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Bottom Up is the Strategy

Tony Nash, CEO and founder of Complete Intelligence, joins the BFM 89.9 The Morning Run show to give insights on the US Market, specially now that the CPI hits 6.2%. What does this mean for the Fed Fund? They also discussed Disney Plus and how to invest in equities right now, especially how to allocate your assets in the current economic climate? Will the telecommunication and transport sector, and oil and gas benefit from the $1 trillion infrastructure spend bill that was just passed? Lastly, what is his view on the oil market? Will it continue its bullish trend, and for how long?

 

 

This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/bottom-up-is-the-strategy. on November 11, 2021.

 

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Show Notes

 

SM: BFM 89.9 Good morning. You are listening to The Morning Run. I’m Shazana Mokhtar there together with Wong Shou Ning. But for some thoughts on what’s moving global markets we have on the line with us. Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence. Good morning, Tony. Always good to have you. Can we get some of your thoughts on, I guess this red equity markets outlook? One of the stocks that reported after hours was Disney and they reported results that underwhelmed with only about 2 million new streaming subscribers added this quarter the stock is down and after market hours trading. Do you see this as a buying opportunity, or do you think that there are still headwinds when it comes to the sectors that Disney operates in?

 

TN: Yeah. I think Disney has some real headwinds. Their park attendance is down on COVID concerns and regulations. Their streaming service just doesn’t really have the content throughput meaning the new content that people would expect from, say a Netflix or a Hulu or other types of streaming services. So part of what Disney needs to do is really have much more throughput on their content on Disney+.

 

WSN: What about CPI numbers, Tony? Are you really concerned about that? They came in at 6.2%, which was higher than street expectations of 5.9%. I think from now onwards, it’s going to be very hard for the Fed to say that inflation is just transitory, right?

 

TN: Oh, very much. So the Fed targets 2%, and this was just a little bit above that to the point where it’s really turning heads now and it’s really got people afraid. So part of this is base effects on last year, but not much it really is the supply and demand are weird. In some places, you have real supply chain shocks. You also have demand issues, say winter is coming, things like natural gas, oil, these sorts of things. They’re really being impacted. Food is being impacted. So people are seeing price rises that they haven’t seen for a long, long time.

 

 

S&P500 US Stocks in 2021
Historical and forecast data for the US S&P 500 in 2021. Run forecasts like this with the power of AI and ML with the CI Futures app.

 

 

 

WSN: Does this change your investment strategy, Tony? Or maybe a change in terms of your asset allocation? Are you going to go long equities or short fixed income? What’s your plan for 2022 or even in the next three months?

 

TN: Well, we’ve been saying for a while that this really isn’t a broad market environment. This is individual equity or say individual commodity type of market. Because if you are investing broad, yes, you’ll get incremental gains depending on where you are in the world in which market you’re in. But it really is a stock pickers market. You really have to understand the company. You have to understand how a trade you have to understand where the value is and how that is relative to the rest of the market in the economy.

 

And you also have to understand, actually, at least in the US, you have to understand what the Fed is doing. In your own country, you have to understand what your central bank is doing and what I mean by that is how easy are the monetary conditions? How does that impact individual countries and markets? How does that impact demand and, say commodity prices? So it’s not an easy question to answer, but it is a more specific and expert-driven market than it has been for the last two years.

 

SM: All right. Sounds like you’re giving our listeners a good reason to stay tuned to our chats every morning, Tony. Turning our attention to some recent developments in the US Biden’s 1 trillion infrastructure bill has just been passed. How much of a windfall will this be for US transport infra and telecommunication companies?

 

TN: Well, it’ll be a windfall, but it’ll happen over an extended period. This really won’t be spent for probably five to eight years. It will drip out over that time. So, yes, it is a lot of money, but it’s not happening in one tranche. And by passing this bill, it’s effectively saying this is it for infrastructure for the next almost decade. Okay.

 

So those companies who can successfully lobby and or successfully bid are going to get paid well over that period, those who don’t have the infrastructure in place to do that are going to have a tougher time. So. It’s a massive number. But it’s happening over an extended period.

 

WSN: What about oil and gas? Do you see them benefiting from this push into infrastructure?

 

TN: I don’t see an immediate positive impact for oil and gas. There are other reasons I’m positive on oil and gas, but on infrastructure, because this will come out over such an extended period of time. You see, infrastructure spending is really meant to be the foundation for future growth. Right. So you create the infrastructure that, say productivity gains and other things can leverage off of in the future. If we were doing a lot of infrastructure over, say, the next three years, you would expect a lot of oil and gas to be used to manufacture that, to power that and so on and so forth. But because it’s an extended period and because it’s distributed all around the US, there really isn’t a concentration of, say, the activity and it’s happening over a long period. I know I’ve said that several times, but that’s my biggest takeaway from this bill is the slow drip that it comes out on.

ICE Brent Crude forecast with CI Futures
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WSN: But you did say that you are a bit of a oil and gas bull at this juncture. What are your reasons for it, though?

 

TN: Well, we have regional, say, shortages or regional supply chain issues, say in Europe and parts of Asia for oil and gas, particularly gas, right now, as winter is coming on. Gas has performed well over the last, say six to nine months, maybe a year, and we expect it to continue to do well for the next few months. Crude oil? It looks like we’ll see some interesting upside in crude oil as well, partly on those regional supply issues as well.

 

WSN: But historically, by this time, right. Wouldn’t the shale producers be pumping away, too? And kind of adding supply? But it doesn’t seem to be the case this time, right. Because Brent crude this morning is still $83 a barrel.

 

TN: Right. Well, the shale is a different story because there are so many restrictions and regulations put in place by the US government under the current administration that it’s taking more for them to get started. So without the, I would say, aggressive kind of enforcement and new impediments to domestic shale production in the US, Yes, I believe we would have more rigs moving by now. But because of the impediments that the administration has put in place, the US administration is asking the Middle East, and they’re asking Russia to produce more.They’re not necessarily leaning on US producers. They’re trying to minimize the production here in the US. And part of that is the Green New Deal and other things to kind of regulate green energy into existence in the US.

 

SM: Tony, thanks very much for your insights. That was Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, talking to us about some of the trends moving markets, capping the conversation with a look at the oil and gas sector, and specifically why perhaps the US shale producers aren’t pumping out product, given the higher oil prices at the moment.

 

WSN: Yeah. I think it’s very interesting to follow this very closely because it’s almost as if the oil and gas or energy sector because of the renewables, is going through a structural change. So the transition to renewables is real. But it’s not going to be linear. And because a lot of national oil companies are shifting the way they spend their capex, it does mean that for the moment, all prices might remain elevated because we haven’t found these new energy sources to fully compensate. So I think this is an interesting time, but it also makes running a business extremely challenging, because all of us, whatever said and done are energy dependent.

 

SM: And it’s interesting for Malaysia as well, because while other consumers would Bimbo the high oil prices as a country, we do benefit from the high energy prices.

