The energy complex was volatile this past week, driven by outside factors and traditional fundamentals.
The week began with crude oil under pressure because of a huge sell-off in global equity markets. The catalyst behind the selling pressure was turmoil in the Chinese economy following the previous week’s release of a bearish manufacturing activity report. Investors were looking for action from Chinese officials because the selling pressure and excessive volatility suggested that no one was steering the ship.
The People’s Bank of China stabilized the markets on Tuesday when it cut its one-year lending rate and lowered the amount of reserves banks must hold for the second time in two months. It followed these actions by aggressively selling the Yuan. Like other commodities, crude oil stabilized on the news with many traders taking a “wait and see” approach.
The sideways price action also suggested consolidation leading into Wednesday’s U.S. Energy Information Administration weekly inventory report.
Late Tuesday, traders were surprised when the American Petroleum Institute weekly crude stocks fell unexpectedly last week. Its report said that U.S. Weekly Crude Stocks fell 7.300 million barrels, from -2.300 million barrels the previous week. Analysts were looking for an increase of 1.900 million barrels.
On Wednesday, the EIA report suggested that demand exceeded supply the week-ending August 21, leading to an inventory…