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US Crude Oil Prices near 18-Month High: What’s Next?

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Crude oil and the US stock exchanges 

US crude oil (BNO) (USO) (UCO) (IEZ) prices are near an 18-month high as of February 6, 2017. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 (SPY), Dow Jones, and NASDAQ are near all-time highs. The bullish momentum in the US stock market could support oil demand and oil prices. For more on crude oil prices, read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

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Crude oil’s highs in the last 12 months 

US crude oil prices settled at $54.1 per barrel on December 28, 2016—the highest since July 14, 2015. As of February 3, 2017, crude oil prices are 0.5% below their highs.

Key bullish drivers for crude oil 2017 

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Crude oil’s lows in the last 12 months

US crude oil settled at $26.21 per barrel on February 11, 2016. Crude oil prices hit 13-year lows due to the following:

As of February 3, 2017, crude oil prices have risen 105.4% from their 2016 lows. Higher crude oil (IYE) (IXC) (FENY) (SCO) prices have a positive impact on oil producers’ earnings such as Occidental Petroleum (OXY), ExxonMobil (XOM), QEP Resources (QEP), Hess (HES), and PDC Energy (PDCE).

Key bearish drivers for crude oil in 2017   

Crude oil price forecasts 

Tortoise Capital Advisors thinks that US WTI and Brent crude oil prices could trade between $50 and $60 per barrel in 2017. In the last part of this series, we’ll look at some crude oil price forecasts.

In the next part of the series, we’ll look at Cushing crude oil inventories and their impact on crude oil prices.

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