For the majority of people, heating oil is usually associated with the boilers and furnaces that are used to heat homes and businesses. The fuel is especially popular in parts of Northeastern U.S. and Canada, where natural gas and propane are either inaccessible or too expensive. But because heating oil is a low-viscosity petroleum product that is derived from crude oil, its prices are often closely tied to WTI crude. Furthermore, heating oil accounts for about 25% of the yield of a barrel of crude, the second largest allocation after gasoline [for more energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
When you send your money out into the world, you want to be reasonably assured it can come home whenever it wants, hopefully grown up and enriched by the world. However, finding a steady return on investment in today’s financial markets is no easy task. As the fiscal cliff approaches, China is poised for a hard landing, Ben Bernanke hints at QE3, and Greece gets the boot from the Euro, credit is tightening and it’s easy to feel hesitant about sending your money off into volatility.
Energy prices managed to squeeze out relatively strong performances over the last week despite the chaos in Italy that rippled throughout the global financial markets. Crude oil resisted the downward pressure from intensifying anxiety over a debt crisis in Europe, and managed to head higher in recent sessions–with a brief detour on Wednesday. The following table shows the performance of energy exchange-traded products for the week ended November 10; note that these products utilize futures-based strategies, and as such may not reflect changes in spot commodity prices over this period: