US crude oil
US crude oil (USO) (USL) (OIIL) (USO) April futures fell 0.9% in the week ending on February 17, 2017. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil April futures closed at $53.40 per barrel on February 17—a 0.1% rise from the previous trading session.
Rising oil rigs could be dragging oil prices down. For the week ending on February 17, 2017, oil rigs rose by six and were at 597–the highest level since October 16, 2015. The gain in oil prices due to OPEC’s production cut was offset by a rise in US oil production and record high inventory levels.
Natural gas (UNG) (BOIL) March futures fell 6.6% in the week ending on February 17, 2017. They closed at $2.83 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) on February 17—a 0.7% fall from the previous trading session. Investors turned bearish due to growing concerns of higher temperatures this winter season. Bearish inventory data also pressured natural gas prices. Natural gas prices underperformed the commodity complex in the last three consecutive weeks.
Crude oil is an important driver for energy ETFs. Crude oil and natural gas–related sentiment impacts ETFs and ETNs such as the PowerShares DWA Energy Momentum ETF (PXI), the iShares US Oil Equipment & Services (IEZ), the Fidelity MSCI Energy ETF (FENY), and the ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Crude Oil (SCO).
In the next part of this series, we’ll see how economic data and the US dollar could impact crude oil and natural gas prices.