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WTI Challenges $80 Again on Strong Economic Data

Traders Place Bets On $250 Oil

Oil traders were making big bets amid geopolitical uncertainties, Bloomberg data shows, as 3 million barrels worth of options contracts snapped up by speculators.

While the move is largely seen as a Hail Mary, about 3,000 lots of June $250 call options in US crude oil traded for just 1 cent each on Tuesday-trades that Bloomberg likened to a lottery ticket due to the unlikely event that it would actually pay out. But certainly one that would pay out handsomely, if it paid out at all.

The trades, according to Bloomberg, were apparently paired with $25 put options.

Bullish oil options have risen to record levels, with the premiums for calls over puts hitting the highest levels since October as geopolitical tensions between Israel and Iran continue to run hot.

The Brent crude oil benchmark is currently trading near $90 per barrel,  with WTI trading above $85. The last time Brent traded near $90 per barrel was last October.

Oil prices are trading down on the day on Tuesday, however, after the Federal Reserve Vice Chair Phillip Jefferson said that the U.S. central bank was prepared to keep its tight monetary policy should inflation not slow as much as anticipated. The economic development was not enough to send oil prices down significantly but was enough to offset what could have been a spike after the Biden Administration said it would slap Iran with additional sanctions for its attack on Israel, with geopolitical tensions continuing to add an element of supply fear into the oil markets.

The oil markets now await Israel's response to Iran's attack to decide how much risk premium for crude oil there will be.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group. More

Comments

  • steve Clark - 29th Apr 2024 at 9:40am:
    For the general public.....

    Oil has never been cheaper than it is right now!! I do not know if it will go up, but adjusted for inflation oil has never been this cheap.
  • Neil Dusseault - 16th Apr 2024 at 3:49pm:
    Just last week this site loudly stated traders are betting on $100/bbl oil, and now... $250 oil?
    So, in other words, it will never be enough. Please stop jawboning -- it's cheap and it's obvious. I'm not buying into the frenzy, what with 72-point font in bold letters in the headlines out of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) mentality. Probably because as an American who comes from a military family, I lived lived multiple states across the country, currently Texas. I'm not supporting OPEC+ with excess dollars knowing full-well they don't work and live in extravagances most Americans have no idea. So, in other words, try harder OilPrice.
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