Fuels Market Watch 24

Exclusive daily fuels market analysis by Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi.

FUEL MARKETS TODAY – Market Overview

Crude oil prices opened slightly higher in today’s session, though prices are trending down currently. WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $52.66/b today, up slightly by $0.07 (0.17%) from Friday’s opening price of $52.59/b. Diesel prices opened flat, while gasoline prices opened with gains. Crude and product prices are trending down in this morning’s trading, though any small sign of progress in U.S.-China trade talks is likely to have a disproportionately large impact on markets seeking reasons for optimism.

Crude prices ended last week in the red, as did diesel, while gasoline posted gains. Product prices held value more easily than crude prices did. WTI crude prices opened on Monday, February 4th, at $55.32/b and closed Friday at $52.72/b, down by $2.14 (3.9%) for the week. Product prices remained relatively close to where they were at the start of the week. Gasoline prices opened on Monday at $1.4351/gallon and closed on Friday at $1.4464, up by 0.69 cents (0.5%) for the week. Diesel prices opened on Monday at $1.9175/gallon and closed on Friday at $1.9085/gallon, down slightly by 0.37 cents (0.2%) for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished last week down by 133 points, pulling commodities along. January brought a sustained rally in the Dow that restored around two-thirds of value lost in December. The rally has slowed. Signs of economic slowdown have been recorded in most major markets, including the U.S., the Euro Zone, and China. The U.S.-China trade talks are back in the news today, and the Dow Jones ticked up slightly by 0.13% at this morning’s opening. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Beijing. Any small sign of progress is likely to have a disproportionate impact, with investors eager to find reasons for optimism.

Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. active rig count rose by 4 last week, with the oil rig count rising by 7 and the natural gas rig count falling by 3. The week before, the rig count fell by 14, adding some strength to prices, but the re-entry of rigs is likely to be a sign of continued growth in U.S. supply in 2019.

GASOLINE

Gasoline opened on the NYMEX at $1.4416/gallon today, up by 1.68 cents (1.16%) from Friday’s opening price of $1.4248 cents/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, gasoline prices declined by 0.23 cents (0.16%.) Prices currently are trending down, trading in a range of $1.41-$1.43/gallon. The latest price is $1.4208/gallon.

 
DIESEL

Diesel opened on the NYMEX at $1.91/gallon today, up by 1.0 cent (0.52%) from Friday’s opening price of $1.90/gallon. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, diesel prices fell by 0.59 cents (0.31%.) Diesel prices currently are trending down, trading in the range of $1.88-$1.92/gallon. The latest price is $1.8968/gallon.

 
WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude forward prices opened at $52.66/b today, up slightly by $0.07 (0.13%) from Friday’s opening price of $52.59/b. Over the past 24 hours from 9AM EST to 9AM EST, WTI crude prices fell by $0.61 (1.15%.) Currently, prices are weakening, dipping below the $52/b level, and trading mainly in the range of $51.75/b-$52.25/b. The latest price is $51.60/b.