As we head toward the weekend, oil prices have turned sharply negative after starting the week on the front foot. Barring an unexpected rally later on today, oil prices are set to end a six-week winning streak. This would halt a rally that began a few months ago when oil prices found support after signs emerged that the US would reinstate economic sanctions on Iran and as crude output from some OPEC members fell, most notably Venezuela.
Crude oil prices are under pressures as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and NON-OPEC start laying the groundwork for a production increase and traders take profits ahead of the long holiday weekend.
Crude oil prices managed to recover some of their losses made in the immediate aftermath of EIA’s weekly crude inventories report which showed an unexpected build. Both Brent and WTI oil contracts remain near the multi-year highs they have hit recently.
Crude oil prices are under pressure after Present Donald Trump took away some of the growing optimism of a United States/Chinese trade deal, along with some non-sourced OPEC talk about raising oil production at their next June meeting and weaker than expected manufacturing data in Europe.
Come join the bull oil party. The room was empty a few years ago but now everybody is jumping on the dance floor. Crude oil is a boom and bust market. Two years ago, we went bust and since then we are in a boom shakalaka. Oil prices closed steady after giving up gains as the June option expiration pressured prices, only to have them stay strong based on the crude realities of strong global demand and tightening supply.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), or as I call them the “demand downers,” once again are raising concerns about global oil demand. The agency that has consistently underestimated global oil demand is once again trying to keep their weak demand illusions in the spotlight. A few years ago, it was because that despite the low price, demand would be bad despite clear evidence to the contrary.
Looking for fear in the oil market? Look no further than the Brent versus West Texas Intermediate oil spread that blew out to the highest level all year and the highest since 2015, with Brent holding a $7.30 per barrel premium currently above WTI. European and Asian buyers of Brent are pricing in the risks and realities of the fallout from sanctions on Iran to increased tensions in the Gaza strip as well as the inability of traditional Brent oil producers to fill that void.