U.S. Consumer Confidence Changed Direction and Fell in August

The U.S consumer confidence index changed direction and fell during August, after this index had risen during July. .

According to the recent U.S. consumer confidence survey, the consumer confidence index fell in August compared with July’s index: The index reached in August 60.6 (1985=100) a decrease of 4.8 percent points from 65.4 in July. Further, American consumers’ short term outlook in U.S. business conditions also deteriorated in August than a month earlier. Finally, the consumers’ assessment of current business and labor conditions didn’t change much during the month.

Note, this report was based on a survey conducted up to August 16th. In the last couple of weeks the situation seems to have deteriorated in the financial markets, (e.g. the American stock markets indexes didn’t rise much during last week).

This consumer confidence index might be among the indexes to contribute to the fall of natural gas prices: according to a study, there was a positive significant correlation between the “consumer confidence” news and natural gas prices i.e. this news has a strong and positive correlation with natural gas prices. Furthermore, the study also suggested a positive significant coefficient between this news and oil prices.

In this case, since the recent consumer confidence index declined, this means this news might have a negative effect on energy prices including oil and natural gas rates (at best).

Today when this consumer confidence survey came out, most of the U.S stock markets edged down during the day including the DOW and S&P500. Further natural gas also fell while oil prices rose. The recent news of the movement of Hurricane Isaac is plausibly among the reasons for the rally of oil prices in recent days.  

Current Nymex oil WTI, short term futures (September 2012 delivery) is traded at $96.33 per t oz. a $0.86 increase or 0.9%, as of 20:35*.

Current Nymex Henry Hub natural gas, short term futures (September 2012 delivery) is traded at $2.61 per t oz. a $0.04 decrease or 1.47%, as of 20:35*.

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