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Will Crude Oil Rise before January WTI Futures Contracts Expire?

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Crude oil price trend 

January WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil futures are trading below the psychological mark of $35 per barrel. Prices have been moving within the narrow range of $34–$37 per barrel for the last five trading sessions. Crude oil prices are following a long-term falling trend. The consensus of rising crude oil inventory at Cushing, Oklahoma, is weighing on crude oil prices.

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Support and resistance 

Short covering and bargain buying could support crude oil prices. The next resistance level for oil prices could be $40 per barrel. In contrast, record production from Russia and Saudi Arabia could drag crude oil prices to record lows. Crude oil prices could see support at $34 per barrel. Prices tested this mark in December 2008. January 2016 crude oil futures contracts expire on December 20, 2015. Bearish traders could cover their shorts ahead of the expiration.

Oil price estimates

Reuter’s surveys suggest Brent crude oil prices could average $57.95 per barrel in 2016. Likewise, US crude oil prices are expected to average $53.73 per barrel.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), Eni, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC), and Hess Corporation (HES) reported huge losses in 3Q15. The trend might continue in 4Q15 due to record-low prices in December.

Russia’s Ministry of Energy estimates that crude oil prices could average around $55 per barrel in 2016. The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) forecasts that Brent crude oil prices could average $56 per barrel and that WTI crude oil prices could average $51 per barrel in 2016.

ETFs like the iShares US Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (IEO) and the PowerShares DWA Energy Momentum Portfolio (PXI) are affected by volatility in the crude oil market.

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