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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the Web

There are always competing forecasts for the oil price but rarely have I seen both bulls and bears so confident about their view. Citi is bullish, expecting an imminent inflection point and subsequent sustained rally, while JP Morgan has just slashed their commodity price target for 2018,

"OPEC's agreement to extend production cuts by nine months has failed to lift prices after the announcement. This indicates that the market consensus had already fully discounted this eventuality … Prices are likely to see further short-term weakness in the coming days as producers … hedge 2018 production… speculative length will likely exit and fresh speculative short positions will likely enter the market … cuts has been removed. We reduce our average 2018 Brent forecasts by $10/bbl to $45/bbl and WTI by $11/bbl to $42/bbl."

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"@SBarlow_ROB JPM: Deep cut to crude price forecasts " – (research excerpt) Twitter
"@SBarlow_ROB Citi: Global crude inventories already heading sharply lower" (chart) Twitter
"Oil stabilizes after dip on disappointing OPEC outcome" – BNN
"Goldman Warns OPEC Faces Test as Spectre of U.S. Shale Looms" – Bloomberg

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Global hedge fund managers really hate the loonie,

"The Bank of Canada's nod to an improving economy on Wednesday clashed with the view in the foreign-exchange market amid lower oil prices and potential U.S. rate hikes. Net short positions in the Canadian dollar versus the greenback are at an all-time high going back more than two decades. "

"Bears Drive Canadian Dollar Shorts to a Record High" – Bloomberg

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Reprinted by the Financial Post, the U.K.'s Telegraph attempts to terrify elderly Canadians by noting a global $428-trillion "pension time bomb,"

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"Analysis by the WEF showed the six countries with biggest pensions – the U.S., U.K., Japan, Netherlands, Canada and Australia – as well as China and India – the two most populous countries in the world – faced a retirement savings gap of US$428 trillion in 2050, up from US$67 trillion in 2015. This is based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD's) recommendation that savers should aim for a retirement income of 70 per cent of working-age earnings when they stop working. The gap is expected to grow to the equivalent of US$300,000 per person by 2050, adjusted for wage inflation, which is larger than the size of the global economy."

An important point not noted is that Canada, unlike the United States with its Social Security plan, has a funded (if not fully) pension plan and a healthy federal balance sheet relative to most developed nations.

"Pensions are sitting on a global time bomb and Canadians are among those most at risk, WEF warns" – Financial Post

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Bloomberg's Gadfly site emails a set of esoteric charts every morning for those that subscribe. Today, one of them underwscores the slow death of golf through net closures of courses over the past decade.

"@SBarlow_ROB Gadfly charts: the post-Tiger slow death of golf " – (chart) Twitter

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Tweet of the Day: I'm going to have to do some work on these charts. "@TriVestWealth Cdn banks look like a derivative of the Cdn housing market. " – Twitter

Diversion: "We no longer know who the biggest pop star in the world is" – Quartz

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