Futures Spread: Where Oil Price Sentiments Are Moving


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 11:45 a.m. ET

Futures spread

On April 29, the US crude oil June 2019 futures closed ~$3 above the June 2020 futures. On April 22, the futures spread was at a premium of $3.9. On April 22–29, US crude oil June futures fell 3.1%.

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Fall in bullish sentiments

The market sentiment towards the oil demand and supply situation is reflected in the futures spread. In the last five trading sessions, the spread’s premium contracted. US crude oil prices fell by just above three percentage points. Inventories at their five-year average and concerns about global oil producers raising the oil output dragged oil prices. If the spread’s premium contracts more, it would signal an additional fall in the bullish sentiments for oil.

Energy stocks

On April 22–29, oil-weighted stocks Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO), Denbury Resources (DNR), and Oasis Petroleum (OAS) fell 8.2%, 11.3%, and 12.5%, respectively, and were among the underperformers.

Forward curve

As of April 29, the US crude oil futures contracts until July are 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 (USL).


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