Will Crude Oil Futures Break Key Resistance of $54 per Barrel?

Crude oil prices  

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil (RYE) (IXC) (IYE) futures contracts for May delivery rose 1.2% to $51.6 per barrel in electronic trade at 5:20 AM EST on April 5, 2017. Prices rose due to the API’s (American Petroleum Institute) bullish crude oil inventory report.

Prices are trading at a one-month high. Likewise, broader markets like the S&P 500 (SPY) (SPX-INDEX) and Dow Jones are near all-time highs. Bullish momentum in the US stock market could support oil demand and oil prices. The US is the largest crude oil consumer. For more on crude oil prices, read Part 1 of this series.

Will Crude Oil Futures Break Key Resistance of $54 per Barrel?

Bearish drivers 

US crude oil futures are down ~9% year-to-date due to the following factors:

All of these bearish drivers could pressure crude oil prices. However, the bullish drivers discussed in Part 1 of this series pushed crude oil prices above their key moving averages. US crude oil prices are above their 20-day, 50-day, and 200-day moving averages of $49, $51.2, and $49.6 per barrel as of April 5, 2017. It suggests more bullish momentum for oil prices. Prices could even breach key resistance of $54 per barrel in the short term if US crude oil inventories and global oil inventories start falling.

Higher crude oil (VDE) (FXN) (UCO) (XLE) prices have a positive impact on oil and gas exploration and production companies like Noble Energy (NBL), Warren Resources (WRES), Chevron (CVX), and QEP Resources (QEP).

Next, we’ll look at the API’s estimates for US crude oil inventories.