WTI Crude Oil Tightens Near $52.00
Shain Vernier • 2 min read
It has been an odd day in WTI crude oil, with choppy price action replacing a promising intraday downtrend. During the early U.S. session, March WTI crude futures probed beneath last week’s low ($51.80). The spike in volume produced a temporary intrasession bottom at $51.26. Since that point, the 30-minute price action has been chaotic, with bids pushing this market above $52.10.
One reason for the inconsistent order flow has been rollover between the March and April WTI futures contracts. At press time, volume is split just under 3/1 in favor of the March issue. This will change dramatically in the next few days, possibly as early as tomorrow. Every rollover is unique ― this one has a strange feel to it.
March WTI Crude Oil Futures: Daily Chart
When price broke beneath last week’s low ($51.80) for March WTI crude earlier in the session, buyers dug in at $51.75. This is uncommon, as many times price washes out position longs, creating bearish extension. Today, bidders stepped up to the plate and checked the potential downtrend at $51.75, $51.50, and eventually $51.25. The result was rotation back toward the Bollinger MP and Daily SMA.
Overview: At press time, April WTI crude futures are trading above March, at $52.50. The higher lead month contract price suggests that institutional investors are beginning to favor the bullish side of oil as spring approaches. In last weekend’s update, I broke down the situation facing WTI for the intermediate-term. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here.
It is a bit early to anticipate the bulls taking over this market completely. However, we are likely to see some long positioning as the April contract becomes the new front month. Rising crude oil prices are the seasonal norm by the end of May. There are sure to be peaks and valleys before then ― yet a test of $60.00 is likely to occur before the April contract expires.