The West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil market has fallen during trading on Thursday to break through a trendline. That being said, there is also a much more important trend line underneath here, so I think we have a huge fight on our hands. Crude oil is a market that I don’t like putting a lot of money into right now, because there are so many different things pushing it around at the moment.
One thing that is worth paying attention to would be the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the United States dropping down to the lowest level since 1986. This does suggest that sooner or later the Americans will start buying oil to refill that deficit, so that could be a longer term bullish driver. However, at the same time you have to wonder whether or not the demand will continue to stay strong as there has been so much in the way of destruction of the economy. Commodities across the board have been getting hammered as of late, so it is worth noting that market participants have been selling copper, natural gas, and even agricultural futures. This suggests that the market is pricing in a rather steep recession.
A recession does not typically help the price of oil. The Atlanta Federal Reserve suggests that the Q2 numbers coming out of the United States are negative, and if that were to be realized, it would be confirmation of a recession in the US.
That being said, China is still in the midst of trying to reopen, although its silly Covid policy seems to be keeping that from being a full-time issue. That does away with the market, but I think given enough time we will see crude oil attempt to make a recovery. If we were to break down below the $100 level, that could change a lot of things, perhaps in the market much lower. The $115 level above seems to be significant resistance, so if we are between those two levels, I suggest that it could be very choppy, and therefore you would need to be very cautious with your position sizing. At this point, it’s probably easier just to ignore this market for the time being, as there is so much noise out there.