Stockpair traders should keep an eye on these events today:
|NZD||Westpac Consumer Sent.|
|USD||Existing Home Sales (Nov)|
|USD||Existing Home Sales (MoM)|
Crude Oil Traders Prepare For The Christmas Holidays
December 22, 2014
Traders locked in profits and took positions ahead of the end of the year as the Christmas season grows near. Late on Friday late in the day the US dollar rallied surging to 89.83 and looking like it might break the 90 level early in the week. Crude oil rebounded adding close to $4 to trade at 57.87 after comments from Saudi Arabia leaving the door open to negotiations on reducing production if they could be assured on holding on to their market share.
At the start of the week, slumping oil prices and the state of the world economy were investors’ main worries. A plunge in the Russian currency, the ruble, added to a sense of unease.
The turnaround came Wednesday, when Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, said she saw no reason to hike interest rates in early 2015 and that the central bank would be “patient” in deciding when to raise rates from near zero. Her comments eased concerns that the Fed would start raising rates when growth in other major economies has looked weak. Traders celebrated, driving the S&P 500 up 4.5 percent over two days.
The economy most visibly disrupted by the decline in oil and gas prices is, of course, Russia. President Vladimir Putin’s press conference the other day was hardly a reassuring display of statesmanship; the “bear” as he styles his country is apparently being shackled and cribb’d by Western powers solely intent on further humiliation for Russia. As the Russian people face rising inflation, a collapsing currency, a slump and a vicious squeeze on living standards, this may be the best line Mr Putin has, but it certainly does not deserve to convince anyone that his economic policies have been anything other than a dismal failure.
Far too dependent on natural resources, Russia has left it too late to diversify, modernise and reform her economic structures. Soon, Russia may not be able to afford to wage any more of her little wars.
For America, too, it is a mixed blessing, and the US has been something of a player in this switchback in energy prices. In the supposed battle between Saudi Arabia’s oil wells and American discoveries of shale gas, it is the Americans who are outstripping the Arab world in productive activity.