Monday morning was quite successful for the oil market. Crude oil prices were rising, which is largely supported by the U.S. dollar. The dollar retreated amid the latest news and not only that.
Oil prices grew at the start of Monday trading. The dollar is supporting this trend by falling. Recall that there is an inverse correlation between oil and the dollar, the strength of which is very high. As soon as the greenback falls in value, the oil market will start to earn points. That's what happened today. And it was a great support for the commodity, which was weakening throughout last week.
This morning, Brent crude oil for May delivery strengthened by 0.42% at $83.13 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange. Of course, it did not cover the previous week's losses, but the very fact that it managed to overcome the negative trend already speaks volumes.
The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) also rose Monday morning on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The rise was 0.46%, pushing the brand to $77.03 a barrel. The increase is already more than good and if the direction of movement remains unchanged, it will be possible to expect new highs. However, it is too early to talk about it, we need to wait for the trend to strengthen.
Meanwhile, the index of the national US currency against a basket of six major currencies of the world is declining on Monday morning. The drop has already turned out to be around 0.68%, which moved the indicator to 103.87. Thus, the index has retreated from its highest values over the past few months. In this case, crude oil has become more accessible to holders of foreign currency, as evidenced by the growing interest in it.
The main portion of negative news for the dollar and positive news for oil is related to the banking sector of the United States of America. Investors are concerned about the forced bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank. This is directly related to the monetary tightening policy that the Federal Reserve is going to implement. In particular, we are talking about an increase in the base interest rate. SVB could not withstand the onslaught and was forced to announce the start of bankruptcy proceedings. The news that the Fed intends to open access to accounts to all depositors of a financial institution from today added fuel to the fire. Thus, everyone will be able to get their savings without hindrance, which, of course, is not bad for depositors, but is disastrous for the entire banking system. The US dollar reacted to this, without waiting for more detailed information about the consequences.
Throughout the past week, market participants have expressed extreme concern that the Fed's monetary policy will be too tight. However, the situation around the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has somewhat reassured investors. However, this factor will not be able to act for a long time, especially since the central bank's intentions remain unclear until now.
Traders were also attracted to the report of the Saudi Aramco oil company. The latest net profit figures turned out to be more than high, amounting to $ 161.1 billion, which was evidence of a new record. All this suggests that the demand for hydrocarbons has not only not weakened, but has also begun to gain momentum, which contributes to maintaining the cost of petroleum products. Of course, this will not be a key growth factor, but it will definitely add a portion of positivity.
Data on the number of drilling rigs in the United States also have a positive impact on the sector. According to reports, their number has decreased again over the past week. This is the fourth straight decline; such dynamics have not been observed for almost three years. Now their total number is consolidating around a 10-month low.
The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by 3 to 746 in the week to March 10, the lowest since June. Nevertheless, it has not reached last year's values. There were 83 fewer oil and gas stations a year ago. However, the very fact that positive dynamics has been recorded during the fourth reporting period already boosts market sentiment.
All this suggests that the demand for petroleum products in the world will continue to remain at a high level, which means that the price will have at least one supporting factor.
The news about the possible curtailment of a major well drilling project in the US state of Alaska is also working. Earlier, the US government considered the possibility of starting active oil production in the Arctic Ocean shelf area. According to preliminary estimates, the wells should have been located within 6.5 million hectares. However, according to news reports, U.S. President Joe Biden has imposed a ban on drilling in the area of 1.2 million hectares from the previously allocated area. Special rules will be developed for the rest of the territory, which, however, may also be associated with rather tight restrictions.
Thus, Alaska as a National Oil Reserve will not be used in full yet. Environmentalists, who have already begun to sound the alarm, will be very happy about this fact, because, according to their calculations, there could be a huge amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere from the project. In particular, it was about 280 million tons of greenhouse gasses.
However, as long as eco-activists can sleep peacefully, disaster does not threaten. However, the ban on drilling also saved from another catastrophe – in the oil markets. The increased level of production could have a negative impact on global demand indicators, which, in turn, would put pressure on the cost of crude oil.
Despite the fact that there isn't much bad news for the market yet, it is unlikely to get out of the narrow price range. To do this, it needs to have much more serious support from the outside. So far, this has not been observed.