Oil exchange traded products, including 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, could be primed for more upside after finishing the third quarter on strong notes.
For its part, USO, one of the most heavily traded oil exchange traded funds, finished September with a gain of just over 10%, pushing its third-quarter gain to over 13%.
“Investors have really gained confidence in oil, after the OPEC cuts that were originally discussed earlier in the year are starting to take shape here, and oil production is being curbed,” Phil Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, said in an interview with CNBC.
Current OPEC compliance with production cut plans remains above their historical average, and it usually takes between two to three quarters for inventories to normalize after the cuts. While demand has yet to catch up to elevated supplies, rebounding economies in Europe and steady economic growth in the U.S. could at least keep oil prices steady around current levels in the second half of 2017.
Advances in U.S. shale oil production technologies are contributing the to supply surplus and weighing on any oil price gains. It has become much cheaper for the upstart U.S. shale producers to extract oil out of the ground, but the growth rate of U.S. oil product has also recently slowed.
“Due to this combination of production cuts and growing demand, oil could head up to its 2017 high, just above $55, or even $60 per barrel by year-end. A global supply glut has plagued the market for several years, and OPEC member countries and non-member producers have vowed to implement cuts to curb such oversupply,” reports CNBC.
During the third quarter, investors departed USO in droves as the ETF bled more than $1.2 billion in assets.
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