Although the EIA weekly report showed a larger-than-expected decline in crude oil inventories, the price of the commodity declined sharply after news that U.S. crude oil production increased. Thanks to these circumstances, light crude lost 1.62% and closed the day under important support. What does it mean for the black gold?
On a historical basis, yesterday's drop isn't particularly significant. As Eddy Elfenbein at Crossing Wall Street noted, "Last year, the S&P 500 had 48 days in which it closed up or down by more than 1%. In 2015, there were 72. So far this year, there have been seven." In other words, yesterday's fall only feels so large because we've been locked in one of the lowest volatility environments ever for the past few months. Remarkably, the S&P 500 has yet to see a 3% peak-to-trough drawdown since election day, over nine months ago.
Thursday saw U.S. stocks suffer one of their worst sessions so far this year. The benchmark S&P 500 index closed 1.5% lower to represent its biggest one-day drop since May. The sell-off continued in Asia overnight and there was some follow-through in Europe this morning. U.S. index futures have drifted further lower on follow-up technical selling momentum as more bullish speculators have been forced to liquidate their positions.
Crude oil prices are rising after Genscape reported that supplies in Cushing, Okla., suddenly plunged by one million barrels. This is adding to the perception that the physical oil market is tightening much faster. Brent spreads driving the market into contango is signaling that demand is exceeding short term supply. Historic draws in U.S. inventories are signaling the same thing. Oil supply in the United States is back below 2016 levels.
Earlier today, the latest UK jobs report showed that the unemployment rate dropped to the lowest since 1975, which pushed the British pound higher against the greenback. Despite this improvement, currency bulls didn’t manage to hold gained levels, which resulted in a pullback. How low could the GBP/USD go in the coming days?