Oil Higher in Monday Trade

Brian L Milne
By  Brian L. Milne , DTN Refined Fuels Editor

CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- Oil futures nearest delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange and Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange moved higher in early activity during the final trade session of 2018, and in front of the February contract expiration for Brent crude and the January contract expirations or ULSD and RBOB futures.

Oil futures are finding support from higher equities in early trading, with West Texas Intermediate also boosted by a weaker U.S. dollar.

Despite the early gains, sentiment for oil futures remains bearish, with WTI futures settling at a 1-1/2 year low on the spot continuous chart on Christmas Eve. Brent and ULSD futures each ended at nearly 1-1/2 year spot lows last week, while RBOB futures registering its lowest settlement on the spot continuous chart since late February 2016.

Nymex February WTI futures were up $0.35 near $45.70 barrel (bbl), while down nearly $15 or 20% on a spot continuous basis in 2018. ICE March Brent futures were up $0.65 near $53.85 bbl, with Brent set to register a 16% decline in value on the spot chart in 2018.

Nymex January ULSD futures were up 2.8 cents near $1.6930 gallon, with the February contract trading at a 0.8 cents discount to the expiring contract. ULSD futures are down nearly 40.0 cents or 16% in 2018. Nymex January RBOB futures are up $0.95 near $1.3355 gallon, with the February contract trading at a 3.5 cents discount to January delivery. RBOB futures are poised to drop more than 0.45 cents or 22% in 2018.

Brian L. Milne can be reached brian.milne@dtn.com.

(CZ)

Brian Milne