Wednesday June 29, 2016
The oil market recouped a healthy portion of the two-day Brexit-induced losses. It moved higher throughout the day on anticipation of bullish data in today’s Department of Energy (DOE) inventory report and on news of a potential oil worker’s strike in Norway, which could remove even more supply from the already-narrowing global supply / demand balance.
After Monday’s price dip, the front month WTI contract was at its lowest level in two weeks, and second lowest in six weeks. However, the cumulative four dollar price decline surely attracted some new buying which, combined with the outside bullish indicators, was enough to lead a price surge. The DOE report is expected to show that crude oil stocks drew last week, as refiners continue to ramp up throughput. Aside from these oil-related fundamentals, the value of the dollar has been quite volatile lately and should continue to have a material impact on the oil price direction.
Oil prices staged a very late day recovery on Monday, and that strength continued in earnest on Tuesday. August WTI was up nearly a dollar in overnight trading. This initial strength did not continued unabated, however, and by mid-morning a significant round of selling entered the market. August WTI gave back a dollar in about an hour, putting a scare into the bulls and giving the appearance of early Fool’s Gold in the market. At the bottom of this sell-off, WTI never did cross into negative territory for the day, though, and by noon the market has resumed its upward move. Much like what we saw on Monday, the market shifted noticeably higher into the close on Tuesday and settled near its highs for the day. August WTI closed at $47.85, up $1.52 on the day. For the day, it seems like recent oil fundamental overtones were stronger than the panic-induced sell off from the previous few days.
The July RBOB and Heating Oil contracts expires on Thursday, and on Tuesday those markets realized multi-cent gains. Though there has been some volatility in the flat price, the intra-month spreads for RBOB and HO have been weak in recent days, indicating fundamental weakness in those markets (especially heavy supply in the Northeast, the NYMEX delivery point). The first-to-second month HO spread (July to August) is now at its lowest (widest, most carry) level in two months.