Signs Of Economic Recovery Continue To Appear
Energy and equity markets are rallying again this morning as signs of hope for economic recovery continue to appear. Specific to energy, comments from the IEA Director and Russian oil minister over the past few days seem to be encouraging buyers that the supply and demand equation is balancing.
From a technical perspective, the buying after Friday’s selloff helped heal some of the overbought condition on the charts, but we will need to see prices break through last week’s highs to say that the upward trend is fully back online.
Baker Hughes reported another 21 oil rigs were taken offline last week, marking a 65 percent drop in active oil rigs since March 6. The combined oil and gas rig count also fell by 21 rigs, which sets a new all-time low.
Money managers seem to be encouraged by the drop in U.S. drilling activity, adding to their net length in WTI for a seventh straight week, and approaching the top end of the five-year seasonal range for bets on higher prices. The net length increases have been primarily driven by new long positions rather than short covering, suggesting that the big funds are betting on a price rally in the back half of the year.
The managed money category of trader is much less optimistic for Brent and refined products than they are for WTI, with only minimal changes last week and net positions well below historical averages. That lack of buying suggests the enthusiasm for WTI has more to do with the U.S. oil industry’s ability to rapidly change course, than it does with expectations that global demand is rapidly healing.
The Dallas FED published a new study on the impacts of social distancing and economic activity, noting that while states are reopening, the pace of recovery for businesses is lower and may stay that way for a while.