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Oil Market Week Ahead: Virus, Tesla and Hedge Fund Positioning

China will celebrate its New Year festival for the best part of next week, trying for a few days to forget the spread of the coronavirus across the country, while offices and markets remain closed until Friday. But in a nation where a city of a few million is considered small, the density of population and the timing of the virus outbreak during an intense travel period make it very hard to contain the spread of the virus. Though volumes are likely to be slimmer next week, the China virus news flow will keep investors on their toes particularly if the spread of the disease intensifies.

Europe’s Q4 GDP: A Flat Line?

The European Central Bank assumes a scenario in which the Eurozone GDP grew by 1.1% in the last quarter of 2019 and then goes on to maintain that pace of growth in the first quarter of 2020. European oil consumption has closely tracked the Eurozone’s GDP growth over the last few years and has declined gently over the course of 2019. Though Eurozone growth may not deliver much in the way of surprises, it is worth looking at it in conjunction with German data including the IFO Business Climate measure in January and the GfK Consumer confidence index which typically signal the first signs of improvement in Europe’s largest economy and consequently changes in the Eurozone’s growth further down the line.

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Source: World Bank

US Q4 GDP data will be much less of a guessing game with a trend of moderate but steady growth still in place, which will also be reflected in the country’s overall oil demand.

WhenWhatWhy is it important
Monday 27 JanChinese markets closed for New Year
Monday 27 Jan 09.00German IFO Business Climate JanuaryLast at 96.3
Monday 27 Jan  15.00US Dec new home salesAt 719,000 in November
Tuesday 28 JanChinese markets closed for New Year
Tuesday 28 Jan 13.55US Redbook Index to Jan 24Indicator of the strength of the retail market
Tuesday 28 Jan 21.30US weekly API crude oil stocksFor week ending 24 Jan
Wednesday 29 JanChinese markets closed for New Year
Wednesday 29 Jan 07.00Germany Feb Gfk Consumer confidenceLast at 9.6
Wednesday 29 Jan 13.30US trade balanceLook out for balance with China
Wednesday 29 Jan 15.30US EIA crude oil stocksLast week decline 405,000
Wednesday 29 Jan 19.30US FOMC press conferenceRate likely to remain unchanged
Wednesday 29 after the market closesTesla Q4 earningsA proxy for electric car demand
Thursday 30 JanChinese markets closed
Thursday 30 Jan 07.00Royal Dutch Shell results
Thursday 30 Jan 10.00EU Jan Business climateLast down 0.25
Thursday 30 Jan 11.00Brazil inflation index
Thursday 30 Jan 12.30Brazil budget balance Dec
Thursday 30 Jan 13.30US Q4 GDPExpected to show an uptick from 1.7% in the last quarter
Thursday 30 Jan 13.30US initial jobless claimKey indicator of US economic health
Friday 31 Jan 02.00China Jan manufacturing PMILast at 50.2
Friday 31 JanBrexitUnlikely to move the oil market
Friday 31 Jan 10.00EU Q4 GDPEuropean economy expected to show mild sign of improvement from 1.3%
Friday 31 Jan 18.00Baker Hughes oil rig count