Cold Front on Oil Prices?
Tony Nash is back in the Morning Run, hosted by BFM 89.9, as he points out the crude oil price and how long to expect the rally, considering factors like weather, demand, and supply. Tony also mentioned about a potential pullback and snap and how you can better be prepared for it. Should you continue buying tech stocks or move elsewhere? Also, they discussed crops and where the prices are going this year.
This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/cold-front-on-oil-prices on February 18, 2021.
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Tony Nash from Complete Intelligence, from freezing Texas, shares with us the current supply constraints in the US impacting oil prices in the short- and medium-term.
Produced by: Mike Gong
Presented by: Philip See, Wong Shou Ning
WSN: For some color on where global markets are heading, we have in the line with us Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence. Tony, are you freezing out there in Texas?
TN: Yes, we are. We haven’t had it this cold air for decades. So it’s it’s been a really interesting week.
WSN: That has had an impact on oil prices. Bloomberg showing Brent crude at $64 per barrel, WTI at $61 per barrel. So how badly impacted our energy markets at the moment? Where do you think oil prices are going?
TN: A lot of this is very short term. What you’re not seeing that the traders really pay attention to right now is that a lot of refineries are closed because of weather and they’re starting to close for annual maintenance. There’s this presumption that there’s a demand pull, which we’re not really seeing from anywhere in the world right now, and that the winter storm issues will pull energy prices. But again, the fact is the refineries that would take this stuff are closed. We expect this to be short lived. This is an extension of a crude price rally that we saw that we expected to come in Jan, it’s lasted into February and we really don’t expect this to have a lot of legs to it.
PS: What do you think the outlook looks like then for the mid-term like quarter to quarter three?
TN: We would see 10 to 20 percent off of this price? We don’t necessarily think that this is a sustainable level short of some sort of supply cuts. But the weather in Texas, for example, we’re going to be kind of in normal weather ranges in two days. What we’ve seen this week and the close down, as we’ve seen this week, it’ll take people a couple of days, maybe a week at most to get things back on line. So this perceived supply shortage will be back on line fairly soon.
WSN: How about yields on U.S. 10 year bonds? Because they’ve hit a new high one year high. What what is that trying to tell this? What a market try to tell us?
TN: U.S. is trying to raise money and they’re willing to pay more for it. I think that is is really it. I think there is a growing fear that equity markets are as high as they’ll get. We’ve started to see more of that tension come in into chatter over the last few days. People are willing to pay to get out of markets, to park their money in debt.
So I’m sure it helps the U.S. as they’re raising more money for stimulus and for operations. But as we creep up to four thousand, that is just unimaginable for a lot of people. And it’s not as if we are doing better as an economy than we were in 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. This is built on stimulus, as we’ve talked about before. It’s built on central bank activity.
And you can only stretch that so far before things have to snap. We’ll see some of these things that are at double and triple and quadruple kind of the standard multiples. And P is the only way to measure this stuff. But we’ll see things that are really, really stretched, snap into a more reasonable region. But it’ll happen any time tomorrow, three weeks from now, a month from now, whatever. It’ll just happen. It’ll happen any time. And it’s best to be prepared for it.
PS: So are you expecting some pullback eventually? Right. What is the tipping point where investors will essentially do that exodus or flock to U.S. Treasuries then?
TN: One of the tipping points is going to be the resolution of stimulus. I’ve been saying for weeks that stimulus will not be what the administration wants it to be. There are such high expectations put on that stimulus right now and they’re not going to get it. They’ll get a lot of it, but they’re not going to get all of it. Expectations are sky high. And when it doesn’t hit, I think that will be one of the catalysts.
But there are other things like when the crude price starts to fall because this supply constraint isn’t there anymore. These sorts of things, these things add up and then they snowball and and then you start to see markets really, really take a dove. We’re not necessarily calling for a 2008 generational type of decline in markets. It’s just a bit of a pullback so that people can just say, “OK, wait a minute, let’s check, take stock how businesses are doing. Take a look at our investments and our allocation and then reallocate.” That’s really what it’s about.
WSN: Where would you relocate to and what are the safe haven assets? Because almost every asset class on a year to date basis is up. Right. And maybe except for Google, which is down six percent on the year today.
