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Short Covering Caused Crude Oil Prices to Rise on a Weekly Basis

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Crude oil prices

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil prices closed at $32.19 per barrel for the week ending January 22, 2016. Prices rose by $2.77 or ~9.4% per barrel on January 22, 2016—compared to $29.42 per barrel for the week ending January 15, 2016.

Brent crude oil prices closed at $28.94 per barrel on January 22, 2016. They rose by $3.24 or ~11.2% per barrel on January 22—compared to $28.94 per barrel for the week ending January 15, 2016.

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WTI crude oil prices rose ~20% in the last two days of last week

Last week, crude oil prices started badly. They almost tested 2003 lows. Turmoil in the Chinese equity markets and the slowdown in Asian equity markets impact crude oil prices. This raised fears about crude oil demand growth. Iran’s production increase raised more concerns about the supply side. As a result, WTI crude oil prices headed towards $25 per barrel. They closed at $26.55 per barrel on January 20, 2016.

Crude oil prices gained positive momentum due to short covering. It’s important to note that 12-year lower crude oil prices attracted traders to take profits from the short position. Traders ignored the rise in crude oil inventories by 4.1 MMbbls and gasoline inventories by 4.6 MMbbls for the week ending January 15, 2016. Crude oil prices got another boost from the heating oil demand due to the cold snap. As a result, crude oil prices rose by almost 20% in the last two days of the week ending January 22, 2016.

The rise in crude oil prices (USO) will boost the revenue of the crude oil process. The rise in the revenue increases the profitability of the crude oil producers like Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Marathon Oil (MRO), Murphy Oil (MRO), EOG Resources (EOG), Hess (HES), and Apache (APA).

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