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Everyone expected this commodity to rally—here’s why they were wrong

Talking Numbers

Everyone expected this commodity to rally—here’s why they were wrong

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Everyone expected this commodity to rally—here’s why they were wrong

Everyone expected this commodity to rally—here’s why they were wrong
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If you like how much oil prices have fallen in the last couple of months, you’ll love where they may be headed next.

The price of crude oil traded below $97 per barrel on Wednesday. That’s $10 lower than where it was just two months ago, and is around where it was trading in early February. Over in London, Brent crude is just slightly off its 13-month lows.

According to Erin Gibbs, equity chief investment officer at S&P Capital IQ, oil prices could continue to slide despite geopolitical tensions.

(Read: Oil climbs despite inventory surge, global instability wins the day)

Citing a study by the International Energy Agency, Gibbs notes that the world is using less oil than expected. Second-quarter world oil demand has fallen to its lowest level in two years. And despite armed conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine, oil supplies are higher than expected.

“We have people consuming less oil and we have huge supply,” said Gibbs. “We could really see a bigger drop. As we get towards the more cyclical drops in September, we could possibly even go down to $90.”

Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, agrees with Gibbs.

“Given all the macro uncertainty and the geopolitical turmoil of late, crude has had every reason to rally,” said Ross, a “Talking Numbers” contributor. “But the fundamentals have really been weighing on prices. Those oversupply concerns are driving prices lower. And I think they go even lower.”

(Read: The oil spike that wasn't: Prices defy global turmoil)

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Ross sees a bearish head and shoulders pattern in the short-term chart for crude oil, with $99 as its neckline. Given the $7 to $8 height of that pattern, Ross believes the recent break below the $99 neckline projects an equal-distant move to the downside, which would take oil to about $92 per barrel. That’s roughly where crude oil made a double-bottom pattern in November 2013 and January 2014.

“I think we get there,” said Ross. “When you have reason to rally given turmoil and you don’t, that’s what we call a bearish divergence—and that suggests we go lower. I would not be a buyer here. But the flipside is that lower crude prices should be good for everybody.”

To see the full discussion on crude oil, with Gibbs on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the above video.

 

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