Energy Futures Are Back On The Move Higher To Start The Week
Energy futures are back on the move higher to start the week, after ending on a softer note Friday in what appeared to be a round of profit taking after a strong rally. The charts continue to point higher, although another big pullback is likely along the way as several short term indicators remain in overbought territory. The saber rattling on either side or Ukraine, volatile stock markets, the backside of the Omicron hill, and another attack on the UAE are all making headlines to start the week, and could each take their turn getting credit for whatever move the market takes that day. It does seem that a major selloff will be challenging until the Ukraine situation clarifies in one form or another, and as long as that’s lingering a spike to $100 for oil and $3 for products cannot be ruled out.
The East Coast is digging out from the weekend storm that dumped 2 feet of snow in places, but terminal disruptions appear to have been minimal and power outages not as widespread as feared. For those that can’t get enough of these events, you’re in luck as another major storm is set to sweep across the US in the back half of the week, which may bring the first big snow and ice event back to Texas since last year’s Polar Plunge crippled the state.
It’s the last trading day for February RBOB and HO futures, so make sure you’re looking to the March RBH/HOH contracts for direction if your market hasn’t already shifted. The Feb ULSD (HO) contract has been particularly volatile lately, rallying 26 cents last week, then dropping by a dime from its high on Friday, before moving higher again today. With just a few hours left for that contract, don’t be surprised if there are more fireworks today.
Money managers looked like they were taking some profits off the table in Crude oil and gasoline contracts last week, reducing their net length slightly as of last Tuesday after weeks of increases. The large speculative trade category continued to add length in diesel however, with both ULSD and Gasoil contracts seeing new longs added during the week, and ULSD saw a fair amount of short covering, which may help explain part of the recent spike in prices.
Baker Hughes reported 4 more oil rigs were put to work last week in the US, resuming the steady increase after last week saw the first net decline in 3 months. The Permian basin, which accounts for more than half of the total US rig count, has held flat on its total count of 293 rigs for the past month, even as the EIA predicts that the basin will set new production records this year as efficiency gains are expected to help offset the headwinds of a tight labor market and the supply-chain bottlenecks most people are tired of hearing about by now.