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Is still the Energy Sector a Good Bet from Now in perspective of a Market Recessions and the Current Superbuble?

Is still the Energy Sector a Good Bet from Now in perspective of a Market Recessions and the Current Superbuble?

Energy sector it’s the best performing market sector in 2022 instead of the latest evolution of Oil. Evolution of energy sector its close correlated with war between Russia & Ukraine. But we need to recap last week’s events:

Russia shut down its Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline last week for “maintenance” and will thereby provide Europe with a preview of how will looks winter this year. Instead of opening terminal in Estonia from Norway and new delivery from Spain, or imports from Canada & Qatar Europe can’t replace completely Russian energy and Europeans will have higher bills for energy-related products. Its expected price caps but this will result in more shortage of Gas & Oil.

There is a growing possibility in the case of a regime change in Russia that could disrupt the crude oil and natural gas markets. We support this idea because of latest development of war, Ukrainian soldiers regain 6000 KM2. Also, six of Putin’s allies have been shot or blown up, so Putin’s inner circle is becoming increasingly isolated. “Special operation” support is lowering because of Europe sanctions from 85% to 68% according to Levada.ru.

Putin support in percent

In the event that there is a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, post-Putin, the stock market could explode 40% to the upside. However, as long as Putin remains in power, the Ukrainian war is expected to persist in a long, and we will have high price of energy. We reduce our profitable positions this week in anticipation of pervious scenario.
After last days of Ukrainian Army advance we can see already a turning point of conflict. Just take a look of yesterday map
Ukraina russia war map  

We closed some energy positions like Alvopetro (Alvof) with +40% and Petroleo Brasil (PBA) +30% opened in March because we had important gains from price appreciation and large dividends, with higher risk of president Jair Bolsonaro intervention in companies’ administration.
We anticipate Corporate Earnings to decline except Energy. We remain skeptical that a new Iranian nuclear deal will be announced in the upcoming weeks because this will affect Bidden administration and relationship between USA and Israel.

What About US Inflation

U.S. inflation may have peaked, but at high levels thus forcing the Fed to remain restrictive. Strong dollar, high mortgage rates, lower commodity prices, lower demand, and reduced supply chain pressures are likely to help reduce inflation over the next year. The U.S. dollar should stabilize over the medium-term amid hawkishness from other central banks and slowing economic data this is positive for growth stocks in short term. Right now, CPI was published and is above expected values but market overreacted this bad news. Today’s CPI report wasn’t a game changer. A “better balance” in the labor market would be a game changer for CPI next months because higher vacancies-to-unemployment ratio fuels inflation.

Just read Societe Generale opinion below:

Societe Generale Research discusses the USD outlook and sees the currency rally close to its peak. "Aggressive fiscal reaction to higher energy prices encourages our belief that while the euro and pound won’t stage significant rallies until the we’re closer to the end of the energy crisis (and the end of the war in Ukraine), the dollar’s peak isn’t very far away," SocGen notes. "A period of EUR/USD and GBP/USD trading in low ranges is more likely than fresh 10% fall from here and it’s much more likely the next 10% move in USD/JPY is down, rather than up, too," SocGen adds.

We can see at the end of the year decline in USD and we acquired new positions on Gold, Silver and Banks European Index (EXX1), also new positions in Citi (C) Societe Generale Bank (GLE).

Right now, we have a late cycle development and we prefer equities instead of fixed income like bonds. Not all equities are good to own right now, we select just strong companies with large cash flow from sectors like Healthcare, Consumer Samples and Utilities, Renewable Energy. We favor commodity and companies that mine uranium and lithium for green Energy Industry.

Good green Companies:

ENPH

Enphase Energy, Inc.

SEDG

SolarEdge Technologies, Inc.

VWS

Vestas Wind Systems A/S

PLUG

Plug Power Inc.

FSLR

First Solar, Inc.

ED

Consolidated Edison, Inc.

ORSTED

Orsted

RUN

Sunrun Inc.

