WTI Settles Below $62
The December futures price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil lost 54 cents Wednesday to settle at $61.67. The benchmark traded within a range from $61.20 to $63.18.
The price of a barrel of Brent crude for January delivery fell by a more modest 6 cents to settle at $72.07 a barrel.
“While WTI has enjoyed an extended run to the upside since the break of the 5450 area in 2017, the past month’s price action has broken through the major support levels that were critical for the bull market to remain in effect,” said Jerry Rafferty, president and CEO of Rockville Center, N.Y.-based Rafferty Commodities Group, Inc. “Since breaking above the 7500 area last month, the bull market staled shortly afterwards and since then the market has been in retreat.”
The right side of this chart supplied by Rafferty’s firm illustrates the overall price movement of the WTI for the better part of the past two years.
“A similar situation exists with Brent crude as well,” Rafferty continued. “We look for the better risk/reward to come on the downside for the crude oil markets. It would not surprise us to see the WTI market retest the 5450 level, which was the original breakout area. As a result, we look to sell rallies but close to our major resistance levels. We favor selling rallies because of the risk/reward associated with our major levels.”
Reformulated gasoline futures often move in the same direction as crude oil, and Wednesday’s session was no exception. December RBOB fell by a nickel to end the day at $1.65 a gallon.
Remaining flat during midweek trading was the front-month Henry Hub natural gas price, which settled at $3.555 for the second straight day. Rafferty noted, however, that another upward trend could be on the horizon for gas.
“Last week the market broke above the 3350 area and the bulls wasted no time,” said Rafferty. “The market exploded with prices moving up the 3580 area.”
The right end of this chart of Henry Hub prices provided by Rafferty’s firm shows recent movements as well as higher resistance levels that prices could hit with an uptick.
“With prices moving beyond the previous range, we look to buy weakness as close to the breakout level as possible, keeping in mind that only once have prices traded above the 3657 area since 2015,” said Rafferty. “Markets remember these key levels so we list that as one of the better resistance levels. If the market can close above the 3657 level, the market may see prices test the 4040 area.”
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