The NYMEX ended a strong week in rather uneventful fashion, closing near unchanged for the liquid petroleum indices. Market sentiment, though, has clearly turned from decidedly bearish to hopefully bullish.
A late round of buying pushed December WTI into the black for the day, with that prompt contract gaining 27-cents to settle at $45.69. (NOTE: the December WTI contract expires on Monday, at which point January WTI will become prompt - and 70-cents stronger).
For the week, the December WTI contract gained over two dollars, the first positive price week in a month, though the weekly gains were really all achieved in one day last week (Tuesday). That day was met with notable headlines about OPEC and chatter about a very likely production cut (with WTI posting the biggest single day gain in nine months). The other four days of the week were essentially flat. As such, the market seems to be thinking prices will move higher, but there is still some lingering skepticism (both on an announcement and on actual follow through).
NYMEX RBOB gained over three cents for the week (though that lagged WTI's advance), while NYMEX Heating Oil was up almost six cents (matching WTI). Last week saw another round of refining hiccups, spread out through North America. Colder weather hit the Midwest and East Coast over the weekend, and is poised to linger through the holiday week.
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