WTI $58.24 -44c, Brent $61.14 -33c, Diff -$2.90 +11c, NG $2.87 -4c, UKNG 43.75p -3.25p

Oil price

I managed to get most of the IEA report in yesterday, it was followed by the Opec summary of the market which was not very different from the others. All of them are still concerned about the virus and all worry to a greater or lesser degree about the variants that could affect their forecasts.

Opec concur with the IEA and see demand picking up strongly in 2H 2021 after a poor 1Q and slow recovery in 2Q. Their numbers suggest consumption of 93.22m b/d in Q1with the full year number of 96.05m b/d up some 5.79m b/d y/y.  As for supply they are quite bullish, 1Q has seen some modest increase in Russian production and the rest of Opec is in line with quotas and of course the KSA 1m b/d cuts continue through March.

Putting this together, Opec expect substantial stock draw in the  second half of this year in line with both other reporting organisations. A bit like the Bank of England yesterday who reported worst ever GDP numbers but say the ‘tinderbox is waiting to be lit’ for significant growth later in the year.

Today is the celebration of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the OX, I wish all participants a happy and prosperous New Year.

PetroTal Corp

I recently interviewed Manolo Zuniga, CEO of PetroTal Corp. The interview was very popular and a number of people who missed it have asked for it to be repeated so here is the link.

Core Finance CEO interview: Manolo Zuniga, PetroTal

And finally…

Another hugely busy weekend of sport upcoming, even taking most of the blog space today.

Last night in the FA Cup Chelsea beat Barnsley 0-1 and they now play the Blades in the quarter finals. Other fixtures are a fascinating south coast Riviera derby between the Cherries and the Saints, the Toffees host the Noisy Neighbours and the Foxes entertain the Red Devils.

Tomorrow in the Prem, Liverpool to the Foxes, the Seagulls host the Villa, the Eagles welcome Burnley and Spurs visit the Noisy Neighbours. Tomorrow sees Wolves at the Saints, the Baggies host the Red Devils, the Gooners welcome Leeds and the Cottagers go to the the Toffees.

6 Nations rugby resumes tomorrow with England hosting Italy at Twickenham and Wales going to Murrayfield. After last week’s dross anything could happen, it will be interesting to see if Scotland can get up as much for Wales as they do against England…Tomorrow it’s Ireland v France with the hosts missing Johnny Sexton through concussion, Conor Murray through injury and Paul Mahoney for his red card last weekend.

England take on India in the second test of four at Chennai tomorrow at 0400hrs. With Anderson rested, Buttler home, Archer injured and Bess dropped England have added Moeen Ali, Broad, Stone, Foakes, and Woakes to the squad of 12.

And racing is at Newbury where there is a very high class Denman Chase and also a card at Warwick.

And in the Australian Open in Melbourne despite some of his underarm serving trickery, Nick Kyrgios let a two set lead against Dominic Thiem go and has now departed the tournament which has now gone into 5 days of lockdown.