Brent Crude Oil (BZ) futures at CME Group help investors gain exposure to the global oil market. Like the price of WTI crude oil, Brent’s price is a major benchmark for the purchase of oil worldwide.
Brent and WTI are both light crude oils favored by refineries. Similarly, both blends of oil are sweet and comparatively free of impurities. The Brent crude oil is a basket of North Sea crude oil streams, which includes Brent, Forties, Oseberg, Ekofisk, and Troll (BFOET).
Each NYMEX Brent Crude Oil futures contract represents 1,000 barrels of Brent crude oil, with a minimum tick price of $.01. The contract is financially settled. The contract trades electronically six days a week, 23-hours-per-day, and with a daily 60-minute break at 4 p.m. Central Time (CT). Traders can leverage substantial margin efficiencies while gaining exposure to this liquid market.
Investors keep a close eye on the price movement of Brent because it is considered to be more reflective of the oil demand in Europe and Asia.
Traders have recently paid attention to Brent due to China’s rapid growth and industrialization and its eventual ascension to the world’s largest economy.
As with WTI and other energy sources, the price of Brent often moves in partner with the broad economy and market. Because Brent’s price signifies oil demand, movements in crude can signal the direction of the economy.
Traders also keep a close eye on the spread between WTI and Brent. Though this spread always exists due to differences in transportation costs, it can also be used to gauge demand strength in different parts of the world as well as supply availability.