Traders and investors will be pleased to learn that oil prices made an impressive comeback in the last 24 hours. The market was looking ahead to the latest round of OPEC+ production cuts that were to be announced in the near future. The move was designed to boost oil prices and help the global economy in the wake of a slowdown in the Chinese economy. In addition, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it had a record net long position in crude last week. The price of refined products has already increased in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As expected, equities racked up the most gains. The S&P 500 added 1% to finish the session on a positive note. The best performing sectors were utilities and consumer staples. The S&P’s most valuable asset, its stock market index, was up a hair, but still well below its recent highs. A steady flow of cold weather ate away at heating fuel stocks. In addition, refiners need fuel to make heating fuels.
Aside from the usual suspects, the most impressive news came from China, where the country’s state-controlled oil company reported a ten-year peak oil production rate of 9.2 million barrels per day, the highest in the country. While the equities markets have recovered from the prior day’s sell-off, the ongoing war with Russia is putting a dent in the supply of energy in Europe. The latest developments in the conflict have made this an interesting time for the oil and gas industry. The good news is that a gradual easing of the Zero-Covid policy is looking more and more like a pass-by.
In the US, the unemployment rate dropped below five percent for the first time in years, while the Federal Reserve slashed the Fed funds rate by a quarter of a point to 1.5%, the lowest level since January 2007. This has not only given a boost to consumers, but also boosted oil and gas producers. With the price of gasoline at an all-time high, refiners will be retooling their machines to boost output. However, the TC Energy Keystone Pipeline has gone dark for the second day in a row.