 

WSN: We are still a net energy exporter, but we do, of course, subsidized petrol at the pumps. I mean, Ron 95 is still to ring it in $0.07, but there are still going to be costs for industrial usage because that’s based on market prices. So of course, it’s inflation. That’s the thing everybody’s talking about US 6.2% never anybody would ever thought it would hit that high. Yeah.

 

SM: It really seems to look like the use of the word transitory by the Fed wasn’t completely transitory now. Maybe they may be regretting their choice of words. It is coming up to 719 in the morning. We’re taking a quick break. Stay tuned. BFM 89.9.

Categories
Podcasts

Consumer Sentiment Will Dampen Outlook

Corporate earnings are pretty much in line with expectations — where are stocks heading now? And what about the Congress-approved stimulus package, will that help the market this year? Also, with the rising Covid cases again in the US and China, how will this affect the two countries? Both countries have drastically low consumption. How much effect does one have to another? Lastly, will crude continue on the downtrend?

 

This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/consumer-sentiment-will-dampen-outlook on August 17, 2021.

 

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Show Notes

 

WSN: The business station BFM 89 nine good morning is 07:00 Tuesday, the 17 August and you’re listening to the morning run. I’m Wong Shou Ning and joining me in the studio this morning is Philip See. In the meantime, how are markets, Philip? Because I think it’s a bit of a red day.

 

PS: Yes, it was a red day, but actually the down SMP hit record higher up 3% other than the SEC was down 2%. Now if you cross over to Asia pack, it was also, as you said, a red day. Nikkei was down one 6% hunting negative 8%. Although in Shanghai marginally up zero 3%. Singapore was down 6%. Back home, a BNI interesting development went down quite a bit but recovered a bit to basically just be down 2% yeah.

 

WSN: Actually, I would have to say the LCI did better than expectations. The ring it actually initially weakened, but it’s somewhat recovered to the US dollar 4.2370. The currencies are always the first thing that gets hit, but against the pound is 5.8651 and against the sin dollar is 3.1250. Whether there’ll be continued weakness over the next two days is going to be a question Mark. We have to bear in mind that foreign are holding for equities is probably an all time low at 20%. Something will be asking Alexander Chia, regional head of research at RHB at 915 later on this morning.

 

So do tune in. But in the meantime, we’re going to find out where global markets are hidden with Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence. Good Morning Tony, thanks for speaking to us again. Now, US markets, despite a bit of a wobbly start, they seem to recover. They’re at their peaks and corporate earnings pretty much in line with expectations, although this week I think it’s going to be a heavy week for earnings. Now, which direction do you think stocks are set to trade ahead of the fat minutes that are supposed to be out this week?

 

TN: Well, ahead of the minutes. I think we’ll continue to see more of the same. The Fed is really in charge of markets now. We’ve seen earnings come in really stellar over the last few weeks, and we’ll continue to see that for ’23, ’22 earnings. But we’re expecting three earnings really to come in a little flat. We’ve started to see some people say that their revenues are down and to issue some earning warnings. I wouldn’t say before Wednesday, but I would say over the next few weeks we expect to see more rotations going on. We’ve seen rotations away from tech over the last few weeks and we expect to see some defensive rotation in the next couple of weeks, consumer cyclicals utilities, consumer staples, utilities, health care and so on.

 

PS: Do you think the stimulus packages that were approved by Congress will add a bit of steam going forward?

 

TN: Well, I think the infrastructure package is going to take ten years, really, that’s going to be spent over a decade. They’re going to claim that it’s going to be spent quickly, but it can’t really. And plus, it’s less than half a trillion dollars or something like that. So that money trickled out over ten years or something. I think there’s a rule of thumb for infrastructure is in. It has a 1.6 times economic impact. So let’s say it was 300 or $500 billion. It would be 1.5 times that impact on the economy.

 

So it will have a decent impact. It will just be spent over a protracted period of time. There are the budget cap battles coming up over the next two to three months in the US. So there’s a real expectation that a lot of the stimulus that the Congress has planned may not necessarily be approved because of the budget cap discussions that are coming up.

 

WSN: Meanwhile, Tony, I want to look at the relationship between US and China because we do know that the China themselves are battling the Covid crisis again and the recovery the data seems to be faltering in terms of how strong the economy is. How related are both these countries?

 

TN: Yeah. The worrying part about China right now, of course, COVID and a lot of the issues there. But we’re also seeing ports really start to really slow down. A lot of the throughput factories slow down, and it’s really concerning. So despite the red upgrades we’ve seen over the last several years about the US and China, they are really important trade partners, and their economies are really, really tied. So when we see a dramatic slowdown in China that affects everybody in Asia, it affects the US. When you see a slowdown in the US, it affects China. It affects Europe. So we don’t want to see a slowdown in China, seeing the resurgence of COVID and the impact on the economy. There is not good for anybody. Least of all US.

 

And so we still have a lot of supply chain issues globally, partly owing two COVID slowdown in China, Japan, Korea, elsewhere. Right. So we don’t want to see this. We will see restrictions in the US, not code restrictions, but restrictions to supply chains because of issues coming out of China again. And so this is bad all around. And we want China to succeed. Everyone wants China to succeed. So they’re in a boat together.

 

PS: But, yeah, in a double whammy. Right. China consumptions spent sentiment is at an all time low. And also US consumption sentiment is also registering a drastic drop in August. What does this mean for the US dollar and treasuries?

 

TN: No. Right. So with the US, we have inflationary pressure. We have pressure, workforce pressure. It’s been hard to fill spots. And companies we also have the central government stimulus is wearing off. And so with all three of those things happening, it’s a really rough period for consumers. And for companies. So we had what’s called the New York Fed Manufacturing Index come in today and excel from a a month reading is 43. This month’s reading is 18. Anything above zero is grow. So it’s still growing, but it’s slowed down dramatically. Companies, manufacturing companies are seeing things slow down. This is because of things like new orders. Slowing down. Shipments are slowing down. Orders that are on hold are rising. Consumers and manufacturers have started to feel it dramatically in August.

 

WSN: Okay. And the other thing we want to ask you about is oil, which is related to consumer behavior. I have noticed that Brent crude is $69 a barrel. WTI dropped to $67 per barrel. It’s been three days of declines. What are your expectations in terms of all prices? Is this the beginning of a downward trend?

 

TN: We’ve included is kind of range trading for a few months. I think just today, OPEC announced that they’re going to deny Biden’s request to increase their output because of peer pressure and all prices. So we think that Cuba bounce between saying mid 60s and the 70s somewhere in that range for quite some time. If we do see things and trying to get worse, if we do see more coded lockdowns and restrictions, and of course, we see downside there. I’m hoping, although the rate of recovery is slowing down, our hope is that it stays positive.

 

Okay, that way will contingency pressure on cure prices, but it will be in a range because OPEC still have something like 6 million barrels a day sitting on the sidelines, so they can always come in to add additional resources to reduce prices if needed.