EDP

EDP-Energias de Portugal SA

968

Xinyi Solar Holdings Ltd.

541450

Adani Green Energy Limited

9502

Chubu Electric Power Company,Incorporated

BE

Bloom Energy Corporation Class A

SGRE

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, S.A.

DQ

Daqo New Energy Corp Sponsored ADR

 

Best Lithium Producers

Albemarle Corporation (NYSE:ALB:US)

Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium (OTC Pink:GNENF,SZSE:002460)

Lithium America Corp (LAC)

Sociedad Quimica y Minera S.A. (NYSE:SQM:US)

Allkem (ASX:AKE, OTC Pink:OROCF)

Some of the problems that markets will have to face in the near future:

  • Increased food and energy prices are causing acute trade imbalances and civil disorder in the most vulnerable countries. Europe will enter to recession.
  • China, COVID pandemic continues, massively affecting its economy. Simultaneously, the Chinese property complex – key to Chinese economic growth – is now under dire stress.
  • Greatest fiscal tightening in history as governments withdraw COVID stimulus will impact companies’ margins and profitability.
  • Population decline will pose threats to economic growths. No single G7 country’s is producing new born at replacement rate.
  • Climate problems, higher temperatures, on all continents will have a major impact for agriculture next years.

We see now all vectors for an epic super-bubble because all of the assets, stocks, bonds, houses are overvalued. Right now we experience first stages with inflation and interest’s rates surge but will have sooner than later lower corporate margins and unemployment.

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How to Protect against Strong Inflationary Environment and Higher Interest Rates?

How to Protect against Strong Inflationary Environment and Higher Interest Rates?

After big rates hike by FED and ECB, investors are hoping that in the following year, central banks will start to normalize rates, therefore Stock market show a bounce back (SPX is near 4.000).

We think it’s a short-lived bounce but a good opportunity for a Risk-Off trade. We see volatility ahead, after rate hikes, because central banks (FED & ECB) are captive to higher inflation. But inflation is caused by production constraints, wars - and rate rises don’t fix these. If inflation was caused by higher demand, than a rate hike, normally, will have a better outcome.

Getting inflation down to the magical number of 2% would mean recession without any doubt and first half year is showing us that GDP is crushed with a 1.6% contraction. Monetary policy is working with delays and the economy is just feeling the effects of one of the most aggressive hiking cycles in history. Stocks rallied 2-4% each of the last four times, the FED hiked interest rates only to fall in the following weeks. Stocks are still expensive and financial results are disappointing, but investors are thinking that this is the bottom, but we cannot embrace this idea. We will face ugly consequences because interest rates were kept too low for too long time (over a decade), central bankers are responsible for the fact that right now we have a bubble on each economy branch.

Mr. Powel must act in same way as Volcker did few decades ago in 1979 and hike until inflation will land to normal values. His last speech was a hint to more rate hikes.

Do you believe that we will face a soft landing as Powell said few weeks ago?

We believe that we will face a soft landing in the same way that inflation was transitory” last year, according to Powell (just read our January 2022 article at: https://topfxinvest.com/blog/thoughts-about-the-2022-bear-market). Mr. Powell also opined that we aren’t in a recession, demonstrating again that the leader of the most powerful central bank in the world is the last person you would want to ask about the economy. Last week, economy suffered its second consecutive quarter of negative real growth and there is little reason to expect the third quarter will be any better.

Natixis Investments Managers see higher risks of a recession in the last survey. 64% said that recession is a distinct probability, and 24% said that recession it’s inevitable. Almost six in ten (58%) believe value will continue to outperform growth for at least a few more months, while nearly one-quarter (24%) think value will be on top for a few more years.

“The End of an Era

Strategists see a world that has changed dramatically in the past six months. After a decade in which the easy money provided by quantitative easing, low rates, and low inflation propelled markets to positive gains in seven out of ten years, the world is moving on. This next normal is marked with greater volatility and greater uncertainty. The big question for most investors may well be: How long will it last?”

