Oil price scores largest one-day percentage increase in traded oil price in NYMEX history

March 19, 2020

Oil futures rallied Thursday, with U.S. prices up nearly 24%, to score their largest one-day percentage climb on record. Some of the increase could be traced to remarks by President Donald Trump that he might intervene in the Russian-Saudi production dispute, if it continues unabated.  April West Texas Intermediate oil rose $4.85, or 23.8%, to settle $25.22/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the largest daily front-month contract percentage climb on record, based on data going back to March 1983, according to Dow Jones Market Data. WTI prices had settled Wednesday at their lowest rate, in constant dollars, since the Asian Financial Crisis of the late 1990s.

Other energy prices continued their Thursday surge, in tune with the rebound in domestic WTI oil prices. The global benchmark Brent crude contract advanced $3.99 to $28.87/bbl. Natural gas futures were 4 cents higher, at $1.60 per 1 million BTU.

Meanwhile, HighPoint Resources (HPR) jumped out to a more than 16% gain after the oil and gas producer Thursday said it was shelving all new drilling and completion activities following the recent plunge in crude oil prices. Highpoint has completed all of its existing wells and said that the moratorium on new drilling will not affect production volumes for the first half of 2020.

Regarding another factor bolstering prices, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Thursday that it will buy up to 30 MMbbl of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by the end of June. This will be a first step in fulfilling President Trump’s directive to fill the emergency stockpile, to help domestic crude producers.

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