Written on: March 1, 2024

Energy Price Report

March 1, 2024

Early Friday Trading

Energy prices are trading in the black on Friday amid gains in European equities and mostly supportive economic data out of Europe.  In the news this morning, Reuters reports Russia’s Rosneft is starting the process of selling its German assets and is expected to finish the sale by September, according to the German economic ministry.  Market traders are looking ahead to US manufacturing and construction spending data, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and to the weekly US rig counts from Baker Hughes for further direction.

Asian Markets

In economic news this morning, the S&P Global China Manufacturing PMI for February came in at 50.9, just above forecasts at 50.8.  The CFLP Manufacturing PMI, on the other hand, came in at 49.1, shy of the 49.3 expectation.  In Japan, the unemployment rate for December was revised up by 0.1pp to 2.5%, while the January unemployment rate came in at 2.4%, as expected.  The Shanghai Composite closed 0.39% higher, the Hang Seng added 0.47% and the Nikkei jumped 1.90% higher. The Nikkei/S&P Global India Manufacturing PMI rose from 56.5 to 56.9, indicating expansion in the sector accelerated.

European Markets

In European news, the final S&P Global Manufacturing PMI for the Eurozone for February came in at 46.5, beating expectations for no revision from the flash estimate of 46.1. Indexes for both Germany (42.5) and France (47.1) also beat expectations. The flash Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) for the Eurozone rose 2.6% year-on-year in February, just above the 2.5% consensus. The unemployment rate in the Eurozone was 6.4% in January, as expected, while the December rate was revised up by 0.1pp to 6.5%. In the UK, the Nationwide House Price Index rose by 0.7% last month, above the 0.3% Econoday consensus. As of this writing, the CAC 40 was up 0.1%, the DAX had added 0.5%, and the FTSE 100 was up 0.6%.

US Markets

US stock market index futures were trading flat to higher as futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 were holding steady while Nasdaq futures had edged up 0.1%. The US dollar index was flat as of this writing.

Energy Markets

Brent crude edged down by 6 cents to $83.62 a barrel, WTI crude fell 28 cents to close at $78.26 a barrel, gasoline futures gained 3.33 cents to close at $2.3043 per gallon, heating oil added 2.55 cents to settle at $2.6838 per gallon and natural gas futures fell 2.5 cents to settle at $1.860 per MMBTU.

Weather Forecast

The latest 1-5 and 6-10 day forecasts for both the Northeast and the Midwest calls for above-normal temperatures.