Stephen Schork is the Founder and Editor of The Schork Report, a daily subscription newsletter providing comprehensive technical and fundamental daily views of the energy cash and financial markets. Published since April 2005, The Schork Report is geared towards professionals in the global energy arena looking to improve economic performance while managing risk. Further information is available at www.EnergyMarketIntelligence.com.
Schork was a floor trader (Local) in the New York Mercantile Exchange’s energy complex and has more than 18 years experience in physical commodity and derivatives trading, risk systems modeling and structured commodity finance.
A recognized expert in the energy sector, Schork is a regular guest on CNBC and Bloomberg Television. He is also frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Reuters, the Associated Press, Platts, The Street.com and CNNMoney.com.
Energy prices were mixed yesterday….The DOE released disappointing storage data for both crude oil and natural gas, but Henry Hub gas futures were the only market to sell off. WTI rose, but lagged behind the products.
The EUR/USD cross has failed to hold support, but crude oil has yet to respond. The euro currency is down 1½% thus far this week against the U.S. dollar. Given the strong correlation between the EUR/USD and oil (Brent) prices, 0.8249 as of last week, it would not have been unreasonable to expect knock-on weakness to crude oil values.
Spot Nymex crude oil for August delivery settled last night at 95.42, 1 penny above the settle for Wednesday, June 22nd, the day prior to the IEA’s thinly veiled attempt to control price. Brent oil futures closed last night at 112.48. That is still 1.73 or 1½% below the close for June 22nd, but it is 7.36 (!) or 7.0% (!) above last Friday’s settle.
Greece is disintegrating right in front of our eyes, Egyptian protestors are still hurling stones in Tahrir Square, Muammar is hanging in there and the AFP reports that Iran has been “…carrying out covert ballistic missile tests and rocket launches, including testing missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload in contravention of UN resolution 1929."
A recent article in The New York Times regarding growth prospects for North American shale gas was the talk of the town yesterday. The article in question, called into question, the prospects of shale gas development.
Gasoline supplies in the U.S. ticked down last week. According to yesterday's weekly update from the DOE, total supplies of gasoline fell by 0.46 MMbbls or -0.2%. Current supplies of 214.6 MMbbls stand comfortably atop the seasonal range.
Here is what we think the FTC is going to find… nothing, zilch, nada, no evidence whatsoever of market manipulation. After all, the days of Standard Oil are long gone. We are pretty sure Senator Rockefeller is aware of that.