US crude oil futures
August US crude oil (XOP) (USO) (UCO) futures contracts rose 2.5% and closed at $46.04 per barrel on June 30, 2017. Brent crude oil futures rose 1.1% and settled at $47.92 per barrel on the same day. Prices rose for the seventh consecutive day.
Crude oil price performance
Prices have risen 8.3% from the ten-month low hit on June 21, 2017. Prices rose due to the following:
- US crude oil production’s had the biggest weekly fall since July 2016 for the week ending June 23, 2017.
- There was a fall in weekly US crude oil rigs for the first time in 24 weeks for the week ending June 30, 2017.
- Chinese manufacturing activity grew at the quickest pace in three months. The National Bureau of Statistics reported that China’s PMI (purchasing managers’ index) was at 51.7 in June 2017—compared to 51.2 in May 2017. The PMI rose for the eleventh straight month. China is the second-largest crude oil consumer.
- Gasoline demand rose 0.4% in April 2017. It’s the first rise in gasoline demand in 2017.
- The US dollar (UUP) is at an eight-month low.
- The summer driving season could also support crude oil prices.
Higher crude oil prices have a positive impact on oil and gas producers like Bill Barrett (BBG), Chevron (CVX), Hess (HES), and Bonanza Creek Energy (BCEI). However, Brent and US crude oil prices have fallen 17% and 19% in 2017 due to oversupply concerns. Read Crude Oil Prices Rose for the Fifth Day: Is It a Bear Trap? for more on bearish drivers.
Libya’s crude oil production
Reuters estimates that Libya’s crude oil production rose by more than 950,000 bpd for the week ending June 30, 2017. Production was at 935,000 bpd for the week ending June 23, 2017. Production is near a four-year high. A rise in production from Libya could weigh on crude oil prices.
Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of the Gartman Letter, told CNBC that the recent crude oil rally is a “dead cat bounce.” Fundamentals are still weak and prices could trade lower in the short term.
In this series, we’ll discuss crude oil price drivers in more detail.