Crude Oil Prices Facing A Negative Tide

Crude oil futures have been under pressure in recent weeks, as the news and fundamental picture is growing more bearish. The trade war with China has pressured the market along with a rising dollar and weaker outlook for demand worldwide. The biggest issue might be the prospects for the “oil glut” to continue to grow, as the US continues to pump out oil at an increasing rate. 

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) detailed their forecast in the August Short Term Outlook for increased production well into 2020 and demand is not expected to keep pace. One of the biggest worries for the market is that demand could weaker even further as economic activity has been slowing around the world and some countries in Europe are slipping into recession territory.  With the trend toward zero interest rates and even negative rates, it makes me wonder what type of monetary policy is left to help their economies.

To me, it looks like the path of least resistance is for economic activity to slow further and there could be further revisions to demand on the downside for oil in the months ahead. 

With crude oil prices currently at $54.50, it makes sense to see where prices have traded in the last few years. The range in the last 3 years is around $39 on the low end and about $77 on the high end. So, the current price is near the middle of that range. A quick analysis might imply that prices should trend lower and test the bottom end of the range in the next few months. That is the nickel version of making a longer-term market call, but we know things aren’t always that easy with commodities.

(Click on image to enlarge)

3-Year Weekly Crude Oil Chart

When I dial down to the daily chart to make more of a timing decision, the $50.50 level looks like a solid support level. I have to think this support will probably be tested again. If it does, it will probably fail to hold under this technical setup. That could open the door for a quicker and deeper selloff.  That is certainly something I will be watching.

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Disclosure: Past performance is not indicative of future results. Futures trading is not suitable for all investors. The risk associated with futures trading is substantial. Only risk capital ...

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Chuck Kowalski 1 year ago Author's comment

Thank you for your comments. I try to breakdown my trading and research in a way that I and most people can easily understand.

Bill Johnson 1 year ago Member's comment

Thanks. Looking forward to your next article.

Linda Willis 1 year ago Member's comment

Thanks for an excellent read. I usually find these kinds of articles quite confusing. But you made it rather simple for me to understand! I think your analysis is correct.

Bill Johnson 1 year ago Member's comment

Yes, quite good.