TN: What you’re likely going to see is a pretty serious rotation out of technology where people have focused on because of the work from home activities. This may not be immediate, but I think you’ll see a rotation out of a lot of the work from home stuff as people start real life again and you’ll see people move into. This is not really my the basis of our outlook. But you may see more of a regional move into things like tourism.
These things have just taken real hits. A lot of them have had speculative rises, some of the cruise lines. But some of them are still way down. All of this depends on gradual normalization. But I can tell you, Americans are really tired of being locked in, really tired of not socializing. And some of these things are going to have to start up again.
PS: What about not all out commodities then, like agriculture and precious metals?
TN: We had some real pressure. And part of the reason of that pressure was because there was a perception that a lot of the Chinese corn crop didn’t come in last year. But a lot of the drought was outside of that zone. Some of that pressure was alleviated.
But still, we’re seeing some pressure on wheat right now in the U.S. It really all depends on how much the current cold snap impacts the output later in the year or the ability to plant. Right now it’s not terrible.
Until we start seeing real demand come back in entertaining and in consumption and these sorts of things, we’re not going to see a major demand pull on food because people are already buying their standard cook at home type of things right now as they’ve rebuilt their behaviors over the last year. We’ll see that change. But unless we see a drought or unless we see an issue in a high consumption part of the world, we’re not necessarily going to see a boom in those places.
WSN: All right. Thank you for your time. That was Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, giving us his views on global markets and saying that, hey, oil prices are going to come under pressure probably in the next two to three months, because this is not really driven by real demand, is just probably weather patterns which are going to normalize anyway in Texas in a few days.
PS: He also made a point about oil, where this, I think, a slight surge in prices is actually a short term because supply is going to get back on quite soon.
WSN: Yeah, but other interesting news is actually the ongoing saga of big tech versus Australia, because it looks like Facebook has defied Australia’s push to make big pay for news by banning the sharing of content on its platform in the country. And this is the most far reaching restriction is ever placed on any publisher in any part of the world.
PS: So the extreme step to remove Australian news came as Google separately struck a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp diffusing a long running dispute between the two companies. The dramatically different approaches could mark a pivotal moment for the media industry, which had hoped Australia’s tough regulatory approach would help reset its terms of trade with Google and Facebook worldwide.
WSN: So the moves by Google and Facebook came on the day Australia begin debating laws that would force big online platforms to license news. Now Facebook’s action will have a global impact. Under the provisions, news from Australian publishers will be blocked on the platform for all Facebook users, regardless of where they are based. The Australian government said it will continue to engage with Facebook. Press ahead with legislating the code, Canberra also warned that withdrawing news from Facebook’s platform in Australia could dent its credibility with users.
While this is quite big stuff. Actually, yes.
PS: Yes. I mean, Australia wasn’t the first country to, you know, get into this spat. I think you really was in having discussions. And France and Spain already had deals with a lot of with Google and Facebook with respect to media purchase. But it’s a question about publishers.
WSN: Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, right. We do know media companies are suffering. Right. Álex has come under pressure. Subscriber growth has come down. How a media company is going to generate the revenue. So in the past, all these big tech companies, the argument was that they got to earn super normal above what is the what super normal profits without paying the likes of the media companies because they were using these media companies content to their benefit.
So some countries like Australia and even if you try to kind of diffuse the situation and have, I suppose maybe in their mind, a fairer playing field. But the Google deal nonetheless, if you look at it, the Google deal with News Corp announced on Wednesday goes beyond the Australian market, extending to Murdoch’s titles such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post in the U.S. and The Times and the Sun in the UK. No other news publisher has reached a single deal with Google across multiple countries.
Now, critics say the deal would benefit News Corp. rather than the rest of the news industry.
PS: Yes, well, we’ve been talking about the price. And since you looking at Google’s valuation, I suspect Google’s to be the winner because they have just really this unique access to this quality content. So. So why not?
WSN: Well, they’ve pledged so far to spend one billion over the years on buying news content and reach agreements with publishers in about a dozen countries.
But we’ll be watching this space because we do a media outlet.
But up next, we’ll be discussing the recently announced national unity blueprint. Stay tuned for that. BFM eighty nine point nine.
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