Energy-related exchange traded funds rallied Wednesday, with oil prices hitting a six-week high, after a U.S. government report revealed a larger-than-expected drop in crude stockpiles.
On Wednesday, the ALPS Alerian MLP ETF (NYSEArca: AMLP) increased 0.6% and the JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSEArca: AMJ) advanced 1.0%. The more widely observed Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLE) gained 3.7%.
Meanwhile, 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, were also up 2.8% and 2.6%, respectively, on Wednesday. WTI crude oil futures were up 3.1% to $72.6 per barrel, and Brent crude gained 2.5% to $75.5 per barrel.
The energy markets strengthened after updated data showed that U.S. crude supplies hit the lowest level since September 2019, falling by more than 6 million barrels, Bloomberg reports.
The inventory data followed the International Energy Agency’s warning that the recent supply lost from storms in the U.S. Gulf Coast, notably from Hurricane Ida, has offset what OPEC and its allies have added through increased production outputs. Consequently, the world will have to wait until October for supply to recover.
“There’s not a lot of new crude supply coming to the market, so the market feels awfully tight,” Matt Sallee, a manager at Tortoise, told Bloomberg. “That will keep crude prices moving higher. Covid demand worries are taking a backseat for now.”
Prices have strengthened since late August and jumped after Hurricane Ida shut down U.S. Gulf Coast offshore oil production. The tropical depression Nicholas also inundated the region with additional rains, further delaying efforts to restart production.
“We have seen large crude and product draws which is supportive to the energy complex,” Tony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging, told Reuters. “The tropical storm that just came through slowed down recovery efforts from Hurricane Ida and we will continue to see the effects from Ida for the next few reports.”
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