Crude oil-related exchange traded funds climbed Thursday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed a surprisingly large drawdown in oil inventories on lower imports into the U.S. Gulf Coast in response to disruptions associated with Tropical Storm Hermine.
On Thursday, the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, jumped 4.1% and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, advanced 4.0%. USO also broke back above both its 50- and 200-day simple moving averages.
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WTI crude oil futures were 4.1% higher to $47.4 per barrel on Thursday while Brent crude futures were up 3.8% to $49.8 per barrel.
Among the best performing funds on Thursday, the United States Gasoline Fund (NYSEArca: UGA) surged 5.1%, with RBOB gasoline futures up 5.1% to $1.4145 per gallon.
The energy market strengthened after the EIA revealed U.S. crude stocks declined by 14.5 million barrels last week to 511.6 million barrels, the largest weekly dip in stockpiles since January 1999, compared to expectations of an increase of 225,000 barrels, Reuters reports.[related_stories]
Disrupting the normal supply line and adding to the surprise drawdown, Tropical Storm Hermine led to the loss of some production and limited imports and shipping. Gulf Coast crude imports touched their lowest levels on record.
However, some warn that this may be a one-off event.
“We firmly feel that this is going to be a one-off, and we’ll see large builds,” Tariq Zahir, an analyst at Tyche Capital Advisors, told Reuters.
Meanwhile, gasoline futures surged on higher than expected draws.
Further lending support to the energy market, Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to cooperate on stabilizing oil markets, with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continuing debates over a possible production freeze.
“The most important issue is whether Saudi Arabia will cut its production to pre-summer levels,” Anas al-Hajji, an independent analyst and former chief economist at NGP Energy Capital Management LLC, told Bloomberg.
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United States Oil Fund