After a fall on February 22, 2017, crude oil regained strength and surged to a seven-week high. The market sentiment improved after a surprise fall in crude oil inventories.
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According to the data released by the API (American Petroleum Institute), crude oil inventory levels fell 0.88 MMbbls (million barrels) in the week ended February 17, 2017. Inventory levels fell when the market was expecting a build of 3.3 MMbbls. The market is looking forward to crude oil inventory data from the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration). The EIA’s data will be released at 10:30 AM EST on February 24.
At 6:10 AM EST on February 23, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures contracts for April 2017 delivery were trading at $54.33 per barrel, a rise of ~1.4%. Brent crude futures contracts for March 2017 delivery rose ~1.4% to $56.62 per barrel. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) closed at $38.66 after falling 2.9% on February 22.
After showing weakness for two consecutive trading days, copper prices fell in the early hours of February 23. The market sentiment was dented by the news of a new property tax in China. Considering the fact that China is the largest consumer of copper in the world, economic demand concerns in China will affect copper prices.
At 6:20 AM EST on February 23, COMEX copper futures contracts for March 2017 delivery were trading at $2.71 per pound, a fall of ~0.73%. The PowerShares DB Base Metals ETF (DBB) rose 0.03%, and the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) fell 1.7% on February 22. Gold (GLD) and silver (SLW) were stable in the early hours due to the economic uncertainty in the US markets after the Federal Reserve’s recent comments. Platinum and palladium were weak in the early hours.