Oversold conditions on the daily chart and a strengthening economy helped drive May crude oil futures higher last week. The move through $92.50 confirmed the previous week’s closing price reversal bottom at $89.78, setting up the market for an eventual rally into the target zone at $94.44 to $95.54.
Although the market has been showing strength over the last two weeks after a four-week sell-off, according to the latest Commitment of Traders report, crude oil remains in the strong hands of the commercial traders and these traders are on the short-side. The stats show that 51.4 percent of the market is controlled by the short commercial traders.
The data also shows that the number of long speculators dropped by 1246 contracts. In addition, 15.94 percent of the open interest is on the long-side with only 4.7 percent on the short-side. Until the short-sellers start to cover, rallies are likely to be sold.
The February jobs data helped boost crude oil prices. This is good news for the U.S. economy. Europe and the U.K. remain weak however, dragging down global demand. The stronger Greenback is also an issue since crude oil is priced in dollars. As long as the dollar remains strong, foreign demand is likely to be down, leading to rise in supply. This should be enough to keep the pressure on crude oil.
Technically, the upside momentum should be enough to take the market to at least $94.44 over the short-run. In addition, downtrending resistance at $94.10 this week could stop a rally.
Strong support comes in at $93.78, but if the market weakens, it may pull-back into $91.78. Based on the current rally from $89.78 to $93.90, a 50% level at $91.84 could also provide support.
In summary, look for a rally to $94.10 to $94.44 over the next week to draw the attention of short-selling commercials. They seem to be aware of weakening global demand and increased supply. Because of this, they are likely to keep the downside pressure on the market.