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Energy Sector Recap: What Happened in the Space Last Week

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Energy Sector Recap: What Happened in the Space Last Week PART 1 OF 7

Are US Crude Oil Prices Ready to Hit $60?

US crude oil

Between September 15 and 22, US crude oil (USO)(USL)(DBO) November futures rose 0.4% and closed at $50.7 per barrel on September 22. This was the first weekly close above the $50 mark since May 19.

Are US Crude Oil Prices Ready to Hit $60?

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The rise in the US refinery utilization rate and the slowdown in the US oil rig count could be the reasons behind US oil prices holding above the $50 mark despite the rise in US commercial crude oil stockpiles. Last week, the US oil rig count fell by five to 744. This was the sixth consecutive week where there was no rise in the oil rig count. These bullish factors could push US oil prices to $60.

Last week, the S&P 500 Index (SPY) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DIA) rose 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively. In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss the performance of major equity indexes in the context of the energy sector.

Natural gas

Between September 15 and 22, natural gas (UNG) November futures fell 2.1% and closed at $3.021 per MMBtu (million British thermal units). The fall in natural gas prices could be because of the higher inventory addition compared to market estimates.

On September 14, the Climate Prediction Center projected the probability of La Niña effects between ~55% and 60% in the Northern Hemisphere during the 2017–2018 winter. La Niña could boost natural gas use because it could bring intense cold to the United States. It could be an important factor for natural gas prices in the next few months.

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