 

WSN: All right. Thank you for your time. That was Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, BFM 89.9.

 

 

 

Categories
Podcasts

Inflation, Just Transitory Not Hyper

The Fed just announced that hyperinflation is not happening in the US. Is this a transitory inflation and how long will this last? Where is the market headed now, then? What sectors and industries will be greatly impacted and how will they react to the vulnerabilities? Also, where is oil headed now that it reached $75 per barrel. Lastly, China’s clamp down on Bitcoin — how much impact does it have to crypto’s volatility? All these and more in this quick podcast with our CEO and founder, Tony Nash.

 

This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/inflation-just-transitory-not-hyper on June 24, 2021.

 

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Show Notes

 

WSN: So to give us an idea of where global markets are headed, we have on the line with us Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence. Good morning, Tony. Now, the big question, where do you think markets are heading? Which direction are they going to take after Powell’s House testimony that the specter of hyper inflation in the US is unlikely?

 

TN: First, I think hyper inflation in the US isn’t really possible because the US is a global reserve currency. It’s really, really hard to have hyperinflation in the US. Powell knows this. Everyone in the Fed knows that. But I think in terms of the importance of his speech with the House, it wasn’t really all that significant, partly because he came across as unnecessarily hawkish.

 

People have been trying to back off of that ever since his speech. Janet Yellen coming out today bringing things back to a middle ground on Friday. So we think we’ll see upside from here. We’re not going to see major upside. We do expect things to get a bit rocky later in the third quarter. But short of dump trucks of cash out on every corner or a major new breakout of Covid, I think we are on a gentle glide path for the next couple of months.

 

PS: So, Tony, can you help us distinguish the difference between temporary transitionary inflation and what is permanent inflation? Because Janet Yellen is in that transitionary stage. But at what point does it become permanent, in your view? Are the triggers there?

 

TN: Well, what’s misleading a lot of people today is we have what economists call these base effects. Last year, you saw really prices falling, right? You saw economic decline. So when you’re looking at prices today, people are giving you a price in year on year percentage terms. So things are up 30% year on year. Things are up 50% year on year. Actually, when you compare them to 2019 prices, depending on the asset, of course, plywood is different, these sorts of things.

 

But things are not really all that inflated given where they were in 2019, which was the last normal year that we had. And then when you look at the supply chain issues we’ve had, you do have some uptick in that. But some of this perceived inflation really is mostly a base effect more than anything else. And then when you layer the supply chain issues on top of that, then it’s really created a mess.

 

SM: All right. I hear you, Tony. That’s fair enough. However, rising prices in the US seem to be feeding into pockets of the real economy. Which sectors or areas do you see as most vulnerable to this?

 

TN: Housing, we’ve started to see people put off housing decisions as a result of this. It’s hitting food prices in a big way, especially protein. So pork, beef, chicken, these sorts of things. But we’re seeing corn, soybean and other crop prices rise pretty dramatically as well. Wheat prices are up pretty huge over the past week or so. And then automobiles, when you drive by a car lot, an automobile lot here, they’re really only half full because automakers have had to slow down for a number of reasons, whether it’s the metals prices or whether it’s the chip shortages, the auto manufacturers have had to slow down. So it’s really hit those three sectors very hard.

 

SM: These companies who are in these sectors, have they been able to actually pass on the rising cost to consumers?

 

TN: Some they have. But we’ve seen, some food companies or other folks pass them on in housing. Definitely, it’s been passed on directly and in automobiles, yes, but I think it’s a bigger supply chain issue than it is actually inflation issues. So they’ll pass on those costs in one certain form. But I don’t know that they’ll be able to get 100%  or recuperate 100% of those costs.

 

SM: So are we potentially seeing some margin squeeze from these companies who are impacted in the coming quarters when we look at the earnings?

 

TN: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think for companies who are complaining about the costs, but if they don’t see their margins squeezed, then we’ll know this is definitely temporary. But talking to almost any manufacturer here from polypropylene or polypropylene to ordering, industrial metals to wheat or something, everyone is feeling the pinch. But again, it’s as much access to supply as it is the cost of supply.

 

PS: So, Tony, you go upstream from propylene to actually Brent crude, and I think that’s hit $75 highest in 2 years. OPEC is meeting next week to decide whether they’re going to increase production. What’s your take?

 

TN: The U.S. crude prices are up a bit based on the drawdowns from storage in the U.S. and that’s on economic activity. States are finally kind of the states that had been holding back or finally opening up fully, which is good news for consumption. But with this Delta variant, there’s a real risk. It’s possible that Europe starts to lock down again as possibly parts of Asia start to lock down. Of course, we’ll have certain states in the U.S. that will probably move toward lock down again as well if it starts to impact.

 

So that’s a real risk on the consumption side. But for the OPEC+ group, they’re sitting on about 5.8 or 6 million barrels a day of production that they had before Covid. So they decided to cut this production so that prices wouldn’t go too negative or too far down. So they have that capacity that they can bring back online any time. If they discuss that next week, I don’t think OPEC wants to see oil prices because of the resentment it creates and the damage it does to consumers.

 

So I think there’ll be a lot of pressure on OPEC members to open up supply and bring prices down just a little bit. It’s not as if we need to see prices down in the 40s again, of course. But I think there’s a lot of fear that we’re going to see $80, $90, $100 oil and it is giving people a lot of reason for concern.

 

SM: All right. Well, we’ll be watching that meeting next week, Tony. And in a little bit of time that we have, one last quick question. What are you making about the volatility in Bitcoin that’s been happening this week? How much of it can be attributed to China’s crypto clampdown?

 

TN: Oh, sure. A lot of it can. About 70% of crypto mining globally happens in China. So as China clamps down, it really brings down the demand for Bitcoin and it brings down a lot of the pressure on the market. So it’s a little bit of regulatory and tax threat in the West, but it’s mostly the supply in China. And so a lot of that’s on the back of electrical grid pressures. So once the summer passes, the enforcement of that will likely lighten up and we’ll likely see more pressure on bitcoin, upward pressure on crypto markets.

 

SM: All right. Thank you for your time. That was Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, giving us his views on markets. And I think what was interesting is that we can potentially see some companies being impacted by a margin squeeze because prices of certain goods, like you mentioned, meat in particular, lumber, corn or even, you know, all these downstream materials or byproducts of oil have gone up incredibly. And not all this price increase can be passed on to consumers because face it, the economy is just beginning to recover.

 

PS: Yeah, you know, because the these shubha transition. Right. Is it an issue of demand and demand is very high. Right. So maybe that when you can pass the price, but if it’s things like supply chain logistics as a result of, you know, breakages and, you know, it’s just all screwed up because of covid. Yeah, I think that’s very hard to pass on to the consumer. And that’s where the margin squeeze is going to take place.

