By Dr. Nancy Yamaguchi

WTI prices rose again, and now have cleared the $50/b hurdle. WTI prices opened at $50.59/b this morning, following yesterday’s open at $49.65/b. Early this morning, there was a dip following a sell-off, but prices then rebounded as bullish buyers responded to bearish sellers. Distillate and gasoline prices also have strengthened today.

Today marks the seventh consecutive session where WTI prices have risen. The OPEC Algiers agreement has given a new feeling to the market. This has come in spite of the fact that production is still rising, and any agreement reached is unlikely to come for two months. Early last week, oil prices had been in a holding pattern, with no one explicitly stating confidence that OPEC members would reach any agreement at the Algiers meeting on the 28th, but no one willing to sell off either. WTI prices hovered in the range of $44.50 – $45.50. Prices leapt late Wednesday on news that the group did indeed come to an agreement. Prices surged above $47/b, and they have continued to strengthen each day since then.

WTI prices opened at $48.04/b on Monday. They jumped to open at $47.20 on Thursday. Friday morning’s opening WTI price was $47.76. From Monday’s opening to Friday’s opening, prices surged by $3.14, or 7%. WTI’s price variability went from a low of $47.78/b on Monday to a high of $50.74/b this morning, on Thursday, a range of nearly $3/b.

Distillate prices opened Monday at $1.5357/gallon. Prices have risen every day this week, and they opened at $1.5999 this morning. This is a significant increase of 6.42 cents, or 4.5%, since Monday’s opening.

Gasoline RBOB prices opened Monday at $1.459/gallon. Prices were variable with an upward tilt. RBOB opened at $1.504/gallon this morning. This is a significant increase of 4.5 cents, or 3.3%, since Monday.

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