Weekly Gain

Jan 29, 2024

Strong U.S. economic data boosts bullish sentiment in oil markets. Crude oil futures were spiking higher late Friday on reports that an oil tanker had taken a direct hit from a Houthi missile after benchmarks had earlier consolidated the week’s firm gains amid the increasing geopolitical ‘risk premium’ and a more optimistic outlook on the US economy, Quantum Commodity Intelligence said.  

The vessel was named as the Marlin Luanda, charted by Trafigura and reportedly carrying highly flammable naphtha. Late Friday, the commodities giant confirmed the vessel was on fire.

The bullish case for oil prices was strengthened dramatically this week, with strong U.S. economic data helping to push Brent well past the $80 mark.  The stronger-than-expected performance of the US economy has boosted oil prices to their highest level this year, not many analysts were expecting a 3.3% GDP growth in Q4, OilPrice reported. 

Continuous Houthi strikes in the Red Sea and surging product freight rates have added impetus to the bullish cause, and even China’s timid reaching out to Iran to rein in the Yemeni attacks failed to scale back geopolitical tensions. With Brent breaking through the $80 per barrel threshold and reaching $82 per barrel, prices cleared an important psychological barrier. 

US refiners seek limits to fuel credit market. US oil refiners have asked the Biden administration to restrict participation in the US renewable fuel credit program (RINs), claiming the current EPA mechanisms allow any person to participate, paving the way for manipulation. 

Consolidation extends into US midstream market. US fuel distributor Sunoco agreed to buy pipeline and terminal operator NuStar Energy in an all-equity deal for $7.3 billion, opening up the logistics and infrastructure segment for the Energy Transfer subsidiary.

/Oilprice.com, qcinel.com/