 

SM: That’s right. And Tony mentioned automobiles as one of the areas where you’re going to see price rises. And I listen to this really fascinating podcast not too long ago on Planet Money, where they were talking about the used car sector. And the fact is that the they don’t have enough used cars to fill up the lots right now. So it really has that trickle down effect when you can’t, you know, produce more cars. Yeah, the second hand market will also suffer.

 

WSN: Apparently, Malaysia, our second hand market has also seen an uptick because of covid-19. There’s a reluctance for people to take public transport. So in the past, maybe you were you know, you hadn’t decided whether you want to buy a car, but now you’re kind of in that zone where you’re like, I need I need it because, you know, public transport, I’m not comfortable. Maybe this, you know, you think at the end of the day, why don’t I just get it rather sooner rather than later?

 

Plus, actually, interest rates are rather low. It’s only whether the question of whether you still have a job or whether how you feel in terms of sentiment.

 

PS: It’s fascinating because we talk about rising car prices and it’s also a lift to many things, lithium, SEMICON chips and all that. But on the flip side, we also talk about high oil prices coming through at the pump.

 

WSN: So we’re not so much for us because we are still subsidizing you run 95 Batla.

 

PS: Yeah, some of it’s going to be some of us. Pomerol 97.

 

SM: OK, I’m not one of those there.

 

PS: Well I do admit I do because my Volvo requires it. OK, in any case that is a challenge. I think in the long term it will hit the paycheck. Yeah. And the pocket later.

 

WSN: Well up next, we’ll be taking a look at the papers and the pottle. Stay tuned for that BFM eighty nine point nine.

 

Categories
QuickHit

Crude oil: New super cycle or continued price moderation? (Part 2)

This is the second part of the crude oil discussion with energy markets veteran Vandana Hari. Tony Nash asked if the political tensions in the Middle East will affect oil prices in this environment, and how soon can we see the effect in oil prices if the Iran agreement is made? She also discussed her views on the Texas shale industry and when can we see a bounce back, or if we’ll ever see one.

 

The first part of this discussion can be found here.

 

Vandana Hari is based in Singapore. She runs Vanda Insights and have been looking at the oil markets for about 25 years now. She launched Vanda Insights about five years ago. The company provides timely, credible, and succinct global oil markets, macro analysis, mostly through published reports.

 

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This QuickHit episode was recorded on May 19, 2021.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this Crude oil: New super cycle or continued price moderation? QuickHit episode are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Complete Intelligence. Any content provided by our guests are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any political party, religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

 

Show Notes

 

VH: And then, of course, we have Iranian oil and we could talk about that separately. So there’s plenty of supply.

 

TN: Let’s move there. So let’s talk a little bit about the Middle East with. First of all, with the political risk around Israel Palestine. Is that really a factor? Does that really impact oil prices the way it would have maybe 20, 30 years ago?

 

VH: OK, so with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that we’ve seen flare up in recent days, the short answer is no. Oil, it’s not even a blip on the radar of the oil complex. Now, obviously that’s because those two countries are neither major producers or consumers of oil. It is also not affecting shipping, the kind of fear that was in the markets, for instance, when ships were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz or the Red Sea.

 

But having said that, generally the oil market is keeping an eye on how that region, the tensions have been escalating. The Iranian and Arab tensions have been escalating. We have seen more attacks over the past few months. It seems to have died down a little bit recently, but more attacks from by the Houthi rebels just managing to miss white facilities in Saudi Arabia. So, yes, it is an area of concern. But somehow the oil market, maybe because there is enough oil available against demand, but the oil market has sort of almost gotten into this pattern of, that’s a knee jerk reaction. Every time, it looks like a supply might be affected from that region. But the oil complex has just been generally reluctant to price in on a sustained basis of geopolitical fear premium.

 

TN: Yeah, I can see that. That’s very evident. With the JCPOA, with the Iran agreement, how much of a factor would that be to supplies and over what timeframe would it be a factor? Would it be an immediate factor? Would it be something in six months time from if an agreement is made?

 

VH: We know the indirect talks that have been going on between the US and Iranians the past few weeks, and then there’s been a bit of confusing signals as well in terms of news emanating earlier this week. We had a Russian diplomat say that, oh, it’s on the verge of a breakthrough and then retracted so it doesn’t help the oil market of anybody as opposed to have that adding to the confusion. The oil market has made its calculations.

 

First of all, Iranian oil production as well as exports have been edging up. That’s a fact. Now, obviously, there’s no clearly transparent data, but there’s plenty of ship tracking companies, all of which have very clear evidence that there’s more oil going into China.

 

So to some extent, you could argue that crude prices today have factored in a little bit of extra Iranian oil coming back into the market. Just to remind our viewers that it never went down to zero. There was always Iranian in oil flowing into and we’ll not go into the details of that. But basically it’s sort of bypassing the US sanctions. So the question now is how much more Iranian oil can come into the market and when it could come into the market?

 

And I would add a third point to that is that what will OPEC+ do to that if it ends up pressuring prices? So how much more oil could come into the market? An estimated 1.2 million barrels per day additional oil could come if the sanctions are removed. When it could come back into the market? I’m no more privy to what’s going on behind closed doors in the discussions than the next person. But my personal feeling from reading what’s coming out of these talks is that it’s a very complex set of issues.

 

There’s a lot of politics going on when people come out and say, oh, we’ve made progress and so on. But it’s a complex web. It’s multilayered. I personally don’t expect sanctions to be removed before next month’s Iranian elections. So sometime this year, yes. But not right away.

 

And here’s the point I would make as well, is that I don’t think OPEC-non OPEC alliance will sit on their hands and see, especially if crude starts spiraling downwards with the Iranian oil more than Iranian oil coming back into the market. I think they will make adjustments accordingly. If the market can absorb it without a big hit to oil prices, well then good, you know, which is what was the case with Libya last year. But if it can’t, I think they’ll just redistribute that sort of cut back a little bit more or taper less basically. So either way, I don’t see that putting a huge downward pressure on crude.

 

TN: I’m in Texas and so we haven’t really seen a lot of new capacity come online with the with the Texas plays over the past few months as prices have risen. So what will it take for Texas to kind of install new rigs or re-open rigs and get things moving here? What are you looking for and what do you think the magic number is? I mean, if it hasn’t been hit already? What do you think needs to happen for Texas to kind of reopen some of these fields?

 

VH: Yes, we saw oil rigs across the US, which is a very crucial measurement of the activity in the shale patch, especially. We saw that number crash last year. And I look at the fracturing fleet count as well, which tells you exactly how much oil is being drilled out of those wells. But not just how many wells are being drilled. So both of those have been creeping up from from the crash of last year. I think since about August last year, they they have been moving up. But if you compare year on year still, that the total rig count is just half of the levels before Covid last year. Overall, US oil production and shale is the lion’s share of it has dropped from about nearly 13 million barrels per day to about 11. Two million barrels per day of capacity has basically disappeared from the shale patch.

