Oil NEWS


WTI plummets to 2-month lows in sub-$55.00 levels

Prices of the West Texas Intermediate remain well entrenched into the negative ground at the end of the week, navigating fresh 2020 lows in the $54.70 region.

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Big Picture

THEMES AFFECTING OIL

SPECIAL OIL YEARLY FORECAST

Crude Oil Price Forecast 2020: WTI bulls to hold their horses despite tighter market, rosier economy

The year 2019 was rather a balanced one for oil prices, as the early rise was evened out in the rest of the year. The US-China trade war fueled the global economic slowdown undermined the efforts of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to balance the crude market and ramp up oil prices. Stepping into 2020, the oil industry is on a verge of witnessing a massive shake-up, in the face of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations –IMO 2020– effective from January.

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Editors' picks

EUR/USD hits two-month lows amid USD strength

EUR/USD has pared its gains that followed upbeat preliminary PMIs for Germany came out above expectations, pointing to a recovery. The USD is advancing amid fears of the coronavirus.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD drops below 1.31 amid USD strength, fails to sustain PMI gains

GBP/USD is trading below  1.31 after hitting a fresh high of 1.3172. The UK Manufacturing PMI beat with 49.8 and Services PMI with 52.9. The USD is gaining ground across the board.

GBP/USD News

Cryptos: Bears take over and draw a bloody moon

Despite appearances, Bitcoin is the asset with the best risk/benefit ratio. The current falls are adjusted to the ranges of the previous rise. Downward momentum expires in the first half of February.

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Gold rebounds above $1560

The XAU/USD pair dropped to a daily low of $1556.70 during the European trading hours as the easing worries over coronavirus becoming a global epidemic and a broad-based USD strength put the pair under bearish pressure.

Gold News

USD/JPY drops to two-week lows near 109.30

The USD/JPY pair reversed its direction during the American trading hours as the risk-off atmosphere allowed the JPY to find demand as a safe-haven.

USD/JPY News

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About oil

OIL HIGHLIGHTS

Crude Oil, commonly known as petroleum, is a naturally occurring fossil fuel liquid composed of hydrocarbon underground deposits and organic materials. The prices of this popular commodity are measured in USD. Saudi Arabia, Russia, United States, Iran and China are the countries producing more oil. On the other hand, United States, China, Japan, Russia, and Germany are the countries consuming more oil.

Crude oil is classified into various grades according to density (heavy vs light) and sulphur content (sour vs sweet). The lighter and sweeter the crude, the higher the price it can be sold, because refiners can produce higher yield of high quality refined products from it.

Density is measured by API gravity, a measure developed to compare the density of petroleum with water (API > 10 means the liquid floats on water) but is now widely used to compare among crude oils. API degree is inversely related to the density of crude oil. In general, crudes of API between 40-45 degrees can be sold at greatest commercial values.

Sulphur content determines the quality of a crude oil. This corrosive material decreases the purity of a crude oil. Therefore, a crude oil with high sulphur content (sour crude) should sell cheaper than one with low sulphur content (sweet crude). There are two main benchmarks for pricing Crude Oil: WTI (West Texas Intermediate) from USA and Brent from UK.

Major benchmarks

WTI Crude

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is of very high quality. It has API gravity of 39.6 and sulphur content of 0.24% only. Its low density and low sulphur content gave it the name 'light, sweet crude' and enabled refiners to produce high yield of gasoline. Most WTI crude oil gets  refined in the Midwest region of the country, with some more refined within the Gulf Coast region.

This type of crude oil is used as a benchmark in oil pricing and the underlying commodity of NYMEX's oil futures contracts. Due to its 'lightness' and 'sweetness', WTI crude is normally selling at about $1-$2/ barrel premium to Brent.
Brent

Brent is actually a blend of crude oil from 15 different oil fields the North Sea. It has API gravity of 38.3 degrees and sulphur content of around 0.37%. From these 2 parameters, we can see that Brent crude oil is heavier and less sweet than WTI crude. Brent is suitable for refinery of gasoline and middle distillates.

Brent was first traded on International Petroleum Exchange in London and then on Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) since 2005. Typically, price of Brent crude oil is around $1 lower than WTI. However, in 2007, due to the depletion of the North Sea Oil field, Brent Crude futures had traded at a premium to WTI of approximately $1 to $3 per barrel.

Oil and USD/CAD Correlation

The Special Relationship Between Oil and the Loonie

Some of you may already be familiar with the special relationship between oil prices and the Canadian dollar. For those of you who aren't, let me fill you in on what you're missing!

There's a reason why Canadian dollar traders keep track of oil prices-- the two often move hand in hand. When oil prices move down, it's not uncommon to see the Loonie follow suit. Conversely, rising oil prices are usually accompanied by Loonie rallies. Why do these two share such a strong bond? It has a lot to do with Canada's economy. 

Canada happens to be the world's seventh largest oil producer. In fact, it's the U.S.'s main supplier, as it sends about 2 million barrels of oil a day to its southern neighbor. Since Canadian dollars are needed to purchase and move oil across the border, the demand for oil tends to have a direct impact on USD/CAD price action.

It's interesting to see that aside from risk sentiment and fundamentals, oil also plays a big factor in Loonie price action. So the next time you think of trading USD/CAD, do yourself a big favor and take a peek at your oil charts. It could just give you critical insight to help you bag some Loonie pips!

Other important group of influent pairs includes: EUR/USDGBP/USDUSD/JPYAUD/USD, USD/CHF and NZD/USD.