Double, Double, Oil and Trouble
CNN Money reports that potential oil-supply disruptions in Venezuela, along with reports of new violence in Nigeria, has oil-industry traders all a-tizzy. "The combination of these factors creates some concerns about the supply side of the equation," pronounced David Moore, a commodity strategist with Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Further frazzling traders' nerves: pipeline sabotage in the Niger Delta. Royal Dutch Shell says terrorist activity will prevent it from honoring all of its export contracts from the region for two months, deducting some 130k barrels a day off world supply. Still, after jumping to $93.59 a barrel on Monday morning, light sweet crude settled at $93.04 by late afternoon. Meanwhile, over at Oil-Price.net, blogger Steve Austin says the Iran Petroleum Exchange (or "Bourse") is set to begin using Euros to price oil on February 19th. (Currently, major oil markets trade in U.S. dollars.) The switch to Euros "could have devastating effects on the US dollar," Austin says. "Although under-reported by the media, this historical shift and its consequences should be watched closely." Rest assured, TTAC will oblige.