Natixis Managers Survey

If you want to read more about the survey: https://www.im.natixis.com/us/markets/the-end-of-easy-money

Inflation is a brutal and merciless way of resolving structural debt & imbalances of corrupted governments. We see potentially multiple series of inflation & deflationary cycles within short time frames (six month & two years) that will cause huge volatility.

According to CNBC, inflation is a top problem in US.

CNBC Inflation is a top problem

Traditional investing style (60% stocks + 40% bonds) it’s not a solution today, because bond’s market is underperforming and stocks are crushed.

Wall street Journal investing style bonds and stocks

Market crush

How to protect your portfolio during these times?!

We can protect from the financial storm that is arriving by choosing the best stocks & ETFs from few market segments that will perform in difficult times:

Commodities: since prices already dropped off and would be a good hedge against risk-off tone. Symbols: CRN, DCUSAS, WY

Carbon Emission: KRBN, CARB, GRN, NETZ

Consumer Staples Funds: WCOS, XLP, VDC, FSTA, YI 111, INC, IBA, IMB

Real Estate REIT: STOR, O, NNN, SRC, UBA, ID.UN, APR.UN

Precious METALS: ZGLDUS, ZSILUS

Low debt & Cash flow Green Energy Stocks

 

You must avoid at any price Growth Stocks & Crypto Markets.

 

 

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No Place to Hide from the Financial Storm?!

No Place to Hide from the Financial Storm?!

We analyzed the last week's performance on each asset class and found that the most resilient category from year to date is Energy, REITs and precious metals (instead of the last rally down of Gold). It’s difficult to find a place to park the money 💵 in this economic and financial outlook. According to Warren Buffet, in a recession environment everyone loses, but some of the people have a small loss and others have high loss.

Even traditional safe heavens offered little protection in the first half of 2022:

  • Bonds have historically grown when stocks have plunged, but Treasuries and municipals Bonds sold off in the first six months with -7%, S&P500 Corporate Bond Index is down 15%
  • S&P500 is 19% down today, Nasdaq100 with 28% in red, Down Jones 14,5 % in red
  • Crypto Markets Bitcoin & Ethereum have lost over 70% from high
  • Commodities without energy-related doctor Copper have lost 23% and Cotton 17%
  • Precious metals are best performers today with only 3,8 % loss
  • Few REITs that have contracts related to interest rates also performed very well: VICI +8.5%, O -3.5%, UBA -0.8%
  • Dollar outperformed marked DXY with +12%

So how did we get here?

We get here because of the high Inflation, rising interest Rates, record Energy Prices, war in Ukraine, Covid 19 pandemic and FED easy money printing in this decade. Everything seems to be a bubble.

How long will it last?

Risk off mode will persist this year and also at the beginning of 2023. History of bear markets from '49 tells us that we can stay in the red between three months and 39 months.

How much will the markets drop from Here?

S&P has fallen from 30% to 60% in 13 bear markets. We are reasonable to accept a minimum of 10% draw down from here, but because of amplitudes of the factors that generate this financial cataclysm, we must see a much more loss in Equities. We must understand the psychology of markets and individuals to know how to act.

We think we are before of the Panic stage of the markets right now (see first image). What is your opinion on this current stage? Will appreciate your opinion on the TopfxInvest Facebook Page.
Many analysts that we consulted seem to indicate that a peak of inflation will determine a bottom for stocks. We don’t think that is a true scenario because of the magnitude of the factors that start this bear market. I would be extra cautious before making any big bets on stocks and I’m a big fan right now of high dividend stocks that are resilient to interest rates hikes.

How to act right now, do we have a place to invest?

We prefer to consolidate the Gold & Silver positions, also we started selling Energy & Commodities Stocks that outperformed the market (like Daco Energy DQ, CNQ). We think that Gold will rise after the FED will finish with rate hikes and the Dollar will lose some peace of growth. We also studied the history chart of EUR/USD and when the Dollar is on Parity with Euro, will have some correction on the Dollar Index.

