Last week’s four day rally seems to be long-lost history as poor Chinese economic data released over the weekend is seen pulling the market into the red this morning. March’s WTI index is currently down $1.57 at $32.05/bbl, and both heat and RBOB are shedding some of last week’s gains, down $.0412 and $0.0306 respectively.
Last month, the Chinese Purchasing Managers’ Index, PMI—which measures the performance of the manufacturing sector of the economy based upon a survey of 430 industrial companies—fell to a three-year low, signaling contraction for the sixth straight month. However, China’s oil demand continues to be on the upswing, making this morning’s market movement seem more like reactionary noise than actual effect.
While on the subject of noise, last week’s talk about Russia and OPEC possibly cooperating to address the global supply surplus was just that—noise. That bullish sentiment, which rejuvenated the market into a late-week rally, has since regressed. According to Bloomberg, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted on Friday saying that no such meeting with planned with OPEC members.
Locally, warm weather granted us a spring-like weekend. The only remains of Jonas are piles of dirty snow and salt in parking lots and on the sides of highways. However, winter may not be over yet. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow tomorrow, we could be in for another 6 weeks of winter. With the market down and more winter possible, now would be a great time to consider fixed prices on diesel and heating oil!