June crude oil surged on the daily and weekly charts, regaining a key support line and setting up the market for further upside action. Before getting too excited, however, keep in mind that the main trend is still down on the weekly chart and will remain in a downtrend until the swing top at $98.06 is taken out with conviction.
One week after taking out the support line of a triangle chart pattern, June crude is trading back inside the triangle, suggesting uncertainty amongst traders. This uncertainty may be being caused by conflicting fundamentals. For several weeks, the market had been attracting selling pressure because of perceptions of a weakening U.S. economy. Bearish traders had been envisioning an increase in supply because of a drop in demand, however, this week’s action suggests otherwise.
Not only did the market rally on a stronger dollar, but the news that U.S. gasoline inventories posted a sharp drop actually helped crude oil post its biggest gain of the year on April 25. The 2.5% rise represented short-covering and new buying as traders speculated the drop in gasoline inventories would lead to increased demand during the spring-summer driving season.
The idea that short-covering may be triggering the rally is being supported by the Commitment of Traders report from April 16. This report showed that small speculators decreased long positions by 8,999 contracts while increasing short positions by 5,579. As of the report date, 362,228…