United States Brent Oil Fund

  • Chinese Refiners Are Free to Make a Profit

    By Peter Pham - May 2, 2013 | Tickers: SNP, PTR, BNO

    China’s refining sector continually struggles to come to grips with government control of the price of fuel and the incessant volatility of oil prices amidst global monetary stress. Asia’s leading refiner and China’s second-biggest oil firm China Petroleum and Chemical (ADR) (NYSE: SNP), otherwise known as Sinopec, posted a dip in annual profits as it was hit by fuel price controls at its home in the face more »

  • Alcoa Looks to Increase Margins Amid Lower Prices

    By Peter Pham - April 25, 2013 | Tickers: AA, BHP, BNO, USO

    Alcoa (NYSE: AA) easily beat analysts’ estimates to kick off earnings season. This is because most of them don’t understand the relationship between metal producer gross margins and the price of energy. So, they look at Aluminum prices and make projections. Alcoa is looking to increase its margins during this oversupply period in the aluminum industry by catering to the specialty market for high-performance aluminum alloys. Alcoa is still more »

  • Chinese Refiners Free to Make a Profit

    By Peter Pham - April 9, 2013 | Tickers: SNP, PTR, BNO

    Asia’s leading refiner and China’s second biggest oil firm China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (NYSE: SNP), otherwise known as Sinopec, posted a dip in annual profits as it was hit by fuel price controls at its home in the face of rising oil prices. The Chinese government has suppressed refined fuel prices – not allowing the price to rise even though by its own control mechanism a price hike more »

  • Emerging Market Europe Remains Under Pressure

    By Peter Pham - April 8, 2013 | Tickers: FXE, BNO

    Central European manufacturing data continued to reflect weakness within the region which will make it difficult for exporting countries such as Germany to gain traction and pull the EU out of its current economic malaise.  Central banks will likely continue to easy further than the last cycle trough to revive these floundering economies.  There are problems in Europe which have extended to its emerging markets which means the Euro (NYSEMKT: FXEmore »)

  • Three ETFs That Might Add Balance to Your Portfolio

    By Natalie Nichols - February 5, 2013 | Tickers: BRF, VNM, BNO

    The top three ETF movers to watch for are Market Vectors Vietnam (NYSEMKT: VNM), which is up 5.9%, Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap ETF (NYSEMKT: BRF)  up 3.4% and United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEMKT: BNO) up 2.9% during the last week. Although moving higher, these ETF’s might make a good addition to your portfolio, as the upside looks good for each. I am looking at more »

  • India Continues Overhauling its Energy Economy

    By Peter Pham - February 4, 2013 | Tickers: TM, BNO, EPI

    India is suffering from rising oil import bills, which has put a huge strain on the Indian economy. It’s well known that India imports nearly 80% of its need for petroleum products and this import demand is likely to increase in the coming years.  Because of this Prime Minister Singh is championing the need to develop electric and hybrid vehicles to ease the oil needs of the transport sector more »

  • Alcoa’s Solid Earnings to Be Short-lived

    By Peter Pham - January 22, 2013 | Tickers: AA, MT, BNO, USO, X

    The world’s leading aluminum producer Alcoa (NYSE: AA) posted its results for the quarter ending December 2012. The company swung to a quarterly net profit of $242 million from a loss of $191 million a year ago. Excluding one-off items, such as gains from the sale of the Tapoco hydroelectric dam complex in Tennessee, which caused an after tax gain of $161 million, Alcoa generated a profit of $64 more »

  • Steel Giants’ Fate Tied to Oil Prices in 2013

    By Peter Pham - January 11, 2013 | Tickers: MT, SLX, BNO, USO, X

    The steel industry’s titan ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) has decided to write down the goodwill of its European operations by $4.3 billion due to the "weaker macroeconomic and market environment” of the continent. The effect of this non-cash impairment charge will be reflected in the fourth quarter’s results due on February 6. The demand for steel in Europe has dropped by 8% this year and 29% overall since more »

  • Oil and Gas Servicer Warnings Present Good Opportunity

    By Peter Pham - December 28, 2012 | Tickers: BHI, HAL, SLB, BNO, UNG

    The world’s leading oil and gas service company, Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB), released an earnings warning due to project delays in Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States and Africa, as well as a slowdown in drilling activity in North America. Earnings therefore are expected to be up to $0.07 lower than expected.

    Its rival, Baker Hughes (NYSE: BHI), in a report released earlier in December, has also said that the more »

  • Energy: Malaysia’s Political Football

    By Peter Pham - October 1, 2012 | Tickers: JJA, HES, EWM, BNO

    Time is running out for Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak to call a general election, which is constitutionally mandated to take place by April 2013.  Many observers expect Najib may announce a November polling date, timing it to fall just after the Hajj, an important date on the religious calendar for this majority Moslem nation. 

