Oil ETFs Climb on Hopes of Rising Fuel Demand, Producers Cutting Back

Crude oil prices and commodity-related exchange traded funds jumped Thursday as the global economy moves toward reopening their doors to business while crude producers were scaling back.

The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, and the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO), which tracks Brent crude oil futures, increased 6.2% and 9.9%, respectively, on Thursday while WTI crude oil futures jumped 26.6% to $19.1 per barrel and Brent crude climbed 12.1% to $25.3 per barrel. Oil ETF investors should keep in mind that USO no longer exclusively tracks front month contracts, so gains do no perfectly reflect price gains in June contracts.

Crude oil markets strengthened on hopes of rising demand as many large economies move toward rolling back the more stringent shutdown orders to contain the coronavirus pandemic as many believed the outbreak has reached a peak.

Furthermore, prices strengthened on signs that demand for storage of crude was coming off recent highs after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said inventories of oil rose by nine million barrels last week, compared to expectations of 10.6 million barrels, Business Insider reports.

“Oil continues to notch gains as the risk rally reflects hopes of the global economy opening up sooner, and after a smaller-than-feared build in US crude inventories,” Neil Wilson, market analyst at Markets.com, said.

The crude market also found support as producers curtail supply. For example, Norway announced its first production cut in 18 years.

“Oil prices rallied as investors continue to see a steady stream of headlines of crude production cuts,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a market update, according to MarketWatch. “Big oil is starting to have landmark moments that signal deeper production cuts across the globe will be happening quickly.”

“Oil prices are looking very constructive because, over the next month or two, supply will meet demand,” he added. “Oversupply worries are slowly easing and, with the exception of sudden dislocations in the oil market, crude prices could continue to stabilize.”

For more information on the energy market, visit our energy category.