Chuck Berry inspired this article with “No Particular Place to Go”

An interesting topic for a future article will be: How to identify fundamentals of a market bottom or how to store Gold in efficient & safe ways?

Thanks for reading, and I’m waiting your feedback for our articles on our Facebook Page.

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Germany will ban Russian Gas after drops opposition to embargo ?

The wall street Journal announced  yesterday that Germany will drop opposition to russian oil embargo https://www.wsj.com/articles/germany-drops-opposition-to-russian-oil-embargo-11651155915?mod=Searchresults_pos1&page=1

 

That will have a huge effect on oil prices.Oil will surge if the ban will be effective this year.After the news oil climbed from 95 to 105. 

Oil climb after Germany announce Russian Embargo

 

Would be interesting if the Russian refinery (Rosneft) will process oil from Arabia. The Germany Government threatened Rosneft with sanctions if it did not process oil from other sources.

 "Should Rosneft refuse to process non-Russian oil imports, Germany could put the refinery under state management under laws protecting strategic assets," (German ministry's) 

 

German economy min on yesterday brief: 

 "Higher inflation and slower growth is the price to support Ukraine"

  • Confirms reports of 2.2% GDP growth forecast this year and 2.5% in 2023 without embargo
  • Expects 6.1% inflation in 2022 and 2.8% in 2023

 

How much economic disruption are Europeans ready to tolerate for Ukrainian people ?

Euro is already at lowest levels against the US dollar 

EURUSD Chart 29-04-2022

 

The EU expects to remain dependent on imports of Russian gas for years (two three years at least). Russia’s move to halt gas flows to Poland followed Berlin’s decision to supply Ukraine with air-defense weaponry.  Russia will cut off Germany’s gas supplies if Berlin continues to ship arms. If supplies of gas were to be cut off tomorrow, Western European economies including Germany and Italy would face a severe energy deficit and a -2% on GDP. The economic effects would be catastrophic.

A sudden stop in the flows of Russian gas would mean industrial shut-downs and chains supply disruption because of economic shutdown. Southern European governments would demand more mutual EU debt issuance to relieve the economic pain. This is exactly what Germany has spent years trying to avoid. So, expect Berlin to do everything it can to keep Russia’s gas flowing in the near term, including dragging its feet over arms shipments to Ukraine, and paying for its gas in rubles, if that is what Moscow demands. Longer terms, Eu cut-off  russian gas, will be able to colapse & disintegrate Russia. War is already lost by Russian army, because you can't subjugate a free people and a country of the Ukraine dimensions with just 250K soldiers. When blitzkrieg is lost by Russia actually russian army lost the war.

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The Russia-Ukraine War will Dominate Markets this Week

The Russia-Ukraine War will Dominate Markets this Week

After high Inflation in US and Europe, the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, a new event like war between two major countries affected the markets. War between Ukraine and Russia pushed this morning Gold over 2000$, Oil to 124$, Soybeans 1686$ and Corn to 775$. During war times precious metals, Oil and Grains perform well instead of risk assets like stocks.

Gold pop UP!US OIL POP UP

High level of sanctions from the Western Economies will destroy the Russian economy in the medium term. The Putin regime will fall in the near future because you can't win a war completely isolated from western world and you can't govern with terror and mass-media censorship.

According to the last Russian laws, you can get 15 years in jail if you transmit information from the battlefield that is not what the regime wants. All social media are closed, also internet websites like BBC, CNN, The Guardian etc. If the Putin regime it's not quickly removed, the Russian people will live like in the North Korea.

Also, some important brands like Toyota, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, VW, Oracle, SAP, Mazda, Nike, PayPal, Apple, IBM, DELL, Mitsubishi have closed the doors to the Putin regime. The Russian currency is moving down by over 30%, and the Moscow stock market is closed for three days in a row.

With the US & EU already facing the highest inflation in over four decades, triggered by the Covid lockdowns and restrictions, and the February CPI release this week anticipated to show an escalation during the previous month, the real possibility of an economic recession is even larger.

