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Futures Spread: Oil Market Sentiments

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Mar. 12 2019, Updated 8:14 a.m. ET

Futures spread

On March 11, the US crude oil April 2019 futures closed ~$1.7 below the April 2020 futures. On March 4, the futures spread was at a discount of $1.8. On March 4–11, US crude oil April futures rose 0.4%.

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Oil’s upside

The market sentiment towards the oil demand and supply situation is reflected in the futures spread. Usually, a contraction in the discount is accompanied by a rise in oil prices. In the last five trading sessions, the spread’s discount contracted and US crude oil prices rose 0.4%. The fall in the global oil supply might have supported the prices and increased the bullish sentiments for oil.

Energy stocks

On March 4–11, oil-weighted stocks Apache (APA), Occidental Petroleum (OXY), and Oasis Petroleum (OAS) fell 2.7%, 4.1%, and 5.3%, respectively, and outperformed their peers. The remaining oil-weighted stocks ended in the red.

Forward curve

As of March 11, the US crude oil futures contracts for April and December were priced in ascending order. The price pattern is a negative sign for ETFs that follow US crude oil futures like the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil ETF (UCO) and the United States 12 Month Oil ETF.

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