Oil is getting harder to ignore, both as a macro factor and for its own sake. WTI settled up 85-cents today to $87.54. It’s another high settlement dating back to November.
The breakout from the 2023 range has been confirmed now and the only question is where it tops out. Obviously with 9 days of gains, there are some overbought conditions so a return to $85 would be healthy. However whenever profit taking seems to hit, there are fresh bids. Even today with the US dollar strengthening, oil rallied anyway as Saudi Arabia raised prices for its crude.
Looking out the curve, December 2024 crude rose 17-cents today to $78.10, adding to the spread and backwardation. Both are seen as bullish signs.
Brent settled today up 56-cents to $90.60.
On the macro side, higher oil prices should keep the Fed in a higher-for-longer stance but some might argue that core inflation could fall faster as more of the family budget goes to fuel.
At this point, it’s tough to see anything hurting crude. Recession fears were pushed back again today by the ISM services data and Chinese demand remains firm despite a sluggish economy. The US could start to hint at another SPR release but i worry that would just extend the timeline of OPEC+ cuts.
Right now, the only question that seems to matter is: Where do MBS and Putin want oil prices? I’m certain they would pump more at $120 but at $100? I’m not so sure.