uploads///Natural gas

US Crude Oil Didn’t Reach a New 3-Year High

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 2:24 p.m. ET

US crude oil

On April 13–20, 2018, US crude oil June futures rose 1.6% and settled at $68.4 per barrel on April 20, 2018. During this period, US crude oil tracking ETFs and ETNs had the following returns:

  • The United States 12 Month Oil ETF (USL) rose 1.9%.
  • The PowerShares DB Oil ETF (DBO) rose 1.9%.
  • The Credit Suisse X-Links WTI Crude Oil Index ETN (OIIL) rose 1.7%.

Last week, the US dollar rose 0.6%, which could have limited oil’s upside. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF (UUP), which tracks the US dollar, rose 0.8% during the same period.

On April 20, 2018, President Trump tweeted that OPEC is pushing oil prices artificially high, which could cause US crude oil active futures to settle above the more than three-year closing high on the same date.

On April 20, 2018, US crude oil June futures made an intraday high of $68.66 per barrel—$0.19 more than the three-year closing high of $68.47 per barrel on April 18, 2018.

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Is WTI underperforming Brent crude oil?

On April 13–20, 2018, Brent crude oil June futures rose 2%—40 basis points more than US crude oil June futures’ rise during this period. The United States Brent Oil Fund, LP (BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, rose 1.8% last week.

On April 20, 2018, the difference between Brent crude oil futures and US crude oil futures widened to $5.66 per barrel—the highest level since January 9, 2018. US crude oil production at a record level could have limited US crude oil’s upside compared to Brent crude oil’s rise.

Natural gas

On April 13–20, 2018, natural gas May futures rose 0.1% and settled at $2.74 per million British thermal units on April 20, 2018. During this period, the United States Natural Gas (UNG) didn’t change.

Last week, supply concerns could have limited natural gas’s upside despite bullish EIA inventory data.

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