After oil's rollercoaster ride last year, any economist worth his salt would not offer bold or specific predictions for this year, let alone next month. My predictions have so far held water - I predicted last week that we'd see prices begin their ascendency. I believe we'll see volatility return and we'll also see oil prices hop upward as stock markets 'apparently recover'. I believe these hops will turn into leaps, with the market continuous citing 'unexpected' this and 'unexpected' that, related to inventories, demand etc.
People are in for a nasty shock. While it was oil prices that were behind the market convulsions last year, they apparently seem to be 'solved' right now. So we may see the pretense of a 'recovery' for some weeks and even months. Of course, as stock markets rise, oil prices will too. The result: further convulsions, each time destabilising the markets, and knocking more and more players into oblivion. Lots of money will lost as investments in energy based delusions (automakers, mortgage-based banks) backfire badly. You have been warned.
Benchmark crude for May delivery rose 45 cents to $52.52 a barrel by midday in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract edged up 3 cents on Friday to settle at $52.07, the first time crude ended the week above $50 since last year.