Therefore, the Federal Reserve's upcoming policy meeting on Mar. 15-16, will start a new interest rate hike cycle and it's not advisable to be exposed on the growth stocks. We still own high dividend stocks in the energy and finance sectors and also, we are keeping our Gold & Silver positions. We anticipate further weaknesses in stocks this month.

The United States and European allies are exploring banning imports of Russian oil, Blinken said on Sunday, and the White House coordinated with key Congressional committees moving forward with their own ban.

"A boycott would put enormous pressure on oil and gas supply that has already felt the impact of increasing demand. Prices are likely to rise in the short term, with a move toward $150 a barrel not out of the question Such a move will put further pressure on global economies, pushing inflation higher, leaving central banks debating how quickly rate hikes should be implemented." according to some analysts from CMC Markets.

"The war has clearly increased the risk of a stagflation scenario for the euro zone, where you will have a stagnating economy and much higher inflation on the back of high energy prices," said Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING.

We stand with the Ukrainian people that fight for their freedom and we want to help mothers with children that are refugees. Right now, we are facing a real drama on the Ukrainian border as the refugee and their children are staying over three nights on -15°C without food and water.

It's estimated that there will be over 10 million refugees this year, if the conflict does not stop soon. 

ukrainian refugees

If you want to help refugees, you can donate on these links:

https://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/donate-now-to-protect-children-in-ukraine/ 

https://donation.dec.org.uk/ukraine-humanitarian-appeal

https://donate.unrefugees.org.uk/ukraine-emergency/~my-donation

https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal

https://www.icrc.org/en/where-we-work/europe-central-asia/ukraine

https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/

https://donate.careinternational.org.uk/page/100263/donate/1?ea.tracking.id=e75_orgsocial

https://www.peopleinneed.net/

https://msf.org.uk/

https://donate.unhcr.org/int/en/ukraine-emergency

You can help Ukraine Army here:

https://savelife.in.ua/donate/        

https://www.portmone.com.ua/r3/uk/terminal/index/index/id/118103/

Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini!)

Glory to Ukraine!

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Markets Expectations for 2022 regarding Stocks, Gold, Oil and Commodities

Markets Expectations for 2022 regarding Stocks, Gold, Oil and Commodities

As we started a new year 2022, we want to present you our conclusions on markets and an analysis of our managed portfolio. In this article, we will analyse four major assets: Stocks, Gold, Oil and Commodities.

After stellar gains registered in 2021, in 2022 markets are expected to grow at a moderate peace, due to the rising risks.

We are bullish on Gold and Silver, and we are also confident on a future increasing in agricultural commodities, as we also presented in our article: https://topfxinvest.com/blog/we-anticipate-the-food-crisis-in-2022 

Now let’s take a look on some factors that can influence stock markets in 2022:

Bullish Factors:

  • The domestic economy is growing
  • Consumer spending overall is strong
  • Employment is expanding, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.1% from 4.2%.
  • Corporate earnings are growing by 27% (Apple it's $3 trillion company & Tesla deliveries grow by 87%)
  • Covid-19 Pandemic new variant Omicron is decreases in death rates

Bearish Factors:

  • Rising interest rates: FED official announced this week that they see this year three, instead of two interest rates increase
  • Some stocks are extremely overvalued, like FTNT (over 100%: yesterday we closed our position on FTNT) or MRNA. Also, almost 100 stocks from S&P500 index are up over 50%, which is too much in our opinion. If US interest rate will hit 5%, stocks will go down badly, similar to the 1987 crisis.
  • Continuing inflationary pressures because of transportations issues. We already discussed this topic in our article Shipping Congestions and higher prices will continue until ends of 2022 according to Morgan Stanley
  • Global tensions between Russia and US on Ukraine / Kazakhstan, also China and US on Taiwan, which are possible to extend into some major conflicts.
  • Covid-19 Omicron it's still here, and we cannot anticipate the implications of other virus mutations. If we have other lockdowns because of new pandemic outbreaks, stocks will be badly hit.