 

And for OPEC, as well as for the oil market, I think it’s a key area to keep an eye on because we have seen in the previous boom and bust cycles and oil price up and down cycles, that shale was very quick to respond to oil price recovery. I think the story is very, very different this time. There’s a few influencing key factors, which are all pulling in the same direction.

 

So first of all, on a very sort of global level, we know that generally, funding is drying up in fossil fuels. OK, so that’s a baseline. That’s affecting conventional fuel. It’s affecting shale equally. The second is that we see and this has been an ongoing trend over the past few years, more and more majors have made inroads into majors are now independent players still produce the majority of the tight oil from the US shale. But the majors have become quite significant players as well. And almost every major that you tune into is saying that we are going to be very, very cautious in… We’d rather return money. We’d rather pay down debt, cash discipline, essentially. We would rather return money to our shareholders than invest in just growth at any cost. That’s happening.

 

When it comes to independence. I think they’re going their own ways, basically. You can’t say all independents have the same philosophy. But again, when I listen to the major independent players, they pretty much are also into cost discipline strategy. If you aren’t, are going to just have a tough time, far tougher time than than the previous down cycles in getting funding. So we generally see that funding for the shale sector is also starting to dry up.

 

I suppose banks and lenders and shareholders probably just seen enough of that, how sales fortunes go up and down. If you’re a long term investor, it’s not really an area of stability. So all of these put together to lead me to conclude that the EIA thinks shale production will creep up a little bit this year. But of course, compared with 2019, they’ll still remain low. It’s predicting quite a big bounce back in ’22. But I’m not that sure about it. I have a feeling that it’s probably going to sort of plateau from here on.

 

TN: OK. Really interesting. So it sounds like kind of that marginal barrel that would come from shale to be honest, isn’t really that necessary right now given the cost that it would take to reopen the rig. Is that fair to say?

 

VH: Yeah. And then you have to remember that the OPEC is sitting on that marginal barrel of supply as well. And that has to come back into the market. And you have to see prices supported, let’s say WTI, well above sixty dollars. And then ask yourself that have any of these, the three conditions that I outlined earlier changed substantially enough for shale to go into a boom again? So I think the answer is pretty clear.

Categories
QuickHit

Crude oil: New super cycle or continued price moderation? (Part 1)

Energy markets expert Vandana Hari is back on QuickHit to talk about crude oil. Brent is nearly at the $70 psychological mark and is also a 2-year high. However, demand has not picked up to the pre-Covid levels. Vandana explained what happened here and what to look forward to in the coming year. Also, is crude experiencing supply chain bottlenecks like in lumber and other commodities and how oil demand will pick up around the world?

 

Vandana Hari is based in Singapore. She runs Vanda Insights and have been looking at the oil markets for about 25 years now. The majority of those were with Platts. She launched Vanda Insights about five years ago. The company provides timely, credible, and succinct global oil markets, macro analysis, mostly through published reports. They are also available for ad hoc consultations and research papers.

 

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This QuickHit episode was recorded on May 19, 2021.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this Crude oil: New super cycle or continued price moderation? QuickHit episode are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Complete Intelligence. Any content provided by our guests are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any political party, religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

 

Show Notes

 

TN: I want to talk about crude oil, because if we looked a year ago and we saw where crude oil prices were a year ago because of the Covid shock and we look at where crude is today, it’s something like two-year highs or something like that today. And we still have kind of five or six million barrels, we’re consuming about five or six million barrels less per day than we were pre-Covid. Is that about right?

 

VH: Yeah, absolutely. So we have had a Brent flood with the $70 per barrel psychological mark, it has not been able to vault it in terms of, you know, in the oil markets, we tend to look at go-buy settlements. So we’re talking about ICE Brent Futures failing to settle above 70 dollars a barrel? But it has settled a couple of times so far this year, just below, which was two-year highs.

 

And the man on the street, as you quite rightly point out, does end up wondering. And I’m sure people at the pump in the US looking at three dollars a gallon prices that hang on like the global demand is yet to return anywhere close to pre Covid. So why are prices going to two-year highs?

 

So two fundamental reasons. If you talk about supply and demand in the oil markets, the first one is the OPEC – Non OPEC Alliance is still holding back a substantial amounts of oil from the markets. If you hark back to last year when they came together in this unprecedented cutback, almost 10 million barrels of oil per day, cumulative within that group, they said they’re going to leave it in the ground because of the demand destruction.

 

Now, starting January this year, they have begun to so-called “taper.” Yes, people borrowed that as well in the oil market. All over the place. Yeah. So they’re tapering. But they’re doing it very, very cautiously.

 

So where do we stand now? They are still holding back almost six and a half million barrels per day. So basically two thirds of the oil that they took out of the market last year is still, they’re still keeping it under the ground. So that’s one main reason.

 

The second one is a bit, of course, demand has been picking up as countries and globally, if you look at it, I mean, we can talk about individual countries, but globally, you know, the world is starting to cautiously emerge out of Covid-related restrictions.

 

Economies are doing better. So oil consumption is moving up. But but some of, it’s not entirely that. I would say some of the the buoyancy in crude of late, and especially when it was, you know, Brent was a two-year highs, is because of a forward looking demand optimism. And when it comes to that, I think it’s very, very closely connected or I would say almost entirely focused on the reopening of the U.S. economy.

 

TN: OK, so. So this is a forward looking optimism, is it? I know into other areas, like, for example, lumber, which has been there’s been a lot of buzz about lumber inflation is because of the sawmills and with other, say, commodities, there have been processing issues and with, you know, meat and these sorts of things that have been kind of processing issues and bottlenecks in the supply chain. But with crude oil to petrol, it’s not, it’s not the same. Refineries are doing just fine. Is that, is that fair to say?

 

VH: That’s a very good point, Tony, to to just kind of unpick a little bit. Because what happens is when you hear talk of super cycles, commodities, bull run, and then, of course, we have a lot of indexes and people trade those indexes, commodity index, we tend to lump together, you know, commodities all the way from copper and tin, lumber and corn all the way to crude oil and gasoline and gas oil and so on.

 

But, you know, here’s what. You know. We could spend hours talking about this. But, but just very quickly to dissect it, I would say look at it in terms of you have commodities. And I would sort of lump metals and to some extent agricultural commodities in this one Group A and Group B.

 

So as I mentioned earlier, Group B, which is which is oil. Well, crude oil and refined products, to a large extent, the prices are being propped up by OPEC, plus keeping supply locked out of the markets. It’s very different from, as you mentioned, what’s happening in metals and ags and these kind of commodities where it just can’t be helped. So there’s supply chain issues, this production issues all the way from from Chile, where copper production all the way to even here in Malaysia, you know, palm oil, because workers are unable to return fully. Or in terms of even the the packaging, the storage and the delivery of it. So I think there’s a major difference there.

