• 3 minutes e-car sales collapse
  • 6 minutes America Is Exceptional in Its Political Divide
  • 11 minutes Perovskites, a ‘dirt cheap’ alternative to silicon, just got a lot more efficient
  • 2 days GREEN NEW DEAL = BLIZZARD OF LIES
  • 3 days "What’s In Store For Europe In 2023?" By the CIA (aka RFE/RL as a ruse to deceive readers)
  • 8 days America should go after China but it should be done in a wise way.
  • 2 days Even Shell Agrees with Climate Change!
  • 3 days How Far Have We Really Gotten With Alternative Energy
  • 4 days The European Union is exceptional in its political divide. Examples are apparent in Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden, Netherlands, Belarus, Ireland, etc.
  • 3 days World could get rid of Putin and Russia but nobody is bold enough
  • 6 days Oil Stocks, Market Direction, Bitcoin, Minerals, Gold, Silver - Technical Trading <--- Chris Vermeulen & Gareth Soloway weigh in
Oil Prices Set to Rise as Global Stock Refills Ramp Up

Oil Prices Set to Rise as Global Stock Refills Ramp Up

China's increased oil inventory building,…

Traders Cautiously Optimistic About Crude

Traders Cautiously Optimistic About Crude

In the forthcoming week, traders…

Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

More Info

Premium Content

Fundamentals For Oil Still Bearish, But Sentiment Is Shifting

Oil speculators spent the latter half of 2015 with an incredibly pessimistic view of the trajectory for oil prices. Speculators piled into short positions, pushing net-shorts to multiyear highs.

But speculators are at a bit of a crossroads at this point. With oil down to $30 and below, a growing number of hedge funds and other major investors are starting to wonder whether or not the selloff has gone too far. To be sure, oil markets are still suffering from too much supply, but with so much production around the world unprofitable at today’s prices, a rally will have to come eventually. While there are differing views on where oil goes from here, more and more speculators are starting to take long positions.

Crude prices fell back to $30 at the start of February, erasing some of the gains posted over the past two weeks. Still, the FT reports that speculators have formed a record level of long position for Brent crude, equivalent to 360 million barrels. Related: Oil Majors Prepared To Borrow To Maintain Dividend Payments

There is also a newfound interest in long positions on WTI, despite the fact that short positions remain elevated. Bloomberg reported that the U.S. Oil Fund (USO), an exchange traded fund that tracks the price movements for WTI, saw its largest monthly inflow in January. USO saw $904 million of capital inflows last month, an indication that more and more investors believe that oil has bottomed out. USO has lost 80 percent of its value since crude prices peaked in mid-2014.

(Click to enlarge) 

Part of the reason for the sudden surge in bullishness on oil prices was the rumor that OPEC and Russia would work together on production cuts. That sparked a sharp rally in oil prices. Speculators began liquidating their short positions and going long on oil. For the week ending on January 26, net-long positions spiked by 35 percent, according to CFTC data.

The rally may not be sustained, given the supply overhang that still pervades the market and the low prospects for OPEC-Russia coordination. But the markets are clearly feeling around for a bottom and speculators believe that there is little room left on the downside for oil. That has more putting bets on a rally, heeding Citigroup’s call that oil could be the “trade of the year.”

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

ADVERTISEMENT

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment
  • James W. on February 03 2016 said:
    "RUMOR" being the key world.
    Brilliant disinformation. SA won't cut for Iran. and vice versa.
    And any cuts backs will be met by US/Canadian shale in a heartbeat.
    So go ahead SA, cut.

Leave a comment




EXXON Mobil -0.35
Open57.81 Trading Vol.6.96M Previous Vol.241.7B
BUY 57.15
Sell 57.00
Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News