Search ForexCrunch

The dull trading of Friday’s closing sessions is likely to be repeated for the opening this week with little in the way of fundamental news (other than OPEC) released from over the weekend and a sense of habituation and acclimatisation to the COIVD-19 phenomenon.

For a recap of Friday’s closing session, see here.

Since then, we have just witnessed a historic conclusion to a historic oil price war in an OPEC+ allies accord and in an agreement to cut nearly 10 million barrels a day from production. A deal was sealed on Sunday (Asia Monday) with a little help from US President Donald Trump who intervened to help encourage the Saudis and Mexicans to play ball in a standoff that otherwise had been jeopardizing an OPEC deal.  

As a result of the settled disputes between Russie and Saudis and Mexico and the Saudis, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US have agreed to lead the accord whereby 23 countries have now committed to collectively stop producing as much as 9.7 million barrels a day of oil.

“We have demonstrated that OPEC+ is up and alive,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told Bloomberg News in an interview minutes after the deal was done. “I’m more than happy with the deal.”

This was an agreement much in line with what Trump had expected, a forecast he published on Twitter last week and it is a deal that caps a tumultuous month when WTI crude fell to its lowest in nearly two decades, falling below $20 a barrel to $19.29. Earlier this year, it traded above $65 a barrel. OPEC+ ministers made the agreement by way of a video conference call racing to conclude it before the oil markets reopened.

Market implications

Expectations were for a sell-off in the open had a deal not be struck, but we could now see a flood put under prices and a bullish spike in the open, for there is plenty of room to fill up on the upside. Oil has dropped around 40% since the beginning of March following failures between the Russian Saudis to agree on anything pertaining to the value of oil and the implications for demand considering the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, considering COVID-19 and the fact that the production deal doesn’t take effect until May 1, here is still plenty of time for bears to lay into bids and for top run considering OPEC+ countries could still continue to flood the market for another few weeks while raw demand for oil and energy falls away. The expectations of a 10m bbls per day were well telegraphed in the markets.

“The balance of risks rests to the downside as the unprecedented demand shock and swelling inventories are unlikely to be offset by even a 10m bpd curtailment,”

– analysts at TD Securities argued,

“Meanwhile with front month contangos over $5/bbl for WTI, and not much better for Brent, the prospect of rolling long positions becomes extremely expensive and is likely to provide another bearish lean as investment demand and bottom picking flows could very well decrease. With that said, CTAs remain well-positioned for further downside,” analysts at TD Securities explained.

WTI levels