Crude Oil Forecast: WTI Positioned to Challenge $49.1

The rise in crude oil prices last week was reportedly due to increased hopes that major producers will reach an agreement to cut production. However, others’ skepticism about such a cut, the surging U.S. dollar, and a surprisingly large increase in U.S. oil supplies are said to have kept a lid on the move up so far.

On Monday, January WTI settled above the 50 percent retracement of the decline from $52.74 to $42.95 and the 0.618 projection of the wave $42.95 – 47.12 – 45.18. January also settled above the midpoint of the week ended November 4. In addition, KaseX, which uses a combination of Kase StatWare signals, triggered a buy signal (green triangle).

January WTI Crude Oil

The move up is now in position to challenge key resistance at $49.1. This confluence point is near the 62 percent retracement of the decline and the 1.00 projection of the wave up from $42.95. It is also just above the open for the week ended November 4.

The confluence and importance of resistance around $49.1 make it a potential stalling point. However, a sustained close over $49.1 would indicate a more substantial correction and potential recovery to challenge recent highs is underway.

Initial support is near Monday’s $47.5 midpoint and the 21 percent retracement of the move up from $42.95. This level should hold. Key support for the next few days will be $46.5. This is near Monday’s open and the 38 percent retracement. A close below $46.5 would indicate the corrective move up is over and that another test of major support is about to take place.

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the next day or so. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary and intra-week updates are a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

Crude oil prices continue to decline. Reports indicate the primary culprit is waning expectations for a meaningful OPEC output cut. In addition, some see record level production from countries like Russia and Canada as an equalizer to any cuts that may be made. There is also added uncertainty as US president-elect Donald Trump has pledged to loosen US drilling restrictions, which could boost domestic output next year.

Most technical factors are also negative. December WTI crude oil is poised to challenge the $41.58 swing low made August 3. This is in line with the 62 percent retracement of the move up from $34.06 to $53.62. Key support is $40.0, the 1.00 projection of the wave $53.62 – 41.58 – 52.22. A close below $41.6 would call for a long-term bearish outlook. A close below $40.0 would open the way for potentially $35.6 and lower.

crude oil daily candlesticks

That said, on Monday the move down stalled at $42.2 and formed a bullish hammer. This is a reversal pattern setup that indicates the upward correction may extend first. The hammer’s completion point is $43.9 and the confirmation point is $44.4.

A close over $44.4 would call for a more substantial correction to $46.0. This is crucial resistance for the near-term because it is the 38 percent retracement of the decline from $52.22 to $42.2. Without a bullish shift in underlying factors, it is doubtful that $46.0 will be overcome.

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the next day or so (in this case, a bit longer). Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary and intra-week updates are a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

Natural gas has fallen hard ahead of November’s expiration. Speculation that natural gas storage could reach record levels ahead of winter and warmer than normal weather forecasts for the next few weeks are reportedly reasons for falling prices.

Prompt month November futures fell to $2.627 on Wednesday where the 62 percent retracement of the move up from $2.168 to $3.366 was met. Prices rallied into the close and November settled at $2.731. This setup a daily morning star and hammer, which indicates prices may rise to $2.82 and even $2.88 before November expires on Thursday.

The negative outlook has also spilled over into the December contract, which fell below the crucial $3.01 swing low on Wednesday. This was negative because the move below $3.01 takes out what had been December’s primary up wave, $2.37 – 3.368 – 3.01. This significantly dampens the odds for a near-term recovery and a move to new highs.

December natural gas chart

The outlook is negative and there are no definitive technical factors that indicate the move down is over. However, the daily chart is oversold on the KaseCD and setup for a KCDpeak (bullish turn signal). In addition, the 200-day moving average at $2.99 held on a closing basis. These factors and the rally from $2.972 to $3.083 indicate an upward correction to at least $3.13 should take place Thursday. From that point, the move down may continue, or at least test $2.99 again. A close over $3.13 would call for a larger correction to $3.20 and possibly $3.26. This would also indicate a trading range is likely on the horizon.

The 200-day average at $2.99 will be December’s crucial support on Thursday. A close below this would solidify the negative outlook and open the way for $2.93 and lower. Below $2.99, the next major target is $2.82. This is the 62 percent retracement from $2.37 to $3.556.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary and intra-week updates provide a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

Natural gas was spurred higher last Thursday after government data showed a smaller than expected build for the week ended October 7. However, the move’s strength and resilience reportedly came as a surprise for many market participants due to mild weather across most of the U.S. The market remains well supplied according to many analysts and rig counts have begun to climb. The natural gas rig count expanded by 11 last week, which is the largest increase since late 2014.

