World’s Biggest Oil (USO) Traders are Counting Hefty Losses
The world’s biggest oil traders are counting hefty losses after a surprise doubling in the price discount of U.S. light crude to benchmark Brent in just a month, as surging U.S production upends the market.
Trading desks of oil major BP and merchants Vitol , Gunvor and Trafigura have recorded losses in the tens of millions of dollars each as a result of the “whipsaw” move when the spread reached more than US$11.50 a barrel in June, insiders familiar with their performance told Reuters.
The sources did not give precise figures for the losses, but they said they were enough for Gunvor and BP to fire at least one trader each.
The companies declined to comment, and none of them publish details of their individual trading books.
It highlights the challenges of trading in WTI futures, the benchmark for U.S. crude, when U.S. pipeline and storage infrastructure struggles to keep pace with surging shale output, that has lifted the United States above Saudi Arabia to become the world’s second biggest crude producer behind Russia.
“As the exporter of U.S. crude, traders are naturally long WTI and hedge their bets by shorting Brent. When the spreads widen so wildly, you lose money,” said a top executive with one of the four trading firms.
The discount of WTI to Brent hit $11.57 a barrel on June 6, the widest in more than three years, as U.S. output surged to record highs and surpassed pipeline capacity as traders rushed to export. The discount had been about $5 just a month before.
Betting on the price spread, a popular trade in oil markets, is based on predictions of price differences between European and U.S. market fundamentals.
Overall, the bias in prices is: Upwards.
By the way, prices are vulnerable to a correction towards 14.03.
The projected upper bound is: 15.24.
The projected lower bound is: 13.73.
The projected closing price is: 14.49.
A white body occurred (because prices closed higher than they opened).
During the past 10 bars, there have been 5 white candles and 5 black candles. During the past 50 bars, there have been 26 white candles and 23 black candles for a net of 3 white candles.
A long upper shadow occurred. This is typically a bearish signal (particularly when it occurs near a high price level, at resistance level, or when the security is overbought).
Momentum is a general term used to describe the speed at which prices move over a given time period. Generally, changes in momentum tend to lead to changes in prices. This expert shows the current values of four popular momentum indicators.
One method of interpreting the Stochastic Oscillator is looking for overbought areas (above 80) and oversold areas (below 20). The Stochastic Oscillator is 22.3417. This is not an overbought or oversold reading. The last signal was a sell 6 period(s) ago.
Relative Strength Index (RSI)
The RSI shows overbought (above 70) and oversold (below 30) areas. The current value of the RSI is 53.55. This is not a topping or bottoming area. A buy or sell signal is generated when the RSI moves out of an overbought/oversold area. The last signal was a sell 8 period(s) ago.
Commodity Channel Index (CCI)
The CCI shows overbought (above 100) and oversold (below -100) areas. The current value of the CCI is -38. This is not a topping or bottoming area. The last signal was a sell 7 period(s) ago.
The Moving Average Convergence/Divergence indicator (MACD) gives signals when it crosses its 9 period signal line. The last signal was a sell 1 period(s) ago.
Rex Takasugi – TD Profile
UNTD ST OIL FUND closed up 0.080 at 14.470. Volume was 5% below average (neutral) and Bollinger Bands were 84% wider than normal.
Open High Low Close Volume___
14.420 14.660 14.395 14.470 19,184,332
Short Term: Neutral
Intermediate Term: Bullish
Long Term: Bullish
Moving Averages: 10-period 50-period 200-period
Close: 14.80 14.05 12.56
Volatility: 34 34 28
Volume: 21,449,582 21,340,796 18,613,580
Short-term traders should pay closer attention to buy/sell arrows while intermediate/long-term traders should place greater emphasis on the Bullish or Bearish trend reflected in the lower ribbon.
UNTD ST OIL FUND is currently 15.2% above its 200-period moving average and is in an upward trend. Volatility is extremely high when compared to the average volatility over the last 10 periods. There is a good possibility that volatility will decrease and prices will stabilize in the near term. Our volume indicators reflect volume flowing into and out of USO at a relatively equal pace (neutral). Our trend forecasting oscillators are currently bullish on USO and have had this outlook for the last 11 periods.
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