 

Now, the commonality here is, of course, all of these are seeing demand rebound. You know, that I agree as a commonality. Demand is rebounding. But I think it’s very important to remember. And why is it why is this distinction important is that you could argue that, well, if demand continues to sort of go gangbusters in terms of copper, tin, lumber, it will, for the foreseeable future, meet against supply constriction. So you cannot.

 

So accordingly, you can assess what might be the prices of these commodities going forward. They may remain elevated, but it would be wrong, I think, to sort of draw a parallel between that and oil, because in oil, I do believe OPEC non-OPEC are waiting. In fact, I don’t think they can hold their horses any longer, waiting to start putting that oil back into the market. So, you know, keep that distinction in mind.

 

TN: So there’s an enthusiasm there. So let’s say we do see demand kind of come back gradually, say, in the U.S., a little bit slower in, say, Europe. But China is moving along well and say Southeast Asia, east Asia is coming along well. The supply from the OPEC countries will come on accordingly. Is that fair to say?

 

VH: Absolutely. And when you talk about demand, again, I think there’s a sort of a bias in the crude futures markets, which tend to be the leading the direction for the oil complex in general, including the Fiscal markets, is that there’s definitely a bias to looking towards what’s hot right now, at least looking towards what’s happening in the US and getting carried away a little bit. Because when you look at the US, it’s a completely positive picture, right?

 

You base that, you see things around, you see how people are just kind of moving away. You’re removing mask mandates, people are traveling. And, of course, we’re getting a lot of data as well. The footfall in your airports. The other thing about the US is you have good data, right. Daily, weekly data. So that continues to prop up the market. But if you just cast your eye, take a few steps back, look at the globe as a whole. And, you know, sitting here in Asia, I can shed some light about what’s happening here.

 

No country is opening its borders in Asia, OK? People are, for leisure. If people are even not even able to travel to meet their family, you know, unless it’s in times of emergency, unfortunately. So nobody’s traveling. The borders are sealed very, very tight.

 

There is an air bubble, travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia. But, you know, nobody’s bothering to even check what that’s doing to jet demand. What do you think it will imagine? You imagine it will do.

 

And then you have Europe in between, which is, yes, again, it is reopening very cautiously, though. We’ve had the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, cautioning that the travel plans for the Brits might be in disarray because of this so-called Indian variant. I don’t like to use that term, but this virus more transmissible virus variant. So it’s a very patchy recovery. It’s a very mixed picture, which is why I’m not that bullish about global oil demand rebound as a whole. You know, at least the so-called summer boom that people are talking about.

 

TN: Do you do you see this kind of trading in a range for the next, say, three or four or five months or something? Demand come, supply come, demand come, supply comes something like that.

 

So there’s not too much of a shortfall for market needs as kind of opening up accelerates?

 

VH: Very much so. I think, first of all, unfortunately, I mean, as individuals, of course, we like to be positive and optimistic. But with an analyst hat on, we need to look at data. We need to use logic. We need to overlay that with our experience of this pandemic, the past one and a half years.

 

Somehow, we’ve had a few false dawns, unfortunately, during this pandemic. We’ve seen that right from the start. When you remember the first summer, 2020 summer, some people said, oh, the heat and all that, the virus will just die away.

 

So, again, I think we need to be very, very cautious. I do think, unfortunately, that this variance and as you and I were discussing off air earlier, this is the nature of the virus. So I think there’s going to be a lot of stop, start, stop, start. The other thing I see happening is that it’s almost like, I imagine the virus sort of it’s moving around. And even if you look at India now, it’s just gone down in the worst hit states of Maharashtra and Delhi. But now it’s sort of moved into the rural area.

 

So I think sort of, unfortunately, is going to happen globally as well. The other important thing to keep in mind is, is vaccinations, of course, is very, very uneven. You know, the ratio of vaccinated people in each country so far, the pace at which the vaccinations are going and, you know, not to mention the countries, the poorer, the lower income countries.

 

So we’re probably going to see, you know, maybe a bit of start. Stop. Definitely. I don’t think we’re going to see national boundaries opening up to travel any time soon. And then exactly as you pointed out, we have this OPEC oil and then, of course, we have Iranian oil and we can talk about that separately. So there’s plenty of supply.

 

TN: So let’s talk a little bit about, let’s talk a little bit about the Middle East with, you know, first of all, with political risk around Israel Palestine. Is that really a factor? Does that, does that really impact oil prices the way it would have maybe 20, 30 years ago?

Categories
Podcasts

Cold Front on Oil Prices?

Tony Nash is back in the Morning Run, hosted by BFM 89.9, as he points out the crude oil price and how long to expect the rally, considering factors like weather, demand, and supply. Tony also mentioned about a potential pullback and snap and how you can better be prepared for it. Should you continue buying tech stocks or move elsewhere? Also, they discussed crops and where the prices are going this year.

 

This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/cold-front-on-oil-prices on February 18, 2021.

 

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BFM Description

 

Tony Nash from Complete Intelligence, from freezing Texas, shares with us the current supply constraints in the US impacting oil prices in the short- and medium-term.

 

Produced by: Mike Gong

 

Presented by: Philip See, Wong Shou Ning

 

 

Show Notes

 

WSN: For some color on where global markets are heading, we have in the line with us Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence. Tony, are you freezing out there in Texas?

 

TN: Yes, we are. We haven’t had it this cold air for decades. So it’s it’s been a really interesting week.

 

WSN: That has had an impact on oil prices. Bloomberg showing Brent crude at $64 per barrel, WTI at $61 per barrel. So how badly impacted our energy markets at the moment? Where do you think oil prices are going?

 

TN: A lot of this is very short term. What you’re not seeing that the traders really pay attention to right now is that a lot of refineries are closed because of weather and they’re starting to close for annual maintenance. There’s this presumption that there’s a demand pull, which we’re not really seeing from anywhere in the world right now, and that the winter storm issues will pull energy prices. But again, the fact is the refineries that would take this stuff are closed. We expect this to be short lived. This is an extension of a crude price rally that we saw that we expected to come in Jan, it’s lasted into February and we really don’t expect this to have a lot of legs to it.

 

PS: What do you think the outlook looks like then for the mid-term like quarter to quarter three?

 

TN: We would see 10 to 20 percent off of this price? We don’t necessarily think that this is a sustainable level short of some sort of supply cuts. But the weather in Texas, for example, we’re going to be kind of in normal weather ranges in two days. What we’ve seen this week and the close down, as we’ve seen this week, it’ll take people a couple of days, maybe a week at most to get things back on line. So this perceived supply shortage will be back on line fairly soon.

 

WSN: How about yields on U.S. 10 year bonds? Because they’ve hit a new high one year high. What what is that trying to tell this? What a market try to tell us?

 

TN: U.S. is trying to raise money and they’re willing to pay more for it. I think that is is really it. I think there is a growing fear that equity markets are as high as they’ll get. We’ve started to see more of that tension come in into chatter over the last few days. People are willing to pay to get out of markets, to park their money in debt.

