With all eyes on crude, following last night’s mini flash crash which sent WTI lower by 3% from just above $45 to under $43 in under 10 minutes, equity markets, generally quiet overnight, have taken on a secondary importance ahead of today’s key risk event, the April payrolls report (full preview here). In global equities, Asian and European stocks are lower, while S&P futures are little changed.
The main in the overnight session was oil’s sudden slide below $45 a barrel for the first time since OPEC agreed to cut output in November. As noted earlier, in less than 10 minutes on Friday, U. S. futures slumped more than $1 amid a surge in volume, launching a modest scramble into safe haven assets such as Treasurys, yen and gold. They have collapsed 8.6 percent this week, erasing all gains since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries signed a six-month deal in November to curb production and ease a global glut.
Things only began to stabilize when Saudi Arabia’s OPEC chief did the usual jawboning routine, hitting the wires in European hours and saying there was a growing consensus among oil pumping countries that they needed to continue to “rebalance” the market. Specifically, the Saudi OPEC governor’s comments that: “A six-month extension (to production cuts) may be needed to rebalance the market, but the length of the extension is not firm yet.” Which while nothing new, provided a floor to the overnight dump and a signal to BTD.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 5, 2017.