    Malaysian consumers benefit from generous energy subsidies by the government, consuming some of the more »

  • Expanding Regional Growth Fueling AirAsia’s Takeoff

    By Peter Pham - September 22, 2012 | Tickers: FAA.DL, BA, BNO

    Malaysia’s AirAsia, the continent’s biggest discount airline, is looking to buy a stake in the Serbian JAT airways after a very good 2nd quarter put it in a comfortable position to expand its regional carrier business.  The Serbian government has been looking for a buyer for their unprofitable carrier since 2008 and both the President and Prime Minister are in Russia looking for buyers there as well more »

  • Ford Steams Ahead

    By Peter Pham - August 27, 2012 | Tickers: F, GM, TM, BNO, VLKAY

    If one has ever had any experience with the I Ching, the foundational book of Confucianism, one will know that perseverance is imagined as crossing the great stream.  For Ford (NYSE: F) this has been their path for the past four years after the financial crisis of 2008 finally broke the backs of the "big 3" U.S. car manufacturers.  They have persevered through a complete restructuring of their business more »

  • High Oil prices, Who to Blame?

    By Callum Turcan - August 13, 2012 | Tickers: BP, CVX, XOM, OIL, RDS-A, TOT, BNO

    Sky High Oil Prices

    In 1976, the price of oil (WTI) was at $12.23, according to BP's 2012 June Energy Review. Now, we see WTI at around $94. Why the jump? Some may say inflation, but according to the BLS inflation calculator, if only inflation was causing oil prices to rise, then WTI would be $49.32 a barrel, not $94. So why are oil prices so high more »

  • Have No Fear the Bernanke Put is Here!

    By Peter Pham - July 31, 2012 | Tickers: JJA, GLD, BNO

    We spend a lot of time talking about the fear trade, the current phenomenon of money being so fearful of the gyre of Europe spinning out of control that investors pile, pile and pile again money into U.S. Treasuries to protect what they can from being destroyed in a puff of defaulted asset smoke.  The fear trade is the only trade that matters right now and that trade has more »

  • Lost in the Shuffle: South Korea Quietly Progresses

    By Peter Pham - July 23, 2012 | Tickers: AAPL, EWY, BNO

    It sometimes seems like South Korea is the Asian tiger that no one ever talks about. Even the American war in Korea is known as the “Forgotten War." While the media fawned over the Japanese miracle in the 80’s (and now China), Korea has plodded along in obscurity, quietly building, developing and diversifying into a powerhouse economy providing the world with well made, affordable consumer goods and technology. As more »

  • PMI and ISM Prints Say “To the Moon!”

    By Peter Pham - July 9, 2012 | Tickers: FXE, UUP, SPY, BNO

    The ISM announced their Manufacturing index number on Monday which came in at 49.7 for June, a number that should not be surprising to anyone other than an economist at the Federal Reserve.  It was a full point lower than the lowest of the estimates, which speaks to the amount of hope that has been built into these markets and the analysts covering them. 

    If we look closely at more »

  • Japan and the Fiscal Oil Slick

    By Peter Pham - July 2, 2012 | Tickers: EWJ, NKY, BNO

    While the Federal Reserve plays a dangerous game of chicken with the E.U. over who is going to fund the bailout and restructuring of Europe’s finances, while at the same time trying to bring Iran, Russia and China to heel with threats of sanctions for China and Iran and falling oil and ruble prices for Russia, Japan quietly sits back and allows the Yen to appreciate in the more »

  • The Energy Knot

    By Peter Pham - June 20, 2012 | Tickers: FXY, NKY, IPW, BNO

    To say it’s been a challenging 15 months for Japan’s energy sector would be to engage in the very highest form of understatement.  First the tragedy over Fukishima and then the ramping up of war rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear program by the U.S. and Israel have made the first year of Prime Minister Noda’s tenure a near nightmare.

    On Friday he announced that the first more »

  • Get the LED Out

    By Peter Pham - June 15, 2012 | Tickers: AMZN, BNO, VECO

    There has been a lot of excitement in the LED lighting space lately as new innovations in design and production are helping to bring down the price of LED lighting systems, making it an increasingly attractive alternative to conventional lighting methods. As increasing energy costs continue to cause concern around the world, there is a growing interest in new technologies with the potential to generate long term savings. While the more »

  • What is the Effect of Oil on Chevron?

    By Lior Cohen - June 15, 2012 | Tickers: CVX, BNO, USO

    The price of oil has plunged in recent weeks and in the process dragged along with it many energy stocks such as Chevron Corporation (CVX). During May, the oil price and United States Oil (USO) fell by over 17%(each) ; during June (UTD) oil has declined by 4.7% (UTD). This downward trend in oil price might continue  in the following weeks. In such a case oil is likely to more »

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