This week, November natural gas prices have fallen to $3.144 so far and settled below major support at $3.21 on Wednesday. The move down stalled just before reaching the next target at $3.12.

The subsequent move up from $3.144 has been shallow, choppy, and is forming a bearish flag. Bearish flags are reasonably reliable patterns that indicate the market should continue to decline. The lower trend line of the flag is $3.15 and the upper trend line is $3.21. The $3.21 level may be tested first but should hold because odds favor a break lower out of the flag.

November 2016 Natural Gas - $0.035 Kase Bar

Tomorrow, look for prices to break lower out of the flag and fall to at least $3.12. A close below this would call for $3.06. For the move up to continue in the near-term, $3.06 must hold. This is the 62 percent retracement of the move up from $2.866 to $3.366. A close below $3.06 would shift odds in favor of testing the $2.866 swing low.

Conversely, a break higher out of the flag and close over $3.21 would call for $3.27 and $3.32. A move above $3.32 would take out the wave down from $3.366 that projects to $3.06 and lower.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary and intra-week updates provide a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

Last week, after WTI crude oil surged higher on Monday, prices eased a bit and an overdue correction started. Media sources indicate prices fell due to concern about persistent oversupply. Traders are reportedly waiting for new bullish news to push prices higher. In addition, skeptics remain doubtful that OPEC will be able to follow through on last month’s proposed production cut.

Technical factors show that the correction should extend to at least $49.1. This is because the wave $52.16 – 49.79 – 51.51 met its 0.618 projection at $49.9. Waves that meet the 0.618 projection typically extend to the 1.00 projection, in this case $49.2. This is also near the 38 percent retracement of the move up from $43.77. The confluence point is $49.1.

clz6-20161017

That said, the correction may be forming a bullish descending triangle. The upper trend line of the formation is $51.1. The move up late today indicates WTI might test this upper trend line before the downward correction continues.

A close over $51.1 would call for the $51.51 swing high to be overcome. This would, in turn, take out the wave down from $52.16 that projects to $49.0 and lower. Therefore, for the move down to continue as expected $51.1 should hold and the $51.51 swing high must hold.

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the next day or so. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary and intra-week updates are a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

Media sources state that traders and analysts are looking to current warm weather in the south and anticipation of a colder than normal winter as catalysts for higher natural gas prices. However, some reports indicate many traders and analysts remain skeptical and have stated that the move up is too soon in anticipation of real weather. These traders and analysts are concerned that an early move higher may lead to disappointment due to inventories that could exceed record levels by the end of this month.

Natural gas’s move up has been resilient and reflects the market’s desire for a longer-term bullish move. The bullish sentiment was reflected by the move to $3.30 on Monday. However, this was a highly confluent wave projection that has held and November has pulled back to $3.184 so far.

From a technical standpoint, there is little doubt that the move down is corrective. The decline has been shallow and choppy and may form a bullish expanding wedge. However, today’s close below Monday’s midpoint and the waves down from $3.30 call for the correction to extend at least a bit more before the move up continues.

ngx6-20161012

Support at $3.18 is still important. A move below $3.18 would call for at least $3.14, which is a confluent wave projection and retracement level. A close below $3.14 would open the way for a more significant correction before prices rise to a new 2016 high.

Resistance at $3.27 must hold for the correction to extend to $3.14. A move above $3.27 before $3.14 is met would indicate the correction is complete and call for prices to rise to crucial targets above $3.30.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary and intra-week updates provide a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

November natural gas has shown signs of strength over the past few days. November held support near $2.90 and on Tuesday completed a daily hammer when prices settled above $2.94. A bullish RSI divergence was confirmed at $2.866 on several intra-day charts. On Wednesday, the move up rallied to a very important $3.05 target ahead of the close. Finally, as of Wednesday, the weekly candlestick forms a bullish engulfing line.

These positive factors indicate the move up should continue to $3.09, $3.12, and possibly $3.18 over the next few days. A move to these targets would also take out the crucial $3.079 swing high. This would significantly dampen the odds for a continued decline to targets below $2.90.

ngx6-20161005

That said, $3.05 is a potential stalling point. This is because $3.05 is the 62 percent retracement of the decline from $3.166 to $2.866 and the 1.00 projection of the wave $2.866 – 2.99 – 2.922. There are no definitive factors that indicate the move will stall at $3.05, but caution is warranted.