Other opinions regarding stocks:

JPMorgan Kolanovic says to buy the dip:

“Higher bond yields should not be disruptive for equities, but rather support our call for a growth to value rotation. […] We stay positive on equities and expect Omicron will ultimately prove a positive for risk assets, as this milder but more transmissible variant speeds the transition from pandemic to endemic with a lower human toll. As this wave fades, it will likely mark the end of the pandemic Omicron’s lower severity and high transmissibility crowds out more severe variants and leads to broad natural immunity”.

On congested supply lines: “signs of supply constraints potentially passing their worst point”

BlackRock's largest fund asset has an optimistic view, but they raise concerns over China Covid19 policy: 

“The Fed has signalled three rate rises this year – more than we expected. Markets seem primed to equate higher rates as being negative for equities. We’ve seen this before and don’t agree. What really matters is that the Fed has kept signalling a low sum total of rate hikes, and that didn’t change last week. This historically muted response to inflation should keep real policy rates low, in our view, supporting equities.” 

“And not all spikes in long term yields are the same. Last week’s jump in U.S. Treasury yields was about the Fed signalling a readiness to start shrinking its balance sheet. This could result in a return of the term premium that investors typically demand for the risk of holding long-term bonds. This is not necessarily negative for risk assets as it can reflect an investor preference for equities over government bonds.”

Regarding China slows growth rate: “The key question is how China’s zero-COVID policy will stand up against Omicron. The policy so far has proven effective and enjoyed popular support, but has left China with almost no natural immunity. We expect the country to maintain the policy – at least optically – in this politically important year. This raises the spectre of more restrictions on activity, from targeted measures that keep the economy humming (Shanghai) to full-scale lockdowns (Xi’an). As a result, we believe downside risks to China’s growth have risen, even as Beijing appears bent on achieving its growth target this year by loosening policy.”

We think it's reasonable for Gold to push a higher price to 2500 after a huge stimulus amount, but it will happen only after the FED finishes raising the interest rates. Oil will slow down only after the inflation will also slow down, probably in the second part of the year according to Citi Bank Forecast 

We added to our portfolio some agricultural commodities and precious metals (Gold and Silver). and we sold some positions like: Tesla, Fortinet, Shopify, DocuSIgn, Disney, TradeDesk. In 2022 we plan to add more dividend stocks because we have a more neutral view on this year’s growth.

Further, I'm not a big fan of Crypto currencies. 40K for Bitcoin is a good price, but if it goes further under 30K, it's a good to buy and hold bet.

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Citi's Global Head of Commodities Strategy Ed Morse Sees Oil to 60$ this Year

Citi's Global Head of Commodities Strategy Ed Morse Sees Oil to 60$ this Year

Bellow will find a short fragment from interview 

  • I think we're moving from a period that's been over a year in which we've had inventories drawing down not enough supply to meet demand to a period in which we're going to see, starting no later than the second quarter we believe, inventory is starting to grow around the world in an accelerated basis.
  • So we think this is going to be a year where prices are going to go down rather than up. And we're looking at Brent going from an average of over $75 a barrel this past quarter to maybe $10 or $12 or $15 lower than that by the fourth quarter of this current year.

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Hurricane Ida is closing crude output 1.74mln bpd

Hurricane Ida  is closing  crude output 1.74mln bpd

Oil producers have shut-in 95.65% of US Gulf of Mexico crude output totalling 1.74mln bpd and 93.75% of natgas production, while the Colonial Pipeline announced it will temporarily shut fuel lines from Houston, Texas to Greensboro, North Carolina and Marathon Petroleum's Garyville, Louisiana refinery (556k bpd) was also shut down over the weekend. US President Biden said Hurricane Ida is life threatening with the devastation likely to be immense and beyond the coasts, while he added they are planning for the worst from the hurricane and that it would take weeks for some places to restore power following the hurricane. Furthermore, President Biden later declared a major disaster for Louisiana and Entergy announced that all of New Orleans had lost power due to catastrophic transmission damage from Hurricane Ida.

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