Commodities crude oil

Commodities crude oilCommodities: Crude Oil

Crude oil is a naturally-occurring substance found in certain rock formations in the earth. To extract the maximum value from crude, it needs to be refined into petroleum products. The best-known of these is gasoline, or petrol. Others include liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), naphtha, kerosene, gas oil and fuel oil.

Oil wells are used to release the oil from within the earth. Some of the earliest developed oil wells were drilled in

using bamboo poles. These oil wells were developed in 347 A. D. for the sole purpose of providing enough fuel to create a thriving salt industry. By the 1950s, crude oil became a global energy source, which in effect killed the whaling industry by making whale oil obsolete.

In the crude oil industry, there are oil names (such as Brent Light Crude Oil and Bonny Light) and there are oil types (such as light, heavy, sweet and sour). Light oil has a low density viscosity, while heavy oil is of higher density. Sweet oil has less sulfur, and sour oil has excessive sulfur. The world market prefers light, sweet crude oil, largely because it requires less refinement and production time before going to market. (Find out how to stay on top of data reports that could cause volatility in these markets in Become An Oil And Gas Futures Detective .)

A sample commodity futures contract for crude oil is shown in the following table.

Crude Oil Contract Specifications

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Crude oil trading

Crude oil tradingYou are here

Crude oil is a naturally occurring petroleum product commonly used in energy production and manufacturing. It is typically purchased with the intent to be refined into everyday uses such as diesel, gasoline, heating oil, jet fuel, plastics, cosmetics, medicines and fertilisers. As such its price has a dramatic impact on the global economy. It is traded in high volumes all around the world.

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The price of oil is a critical global economic factor, which means that trading is influenced by political and commercial concerns. In general, higher oil prices tend to undermine economic growth as this increases travel and shipping expenses, which increase inflationary pressures. If the price of oil remains high over a long period, the cost of downstream products like plastics and fertilisers are affected as well.

What this means, from a trader’s point of view, is that when the price of oil is high and has remained high for some time, oil producers take steps to reduce the price. Groups like the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC agree to production slowdowns, and importers reduce purchases. So a trader has to watch for times when a high oil price hits “ resistance ,” and read the news carefully to see when to go short.

But, having a low oil price for an extended period is also not an unequivocally positive factor for the global economy. When the price of oil remains low for too long, the companies that explore and drill for oil cannot raise the capital they need to find and produce enough of it. Because a sufficient supply of oil is essential to the economic security of all of us, it is critical that these companies be able to continue their work.

So, what happens, when the price remains low for a long time, is that importers step up purchases and groups like OPEC reduce production – they do not care to sell at low prices anyway. Again, the trader has to watch for these moments of “ support floor ,” and act accordingly.

But there are other events that have to be observed when trading oil. Geopolitical insecurity almost always has a direct effect on the price of the commodity. War, or the threat of conflict, will push the price of oil up. Similarly, if there is political instability affecting an important oil producer – and that happens a lot, as many are developing countries – elections or other political changes in these countries can push up the price as well.

The trader also has to be aware of the destabilising effect that shale oil production in the US has had on the global oil price. The industry is still trying to adjust to the vast changes that this trend is imposing on it.

How is oil actually traded?

Crude oil futures are standardized, exchange-traded contracts in which the contract buyer agrees to take delivery, from the seller, a specific quantity of crude oil (eg. 1000 barrels) at a predetermined price on a future delivery date. Forex platforms now provide ways for you to trade into oil futures, without actually having to trade the futures themselves, and thus avoiding the necessity of ultimately taking delivery of the oil which is a concomitant of the futures trade.

In line with the world’s standard, there exist two major classifications of crude oil, and different platforms trade each. US oil is referred to as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), and UK oil . called Brent Blend oil. The WTI is considered light with low sulphur content, is used commonly in US. The light density coupled with less impurities makes WTI oil a sweet crude oil, meaning it has a low density, and is more economical to refine and transport. Typically to demonstrate its worth, it trades higher at a dollar or two to Brent. The Brent Blend although not as light as the WTI is a sweet crude and contains approximately 0.37% sulphur. Being refined in Northwest Europe, it is used in production of petrol and middle distillates.

It is possible to trade both of these crude oils on different forex platforms. Trading crude oil on the forex platform may be somewhat different from trading in other commodities. Some platforms simply trade CFDs in oil, and then you trade the contract just as you would a currency pair. Oil is generally traded against the dollar, as oil futures contracts are always priced in dollars.

