Thursday, February 18, 2016

"Oil & War: Will Saudis Keep Dollar Peg As Deficit Builds?"

If it weren't for the fact there's a chance Russia and Saudi Arabia could be shooting at each other by March 5 I would boldly state that with WTI at the top end of the recent range the odds favor a trip lower.
With the March rolling off here's the April contract so far this year. From the NYMEX:

And from Barron's Emerging Markets Daily:
The low price of oil means deficit spending in Saudi Arabia, but the kingdom is not likely to un-peg its currency from the dollar to ease the pain, Moody’s Investors Service says. 
In an in-depth research note on Saudi Arabia’s debt profile today, Moody’s weighs in on a number of topics. It sees domestic reforms as a big stumbling block for the Saudi economy as it fights proxy wars with Iran in Syria and Yemen. Moody’s Analyst Shirin Mohammadi withheld a report card on the new leadership, which has “floated the idea” ofprivatizing a stake in the massive state energy company Saudi Aramco as war costs add to the burden of low oil prices. On Wednesday, Standard & Poor’s cited oil prices in cutting some Saudi and Brazil credit ratings, and confirmed the negative outlook for Russia. 
The thinly-traded iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia Capped exchange-traded fund (KSA) is down nearly 16% this year. Saudi Arabia is not categorized as a frontier or an emerging market; the iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (FM) is down 5.5% this year, while the Wisdom Tree Middle East Dividend Fund (GULF) is off by just more than 3%.  The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) is down 5% year to date and boasts a yield of 3.3%.  The iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Market Bond ETF (EMB) is up 0.3% this year, and yields 4.7%....

EM Daily has been quite prolific recently:
Blame Oil: S&P Cuts Brazil & Saudi Ratings, Affirms Dire Russia OutlookWould Saudis & Iran, Russia Settle for $45 Oil? and Oil Output Cut In March, As Saudis, Russia, US & Turkey Talk Syria Ceasefire?