Crude Oil Starts Week Mixed
After falling below the $63 mark earlier in the day on reported bearish intentions by President Trump and Russia, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) returned above that threshold and stayed there.
The June WTI contract price settled at $63.50 a barrel, reflecting a 20-cent gain. The benchmark traded within a range from $62.46 to $63.69.
Brent crude oil for June delivery finished the day lower, losing 11 cents to settle at $72.04 per barrel.
“I think the oil market is a bit confused about direction,” said Tom McNulty, Houston-based managing director with Great American Group. “The various upward and downward forces on prices seem to be canceling each other out to some degree, leaving us still in a fairly narrow trading range.”
Oil prognosticators in recent weeks have cited sanctions on Iranian crude and tensions in Venezuela and Libya as reasons for bullish price movements. McNulty, however, remarked that he sees a collective bearish force on the horizon.
“Geopolitical issues have been used to talk up prices, but I’m convinced that Saudi, Russian and U.S. production combined will eventually pressure prices downward,” said McNulty.
Monday was also a down day for reformulated gasoline (RBOB). May RBOB futures lost two cents to end the day at $2.08 per gallon.
Meanwhile, Henry Hub natural gas finished the day higher. The June natural gas contract added more than a penny to settle at $2.59.
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