Futures Movers: U.S. oil benchmark poised for first finish above $100 in a week as buyers pounce after last week’s sharp selloff

by | Jul 18, 2022 | Stock Market

U.S. oil prices climbed back above $100 a barrel on Monday, on track for the first finish above that key level in a week, as investors took advantage of last week’s steep losses to scoop up the commodity on the view that President Joe Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia wouldn’t yield quick supply fixes. Meanwhile, natural-gas futures rallied on worries surrounding supplies in Europe and as the International Energy Agency’s executive director warned that the global energy crisis is “especially perilous” in Europe.

Price action
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery
rose $4.57, or 4.7%, to $102.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 1.9% on Friday but slumped 6.9% on the week. Front-month contract prices haven’t settled above $100 since July 11, FactSet data show.

September Brent crude 

the global benchmark, gained $4.82, or 4.8%, to $105.98 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. The contract gained 2.1% to $101.16 on Friday, but fell 5.5% for the week.

Back on Nymex, August gasoline 
 rose 9.3 cents, or 2.8% to $3.3059 a gallon, while August heating oil 
added 3.6 cents, or 1%, to $3.7356 a gallon.

August natural gas 
rose 6% to $7.437 per million British thermal units, on track for the highest settlement since mid-June. Prices gained 16.3% last week.

Market drivers Crude prices have been trending lower since mid-June, amid rising concerns over a potential recession that would cut demand. The sharp retreat has seen both WTI and Brent sink below the $100-a-barrel threshold, with the U.S. benchmark at one point last week temporarily erasing gains stemming from Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. A four-day Middle East tour that included meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdulaziz failed to yield any promises on increasing oil production. Reuters reported that Washington was hanging hopes on an Aug. 3 meeting of OPEC+ — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies. “Traders got one clear message from Biden’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, during which President Biden spoke to a number of Arab leaders. The message is that it is OPEC+ that makes the oil supply decision, and the cartel isn’t remotely interested in what Biden is trying to achieve,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrde, in a note to clients. “OPEC+ will continue to control oil supply, and one country alone cannot determine the oil supply — at least that is the message that traders …

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