Oil prices remain strong today, though the upward momentum has slowed. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $48.30/b today, an increase of $1.40 (2.99%) from Friday’s opening price of $46.90/b. Gasoline and diesel forward prices also opened higher today. All are working to hold their gains this morning. Market optimism is strong today, with renewed talks between the U.S. and China on the trade war. The first day of negotiation looks promising, with the surprise appearance of Chinese Vice Premier Liu He heading what was expected to be a lower-ranking delegation.
Global stock markets are shaken today by news that Apple cut its forecast of revenues, citing poor demand in China. This is seen as evidence that the U.S.-China trade war and slowing growth in China’s economy is having a larger-than-expected impact on Apple’s corporate profits. It is the first time in 15 years that Apple has cut its quarterly revenue forecast. Apple stock is a member of all three major Wall Street indices. This news is expected to diminish the recent recovery in equities and increase safe-haven investments. It may also stall today’s rally in oil prices. As of the time of this writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has just opened down by 320 points.
Pricing across the global energy markets will face headwinds in 2019, with a weaker and more uncertain macroeconomic framework deflating price formation in general, according to two special reports just issued by S&P Global Platts Analytics. Such headwinds will require the industry and portfolio managers to take a big-picture approach.
Particularly blustery head winds are in store for markets where prices finished 2018 at elevated levels, and well above costs, such as North American natural gas and global coal. However, if the supply side can adjust to the reality of slowing demand growth, energy prices can find support. For natural gas liquids (NGLs), the ongoing logistical constraints at the US Gulf Coast are likely to manifest on continued price volatility, particularly for ethane and liquid petroleum gas (LPG), over the next year despite strong global demand.
Access the full S&P Global Platts Analytics Top Factors to Look Out For in 2019 for Energy here.
Among the 22 key take-away themes:
Information gathered with help from Fuel Market Reports and S&P Global Platts Analytics
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Gates L. Scott
Gates L. Scott is a Senior Land Executive with Mansfield Service Partners developing new markets and delivery fuel management solutions through the Front Range of Colorado and beyond. A former Certified Flight Instructor and commercial helicopter pilot and aviation enthusiast, he loves anything that flies!