Gas on, gas off. Russia's gas charade drives oil into short term technical ambiguity. Well it will be at least ambiguous until we get today's jobs report. Yikes!
Russia announced yesterday that an agreement was reached whereby Russian and EU monitors would go to the Ukraine and monitor gas flows and today the gas would be flowing. That announcement was made of course without the other party, the Ukraine, agreeing to it. The announcement by Russia that the deal was done was another desperate attempt to place the blame for the supply cutoff directly on the shoulders of the Ukrainians. Not only did Russia demand EU members to monitor gas flows but they're Russian gas monitors on Ukrainian soil.
Now considering that it is alleged in some circles that Russian spies or thugs tried to poison and kill Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko, it is amazing that according to the AFP that the Ukraine's Naftogaz is not against the presence of observers from Russian gas giant OAO Gazprom on Ukrainian territory, a key sticking point in its gas dispute with Moscow. If I were the Ukraine, I would be against it as the Russian's have shown they will stoop to almost any level to destabilize the Ukrainian government. It might be wise for Yushchenko to get a food tester and be extremely careful about whom I dine with if those Russian gas monitors are left stalking around. And especially he should stay away from the sushi. AFP goes on to quote Naftogaz spokesman Valentyn Zemlyansky as saying, We are saying that we are not against Gazprom monitors but that the main thing is they should be legitimate and have a mandate from either the president or the prime minister of Russia. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had indicated overnight that Russia agreed with the deployment of European Union monitors but Moscow also wanted Kiev to accept Russian representatives on its territory and demanded that the Ukraine pay what the Russians think the market price of gas is at the moment based on gas prices from last May. At the same time they also would refuse to pay the Ukraine market rates for the transportation. So in other words, if the Ukraine meets all of Russia's demands they will magnanimously allow them to transport their gas at below fair market rates and get the money flowing back to the Russians. But remember it is old Vladimir Putin who is the grand pooh-bah of Russia who said they had a deal and he is the same guy who gave the order for supplies to be cut off in the first place in the dead of winter with no regard for other European nations that have done nothing but pay their bills. It was Putin that waited for a big block of cash to be deposited in Russian banks and to make sure the check had cleared before he made the gutless decision to strong arm the Ukraine and Europe with a cut off of supply.
The clock is ticking for Russia that desperately needs some more cash and needs it fast as the ruble gets rocked and continues to drop. And that will only get worse if today's US jobs report shows what I think it's going to show that the US driven global economy still has more pain to get through before we gain. Russia better take what it can get because the $200 or $205 that the Ukraine was offering might be considered a high price in a very short period of time.
News to watch; Strikes in India and Nigeria, signs OPEC are complying with production cuts, the war getting uglier in the Gaza strip, an Arctic cold blast or if you don't want to follow all of that then just follow jobs, jobs and jobs. With all of this going on in the world you need to be getting the Fox Business Network where you can see me every day! And now is the time to open your trading account with me by calling me at 800-935-6487 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!!! Have a great weekend and stay warm.
We're still short crude after all these months!!! We're short February crude on triple rollover from apprx 4461 - stop 5100!!!
Buy February heating oil at 14900 - stop 14400.
We're short February RBOB from apprx 12000 - lower stop to 11900!!!
We're long February natural gas from apprx 550 - stop 500.