Energy Futures Bounce Back After Weak Friday Finish
Energy futures are bouncing to start the week, after a weak Friday finish. The early buying seems to be aided by U.S. stock markets reaching their highest levels since the start of COVID, amidst a couple of optimistic demand-recovery headlines from China and Saudi Arabia.
Volatility for both energy and equity markets continues to drift lower, with the VIX and OVX indices reaching pre-COVID levels, as fear seems to have lost its grip on these markets. With so much uncertainty remaining on a variety of global issues, it’s hard to imagine this period of calm can last the rest of the year.
Baker Hughes reported four more oil rigs taken out of service last week, bringing the total U.S. drilling rig count to a new all-time low. Three of the four rigs taken offline last week came from the New Mexico side of the Permian basin.
Money managers continue to do relatively little in the petroleum arena, with only minor increases in NYMEX contracts and minor reductions in Brent seen last week. Open interest for Brent dropped to its lowest level of the year, but remains above its seasonal range, as that contract continues to find new global interest. Meanwhile, WTI is holding at the bottom of its five-year range, as the Cushing, OK hub slowly becomes less relevant.
We’re still a month away from the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season, and several states are still recovering from widespread power outages caused by Isaias, and the NHC is giving 60 percent odds of another system forming into a named storm this week. The good news is this storm appears to be far enough south that the odds of it getting anywhere close to the U.S. are low.