Funds bought U.S. crude ahead of big freeze: John Kemp

SectorOil & Gas
CountryMiddle east

(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)LONDON- Hedge funds purchased more petroleum last week, but buying was almost entirely concentrated in WTI, which suggests it was driven by the prospect of freezing weather temporarily hitting U.S. oil production.Hedge funds and other money managers purchased the equivalent of 33 million barrels in the six most important petroleum-linked futures and options contracts in the week to Feb. 9.But the buying was concentrated in NYMEX and ICE WTI (+30 million barrels) and to a lesser extent European gas oil (+7 million), according to ICE Futures Europe and the U.S.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission.There were only very minor changes in Brent (+2 million) and U.S. diesel (+1 million) while U.S. gasoline (-5 million) saw selling for the second week running.Combined positions across all six contracts are now just over the 80th percentile for all weeks since 2013, implying most portfolio managers anticipate further price increases in the more...