Oil’s fundamental backdrop is shifting in favor of the bulls. Today’s decline -- brought on by profit-taking and technical trading -- is exaggerated as money managers and traders book profits and close positions ahead of both the month and quarter’s end.
In some cases, bullish views have started to appear in the oil options market where they're seeing a spike in activity at $100 a barrel. This activity indicates that some oil bulls are betting the price could trade around that level by this time next year (via BOE Report).
Anticipation of rising demand, resumed production of U.S. Gulf Coast refineries following Hurricane Harvey, and Turkey’s threat to halt Kurdistan’s crude shipments pushed oil into a bull market this week. WTI Crude is up at $52.65 and Brent Crude is up at $58.35 this morning.
The spread is wide between WTI and Brent Crude prices. WTI has a way to go before it could supplant Brent Crude as the global benchmark; it may, however, make inroads in Asia and become more attractive to market participants in the region, potentially making it a tool for hedging and price discovery.
Research from Citibank US suggests that rather than a surge in oil output, there could be a market squeeze as early as 2018, driven by weak investment in exploration and development. Today WTI Crude is at $51.87 and Brent Crude at $58.35.
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