Saturday, August 13, 2005

Feeling Raw - Is the commodities boom sustainable?

Oil has hit US$65 per barrel thanks to fears of terror attacks and leadership transition [I think: overplayed] in Saudi Arabia, imasse over Iran's nuclear programme, and problems in American's refineries. Inherent demand supply problem? Oil in easy to find places may be depleting fast. Jim Rogers says that Alaska, North Sea spots are in decline and there is no great oil discovery in last 35 years.
In America, not enough new refineries have been built to meet growing demand. Refiners have coped by improving technology but tight capacity leaves it vulnerable.
China's demand for oil is apparent as its state owned firm attempted to take over UNOCO. Buffett's purchase of Petrochina years ago reveals his acumen too.
Winter months ahead - classic time for oil prices to increase.

Other commodities bottleneck:
  • Last lead melt opened in 1969,
  • Last lead mine in world opened 25 years ago.
Does this translate to a long sustainable bull run in commodities? Or will run up in past few years fizzle out? Jim Rogers certainly thinks so. Steve Leuthold has been hording up real metals...

Other than oil, many worrisome signs for stock market in months ahead:
  • US interest rates on uptrend.US trade deficit, consumer debt remains high.
  • Asian markets hitting highs - Nikkel 225 at 5 year high, Mumbai too.
Time to go high in cash? I am inclined to do so. Reading to understand market cycles better currently and must banish the notion that "Buy and hold" will work forever.



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11:46 PM  

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