Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oil/Financial Markets: Parallel Worlds?

The physicists are speculating: Are there more universes besides our universe, are there alternative or parallel worlds? It looks like the financial markets are confirming the parallel words thesis, at least there are two very conflicting movements at the moment.

The oil price jumped today another 3% and closed at $102 a barrel. The commodity has surged 36% since touching $74.95 a barrel on Oct. 4th. The stock market (S&P 500) moved in the opposite direction and again lost 1,6%.

The media explain the massive oil price rallies with the improving US economy, for example proven by rising industrial production, climbing retail sales and shrinking weekly jobless claims. As an explanation for the weak stock market we get the argument that the mess in Europe could spill over to the U.S. and this creates the danger of a global recession. Can we have both - an improving and a worsening economy at the same time?

Maybe there is another explanation for the conflicting trends. Both markets differ from the reality: The price of oil is driven by a hype fueled by many funds and other speculators who are invested in this commodity and manipulate public opinion. In the opposite direction, the stock market suffers from a general doom & gloom sentiment which ignores positive facts. Parallel worlds?

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