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Friday August 19, 2005 - 11:28:09 GMT
Black Swan Capital - www.blackswantrading.com

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Is crude oil driving the euro?

Quotable

“The chaos of the events in the external world can be selected and analyzed into linear sequence, and valid inferences can well be made from this particular selection and construction—this is the way in which we usually operate, especially in science. But the events can also be viewed simultaneously as a ‘patterned whole,’ as the drawing at the beginning of this chapter indicates, with all action seen at once, and here drawn in one single, connected stroke. It does not postulate duration, a futures or a past, a cause or and effect, but a patterned ‘timeless’ whole.”

Robert Ornstein, The Psychology of Consciousness



FX Trading

Just maybe some of this move in the euro was about oil, to review what we said in Currency Currents past—3 Aug ’05 to be exact:

“We so know this: The rising cost of crude has done little to reinvigorate the inflation bogey man, either here or in China. But it has transferred spending out of the pockets of consumers and business. Run the car and the factory, or buy new clothes and new equipment is the gist.

“Yet, in spite of this transfer of spending to energy, that didn’t disappear but was absorbed and will be used by the energy industry, the US economy continues to chug along. And here is the point of all this conjecture: If crude oil prices break, the economy might just chug along faster. And if so, Mr. Greenspan & Co. could decide to step up there game a few levels beyond what anyone in the stands now expects to see. And that potentiality might just coincide well with the correction we are seeing in the dollar. So for now, enjoy the euro run, but keep an eye out for a peak in crude.”

And without going into the dynamics of oil supply and demand, of which we know very little, we posted this chart for our Members yesterday:


chart: crude oil futures


The blue line, representing open interest, shows there are plenty of players place a one-way bet on crude prices. The size of the bet was summed up this way in this week’s issue of The Economist:

“On one estimate, $22 billion of net new investment has entered the oil futures market this year, $8 billion of it flooding in since the end of June. As a result, forward prices have risen by even more than spot prices.” [our emphasis]

If you think there is extreme speculation in crude, it might be a good reason your average trader is unloading euro. Why? Over the past month we have seen a very tight correlation between the movement of the euro and crude prices. In fact, our simple calculations show a correlation of positive 83.3%.


chart: crude oil vs euro last three weeks


Trading euro based on crude oil prices? Yes, it does sound loony. But then again, it is that full-moon time of the month again.


Jack Crooks
Black Swan Capital

 

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