On December 31, US crude oil February 2019 futures closed ~$3.2 below the February 2020 futures. On December 24, the futures spread was at a discount of ~$3.1. On December 24–31, US crude oil February futures rose 6.8%.
The market sentiment towards the oil demand and supply situation is reflected in the futures spread. Usually, an expansion in the discount will be accompanied by a fall in oil prices. In the last four trading sessions, the spread’s discount expanded and US crude oil prices rose by nearly seven percentage points.
The inventories are 7% above their five-year average, which might be behind the expansion in the discount. However, the OPEC and non-OPEC production cut deal and the recovery in US equity indexes might be boosting oil prices.