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Takeaway: While oil prices bounce back and forth on oil production "freeze" talks, we think the dollar will strengthen pushing Oil prices lower.

INSTANT INSIGHT | Oil Prices, US Dollar & Credit Risk - Oil cartoon 11.20.2015

Since the February lows, oil has rallied massively. Why? Look at the U.S. dollar. The CRB index of commodities has a 30-day inverse correlation of -0.88 vs. the US Dollar.

So where do we go from here?

Our Macro team elaborates on this point in a note sent to subscribers earlier this morning:

"Whether it’s output cut rumors into this weekend’s meeting or declining U.S. production, the “bottom is in” headlines are at the top of commodities feeds from every major news source with WTI +40% in the last 3 months.

 

However, looking at contract positioning shorts, a crowded consensus short positioning has been washed out (crude, nat. gas, gold, silver positioning all registering z-scores >1x on a TTM basis) with money betting on a continued decline in the U.S. dollar.

 

A supply side floor argument is a fundamental story, but not a catalyst, and we would reiterate that the credit risk priced into commodity leveraged fixed income is considered all but gone in market-price terms."

 

In other words, look for dollar strength pushing crude prices lower.

While we're at it, a quick note on commodity-leveraged credit risk...

On The Macro Show this morning, Hedgeye Senior Macro analyst Darius Dale points out that U.S. high-yield bond issuance is down -53% year-over-year in 2016.

Yikes! Certainly not a vote of confidence.

Meanwhile, as Hedgeye Macro analyst Ben Ryan pointed out in "The Unintended Consequences Of ZIRP On Commodities" earlier this year:

"Using a sample of 34 different producers in 4 different sub-sectors, commodity producer debt as a % of corporate credit outstanding has multiplied ~2.5x in 10 years. This group’s aggregate debt level is up ~5x in 10 years. The chart below shows the jump in commodity producer debt as a share of aggregate corporate debt levels." 

INSTANT INSIGHT | Oil Prices, US Dollar & Credit Risk - commod leverage

The critical question to ask yourself... How much longer can it last?