By Georgi Kantchev
For the oil price, the U.S. election trumps OPEC this week.
While analysts have focused on the sensitivity of stocks, bonds, currencies and other assets to the U.S. election, oil is expected to be no less sensitive to Tuesday's result.
Broadly, a victory for Donald Trump could hurt the oil price, while triumph for Hillary Clinton could boost it, according to most analysts and investors. At J.P. Morgan, analysts predict that Brent could fall to $43 a barrel on Wednesday if Mr. Trump wins, while a Clinton victory could boost crude to $48 a barrel.
Tuesday, Brent crude was 0.1% lower at $46.09 a barrel,
Still, it isn't necessarily straight forward. Some elementsof Mr. Trump's election promises could be bullish for oil.
Any impact on oil from the election could likely be overwhelmed by continuing developments at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and the most important influence on the market -- supply.
"The general consensus is that the economy would suffer more under Trump than Clinton therefore in case Clinton is elected we should see oil prices rallying," said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at brokerage PVM. "The rally won't last long, though, as the underlying fundamental picture is awfully bearish."
Most investors believe a Trump victory would hit riskier investments, from equities to corporate bonds and oil, given his opposition to international trade deals and what analysts say is a lack of clarity in his policies. Together, they could put a brake on global economic growth and pull down the oil price, they say. Oil often tracks big moves in shares,and has in recent days followed equity markets higher.
On the other hand, the dollar is expected to plummet if Mr. Trump wins. That could boost the price of greenback-denominated oil, which then becomes cheaper to buy for those who hold other currencies.
Mrs. Clinton is expected to support the sort of global climate accords that can dampen demand for crude in favor of renewable energy. Mr. Trump meanwhile has talked of tearing up the Paris climate accord. Any fall in demand would be bad news for the oil price in the long term.
Mrs. Clinton is also expected to support stricter regulations on fracking in the U.S., rules that Mr. Trump could ease, said Mike Wittner, oil analyst at Société Générale. Still, any increase in supply could be limited, as only a small percentage of shale oil comes from the U.S. federal lands that would be covered by such regulations.
Some analysts believe that a Trump victory will increase geopolitical tensions and note the Republican candidate's hostility to Iran, a major oil producer which has just returned to global crude markets. That could boost oil.
Past U.S. elections
History indicates that U.S. elections don't have a lasting impact on oil prices.
Most changes in U.S. administration have occurred at the same time as broader changes in the global economy or the supply of oil on which markets have focused, Barclays said in a research note. When George Bush won against Democrat Al Gore in 2000, concerns about the global economy and OPEC had more of an impact on oil prices than the election. When Barack Obama beat Republican John McCain in 2008, prices were dropping fast in the global the financial crisis.
Write to Georgi Kantchev at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 08, 2016 09:32 ET (14:32 GMT)
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