May WTI crude futures rose 0.60% in last week’s trading session closing at $49.31 per barrel on March 17, 2017. That was a 0.10% rise from the previous trading session. In the same week the major US Indexes also had modest increases.
Traders should pay attention to the rising oil rigs which could have a negative impact on oil prices this week. For the week ending on March 17, 2017, oil rigs rose 14 for a total of 631, the highest level since October 2, 2015. WTI crude oil inventories, which are near record levels, could also adversely impact oil prices. Rising WTI crude oil production and high inventory levels reduce the positive impact of OPEC’s production cut on prices. Traders are still coming to terms with the lack of cooperation by OPEC countries to meet the cuts proposed in the last major meeting.
Natural gas (April) futures fell 2.0% in the week ending on March 17, 2017. They closed at $2.95 per MMBtu on March 17, a 1.6% rise from previous trading session due to lower temperature forecasts. However, the natural gas clearly under performed the commodity complex last week. Traders should watch for the rising US oil rigs and bearish inventory data which could have a negative impact on natural gas prices.