The energy complex took a breather on Friday, settling lower for the first time in what seems like a long time. Gasoline futures settled 75 points lower on the day and diesel fell just under $0.0125. WTI futures followed suit and shaved off about 25 cents from the prompt month contract.
Baker Hughes published a rig count increase of 9 last week, the largest weekly increase since June. The move makes sense as producers flip the switch to capture crude oil’s $8 gain since October, putting it at levels not seen since mid-2015.
“Smart” money continued to tack on long positions in the European crude oil benchmark. Managed length in Brent futures continues to tread in record territory following the recent bullish trend inspired by geopolitical tensions. It will be interesting to see this measurements reaction if, and more realistically when, prices begin to pull back.
Prices are inching up this morning in what seems more like a sideways move than anything of meaning. Energy will likely remain in this sort of slumber until stirred by news from Saudi Arabia or Nigeria. Prices have set up a slew of resistance levels scattered from today’s levels back to when this recent bull run began. The first layer of support for refined products is waiting about 3 cents lower than current prices for both products and about 75 cents lower for the American crude benchmark. Breaking or bouncing off of those levels will be a strong indicator if this run has outkicked its coverage or still has some steam left.