 

So I’m sure it helps the U.S. as they’re raising more money for stimulus and for operations. But as we creep up to four thousand, that is just unimaginable for a lot of people. And it’s not as if we are doing better as an economy than we were in 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. This is built on stimulus, as we’ve talked about before. It’s built on central bank activity.

 

And you can only stretch that so far before things have to snap. We’ll see some of these things that are at double and triple and quadruple kind of the standard multiples. And P is the only way to measure this stuff. But we’ll see things that are really, really stretched, snap into a more reasonable region. But it’ll happen any time tomorrow, three weeks from now, a month from now, whatever. It’ll just happen. It’ll happen any time. And it’s best to be prepared for it.

 

PS: So are you expecting some pullback eventually? Right. What is the tipping point where investors will essentially do that exodus or flock to U.S. Treasuries then?

 

TN: One of the tipping points is going to be the resolution of stimulus. I’ve been saying for weeks that stimulus will not be what the administration wants it to be. There are such high expectations put on that stimulus right now and they’re not going to get it. They’ll get a lot of it, but they’re not going to get all of it. Expectations are sky high. And when it doesn’t hit, I think that will be one of the catalysts.

 

But there are other things like when the crude price starts to fall because this supply constraint isn’t there anymore. These sorts of things, these things add up and then they snowball and and then you start to see markets really, really take a dove. We’re not necessarily calling for a 2008 generational type of decline in markets. It’s just a bit of a pullback so that people can just say, “OK, wait a minute, let’s check, take stock how businesses are doing. Take a look at our investments and our allocation and then reallocate.” That’s really what it’s about.

 

WSN: Where would you relocate to and what are the safe haven assets? Because almost every asset class on a year to date basis is up. Right. And maybe except for Google, which is down six percent on the year today.

 

TN: What you’re likely going to see is a pretty serious rotation out of technology where people have focused on because of the work from home activities. This may not be immediate, but I think you’ll see a rotation out of a lot of the work from home stuff as people start real life again and you’ll see people move into. This is not really my the basis of our outlook. But you may see more of a regional move into things like tourism.

 

These things have just taken real hits. A lot of them have had speculative rises, some of the cruise lines. But some of them are still way down. All of this depends on gradual normalization. But I can tell you, Americans are really tired of being locked in, really tired of not socializing. And some of these things are going to have to start up again.

 

PS: What about not all out commodities then, like agriculture and precious metals?

 

TN: We had some real pressure. And part of the reason of that pressure was because there was a perception that a lot of the Chinese corn crop didn’t come in last year. But a lot of the drought was outside of that zone. Some of that pressure was alleviated.

 

But still, we’re seeing some pressure on wheat right now in the U.S. It really all depends on how much the current cold snap impacts the output later in the year or the ability to plant. Right now it’s not terrible.

 

Until we start seeing real demand come back in entertaining and in consumption and these sorts of things, we’re not going to see a major demand pull on food because people are already buying their standard cook at home type of things right now as they’ve rebuilt their behaviors over the last year. We’ll see that change. But unless we see a drought or unless we see an issue in a high consumption part of the world, we’re not necessarily going to see a boom in those places.

 

WSN: All right. Thank you for your time. That was Tony Nash, CEO of Complete Intelligence, giving us his views on global markets and saying that, hey, oil prices are going to come under pressure probably in the next two to three months, because this is not really driven by real demand, is just probably weather patterns which are going to normalize anyway in Texas in a few days.

 

PS: He also made a point about oil, where this, I think, a slight surge in prices is actually a short term because supply is going to get back on quite soon.

 

WSN: Yeah, but other interesting news is actually the ongoing saga of big tech versus Australia, because it looks like Facebook has defied Australia’s push to make big pay for news by banning the sharing of content on its platform in the country. And this is the most far reaching restriction is ever placed on any publisher in any part of the world.

 

PS: So the extreme step to remove Australian news came as Google separately struck a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp diffusing a long running dispute between the two companies. The dramatically different approaches could mark a pivotal moment for the media industry, which had hoped Australia’s tough regulatory approach would help reset its terms of trade with Google and Facebook worldwide.

 

WSN: So the moves by Google and Facebook came on the day Australia begin debating laws that would force big online platforms to license news. Now Facebook’s action will have a global impact. Under the provisions, news from Australian publishers will be blocked on the platform for all Facebook users, regardless of where they are based. The Australian government said it will continue to engage with Facebook. Press ahead with legislating the code, Canberra also warned that withdrawing news from Facebook’s platform in Australia could dent its credibility with users.

While this is quite big stuff. Actually, yes.

 

PS: Yes. I mean, Australia wasn’t the first country to, you know, get into this spat. I think you really was in having discussions. And France and Spain already had deals with a lot of with Google and Facebook with respect to media purchase. But it’s a question about publishers.

 

WSN: Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, right. We do know media companies are suffering. Right. Álex has come under pressure. Subscriber growth has come down. How a media company is going to generate the revenue. So in the past, all these big tech companies, the argument was that they got to earn super normal above what is the what super normal profits without paying the likes of the media companies because they were using these media companies content to their benefit.

 

So some countries like Australia and even if you try to kind of diffuse the situation and have, I suppose maybe in their mind, a fairer playing field. But the Google deal nonetheless, if you look at it, the Google deal with News Corp announced on Wednesday goes beyond the Australian market, extending to Murdoch’s titles such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post in the U.S. and The Times and the Sun in the UK. No other news publisher has reached a single deal with Google across multiple countries.

 

Now, critics say the deal would benefit News Corp. rather than the rest of the news industry.

 

PS: Yes, well, we’ve been talking about the price. And since you looking at Google’s valuation, I suspect Google’s to be the winner because they have just really this unique access to this quality content. So. So why not?

 

WSN: Well, they’ve pledged so far to spend one billion over the years on buying news content and reach agreements with publishers in about a dozen countries.

 

But we’ll be watching this space because we do a media outlet.

 

But up next, we’ll be discussing the recently announced national unity blueprint. Stay tuned for that. BFM eighty nine point nine.

 

Thank you for listening to this podcast. To find full great interviews, go to PFM Goodbye or find us on iTunes, BFM eighty nine point nine. That is the station.

 

Categories
Podcasts

IPO Season Has US Investors Agog, Again

Tony Nash is back in the BFM podcast to break down what´s happening in the US Market with IPOs like Doordash and AirBNB selling at a higher price than expected. What´s up with the tech stocks? It´s obviously IPO season, and what should investors do. Should they buy? Also discussed is the current oil price rally to the high 40s. What is the expectation or forecast for oil in the last month of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 for oil?

 

This podcast first appeared and originally published at https://www.bfm.my/podcast/morning-run/market-watch/ipo-season-has-us-investors-agog-again on December 10, 2020.

