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Why Did Oil Prices Move Higher?

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US crude oil

On February 22, 2018, US crude oil’s April 2018 futures rose 1.8% and closed at $62.77 per barrel. ETFs that tracked US crude oil futures’ price performances on the same date were:

  • the United States Oil ETF (USO) rose 2.4%
  • the PowerShares DB Oil ETF (DBO) rose 1.3%
  • the Credit Suisse X-Links WTI Crude Oil Index ETN (OIIL) rose 1.2%
  • the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil ETF (UCO) rose 4.9%

On February 22, 2018, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) reported a fall of 1.6 MMbbls (million barrels) in crude oil inventories to 420.5 MMbbls in the week ending February 16, 2018. The market expected a rise of 2.2 MMbbls. The fall helped the difference between US crude oil inventories and their five-year average contract by 1.1 percentage points on a week-over-week basis. The fall helped negate the effect of a rise of 0.3 MMbbls in gasoline inventories for the same week on oil prices. US crude oil production fell by 1 thousand barrels per day to 10.27 MMbpd (million barrels per day) in the week ending February 16, 2018.

All of these factors helped oil prices rise in the last trading session. In Part 4, we’ll discuss the key quantitative level for oil prices next week.

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Natural gas

On February 22, 2018, natural gas April 2018 futures fell 0.2% and settled at $2.676 per MMBtu (million British thermal units). On February 22, 2018, the EIA reported a fall of 124 Bcf (billion cubic feet) in natural gas inventories to 1,760 Bcf in the week ending February 16, 2018. The market expected a fall of 121 Bcf. The fall helped the negative difference between natural gas inventories and their five-year average to expand by 30 basis points on a week-over-week basis. However, concerns surrounding natural gas’s oversupply situation made the market worry about natural gas prices.

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