Crude Oil Bears Grow Stones as Europe Comes Under Fire (USO)

July 20, 2012 10:25 AM EDT
Stocks in Europe are acting up again. iShares MSCI Spain Index ETF (NYSE: EWP) is trading lower by 5.75 percent intraday. Vanguard MSCI Europe ETF (NYSE: VGK) is also lower, losing 2.15 percent. Today's euro area flare-up comes as the Valencia region in Spain seeks help from the government to refinance its debt. Lower Spanish growth expectations are also causing investors in Europe to panic. So what does this have to do with crude oil? – quite a lot, actually.

Last quarter the price of crude oil traded significantly lower, with WTI dropping from near $110 per barrel to lows below $80. Growth concerns caused by the crisis in Europe were the main reasons for the massive decline. Since late June there has been a turn around, and WTI, Brent, and United States Oil Fund LP ETF (NYSE: USO) have rallied significantly of these lows. Yesterday, WTI closed near fresh highs close to $93 per barrel.

Recently, geopolitical concerns in the Gulf region in the Middle East put 'the fear' into crude bears and paralyzed most downside sentiment. Today, with Europe flaring up, bears have a little more confidence. As a result, WTI is trading back near $91 per barrel. USO is lower by 1.33 percent.

Insiders will be following both of these stories very closely in the coming days and weeks and WTI could see swings in both directions as the headlines roll in, although many are looking for more up-side momentum at the beginning of next week.

The following is a list of popular crude oil ETFs: (NYSE: USO) (NYSE: OIL) (NYSE: UCO) (NYSE: SCO) (NYSE: DBO).

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