Oil futures rose early Monday, with both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude on track for big monthly advances following strong economic data.
- West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery CL00, +0.98% CL.1, +0.98% CLU23, +0.98% rose 77 cents, or 1%, to $81.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
- September Brent crude BRNU23, +0.66%, the global benchmark, was up 56 cents, or 0.7%, at $85.55 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. The September contract expires Monday. October Brent BRN00, +0.79% BRNV23, +0.79%, the most actively traded contract, gained 62 cents, or 0.7%, to $85.03 a barrel.
- August gasoline RBQ23, -0.30% fell 0.6% to $2.937 a gallon, while August heating oil HOQ23, +0.02% was little changed at $2.959 a gallon.
- September natural gas NGU23, +1.90% advanced 0.8% to $2.659 per million British thermal units.
Through Friday’s close, front-month WTI futures were up 14.1% in July, while Brent had gained 13.5% in the month to date, on track for the biggest monthly gains since May 2022, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Both WTI and Brent have seen a string of five straight weekly gains, with WTI turning positive on the year, while Brent continues to nurse a year-to-date loss of around 1%.
Crude has found its footing on expectations the market will move into deficit in the second half, aided by supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia. Analysts said investors will be eager to see if Saudi Arabia extends a voluntary, additional production cut of 1 million barrels a day that began in July through September.
Meanwhile, resilient economic data helped boost crude and gasoline futures last week, with the latter hitting 2023 highs. That said, implied gasoline demand, as reflected in the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report last Wednesday, remains lackluster, noted analysts at Sevens Report Research, in a note.
“And if that figure doesn’t rebound in the weeks ahead, it will be hard for oil prices to move beyond 2023 resistance between $80 and $83/barrel,” they wrote.