPI, Euro summit, China's GDP, U.S retail sales, and Philly Fed survey.

During last week, oil price (WTI) rose by 2.2% and reached by Friday $91.86/b; Brent oil, also increased by 1.74% to $114.21/b; during September-October, WTI spot oil fell by 0.36%; Brent oil rose by 0.84%.

In the chart below are the developments in WTI and Brent oil prices during the month (prices are normalized to September 28th). As seen, oil traded with a mixed trend during recent weeks. 

Oil Stockpiles
Oil Stockpiles –Declined by 4.3 Mb

The oil stockpiles fell again during the previous week by 4.3 M bl to reach 1,792 million barrels. The linear correlation between the changes in stockpiles tends to be negative: the linear correlation between oil price and the lagged by one week oil stockpiles is -0.18, this suggests that the price of oil, assuming all things equal, will increase this week. The upcoming report will be published on Wednesday, October 17th.

OPEC Monthly Report
According to the recent OPEC monthly report, OPEC’s oil production decreased to 31,078 thousand bbl/d in September compared with 31,343 thousand bbl/d in August. This means the total OPEC oil supply slightly declined by 264.8 thousand during last month.

IEA Monthly Report
According to the recent IEA report, OECD's oil stockpiles declined by 11.2 million bbl/d during August. On the other hand, global oil demand growth was revised down 0.7 million bbl/d for 2012 to an estimate of 89.7 million bbl/d. This news shows some mixed signal but the general sentiment might suggest that oil prices will come down, mainly on account of the decline in the demand for oil. 

Main Oil Related News Items for the upcoming week

Tuesday –U.S CPI: This monthly report will refer to the main changes in the consumer price index for September. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor statistics in August, the CPI rose by 0.6%(M-o-M);

Wednesday –China Q3 GDP: during Q2 2012, China expanded by only 4.6% in annual terms; the current expectations are that the Q3 2012 grew in annul terms may even further fall; if the growth rate will be lower than in the previous quarter it might adversely affect commodities; 

Thursday – Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: In the recent September survey, the growth rate rose from -7.1 in August to -1.9 in September. If the index will remain negative it may adversely affect not only U.S Dollar but also commodities prices (the recent Philly Fed review);

Oil Outlook
The difference between Brent and WTI oil slightly increased again during last week and may continue to rally during next week. Oil stockpiles fell last week, which could suggest that oil prices in the U.S will further rise next week. The upcoming U.S reports including U.S retail sales and Philly Fed index could affect oil rates. If the report will show little progress, it could curb the rally of oil prices. If there will be some positive news from Europe, mainly in regards to the highly anticipated EU Summit, it could help rally oil prices. If China's GDP won't rise by a sharper growth rate than in previous quarters, it could also pull down the price of oil. Finally, if major currencies including EURO and AUD will appreciate against the USD, then they may positively affect oil. The bottom line is that I suspect oil prices will slightly increase during the upcoming week.

By. Lior Cohen

For further reading see: "Will Oil Continue Its Tumble?"




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