UAE official weighs in on U.S. election result, referencing shift in oil prices

UAE official weighs in on U.S. election result, citing shift in oil prices | Courtesy of Shutterstock
In the aftermath of a surprise American election upset, many questions have come up about how the enormously important political outcome will affect world markets. 

Some of these questions are reflected in the news emerging from GCC countries, which have to read the tea leaves on diplomacy, energy policy and much more.

A somewhat cryptic release on Middle Eastern press site Zawya.com shows a UAE official remarking on a Donald Trump win’s possible effect on oil prices.

"The election of Trump will move the oil prices more than any statement by anyone," United Arab Emirates Energy Minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei said in an Abu Dhabi press conference.

“That is the nature of this market: it is sensitive for information,” Al Mazrouei said, according to Zawya.

A remark like this one begs the question of exactly how the election result could or will move oil prices.

Meanwhile, after a crash and stop-gap automatic shutdown of commodities trading Tuesday evening U.S. time, the markets have rebounded, with a surge upward in U.S. stock indices that continues to rise.

To get some insight on the future of world markets with Trump as U.S. president-elect, Gulf News Journal spoke with Dr. Kyle Kopko Thursday. Kopko is associate professor of political science and director of the pre-law program at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.

Kopko is also co-author of "The VP Advantage: How Running Mates Influence Home State Voting in Presidential Elections.” He has contributed to news outlets like CNN, C-SPAN, FoxNews, CBC, Business News Network, Huffington Post, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Newsweek.

“I could see (oil prices) going either way,” Kopko said. “There are a variety of actions that Trump could take that would affect the supply of oil.”

For example, discussion of possible military intervention in the Middle East could cause a price spike.

On the other hand, Kopko believes bullishness on U.S. oil production could have a different effect, noting that Trump’s track record on climate change makes it reasonable to expect changes in U.S. policy related to energy initiatives.

As for world markets in general, Kopko said the world will simply have to wait and see.

“A lot is going to depend on the tone, rhetoric and policy positions of Trump,” he said.

For instance, any discussion of trade barriers or aggressive language about the financial actions of other countries could damage trade relations.

In general, it seems that world leaders in nations all over the globe will have to look carefully at the conversations coming out of the White House after January to get an idea of where the new administration stands.

A Reuters press release Wednesday chronicled the response of world markets “rattled” by the election; however, at press time, the Dow Jones recorded a record high -- nearing 19,000.
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