The outlook for global growth has been called into question in recent months as emerging markets bow under external pressures and developed economies engage in trade wars. On top of its already-enacted $250 billion tab, the US is weighing a further $267 billion in tariffs on China. The Trump administration has also suggested it may set its sights on Japan. Similarly, NAFTA remains unresolved despite a bilateral deal between the United States and Mexico as a deadline looms. With such a comprehensive curb on economic expansion, the outlook for crude demand is concerning – and thereby so too is the commodity’s price.
Crude Oil Price Chart: Weekly Timeframe (October 2007 to September 2018) (Chart 1)
$71 on WTI seems to be a point of contention for the fourth quarter. Though there may not be a definitive level, the WTI’s push above $70 seems to raise the threat concerns from Donald Trump, in turn leading the President to bark at OPEC via Twitter to “get prices down now!”One thing that would “get prices down now!” would be a significantly stronger US Dollar, which tends to have global deflationary forces, and is often first seen through lower commodities and a higher USD/CNH. US producers continue to add rigs though per Baker Hughes, the number of active oil rigs has only recovered 40% of the 2014 high of 1,592 to the 2016 low of 330.
--- Written by Tyler Yell, CMT, Analyst and Peter Hanks, Junior Analyst