OIL TRADING 'GOD': Now is not the time to exit the market

Astenbeck Capital, the energy and commodities hedge fund led by oil trading “God”Andrew J. Hall, is on track for its worst year ever.

The fund fell 10% in November and is now down 26.3% year-to-date, Reuters’ Barani Krishnan reported Tuesday.

Hall, who’s been bullish on oil, has been burned by the commodity’s price collapse this year. The S&P GSCI Crude Oil Index has fallen more than 42%.

But it doesn’t sound like he’s backing out anytime soon.

On December 1, he wrote the following in a letter to investors obtained by Business Insider:

“With short term and long term factors pulling in opposite directions, prices are likely to remain volatile for the time being, driven by macroeconomic sentiment and positioning. In the shorter term the market remains oversupplied and inventories, already high, will probably rise a bit more in the New Year, even if they are falling currently. However, in the longer term, prices are unsustainable low on any reasonable assessment and global spare capacity is wafer thin. Predicting the precise trajectory of prices given these conflicting pressures is all but impossible. With heightened geopolitical risks and current positioning, there is a very real possibility for significant short term price spikes. There is certainly still a chance of lower prices in the next month or so, but weighing that possibility against the virtually inevitability of higher prices down the road leads to a simple conclusion: now is not the time to exit the market.”

Hall was certainly spot on when he noted a chance for lower prices in the next month or so.

On Tuesday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil

fell as low as
$36.90 a barrel, the lowest level since the financial crisis.
Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, fell below $40 a barrel for the first time since February 2009.

We left a message with Astenbeck seeking comment.

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