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US Crude Oil Price May Rally Further, Stockpiles and Iran in Focus

US Crude Oil Price May Rally Further, Stockpiles and Iran in Focus

2018-08-22 09:00:00
Martin Essex, MSTA, Analyst
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Crude oil price, news and analysis:

  • News of a sharp fall in inventories of US crude oil is giving the crude price a boost.
  • That advance may continue as concerns mount about sanctions on Iran.

Our trading forecasts for Q3 have been published; you can find the oil guide here.

And check out the IG Client Sentiment data to help you trade profitably.

US crude oil inventories drop

The rally in the US crude oil price may continue short term after news that US crude stockpiles fell by 5.2 million barrels in the week to August 17, well above the 1.5 million draw predicted by analysts. The data from the American Petroleum Institute suggest that the official numbers from the US Energy Information Administration, due today, could show a larger decrease than the 2.0 million drop previously forecast.

In addition, worries are mounting about a potential shortfall of Iranian oil from November due to US sanctions.

US Crude Oil Price Chart, Daily Timeframe (April 1 – August 22, 2018)

Latest US crude oil price chart.

Chart by IG

Technical picture for US crude

As the chart above shows, the US crude oil price has already rallied from a recent low of $63.97 per barrel on August 15 to its current level around $66.27 and that bounce could extend to the 20-day moving average at $66.74 and perhaps to trendline resistance at $67.66.

To the downside, principal support lies at that $63.97 low.

Trader positioning in US crude

Turning to sentiment, retail trader data show 69.2% of traders are net-long, with the ratio of traders long to short at 2.25 to 1. In fact, traders have remained net-long since July 11, when US crude traded near $71.52; the price has moved 7.7% lower since then. The number of traders net-long is 1.4% lower than yesterday and 6.3% higher from last week, while the number of traders net-short is 3.2% higher than yesterday and 5.8% higher from last week.

At DailyFX, we typically take a contrarian view to crowd sentiment, and the fact traders are net-long suggests US crude prices may continue to fall. Positioning is less net-long than yesterday but more net-long than last week. The combination of current sentiment and recent changes gives us a further mixed US crude trading bias.

Latest US crude oil sentiment data.

Resources to help you trade the forex markets

Whether you are a new or an experienced trader, at DailyFX we have many resources to help you: analytical and educational webinars hosted several times per day, trading guides to help you improve your trading performance, and one specifically for those who are new to forex. You can learn how to trade like an expert by reading our guide to the Traits of Successful Traders.

--- Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor

Feel free to contact me via the comments section below, via email at martin.essex@ig.com or on Twitter @MartinSEssex

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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