Story Of The Week: Oil & Dollar


Oil fell over 6 percent on Friday, as fears of economic slowdown weighed heavier than proposed production cuts by OPEC.

U.S. light crude for January delivery, which expired Friday, settled down $2.35 at $33.87 a barrel, the lowest since February 10, 2004, when it ended at the same level.

Friday marks the sixth consecutive day of falls in oil, off more than 29 percent from the $47.98 seen when prices last rose on December 11.

Industry forecasters predict that global oil demand will contract for the first time since 1983.

The Dollar

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar rallied against the euro on Friday and also gained versus the yen after the White House said it will provide loans to struggling U.S. automakers.

The greenback had tumbled earlier this week after the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed its benchmark interest rates to zero. But analysts said the dollar’s move, which pushed the euro up more than 10 cents to as high as $1.4719, was probably overdone.

“The dollar took a hit this week,” observes strategic investor Dennis Gartman. “We saw the weakest two days for the dollar almost in history then the strongest 36 hours. The volatility is almost mind-numbing.”

What’s the trade?

"The trade could be gold if you think many other nations will follow the US and devalue their currencies," says Tim Seymour.

Dennis Gartman doesn't see it that way.

"I think gold is relatively expensive compared to other commodities," he counters. "Gold continues to make lower lows and I’d stay away."

What does Gartman like?

"If you’re looking for a long commodity trade, look a wheat," he says.

You can find out interview with Dennis Gartman at the end of the Word on the Street video.

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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 19th, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Seygem Asset Management Owns (EEM): Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (F), (MER), (DXO): Karabell Owns (AAPL), (GLD), (GOOG), (JPM), (UYG); Pete Najarian Owns (UYG)

Terranova Is Co-Portfolio Manager Of The Virtus Diversifier PHOLIO; Virtus Diversifier PHOLIO Owns (IGE), (DBC), (DBV)

Terranova Is Chief Alternatives Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.; Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (ABD), (ARE), (BIG), (OFC), (DLR), (EXR), (IGE), (MAC), (DBC), (DBV), (SKT), (UA), (CLB); Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of Seagate Tax Refund Rights

GE Is The Parent Company Of CNBC

CIBC Gartman Index Is Short Crude Oil; CIBC Gartman Index Is Long Gold; CIBC Gartman Index Is Short Euros, Long Australian Dollar with wires