By Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi

WTI prices rose again this week, and they opened above $50/b each day this week following Monday’s opening. WTI prices opened at $50.58/b this morning, following yesterday’s open at $50/b even. Last night’s rebound is now tailing off, but if the current market trend persists, the market will remain in the black for the week. Distillate and gasoline prices are showing the same pattern.

The OPEC Algiers agreement was the key market shaper this week. Even without additional positive announcements, the agreement has enough credibility that WTI prices have been bumped up to hover in plus-$50/b territory. Just one week ago, prices hovered around $49/b, and could not clear the $50/b hurdle. Just two weeks ago, before the Algiers agreement, prices were hovering around $46/b. Thus, in spite of a global oversupply that is actually tending to widen, not narrow, this week brought a gain of over $1/b over last week, and a gain of over $4/b over the average prices seen two weeks ago.

WTI prices opened at $49.57/b on Monday. They jumped to open at $51.10 on Tuesday. Friday morning’s opening WTI price was $50.58/b. From Monday’s opening to Friday’s opening, prices rose by $1.01, or 2.3%. WTI’s price variability went from a low of $49.15/b on Monday to a high of $51.60/b on Monday, a range of approximately $2/b.

Distillate prices opened Monday at $1.5772/gallon. Prices rose to open at $1.6028 on Tuesday before subsiding, and they opened at $1.5815 this morning. This is a modest increase of 0.4 cents, or 0.3%, since Monday’s opening.

Gasoline RBOB prices opened Monday at $1.478/gallon. Prices rose to open at $1.4899 on Wednesday before subsiding. RBOB opened at $1.48 this morning. This is a very small gain of 0.2 cents, or 0.1%, since Monday’s opening.