Short Sellers Hike Bets in Major Oil

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Crude oil had traded above $50 a barrel before early March, and recently it has been absolutely slaughtered. This was once thought as a support level, but after crude dropped by over 10%, that has been called into question. The current crude price is still this is less than half of what it was in 2014. Following recent geopolitical tensions in the Syria, crude oil has backed off and now trades below $45.

Also former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson taking the role of Secretary of State could prove to be beneficial for the oil industry. Considering this, short interest for major oil stocks is now more important than ever to follow.

The June 15 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest for most of the selected oil stocks increased.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw its short interest increase to 23.66 million shares from the previous reading of 22.46 million. The shares were last seen at $104.14, in a 52-week trading range of $97.53 to $119.00.

Short interest in Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) increased to 37.88 million shares from the previous 33.66 million. The stock was trading at $81.24, within a 52-week range of $79.26 to $95.55.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) short interest decreased to 17.10 million shares from the previous reading of 20.01 million. Shares were recently at $34.88, in a 52-week range of $32.50 to $38.68.

The number of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares short increased to 31.31 million from the previous level of 25.89 million. Shares were trading at $44.23, within a 52-week range of $38.80 to $53.17.

Short interest at Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, increased to 63.23 million shares from the previous 52.89 million. The stock traded at $7.93 a share, in a 52-week range of $6.52 to $12.56. Unfortunately, Petrobras may be trading on an entirely different set of fundamentals and sentiment due to its ongoing woes in Brazil.

Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s (NYSE: OXY) short interest decreased to 11.73 million shares from the previous reading of 14.25 million. Shares recently traded at $60.01, in a 52-week range of $57.20 to $78.48.