The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, gained 5.2% and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), are two of this year’s best-performing commodities exchange traded products though the pair, along with other oil ETPs, have scuffled in recent days.
Some market observers, citing supply and demand dynamics, believe oil is rallying without strong fundamental cause. A case can be made that oil’s rally is defying still troubling supply dynamics and tepid demand. Elevated levels of production remain an issue for oil as well. 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.
Of course, some oil market observers hold alternative views, contending that oil’s recent rally is still in the early innings and that a new bull market for the commodity is being born.
“Unlike last year, when commodity markets rallied through the second quarter only to fall sharply come the third as oversupply persisted, this rally looks more sustainable as physical markets have tightened considerably,” according to a Citigroup note posted by OilPrice.com. “Global demand continues to grow at a moderate rate while the pullback in capital spending is reducing not just supply growth but total supplies across nearly all extractive industries.”[related_stories]