Crude now at Euro record

Courtesy of Sober Look:

Brent crude oil priced in euros hit a new high today of €94.83/barrel, exceeding the highs reached in 08 as well as early this year.

Source: Bloomberg

This rally has been driven by four factors:

1. The euro is down close to 15% over the past year.

2. Draghi’s “Believe me, it will be enough” statement increased demand for “risk assets”. Bets on additional central bank stimulus are pushing up crude prices.

3. An unexpected decline in US crude and gasoline inventories added to the upward pressure on crude.

4. The rhetoric out of Israel toward Iran is not helping matters either. With tighter US supplies, it doesn’t take much to spook jittery oil traders. The “Iran premium” currently priced in is not insignificant.

Bloomberg/BW: – Israel would be willing to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, even if doing so only delayed its ability to produce nuclear weapons for a few years, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said.

“One, two, three, four years are a long time in the Middle East — look what’s happened in the last year” in terms of political change, Oren said today at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington. “In our neighborhood, those are the rules of the game.”

Israeli leaders have stressed this month that time is running out for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear program that Israel regards as an existential threat.

“Diplomacy hasn’t succeeded,” Oren, 57, said today. “We’ve come to a very critical juncture where important decisions do have to be made.”

As discussed before, these elevated fuel prices (based in EUR) will inflict serious damage to growth prospects for Eurozone nations – particularly for Italy who is already struggling with a year-long economic contraction.

Comments

  1. A nice catch-22. With crude already at an EUR record, this will limit Draghi’s ability to print the currency down without inflicting pain on the very economies that such a move would benefit.

  2. I’ve always wondered why the price of oil is so seldom offered as an explanation for economic upheaval, a litany of other explanations bandied about, when expensive oil seems to correlate so well with times of economic upheaval.

    As the following graph shows, both the economically tumultuous 1970s and the even more tumultuous naughties were times of rapidly escalating oil prices:

    http://www.wtrg.com/oil_graphs/oilprice1947.gif

    • Agree 3d; a double edge sword. Driving down the dollar will have unintended consequences. Consumers are skittish unless their in receipt of a handout and the thought of $1.50+ / ltr will do their confidence no good.