Should prices pullback from $3.05, support at $2.98 should hold. The key level for the near-term is $2.94. This is the 62 percent retracement of the move up from $2.866 to $3.058. A close below $2.94 would call for another test of the $2.866 swing low and most likely signal that a trading range is forming.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary and intra-week updates provide a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

According to some pundits, natural gas’s recent move up is due to improved balancing of supply and demand. Government data shows the degree to which inventories are up this year relative to the five-year average has continued to shrink. It has been a hot summer, and demand has remained relatively strong.

That said, production has done well to keep pace with demand during summer, and there is a limit to the amount of gas that can be stored. Many analysts project that injection season will end at or near record levels again this year. Therefore, the market should be well supplied ahead of winter.

Fundamental factors will rule the longer-term. However, there are still many questions that need to be answered over the next six to eight weeks before the market can realistically determine a longer-term direction. For the near-term, a trading range between nominally $2.55 and $2.95 is still the most logical conclusion for now. Keep in mind, for nearly nine months of 2015 the prompt month futures contract traded in this range.

From a technical standpoint, October natural gas was poised to rise to $3.04 after overcoming resistance at $2.86 the $2.947 swing high late last week. The pullback from $2.949 is likely corrective and stalled near $2.81 on Wednesday. This is the 38 percent retracement of the move up from $2.58 and the 1.618 projection of the wave down from $2.949.

NGV6 20160831

If the move up is going to extend to new highs in the near term, $2.81 needs to hold. In addition, October will need to finally close over $2.95. Otherwise, a close below $2.81 would signal trading range and call for confluent support at $2.71 to be challenged.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary and intraweek updates provide a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

On Friday, WTI crude oil prices pulled back sharply after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled short-term interest rates may be raised in coming weeks. The U.S. dollar rose, and oil prices fell. The week ended on a negative note, and the corrective pullback extended again on Monday.

Aside from the stronger dollar, media outlets also indicate traders and analysts are weighing the potential consequences of a still oversupplied market against the prospects of a production freeze. Last week, DOE data showed U.S. inventories of oil and refined products have risen to a record high. However, Iran has reportedly shown interest in joining talks with other major producers regarding measures to freeze production in a unified effort to stabilize prices.

The longer-term technical outlook for oil remains positive. However, near-term factors indicate the corrective decline should continue to extend first. October WTI met the 0.618 projection of the wave $49.36 – 46.42 – 48.46 on Monday. Nearly 80 percent of waves that meet the 0.618 projection extend to the 1.00 projection. Therefore, odds favor $45.5 before the move up continues.

CLV6 20160829

The $45.5 target is important because it is near the 38 percent retracement of the move up from $39.96 to $49.36. A “normal” correction should hold $45.5. A close below $45.5 would open the way for an extended correction and potential trading range in the mid-to-upper $40s.

The move down will remain choppy, but over the next few days look for resistance at $47.9 to hold. Key resistance is $48.7. A move to $48.7 would take out the wave down from $49.36 that projects to $45.5 and lower.

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the next day or so. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary and intraweek updates are a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.

Late last week, September natural gas fulfilled important support near $2.51 when prices fell to $2.523. This is the 1.00 projection of the wave down from $2.99, the 50 percent retracement of the move up from $2.009, and the 62 percent retracement from $2.195. The confluence of targets around $2.51 indicate it is a potential turning point for natural gas.

Prices have risen from $2.523 to $2.648 so far, but the move has been extremely choppy and shallow. As a result, the move is most likely corrective. This is accentuated by the formation of a bearish pennant on the intra-day charts. Pennants are continuation patterns that indicate the prior trend should continue. In this case, the pennant favors a break lower. A close below $2.57 would confirm the break lower out of the pennant and open the way for another test of key support at $2.51.

NGU6 20160817

September natural gas has worked its way to important resistance at $2.64, but has not been able to close over this level yet. $2.64 is the 0.618 projection of the primary wave up from $2.523. A close over $2.64 would call for key resistance at $2.68. The $2.68 level is near the 38 percent retracement of the move down from $2.911 and is the midpoint of last Tuesday’s candlestick. A close over $2.68 would be a strong indication that prices will settle back into a trading range.

It is a tight call right now, but until there is a close over $2.68, odds favor a continued decline.

This is a brief natural gas forecast for the next day or so. Our weekly Natural Gas Commentary and intraweek updates provide a much more detailed and thorough analysis. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up for a complimentary four-week trial.