You will find, on your forex platform, a trading pair like OIL/USD or sometimes CLD/USD. You can go long or short on this pair, just as you would other pairs.

What does make trading crude oil somewhat different than other pairs is that the market is limited by time on some platforms. Oil trading hours are limited to between 02:00 and 21:00 London time on some platforms, as these platforms offer access to specific buyer/seller contracts and not to CFDs.

Similarly, some platforms use contracts for oil that have expiration dates, and the trader should be aware that holding them for too long will lead to their being rolled over into the new contract price.

For example, at expiry time 12:00 GMT the old contract closing price was at US$35.50 per barrel and the new contract price is trading at US$40.50. At expiry, the old deal will be closed automatically at US$35.50. Any profit or loss will be reflected in the margin and thus in the free balance. You have to give special instruction to the dealer, and so the dealer will open a new deal at a price of $40.50 (the price of the new contract at 12:00 GMT), and place an amount equal to the remaining margin on the old deal, unless you provide other instructions.

So it is very important, when trading oil on your forex platform, to be aware of any restrictions or time limitations that may apply.

But clearly, the ability to gain such easy access to this fantastically liquid and fast-moving world market is a terrific opportunity for traders.

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Trading crude oil futures

Trading crude oil futuresTrading Crude Oil Futures

Continue Reading Below

Major news events can happen overnight that cause the price of oil to have wide swings. The same thing can happen throughout the day, whether it is due to an economic report or tensions in the Middle East. Supplies began to tighten since the early 2000’s and a tight supply situation can exacerbate price movement.

Supply and demand obviously dictate how the price will move, but this market often moves on emotion. Much of that comes from the unknown. If tensions escalate in the Middle East, there is no telling the extent of possible supply disruptions.

The reason why prices move so swiftly is that traders who have short positions in the market tend to cover quickly. In order to do this, they have to place buy orders to cover. This wave of buying is done at the same time speculators are jumping on board to establish or add to long positions. The shorts will cover quickly, because the risk is just to great if it is really a major development that could disrupt supplies.

The usual tendency is for oil prices to have a sharp spike higher on turmoil in the Middle East.

Continue Reading Below

Then prices calm down and start to move lower unless we start to see clear evidence of major supply disruptions. Identifying these waves of buying and selling are very important if you want to avoid getting whipsawed in the markets on emotions.

For the most part, crude oil tends to be a trending market. There is usually a major bias to the upside or downside. Trading from the trending side will certainly help improve your odds of success. Crude oil also tends to get stuck in prolonged ranges after a sizable move. If you can identify these ranges, there are plenty of opportunities to buy at the low end and sell at the high end. I like to trade the ranges until there is a clear breakout either way.

The value of the U. S. dollar is a major component in the price of oil. A higher dollar will put pressure on oil prices. A lower dollar helps support higher oil prices. Crude oil also tends to move closely with the stock market. A growing economy and stock market tends to support higher oil prices. However, if oil prices move to high, it can stifle the economy. At this point, oil prices tend to move opposite the stock market. This usually becomes a concern when oil moves above $100.

Daytrading Crude Oil Futures

Crude oil is one of the favorite markets of futures day traders. The market typically reacts very well to pivot points and support and resistance levels. I like to play the bounces off these levels when I see more than one of these numbers at the same level. You have to make sure you use stops in this market, as it can make very swift runs at any given time. Long time energy trader, Mark Fisher, wrote an excellent book on day trading oil futures – The Logical Trader .

There is no shortage of trading opportunities in crude oil from day to day. The market is very active and it has plenty of volume. Beware of possible overnight moves that can take you by surprise. Much of the same principles that apply to stock index futures also apply to crude oil futures. If you like trading the e-mini SP, you will probably like crude oil too.

Trading Crude Oil Futures

Trading Crude Oil Futures

Crude oil is a natural resource that is found in certain types of rock formations and, in order to obtain the maximum possible value, it needs to be refined into petroleum products of which the most widely known is gasoline. Other products include kerosene, naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas. The crude oil is extracted from the earth by drilling oil wells and the earliest of them happened in China where they used bamboo poles. In the industry, Brent Light Crude Oil and Bonny Light) are names used for different kinds of crude oil and there are also different types oil (such as light, heavy, sweet and sour). Light oil has low density and viscosity, whereas heavy oil has higher density. Sweet oil has lower sulfur content, and sour oil has excessive levels of sulfur. Light sweet crude oil is preferred by the world market because the refining process is less intensive meaning that products can be brought more quickly to market.

