Sunday, July 27, 2008

Crude Oil: Where Will It Stop?

Another weekend. Another day of confusion for me to think of what to write about. That is because markets are closed on weekends and I do not do analysis of Friday’s markets till Sunday night. So, Friday/Saturday posts I have to write about general interest to me and all my readers. Of course, I could write about cricket but that is my interest and I’m not too sure whether it is also the interest of my readers and subscribers too. And, moreover, there is nothing to write about cricket on a day when India lost to Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs within four days. Hats off to Muttiah Muralitharan who ended with 11 wickets in the match! No wonder he has the highest number of wickets in Test matches. And I do believe him when he says that he will end up with 1000 Test wickets in his career. Anyways, since cricket is not on my blogging list, let us shift to the next most important thing – crude.

In an earlier post, I had written that there were signs visible that crude was showing signs of topping out. And in fact, that day turned out to be very close to the final high made in crude. We all know that crude finally broke down a few days later and is now more than $20 off its highs. People are talking of support near $120, some say $110 and some even say $80. I do not have access to charts of crude traded on NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange). Hence, I do the analysis based on the charts formed by prices on MCX (Multi Commodity Exchange). Since MCX is an Indian exchange prices are quoted in Rupees.

Crude Oil MCX Daily Chart - Fibonacci Retracements

Seen above is the daily chart of crude since the beginning of 2008 along with a trendline, a couple of Fibonacci Retracement analysis and the Relative Strength Index (RSI). Let us start with things in chronological order. My previous post on crude talked about the presence of various dojis (a day on which the opening price and the closing price is the same or is very close to each other), which made the charts look a little bearish, even though the prices were increasing every day. Also seen on the charts is a bearish divergence between the prices and the RSI where the prices are increasing while the RSI is falling (as marked by the thick trendlines and the brown arrows). Next, let us come to the trendline. The prices finally broke through the trendline three days after that analysis but soon recovered. The trendline was decisively broken about a week later when the crude prices even went below the most recent pivot low. Not only that, yesterday it has decisively broken through the pivot low formed in end of May. What remains to be seen is whether this can be qualified as an intermediate term downtrend or not. Technically, the breakthrough the most recent pivot low and an uptrend line gives quite a bright possibility that the trend may have reversed. However, it is not confirmed till we have a pattern of lower highs and lower lows visible. While lower lows are seen on the chart, a lower high has not been formed as yet. So, we would have to wait for a pullback and see whether the previous highs are broken through or a lower high will be made. Another post on my blog, which did the Elliott Waves Analysis of crude may suggest that an intermediate term high may have already been made.

Let us now see where support is likely. For this purpose I have used Fibonacci retracements. I have used two retracements starting from the lows marked at A and B till the high marked at C. As seen from the chart and the price action in the last two days, support is being found near the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level of AC and near the 50% retracement level of BC. One possibility is that the prices may find support at these levels and may reverse, which could happen to be a short term (or who knows, a long term) reversal. If the prices do break through these levels, support may be found near 4865 where two Fibonacci retracements of 50% (of AC) and 61.8% (of BC) converge. Support may even be found there. Of course, it may decide to continue going further down. Where it eventually finds support can only be decided by the crude itself and no amount of analysis can say with certainty where the ultimate support would be found.

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