The 6.3% rise in December Crude Oil on October 29 serves as a great example of just how starved the energy complex is for just a hint of bullish news. A number of reasons have been presented for the rally, but the best seems to be the old floor trader response to media questions, “there were more buyers than sellers.”
Let’s look at a few. Some traders say that prices began rallying within 30 minutes of the start of the regular trading session in New York. The early $1 jump in prices was attributed to a “big” algorithmic trade. No other details came out about the trade so I have to assume that this may be the new generation of electronic traders’ way of saying “there were more buyers than sellers.”
The weekly U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report also contributed to the rally. It reported that crude stockpiles rose 3.4 million barrels for the week-ended October 23. This number matched analyst forecasts, but the build was less than the 4.1 million build posted the day before by industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API). This begs the question, do the EIA and API reports ever “line up?”
I would believe that traders were looking for more bearish information and got a bullish report, but the EIA report was neutral. If it were bullish then, based on the volatility created by the news, crude prices would’ve rallied 10 to 12 percent by conservative estimations.