WTI crude oil prices have been oscillating in a downward sloping channel for the past few weeks and the decline has formed a bullish continuation pattern. Although the formation is not a perfect flag, pennant, wedge, or triangle, it does appear to be corrective. More often than not corrective patterns like this ultimately break higher and the original up trend extends.
Crucial support at $57.0 held on a closing basis last week and Friday’s move up and the attempt to close over the upper trend line of the formation on Monday indicates prices should rise to at least $61.6 over the next few days.
Monday’s hanging man is negative, but so far Friday’s $59.13 midpoint has held. This is also the 38 percent retracement of the move up. A close below this would complete the hanging man and call for another oscillation lower to test support and possibly the lower trend line of the corrective formation.
This is a brief analysis and outlook for the next day or so. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough WTI and Bret crude oil price forecast. If you are interested, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.
The WTI-Brent spread has been fluctuating in a range for the past few weeks after narrowing to an intraday high of (3.34) on April 15. The narrowing spread has supported rising WTI and Brent price, and the wave formations indicate the spread will most likely continue to narrow. However, it must overcome (5.50) to make the connection to a (4.30) decision point. A close over (4.30) would open the way for a confluent (2.30) target, which connects to (1.30). That said, a close below (8.40) would call for the spread to wide again to at least (10.3).
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For the past few weeks WTI crude oil prices have risen significantly, and for the first time since early December 2014 prices closed above $60.0 last week. However, many traders are questioning the long-term validity of the price rise continuing due to concerns of a persistent supply glut, and the technical factors show that the market reached a crucial decision point at $62.58 last week.
The June WTI futures contract met crucial resistance at $62.58 on Wednesday, May 6, and as called for in our weekly Kase Crude Oil Commentary, prices have begun to pullback in a corrective manner. The correction is taking place after a blow-off high and evening star setup formed that same day. The evening star (some might say shooting star) was both completed and confirmed on Thursday when prices closed below the midpoint and open of Tuesday’s Harami bar. In addition, bearish divergences on the KaseCD and KasePO were confirmed on Friday. The combination of negative short term technical factors indicates the downward correction should extend and will likely form Wave IV of a longer-term five wave formation that projects to target in the mid-to upper $60s and even the low $70s.
We expect the pullback to challenge at least $56.2. This is the 38 percent retracement of the move up from $45.93 and is near the bottom of the sub-wave 4 of III. If prices are going to extend to new highs in the next week or so, $56.2 must hold. Otherwise, a close below $56.2 would call for the 50 and 62 percent retracements at $54.3 and $52.3. For now, it looks as though $56.2 will hold. The long-term outlook would only shift back to being bearish upon a close below $52.3. We do not expect to see a decline of that magnitude.
Today’s decline was nominal, so the next few days will be crucial for the near-term direction. A close over last Thursday’s $59.82 midpoint would shift the near-term outlook back to positive, call for another test of $62.5, and likely open the way for the five-wave pattern to unfold to upper targets of $66.8 and $71.5 over the course of the next few months.
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Brent crude oil prices will likely test a key decision point at $68.0 this week. This is the 1.00 projection for the wave up from $50.1, and a confluent projection for the sub-waves up from $53.63. A close over $68.0 would confirm that a long-term bullish recovery is underway. Narrowing calendar spreads support the move up, but are still wide by historic standards. First class long permissions (blue dots) on the KEES indicator also confirm the positive tone.
That said, momentum is waning on the KaseCD and is setup for a bearish divergence (higher high in price with lower high in momentum). The KasePO is quickly nearing overbought territory. There are also a daily bearish hanging man and evening star setup. These and a few other negative factors tell us that Brent will likely stall at $68.0. We expect to see a significant correction take place to test the mettle of the market before the move up extends much higher than $68.0.
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June WTI crude oil has oscillated in the range of a broadening wedge over the last eight trading days. The pattern is bullish, but the euphoria of WTI’s recent price surge is waning. Mixed technical and fundamental factors indicate the pattern will fail if the $58.41 swing high is not overcome soon.
