Views on commodities and energy
The spread between the front month and second month oil futures continues to narrow.
The deep spread seen in earlier this year, caused primarily by slumping fuel demand due to the economic crisis, was heightened by the monthly of passive investment funds, especially the giant United States Oil Fund. On Feb. 6, when the fund last rolled its positions from the first to second month futures conracts, it held movre than 20 percent of the front month.
Analysts said that the move by the exchange traded fund to roll its front month positions to the second month over a four day period — rather than on just one day — may lesson the volatility of the shift.
The United States Oil Fund LP exchange traded fund has built up a large position in crude oil over the past four months, accounting for nearly a quarter of the open interest in the March contract on the NYMEX last week.
Following is a list of the tentative 2009 oil futures contract roll dates for the fund, according to United States Oil Fund’s Website.