Crude oil futures are making new gains above $ 40 a barrel, a notable change for a product that briefly traded below $ 0 in April.
On Tuesday, futures for Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 1.2% to $ 43.58 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 1.1% to $ 41.17. On Monday, the West Texas Intermediate contract exceeded $ 40 for the first time since March 6
The rebound has been fueled by two factors: demand is gradually increasing as economies around the world re-open, and oil producers have cut drilling to prevent supply from building up.
Oil still has a long way to go before producers can signal a clearing. At $ 40, most American producers cannot make money from new wells.
But $ 40 has been a kind of psychological barrier for the past few months, and breaking it is a very positive sign. For the momentum to continue, the US USA And other countries will have to find a way to stem the surge in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks. Rising cases in some states have already begun to affect businesses: Apple stores (ticker: AAPL) closed in several states with increasing infections, for example.
And traders are also clearly concerned about rising tensions between the United States and China. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro scared the market, and oil traders, on Monday night when he said the trade deal was “over,” but President Donald Trump tried to reassure markets that keep going.
“Oil prices already seemed vulnerable before Navarro’s comments, which were quickly contested by White House adviser Kudlow and President Trump,” wrote analyst Edward Moya of currency broker Oanda. “This morning, oil prices have recovered all their losses from Navarro’s confusing comments on trade and have spread after globalization. [manufacturing] the readings made a compelling argument that crude demand continues to improve. “
The stocks that have performed best since March 6 are more focused on natural gas than oil. Gas began its recovery before oil. Traders have bet that the slowdown in oil extraction will also reduce the associated natural gas produced by oil drillers. Lower gas production should help balance supply and demand for that product.
The main energy stocks in the S&P 500 since March 6 are Williams Companies (WMB), 12% more, HollyFrontier (HFC), 11% more, and Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), 10% more. Williams processes and transports natural gas, Holly is a refinery, and Cabot produces natural gas.
Leading oil producer Hess (HES), which has risen 4% since the last time oil traded above $ 40. Analysts have been excited about Hess because of his promising project off the coast of Guyana. in South America. That deal, which Hess shares with Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chinese company Cnooc (CEO), could generate more than 8 billion barrels of oil in the coming years. Aside from Hess, all the other oil-focused producers in the S&P 500 have continued to drop since March 6.
Write to Avi Salzman at [email protected]