Key technical support for the near term is $55.3 because it is the 1.00 target for the wave down from $58.82, and intersects with the lower trend line of the expanding wedge. This wave stalled at its 0.618 projection of $56.5, so the market is sitting on the teetering edge of a decline to $55.3 or push higher to overcome $58.41. A close over $58.41 would confirm a break higher out of the wedge and would open the way for an extended upward correction. A move below $56.5 would open the way for $55.3 to be challenged. Overall, odds are still slightly in favor of the move up and a break higher out of the wedge, but a close below $55.3 would indicate the pattern has failed.
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WTI crude oil rose for a second straight day due to the declining dollar. The long-term bias is still negative, so the move up is corrective. However, mixed fundamental and technical factors indicate the correction should extend to at least $48.2 before settling into another trading range. This is the 1.00 projection for the wave up from $44.03 and the 38 percent retracement of the decline from $54.0. A close over $48.2 would call for $50.4, the 1.618 projection and the 62 percent retracement. Look for immediate support at the $45.33 and $44.77 swing lows.
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WTI crude oil is trying desperately to show that a bottom has been made and that a recovery is underway. WTI is testing a crucial decision point at $54.0. This is the 0.618 projection for the wave, $43.58 – 54.24 – 47.36. Most waves that meet the 0.618 projection extend to at least the 1.00 projection, in this case, $58.0. However, a pullback will usually take place first.
Support at $49.9 should hold, but the $47.36 swing low is the level that must hold for the near-term outlook to remain positive. A close below this would negate the wave up from $43.58, and call for a continued decline.
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Brent has been trading in a corrective range for the past several days, but fell to major support at $47.7 on Tuesday. This is the 0.618 projection for the wave $52.42 – 48.07 – 50.41. The $47.7 projection connects to a major target at $45.8 as the 1.00 projection. This is also the 1.618 projection for the largest and most important wave down from the $111.38 contract high. KaseX confirms the negative call with confirmed short signals (purple triangles) on the 120-minute equivalent Kase Bar chart.
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Natural gas has finally showed some signs of life over the past few days in anticipation of tomorrow’s U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Natural Gas Weekly Update. The short-term charts are showing that traders are anticipating a bullish EIA report, which would be the support the market needs to continue this upward correction. Keep in mind though, this is a correction, and it will likely be predominant in the winter month contracts and short-lived without continued support from external factors.
After oscillating in a sideways range between approximately $2.79 and $3.00 for the past six trading sessions, the February futures contract rose above $3.00 on Wednesday. This is near the $3.176 to $2.783 midpoint of $2.98, which is significant because this is also in line with the 0.618 projection of the irregular wave $2.803 – 3.176 – 2.783. The $1.00 projection of this wave was overcome at $3.15, and the 1.618 projections is $3.38. The $3.38 level is important because it is the 50 percent retracement from $3.95 to $2.783. This level will likely be met, and possibly overcome, upon a bullish EIA number tomorrow.
In addition, February overcame the crucial $3.176 swing high, and a sustained close over this would confirm the recent bottoming formation (arguably a triple or even quadruple bottom). The projection for this formation is $3.56.
Near-term support is $3.04 and then $2.94. These are the 38 percent and 62 percent retracements of the move up from $2.783 to $3.204 (swing high as of this analysis). These levels are also near the midpoint and open of today’s candlestick. A close back below $3.04 would call into question the validity of the move up. A close below $2.94 would negate the near-term positive tone altogether, and open the way for a continued decline.
The long-term outlook for natural gas is bearish, but the move up over the past two days has shifted the near-term outlook to positive. A close over the $3.176 swing high today will open the way for an extended correction to $3.38 and possibly higher tomorrow.
For more information about Kase’s weekly energy forecasts on natural gas and crude oil please visit our energy forecast page.
Kase and Company, Inc.
Kase’s senior analyst Dean Rogers reviews trade setups and price forecasts for e-mini S&P 500 and WTI Crude Oil.