Like any traded commodity. crude oil has its own ticker, contract value and margin requirements for trading. You must be familiar with these important factors and know how to use them to calculate your profits and losses and be a successful trader. For instance, if you want to buy or sell a crude oil futures contract, you will see a ticker tape which shows something like this: CL8K 105.52. This actually means something like Crude Oil (CL) 2008 (8) May (K) at $105.52/barrel (105.52). Buying or selling a futures contract involves using this kind of quotation. Depending on the price, the actual value of your contract in this case is the price $105.52 multiplied by the standard quantity of 1000 barrels which works out to $105,520.00.

Commodities and Exchange

Commodities are traded on margin and the margin will depend on the exchange, the volatility of the market and the value of the contract. For instance, if you trade the above contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), you may be required to put up and maintain a margin of roughly 8% which works out to around $8775.00. The margin could change if there is a change in the conditions on the market but clearly, you can obtain considerable leverage. However you should always remember that leverage is a double edged sword which can multiply both your profits and your losses. Because contracts are customized, every price movement has its own impact on value. On NYMEX, a 1? movement is the equivalent of $10.00 and you calculate the impact by taking the price movements in cents and multiplying it by $10.00. In our example, if the price moves from $105.52 to $110.52, the movement is 500? which multiplied by $10.00 gives us the change in contract value of $5,000.00.

For many years, the price of crude oil has been denominated in U. S. dollars and fluctuations in the value of the dollar have had an impact on prices and there is a move to change the basis of pricing to a basket of multiple currencies. Alternative methods of production such as hydraulic fracturing to extract more oil from shale have been remarkably successful in boosting production despite the fears of depletion. Fear of global warming because of petroleum based products has led to a greater focus on nonconventional sources of energy. However, there is nothing even remotely on the horizon that can replace crude oil and it remains the traded commodity that has the maximum impact. As long as this continues, there will be plenty of opportunities for traders to profit from the trading of crude oil futures .

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The best forex trading!

The best forex trading!Crude Oil Prices

Oil is one of the most commonly traded commodities in the world today and can be traded in most of the top Forex trading platforms and leading binary options platforms. Oil is often referred to as petroleum, though in actual fact, petroleum is the result of the processing of Crude Oil, a natural liquid that is found underground.

Crude Oil prices fluctuate based on a variety of factors including natural disasters, political factors and instabilities in the currency markets. They also directly affect the Forex market and many Forex traders look to Crude Oil as a means of diversifying their portfolio.

Most Forex brokers offer Crude Oil as one of the commodities available for trading and it has become a popular choice at many brokerage firms.

Crude Oil Futures

To avoid some of the risk associated with Crude Oil price instabilities, consumers and producers of Crude Oil choose to purchase Crude Oil futures. Crude Oil futures are standardized, exchange-traded contracts in which the contract buyer agrees to take delivery, from the seller, a specific quantity of Crude Oil, for example, 1000 barrels, at a predetermined price on a future delivery date.

Crude Oil producers are able to employ a short hedge to lock in a selling price for the Crude Oil they produce while businesses that require Crude Oil can utilize a long hedge to secure a purchase price for the commodity they need.

Crude Oil futures are also traded by speculators who assume the price risk that hedgers try to avoid in return for a chance to profit from favorable Crude Oil price movement. Speculators buy Crude Oil futures when they believe that Crude Oil prices will go up. Conversely, they will sell Crude Oil futures when they think that Crude Oil prices will fall.

Crude Oil futures are traded at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM). To buy or sell Crude Oil futures, you need to open a trading account with a broker that handles futures trades, which not all Forex brokers do.

It isn’t so easy to be successful trading Crude Oil futures but there are some steps you can take in order to reap some profits. Crude Oil futures are reported weekly and experience has shown that trading on the same day the report comes out is not the ideal time to trade. It is important to watch the calendar and trade on the right day. Always trade during the prime hours of 8:50 AM to 10:30 AM.

Don’t be greedy. Seek to obtain within a profit target in the 0.15 to 0.20 range and always place your entries with stop-limit orders. Day trading Crude Oil futures requires that you place your order quickly. You need to be able to determine your Buy or Sell Stop Limit price and enter that trade in record time.

Learn how to interpret charts and use the best ones. Range bars and tick bars work well. And most important of all, know when to get out and do so-fast!

Tips for trading online

Tips for trading onlineTips for Trading Online

This is complilation of some common sense tips that will help to make your online trading experience much more enjoyable.

