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Crude Oil Futures Hit a 2-Week High

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Crude oil futures  

April WTI crude oil futures contracts rose 1.8% to $62.77 per barrel on February 22, 2018. Brent oil futures rose 1.4% to $66.39 per barrel on February 22, 2018. Both of these benchmarks had the highest settlement since February 7, 2018.

The United States Oil ETF (USO) and the United States Brent Oil ETF (BNO) track WTI and Brent crude oil futures, respectively. USO rose ~2.4% to 12.5 on February 22, 2018, while BNO rose 1.9% to 18.1 on the same day.

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Drivers for crude oil futures 

Crude oil prices declined on February 22, 2018, due to the unexpected drop in US crude oil inventories, weak dollar, and ongoing supply cuts.

The US Dollar Index depreciated 0.3% to 89.73 on February 22, 2018. The US dollar is near a three-year low. The Power Shares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF (UUP) fell 0.3% to 23.45 on February 22, 2018. UUP follows the US dollar’s performance, which is also near a three-year low.

The EIA released its weekly crude oil inventory report on February 22, 2017. The EIA reported that Cushing inventories declined by 2.7 MMbbls (million barrels) to 30 MMbbls on February 9–16, 2018, which supported oil prices on February 22, 2018.

US crude oil prices rose 2.3% on February 15–22, 2018. However, the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) and the Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE) declined 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively, during this period. These ETFs have exposure to US oil and gas companies. 

Series overview  

In this series, we’ll discuss US crude oil inventories and production and US gasoline and distillate inventories.

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