The bad news bears took a deep breath on a day when there was no price-rattling data to agonize over and oil inched up as a result.
A day after fears over mounting U.S. fuel inventories sent future prices spiraling downward, they clawed back a portion of their descent, gaining 1.3% in New York. The increase, labeled a “bit of a relief rally” by Bob Yawger, a director at Mizuho Securities USA Inc., resulted as traders with outstanding wagers on a market drop closed out positions.
“In the absence of negative news, the bias for speculators is to try and further build their long position,” Rob Haworth, who helps oversee $150 billion in assets at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle, said by telephone.
Oil is on track for a second yearly gain after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and partners including Russia agreed to extend supply cuts through all of next year. Output from the group won’t fully rebound when the deal ends, according to Energy Aspects Ltd. Saudi Arabia will remain “proactive” about managing global crude supplies if the international benchmark, Brent crude, dips below $60 a barrel, said Amrita Sen, Energy Aspects’ chief oil market analyst.
West Texas Intermediate for January delivery rose 73 cents to settle at $56.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 25 percent below the 100-day average.