HOUSTON – A Reuters article called oil prices “choppy” as they reversed their recent slide to land just above their reported seventh-month lows reached last week.
“Both benchmarks are on track for a roughly 19% drop in the first half of the year,” Reuters said.
In an article published earlier this morning, the news service reported Brent crude futures were up 37 cents at $45.91/bbl by just before noon (ET), having hit $44.35 on June 21, which the news service reported as at their lowest levels since November 2016. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 44 cents, or 1%, to $43.45/bbl. Last week, WTI futures hit $42.05, their lowest level since last August.
Reuters noted that a “surge in demand for short sale contracts signaled investors see potential for a price fall. Investors in US crude futures and options have increased their bets against a further rise in prices, just as the number of US oil rigs in operation hit its highest in over three years.
“US shale oil output is up around 10% since last year, while places like Brazil have also hiked output,” it wrote.
CNBC reported that as of last Friday (June 23), prices sank for the fifth straight week, signifying crude’s longest losing streak since August 2015.