Always, always, ask for and check references.

It seems so simple and yet so few people actually do it. All it takes is a simple e-mail messages out to each of the references the person your trading with supplies. If the person you’re trading with is a member of MOTL. be sure to check out their references list on the site. This is THE MOST important thing to do when trading online. If you do nothing else, at least do this.

Save your e-mail messages.

The best thing to do is to create a folder with the e-mail program you use and store all your trade-related e-mail messages there. I keep hearing “I lost your address” from people I’ve just given my address to only a day ago. This will also help you out in the unfortunate event that you get ripped off, as it’s a almost impossible to track rippers down without detailed information such as an address.

If it’s too good to be true, it is.

This may seem like a tired phrase, but trust me, it’s true. If someone seems very eager to give you an incredibly good deal for your cards, be wary. A lot of problems in life can be avoided if you stop and take a moment to analyze your possible risk vs. your possible gain in a given situation. If you can’t risk losing your cards, find another person to trade with, which brings me to my next point.

There are lots of people to trade with.

Don’t feel pressured into a deal because you don’t think you’ll be able to trade your cards to anyone else. You will. The Internet is not your local card shop, there are millions of people on the Net and a couple thousand on this site alone. Don’t worry, other people will want your cards.

Don’t assume every card is in mint condition.

Always be sure to describe the conditions of the cards you’re trading and ask the person you’re trading with to do the same. You wouldn’t do a trade at a card shop or convention blindfolded, so don’t do it on the Net.

Communicate often.

Nothing upsets people more than to deal with someone who never contacts them, and nothing pleases them more than to deal with someone who does. If the person you’re trading with sends you an e-mail message, e-mail them back promptly. Make sure to send an e-mail message out when you send your cards and when you receive theirs.

Ask permission for references.

Don’t just assume that the person you just traded with wants you to use them as a reference. When you receive their cards, make sure you tell them whether or not they may use you as a reference. There’s nothing worse than having someone check on your references and having one of them respond negatively.

Don’t force people to send first.

If you have a well-established online reputation, you may ask that the person you’re trading with send first, but if you act arrogantly about it, they’ll probably just break off the trade. Don’t assume that since you belong to such-and-such organization, including this one, that it makes you better than everyone else, it doesn’t. Also, if the person you’re trading with does end up sending first, throw in some extra cards with what you send. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just maybe a couple uncommons to thank them for trusting you.

Be patient.

Sometimes the mail is fast, sometimes it’s slow. If the person you’re trading with is in another country, even Canada, expect the trade to take considerably longer. Don’t go crying “ripper!” if their cards didn’t arrive in a week, no one will listen to you. Also consider that some people also can’t afford to drop everything and go to the post office when your cards arrive. If you haven’t heard anything from the person you’re trading with a week after sending your cards, send them a polite e-mail messages asking if they got your cards, whether you received theirs or not. Remember, the cards you send are your responsibility until they reach the hands of the person you’re trading with, so make sure that they got to their destination.

Take steps to safely ship your cards.

Using a hard sleeve and a bubble mailer can go a long way to insuring that your cards get to their destination safely. The post office typically pays more attention to these type of packages, and they’ll actually honor the “Do Not Bend” markings. It only costs a dollar, on average, to send your cards like this. Look at it this way, the stamp you’d normally use + the price of a candy bar = great happiness for the person you’re trading with.

Things don’t get lost in the mail (at least in the U. S. ).

Face it, it just doesn’t happen anymore. You could label a package with just a name and a zip code and it would still probably get to it’s destination. If someone tries to give you the excuse that the cards got lost in the mail, they’re probably full of it, plus, they are still responsible for making sure you get your cards. If you think something may have been lost, go to your local post office and have them do a trace on your package. If you want to be absolutely sure that your cards get to their destination, send them by certified mail and the person you’re trading with will have to sign for them when they arrive.

Ripping someone off is mail fraud.

This is another reason to save your e-mail messages. Any documented deal in which you agreed to send a certain item in exchange for another by mail, is under the jurisdiction of laws pertaining to mail fraud. If you don’t believe me, read Title 18, Section 1341 of the US Code. Those found guilty of mail fraud can be fined and sent to jail for up to 5 years . Contact your local postmaster if you seriously believe you’ve been ripped off, and he or she will tell you what you can do.

Finally, most people are honest.

Although there are some rippers out there, online trading wouldn’t exist if most people weren’t honest. If you just use some common sense and try to follow these guidelines, you should have many successful trades.

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