 

 

BFM Description

 

Produced by: Mike Gong

 

Presented by: Khoo Hsu Chuang, Wong Shou Ning

 

It’s IPO season again in America and Doordash is first out the, well, door with a pop and wallop, while Airbnb is next, also with a higher price range, like Doordash. Which of the debutantes will be a Buy and which a Sell? And whither oil prices?

 

 

Tony Nash, the CEO of Complete Intelligence, discusses.

 

 

Show Notes

 

 

WSN: On global markets, we got to the line with us tonight, the chief executive of Complete Intelligence to break it down for us. Tony, thanks for talking to us. Nasdaq closed in the red after a 10-day rally. What’s your view? Is this just a technical correction?

 

TN: Well, Nasdaq still up 36 percent year to date. Things are still pretty good with tech stocks. But it’s been a lot of retail investors so far this year focused on fang stocks. Part of this decline today may be related to the stimulus talks. There are a number of other things involved, but if there is more stimulus, we may see more investment, especially in tech stocks. If you remember, the tech rally started in Q2 of this year really on people investing via Robin Hood in small increments. There were other institutional and retail investors, but Robin Hood investors really led to a lot of the run ups in these tech stocks.

 

KHC: And I want to pivot this conversation to an IPO, which is closed last night. So Doordash it debuted with an 80 percent jump to close at $189 from an IPO price of 102. Does that make you a buyer?

 

TN: It makes me a wait-and-see-er. Tech stocks have done really well. Stocks like Palantir are up 200 percent or something since their IPO. A lot of people are looking at those as an opportunity, which is quite possible. But tech IPOs tend to settle shortly after. We saw this with Palantir for a few weeks after the IPO. It declined, then it meandered. And then it really only started coming up over the past couple of weeks.

 

Doordash seems to have risen very quickly. I think it’s really on hopes, unfortunately, that a lot of the work-from-home stuff continues. Without work-from-home orders or stay-at-home orders, it’s really hard to see Doordash continuing at these levels. I think with a somewhat normal return or return to normal, people start going out again. Some of the people would at least rather go out than order in.

 

KHC: The other IPO is Airbnb, which is supposed to be priced later today. Is this a name you’re excited about?

 

TN: Sure I am. What’s interesting about Airbnb is it’s been very resilient with Covid. We’ve seen long-term rentals via Airbnb. We’ve seen people travel using Airbnb. When travel starts up again in a big way, they benefit as well. So it’s a really interesting name for me. It depends on what were the prices and where it goes. But on the face of it, it’s a very interesting name.

 

WSN: Yeah, it really is IPO season, isn’t it, Tony? I mean, what’s driving the liquidity? Is it still a retail market, institutional or a bit of both?

 

TN: A lot of it is retail. The retail investors are looking for the quick upside. People are trying to close out the year with as much juice as they can. I think a lot of the institutions were in very early. They take quick profits and then they just wait and see what happens. But if you look at the distribution, the allocation of some of these recently IPO tech companies, it’s a lot of retail investors.

 

KHC: With virus cases rising in the states, it’s almost certain that the FDA will authorize the emergency use of the vaccine today. So this brings back the question, do you think that the stimulus package that everyone is waiting or expecting, will they still be in the quantum of 908 billion or would it actually be downsized?

 

TN: I think it’ll be around the current level. The problem is, this is something that should have happened two months ago. And you’ve seen over the past two months, the U.S. economy really start to stall and sputter out. The employment picture is looking grimmer. The demand picture is looking a bit grimmer. If the U.S. wanted to keep things moving at the pace it had been in Q3, it really should have happened in late October. But it didn’t for political reasons.

 

And I think it’s really critical for these guys to come out with something before Christmas. The politicians look really stingy, like the real economy doesn’t affect them, which is true. And if they come out with something, they have the likelihood of looking like heroes before Christmas. So this is likely political theater so that they can build up some drama for a last minute agreement before the Christmas holiday.

 

WSN: Sliding over to oil, Tony, with crude inventories starting to build up, can prices break through the fifty dollar resistance level, do you think? And what are the catalysts needed to carry it across the threshold?

 

TN: Yeah, we think they can. So we’ve seen inventories build up. You know, they built up 15 million barrels over the past week, which is quite a lot well ahead of expectations. But, you know, we’ve expected oil to cross the 50 dollar mark in January, late December or in January. When we started saying this a few months ago, people really pushed back on this. We said we saw a spike in January in the crude price. And so we still believe that. NYNEX crude is trading at forty seven dollars right now. So even with the supply glut right now, we’re still seeing a forty seven dollar WTI price. So we think we’ll see high 40s, low 50s by January. Brent, of course, will be slightly higher than that. So we think breaking through fifty dollars is quite likely, especially at the start of Q1.

 

WSN: Hey, Tony, thanks so much for your time with us. Tony Nash, the chief executive of Complete Intelligence. And just to make a couple of remarks. And while we just discussed with him. The higher oil prices go, obviously the better it is for Malaysia because we are generally an oil country. West Texas is at 46, 47 right now is about 49 dollars, definitely, too.

 

He also talked about the Doordash  and how he’s waiting to see Doordash. The numbers are not huge. They’ve only got like five million subscribers and they charged off the food guys 30 percent commissions to just deliver the stuff.

 

WSN: It’s not like they’ve had a choppy fiscal quarterly performance some months at some quarters up, some quarters down. And, you know what is so it’s so frothy. I mean, they nearly double the reference price on IPO day itself, already increased from two bucks, 100 to close 182 crazy, crazy days.

 

KHC: Well, I think, you know, at the end of the day, what is causing this one is that tech seems to be, you know, the darling darling on Wall Street. That’s when the second is that that clearly there still is a lot of cheap money flowing everywhere and nowhere to go.

 

WSN: Yeah, of course. Tony was talking about the Robinho traders, right?

 

KHC: Yeah. So as long as interest rates remain close to zero, I think people are willing to watch. And I used the funds, all investors, you know, regardless of whatever valuation. So it doesn’t really matter what your valuations are anymore. Exactly. So even like for Airbnb, you don´t even talk about earnings, you’re talking about price to sales because there is no earnings.

 

WSN: OK, well, talking about tech Facebook, right. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 46 states, 46 states, that’s just fall short of the full 50 complimented America. They’ve all brought antitrust cases against Facebook and accusing the company of using the social media dominance to crush competition. They’re calling for penalties that include a forced breakup and they are accusing Facebook of conducting a years long course of anti-competitive conduct.

 

KHC: Well, in particular, the FTC highlighted the acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 as designed to neutralize any competition, because the argument is that they are a monopoly and they cut off services to squeeze rival developers. So the FTC said it was seeking a permanent injunction in federal court that could potentially require Facebook to unwind its Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions. Now, if I looked I remember correctly this morning, Facebook closed down, I think, close to two point six percent based on this news. So it doesn’t seem like, you know, markets are really concerned about this. Or maybe the point is any dispute with the government takes forever and ever and ever so maybe for the moment, I think people are just shrugging it off.

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