Oil is set for its worst week since the financial crisis. I will freely admit that that has taken me somewhat by surprise, but then as a logical person, illogical panic usually does. That is what this is. Coronavirus is real and could be pretty bad, but is it really going to do enough damage to oil demand to justify a one-week decline of fifteen percent in crude? Or, is it just the market version of the kind of stupidity that leads to forty percent of America beer drinkers avoiding Corona because of the virus?
I am inclined towards the latter, but that doesn’t mean that it is time to jump in and buy…yet.
There is an oft-quoted traders’ saying that the market can stay illogical a lot longer than you can stay solvent, and that is relevant here. Panic is a powerful thing, despite its inherent lack of logic.
Still, the history of these things, think H1N1, Ebola, MARS, SERS, etc., tells us that at some point things will return to normal and a big chunk of the losses will be regained. It is worth starting to look for levels at which that might happen.
The first of those is if WTI gets to around $42.
The chart shows that there have been two occasions over the last three years when WTI has challenged that level after big drops, then bounced back. That makes it a strong support, but are technical factors like that enough in this environment?
They could be, so it will be the first level to look at should we get there. If…