Slow Start While Traders Come Back From Holiday

We are off to a slow start this morning while traders come back from a federal and bank holiday. Refined products are coming off by less than a penny while crude oil tacks on about 50 cents. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine some profit-taking after last week’s rally but anticipated higher spring time prices for gasoline, OPEC production reduction, and Venezuelan uncertainties are keeping the selling from picking up speed, for now.

While decreasing over the past couple weeks, the correlation between energy and equity indexes remains strong. Some early selling in global stocks this morning due to poor performance data released from Europe’s largest bank, might be contributing to the downward pressure we are seeing on futures this morning. And as if they could only settle for one headline, analysts from the same bank, HSBC, are seeing a slowing auto demand in Europe and the US which is bearish news for retail, shipping, and fuel prices.

All three RBOB, HO, and WTI prompt month futures contracts are knocking on the door of another technical breakout to the upside. A group of technical indicators known as ‘oscillators’ are calling for higher prices in the near term while another technical study, which essentially sets the lower and upper bounds of the commonly accepted daily trading range, is currently keeping prices from going too far too fast. After taking the last half of December and all of January to recover from the Q4’18 meltdown, the complex looks poised to make a run at last summer’s price levels.

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