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Crude, Food Prices Jump As Looming Israel-Iran Conflict Spark 1970s Oil Shock Fears

Crude, Food Prices Jump As Looming Israel-Iran Conflict Spark 1970s Oil Shock Fears

Larry MacDonald of The Bear Traps Report penned a very informative note last month that outlined, “2023-2024 look a lot like 1973-1974.” He said, “We’re one event away from a 1970s-style stagflation explosion…” History books remind us that the 1973 oil embargo shook the global energy market.

We were reminded of MacDonald’s note because the global benchmark Brent is currently being subjected to a major repricing event of geopolitical risk as Israel makes preparations for a potential retaliation by Tehran after a precision strike in Syria earlier this week killed top Iranian commanders.

“The market now knows that some kind of retaliation from Iran will likely come, but it doesn’t know when and where and what, and that creates a great discomfort and nervousness,” Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB AB, told Bloomberg.

On Thursday, UBS desk trader Alexander Gray outlined several bullish factors into Brent’s surge that has the benchmark around $91/bbl handle:

  1. Rally / buying right into the 14:30 New York energy close – suggests heavy index fund prepositioning ahead of GSCI roll onset tomorrow where energy will be weighted in the index
  2. Geopolitics – reports of potential attacks within Iran and also potential retaliation toward Israel following Monday’s airstrikes.
  3. Bullish consensus and flow – a number of Street strategists have been out today talking about upside risk toward the $95-100 range in crude. Meanwhile, flows here have skewed toward upside buying in the options space
  4. Technicals – Front-month WTI crude oil just completed a ‘golden cross’ technical formation with the 50- and 200-day moving average crossover. The front month is aimed at $88.58 above; $91.08 is key as the 76.4% Fibonacci retracement level in Brent… which is precisely where Brent is trading at this moment..

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