Brent Crude Oil Approaches Crucial $52.8 Support

By Dean Rogers

Crude oil has taken on a strong bearish tone. There is very little technical evidence, and even less fundamental evidence, that the decline is going to end. However, it is almost always darkest before dawn and there are a few factors that show a correction should take place soon.

Last week’s update discussed major support at $47.0 for WTI and September Brent crude oil is quickly approaching major technical support at $52.8. This is the 1.618 projection for $71.37 – 62.3 – 62.49, the 0.618 projection for $67.49 – 55.6 – 59.9, and the lower Bollinger Band. The KasePO, shown in the middle panel of the chart above, and KaseCD, in the bottom panel, are setup for divergence and nearly in oversold territory. These factors indicate $52.8 is a potential stalling point and that a correction might take place before the decline continues to the next targets.

Brent

A normal correction will hold $55.6, the 38 percent retracement from $59.9. Key resistance is $57.2, the 62 percent retracement. We expect $55.6 to hold before the next leg lower takes place.

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the near-term. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

Prompt month WTI crude oil futures briefly fell below $50.0 on Monday and settled at the lowest level since April 2. The deal with Iran has led to fresh concerns about the global supply glut and most technical factors are negative. RBOB gasoline is lending some support, but on balance, the decline is poised to extend into the mid- and possibly low-$40s where the March 18th low of $42.03 would be challenged.

Prices broke lower out of the near perfect intraday bearish flag discussed last week. September WTI futures, which will become the prompt month on Wednesday, also settled below key support at $50.6 on Monday. This was the 1.618 projection of the wave $64.45 – 57.09 – 62.51. This is likely Wave I of a five wave trending pattern that should unfold to at least $47.0 and possibly $42.5. The five-wave pattern is not perfect, but the close below $50.6 and the bottom of Wave III leaves little room for any other interpretation.

WTI Crude Oil

When a five-wave pattern forms at least two of the three impulse waves (I, III, or V) should be equal. At $47.0 Waves I and V will be equal and at $42.5 Waves III and V will be equal. Structurally, both $47.0 and $42.5 fit the structure of the five-wave pattern because $47.0 is the 0.618 projection of Wave III, $62.51 – 50.95 – 54.35 and $42.5 is the 2.764 projection for Wave I.

It is important to note that $42.5 is the lowest that the five-wave pattern projects. Therefore, unless the structure of the wave formation drastically changes, it is not likely that prices will fall below $42.5 in coming weeks.

Odds favor the decline, but the market still seems a bit unsure of itself. As stated, there is some support being wrought by RBOB gasoline, but it ended Monday on a negative note by forming an evening star setup. The move down will likely be a grind and small tests of resistance will be commonplace. First resistance is $51.8 followed by $52.8, which is expected to hold. Key resistance is the $54.35 swing high. A close above this would negative the five-wave pattern and open the way for an extended correction and potential recovery to $59.3 and higher.

Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

Perfect geometric formations are a rare commodity. They are useful gems of information that can tell us a lot about a market’s outlook and general direction. It is important to pay attention to the implications of a successful break out of the pattern, and it is even more important to watch for patterns that fail.

WTI’s bearish flag on the $0.50 Kase Bar chart is as close to a textbook example as one will ever see. Flags are extremely reliable continuation patterns. Because this flag formed after a decline, and is sloping upwards, it is a bearish pattern that indicates the move up is corrective and that the decline should continue.

WTI Crude Oil

The waves within the flag have fulfilled the 1.00 projection for the wave $50.58 – 53.43 – 50.91. This is significant because it is evidence that the move up is unfolding as a three-wave ABC pattern, which is more evidence that the move is corrective.

Prices settled in the lower half of the formation on Monday, which does not bode well for another test of the upper trend line. A close below $51.8, which is near the bottom trend line, would indicate the move down is going to extend to at least $49.9. Our detailed weekly analysis discusses the connections to targets in the mid- to low-$40s upon a break lower.

There is an outside chance that the formation will fail, but prices will need to close over $54.8 to prove that an extended upward correction and potential recovery is underway. Technically, the flag will fail upon a close over the upper trend line, which is currently $54.2. However, for many technical reasons, $54.8 is the threshold for a positive near-term outlook. Most importantly, it is near the 38 percent retracement of the decline from $62.22 and the midpoint of July 6th.

For now, watch the flag formation closely. Odds favor a break lower and close below $51.8. The directional breakout of this pattern will be a strong clue as to the direction of WTI for the next several weeks.

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the near-term. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

As predicted WTI crude oil has broken lower out of the recent trading range and fell by nearly eight percent on Monday. The important 1.382 projection was met at the $52.41 swing low. Key support at $50.5 should be tested tomorrow. We consider this a decision point for a much more bearish outlook and decline into the mid-$40’s. Today’s action may even dust up talks about the $30s again, though we think that conversation is a bit premature. Look for resistance at Monday’s $54.4 midpoint. This may be tested in early trading Tuesday, but should hold.

wti crude oil

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the near-term. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

The RBOB gasoline crack spread widened to $25.64 on Monday and could test $27.77 before narrowing again. Resistance near this level is expected to hold and the crack is poised to narrow now that the 0.618 projection of the wave down from $33.80 was met. We would look to short the crack spread soon because KaseX generated a filtered sell signal on June 25th. The key target at $19.00 is the 1.00 projection and the top of the gap that took place on February 23rd.

crack spread

This is a brief analysis and outlook for the near-term. Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary is a much more detailed and thorough energy price forecast. If you are interested, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

The crude oil market as a whole has continued to be dominated by stale and conflicting fundamental, technical, and geopolitical factors. These factors have brought about as much balance to the crude oil markets as Anakin Skywalker brought to the force. The most interesting factor is that many market participants seem to forget that markets have three direction: up, down, and sideways. Right now, WTI is stuck in a mind numbing sideways range. I say this because it is almost as exciting as watching the grass in my backyard grow.

During times like this we tend to grow impatient and frustrated. The easiest way to deal with a range bound market is to walk away, take a few deep breaths, work on our short game, and come back to play another day. However, we don’t all have that luxury, and have no choice but to participate and be driven insane by the constant change of direction and endless supply of chalky antacids we are popping like candy.

Luckily, technical analysis can help us to clarify the crucial breakout points for this range. Our models, which are based upon a combination of many different technical factors, show crucial resistance at $62.0 and support at $57.5. In addition, the line on close chart shown below confirms that these are the clear boundaries of the trading range. A break out of this range will help determine the direction for the next few months.

crude oil

The challenge is that it is nearly a toss-up as to which direction the market will break.

Our weekly Crude Oil Commentary goes into great detail about the implications of a break higher or lower out of this range. We break down the wave formations, retracements, candlesticks, momentum, and other factors. The bottom line is that the range may be corrective, which means prices should break higher. However, our models show that that $57.5 will be tested at least once more before WTI closes over $62.0.

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 Brent crude oil price forecast. If you are interested, please sign up for a complimentary four week trial.

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.

WTI crude oil prices

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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WTI-Brent Spread

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.

WTI Crude Oil

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.

Take a trial of Kase’s weekly crude oil forecasts to receive more in-depth analysis every week.

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.

For more detailed weekly analyses of WTI, Brent, and Natural Gas please take a trial of the Kase Energy Forecasts.

WTI Crude Oil