Oil Prices Daily Outlook July 21

Crude oil prices finished yesterday with moderate rises for the second straight day. Today, Ben Bernanke will give a speech, there is also a summit scheduled of the European leaders to decide about the Greek bailout program (see here for update on this issue); the EIA will publish its weekly report on natural gas market. 

Here’s a short analysis and outlook of the crude oil market for today, July 21ST:

Crude oil prices – July 2011

On Wednesday, July 20th crude oil price (WTI) rose by 0.67% to $98.14/b; during July WTI spot oil inclined by 2.98%.

Brent oil price on the other hand fell 0.19% to $117.95/b; during July Brent oil rose by 5.59%.

The chart below shows the changes of WTI spot oil and Brent oil price during July, in which they are both normalized to 100=30 of June.

Crude spot oil prices 2011 Brent oil and WTI spot oil  2011 July 21

Premium of Brent oil over WTI spot oil

The premium of Brent oil over WTI spot oil remains at the $20-$22 mart. On Wednesday July 20th it reached $19.81/b; during July this premium rose by 20.72%, mainly because Brent oil price rose while WTI spot oil price nearly didn’t change.

Difference between Brent and WTI crude spot oil price 2011 July 21

The correlation between WTI spot oil and Brent oil is slightly lower in July than its correlation during June.

Correlations wti and Brent crude spot oil prices  Dec 2010- July 21 2011

 US Petroleum stocks rose again last week

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration the U.S. Petroleum and oil stocks rose last week by 3.8 million barrels, and reached 1,800 million barrels – the highest stockpiles since February 4th, 2011 (See here the recent petroleum report).


Weekly U.S. Ending Stocks of Crude Oil and WTI spot oil price 2011 July 20

US Home sales slightly fell in June 2011

 Yesterday the Association of Realtors published the US existing home sales report for June 2011.

According to the report, the number of US existing home sales moderately fell by 0.8% to an annual rate of 4.77 million home sales.

Historically, the news of the US existing home sales had a positive lagged effect on crude oil prices: according to Roache et. al (2008) as the existing home sales rise, crude oil price rises the following day. This news might affect today’s trade and pull crude oil prices moderately down.

 US dollar / Crude oil prices – July update

During June, the EURO to US dollar, USD/CAD and AUD/USD were highly correlated with the daily percent changes of crude oil prices.

Yesterday, Euro to US dollar exchange rate rose by 0.42%, the Australian dollar to US dollar by 0.17% and US dollar to Canadian dollar fell by 0.27%.

This means the US dollar depreciated against major currencies mainly Euro. These moves might have strengthened crude oil prices; if this trend will continue it may further push up crude oil prices.

Current crude oil prices

Major crude oil prices are currently traded down in the European markets:

The Nymex crude oil price, short term futures (August 2011 delivery) is traded at $97.38 / barrel, a $1.02/b decrease or 1.04%, as of 10:22*.

The Dated Brent spot oil price declines by $1.34/b to $116.61/ barrel as of 10:33*.

(* GMT)

Thus, the current premium of Brent over WTI is at $19.23/b.

 Crude oil price outlook and analysis:

Crude oil prices start to pick up as they have inclined in the past couple of days, but there is still no clear direction for crude oil prices and in the short term, they are likely to remain near $97-$100 for WTI spot oil and $117-$118 for Brent oil.  

 Here is a reminder of the top events and reports that are planed for today and tomorrow (all times GMT):


15.00 – Ben Bernanke, Chairman of Fed, testifies

15:30 – EIA report about Natural gas storage


13.00 – Canadian Core CPI


 For further reading:


Lior Cohen, M.A. commodities analyst and blogger at Trading NRG.