DURING the week, crude oil skirted $100 on New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex). However, domestic futures remained subdued in comparison with less participation and huge volatility in the prices. Traders were unable to get a clear direction for further course of action, and there was considerable drop in domestic volumes.
On Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), the price of crude oil had hit a high of Rs 3,890 on November 21, when crude oil on Nymex touched $99.29 a barrel. The price was consolidated at a lower level of Rs 3,835 on Friday at the end of the week on MCX. The movement was less than Rs 100 per barrel. On Nymex the price moved to $97.64 from the highs. The New York markets are currently closed for the Thanksgiving weekend. The volumes on MCX moved from 44,663 barrels on November 20 to 67,550 barrels on November 21.
At the same time, the open interest moved only marginally lower. On November 20, the open interest was 13,680 and it moved down to 13,320. A rising volume with lower open interest indicates selling. However, the open interest was not significant enough to make an impact, analysts indicated. The volumes also subsequently fell drastically on November 22 to 11,633 barrels.
“The sudden fall in volumes show that traders were sceptical to trade in the market given the current scenario,” says Debjyoti Chatterjee from MAPE Admisi Commodity Research.
Subodh Gupta from Anand Rathi Commodities says, “The price is high internationally due to huge speculation by funds. Fundamentally crude should be lower. There is also high volatility in the market. This has triggered many stop-losses in the market.”
India, however, blindly follows the international market and traders stay away from markets in times of high volatility, he said. He was quick to point out though, that crude is seeing less volatility that bullion. The next direction that crude market will take largely depends on the decision taken by Opec on December 5, about whether to raise output.