Energy And Equity Markets Around The World Are Seeing Another Wave Of Heavy Selling To Start The Week
Energy and equity markets around the world are seeing another wave of heavy selling to start the week, after Friday’s session ended on a bearish note. Gasoline prices are leading the way lower this morning, and while they’re some 25 cents lower than the high trade Friday, the pattern we’ve seen lately suggests we shouldn’t expect the weakness to last too long.
Equity indices look much more bearish than energy futures, with their May lows taken out in the early going this morning, which leaves the door open to another big move lower. Energy futures meanwhile still have a ways to go before threatening the bullish trend lines that have helped refined product prices more than double since December. That global “Energy Shock” is center stage in the financial market fallout as a key driver of the inflation that’s holding at 40 year highs and forcing both the FED and the average consumer to consider change their behavior.
Before Friday’s inflation reading, fed fund futures were only pricing in a 3% chance of a 75 point rate hike at this week’s meeting, and now they’re pricing in a 23% chance of an increase greater than 50 points. The outer months are seeing similar moves, with the odds that the FED won’t continue with a series of 50 point or greater hikes in July and September dropping rapidly as the inflation battle realities sink in.
The expectations for a more hawkish FED seem to be contributing heavily to an inversion in the 2 year vs 10 year treasury yield curve, an indicator that is often pointed to as a precursor to most US Recessions. As the chart below shows, a major difference in that yield curve vs what we saw in 2000, 2007 and 2019 is that the shorter term treasury rates have not come anywhere close to inverting, which highlights just how dramatic the FED’s upcoming moves are vs what we’ve seen so far this century.
Money managers continue to show mixed feelings about energy contracts, adding to net length in ULSD, WTI and Brent, while reducing their exposure to RBOB and Gasoil contracts. Open interest for all contracts remains at noticeably low levels, as both hedgers and speculators seem to be waiting to jump back in.
Baker Hughes reported a net increase of 6 oil rigs and no change in gas rigs drilling in the US last week. New Mexico accounted for 5 of the 6 added rigs, which could be a sign that drillers are starting to work through the large amount of federal leases signed in the past couple of years, and affirms recent reports that growth in the Permian could outpace that of just about every country in the world.
The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a system in the Western Caribbean this week, and giving 30% odds this morning of development. While we’re still 3 months away from the peak of the season, and usually storms this time of year don’t pose as much of a threat to the US Gulf Coast as they do in August and September, any potential system will need to be monitored closely this year given how tight the refinery network is already.