WTI Crude – Head and Shoulders Neckline Tested

WTI saw some strength towards the end of last week and the opening day of this on the back of a larger than expected drop in inventories and an apparent hint from OPEC that it may be willing to consider production cuts.

That has been offset over the last couple of days by figures showing record output from Saudi Arabia and today, a larger than expected build in crude oil stocks.

We saw a big correction in WTI between Thursday and Monday – rallied more than 30% off Wednesday’s lows – but this is healthy in the markets and bears may well now see this as having created fresh opportunities.

WTI Daily

Yesterday’s sell-off created a very bearish looking setup on the daily chart after falling just short of the 50 fib level – 6 May highs to 24 August lows – which suggests traders are treating that brief rally as a retracement, rather than becoming more bullish.

This could be tested today as price action in the last 48 hours has created a head and shoulders formation which could potentially be very bearish if the neckline is broken.

WTI 4hr

One of the benefits of head and shoulders patterns is they offer possible price projections, a conservative one based on the size of the move from the shoulder to the neckline and a more aggressive one based on the size of the move from the head to the neckline.

The conservative projection (orange line) would be around $41.25 which coincides with a prior region of support and resistance. The more aggressive projection (red line) would be around $38 which coincides with 26 August lows and falls just above this year’s low.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.