Crude Oil Ends Winning Streak
Since Jan. 2, the first trading day of 2019, crude oil prices have consistently risen day-on-day. That winning streak ended Friday.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for February delivery lost $1 Friday, settling at $51.59 per barrel. Despite Friday’s dip, however, the WTI is up 7.6 percent against the Jan. 4 settlement. The benchmark traded within a range from $51.18 to $53.31 during Friday’s session.
The March Brent crude oil contract, which fell $1.20 Friday, ended the day at $60.48 a barrel. For the week, the Brent is up 10.1 percent.
Friday’s results cap off a week of widely disseminated reports – in Rigzone and elsewhere – providing evidence that market sentiment is growing more bullish. Below are several examples posted to Rigzone since Monday:
- Monday: Analyst with Energy Aspects asserted that crude is trading below its true value
- Tuesday: Another market observer predicted that a “proper” oil price rebound, as opposed to the recent “jump” in prices, could happen by the end of the first quarter
- Wednesday: The WTI and Brent settlement prices crossed two psychologically important barriers
- Thursday: The oil market rally took a “breather,” with some investors seemingly endorsing the previous prediction of a more robust rebound later this quarter
- Friday: Apparent encouragement within the oil market that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ members would stand by pledges to curb output, coupled with optimism that the United States and China will reach a trade deal and the Federal Reserve will be more reluctant to hike interest rates further
Reformulated gasoline (RBOB) futures also lost momentum Friday, losing 3 cents to settle at $1.40 per gallon. Since Jan. 4, however, the February RBOB contract price has gained 3.7 percent overall.
Unlike the above energy benchmarks, Henry Hub natural gas futures ended the day higher. The February gas futures price gained 13 cents Friday to settle at $3.10. For the week, natural gas is up nearly 2 percent.
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