The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, is down more than 45% year-to-date while the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, is down nearly the same amount.
Predictably, that makes the two oil funds two of the worst-performing exchange traded products of any stripe and it also makes forecasting a rebounding for these and other oil ETFs in 2016 a challenging task. Earlier this month, crude oil prices fell to their lowest levels since early 2009 after OPEC’s meeting Friday ended without an agreement to lower production, Reuters reports. OPEC has been fueling a global supply glut in an attempt to maintain market share and squeeze out high-cost oil producers, such as the nascent shale industry in the U.S.
OPEC has kept up production to pressure high-cost rivals, such as the developing U.S. shale oil producers. The International Energy Agency expects it will take several years before OPEC can effectively price out high-cost producers. [Oil ETFs Face World-Record Supply Glut]
With 2016 drawing near, commodities investors should temper expectations for a legitimate oil rebound next year. In fact, some analysts see more downside ahead for crude. [Leveraged ETFs Are Popular Plays Among Swing Traders]
“I suspect that this rally that we are seeing in the last couple of days is a little bit of a foolish rally,” OPIS’ head of energy analysis told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “And we’ll retest the lows late in February, March, when refineries go to maintenance, so I still think we’re going to test that December 2008 level of $32.40 to $33. I don’t suspect we will get beneath it, but you never know.”